Stucco quoins can add a lot of flair and style to the corner of the stucco building and since you can pretty much make a whatever type of design you can think of, the possibilities really are endless!
Quoins are kind of a mystery to some people and they have a lot of questions about them so I decided to write this post that hopefully answer some of those questions, if not all of them.
What Are Stucco Quoins?
Stucco quoins are "decorational" pieces that are put on corners of houses and can be made from styrofoam (coated with a modified cement) or can be made out of metal and layers of cement. Quoins can have many different shapes and sizes to them and can have a more uniform look or an abstract or offset look.
What Are They Made Out Of?
Stucco quoins are typically made two different ways, either using a Styrofoam that has a fiberglass mesh stuck to it and then is coated with an acrylicly-modified cement or they can be made out of corner aid, metal lath and foam or plaster stop and than a scratch and brown coat is applied to fill out and shape the quoins.
Styrofoam Quoins - More often then not, stucco quoins are made from an EPS type of Styrofoam that has a fiberglass mesh embedded to the foam and then a thin coat (1/16" - 1/8") of an acrylic modified cement coating applied to it.
These are usually premade for you and will come pre-coated with the that critically modified cement base that goes on top of the Styrofoam for will come in a "raw foam" form that you can mesh and coat yourself.
Metal Reinforced Quoins - Quoins that are made from metal lath are a little less common but provide a more reinforced "quoin design" because of the metal and cement base coats that are applied instead of relying on a Styrofoam base that could easily get damaged.
When making these types of stucco quoins, you are a little more limited as far as design is concerned, even though you could make just about any shape and style you want to if you spent enough time on them but are usually not as intricate as the premade Styrofoam types of quoins.
The picture below shows stucco quoins that are made from plaster stop, which is a little less common than foam, metal lath and corner aid but can still work. The metal outlines that are shown will be filled up with a second base coat that will more than likely take two coats to achieve, and scratch coat and a brown coat. The finished it will then be applied to the top of the quoins and finished off.
Corner aid works much better than plaster stop and is usually what is used by the picture below will give you a general idea of what a metal reinforced stucco quoin looks like prior to applying any of the base coats.
Where Can I Get Them
Usually a stucco supplier will order stucco quoins for you and they usually use a different company that makes many different foam products that are used throughout the stucco process. It is possible for you to go directly through the foam supplier and have them make a custom quoin design for you or sometimes they may even have standard designs that you can choose from.
It it is important to note that many of these foam companies can make any type of design imaginable and when I say any type of design I mean anything! they use a precision laser that is up to a computer and it can cut any type of design imaginable and works much like a CNC router does.
A good example of a foam supplier that makes different custom stucco foam trim designs, including quoins is New Image Foam in Sacramento, somewhat close to where I live and the company I have used many times before.
If you want to have the metal reinforced quoins, then all you have to do is go down to a stucco supplier and load up on all of the materials you will need to make them yourself.
Some Different Stucco Quoin Designs:
Stucco quoins can have many different designs to them and can also come in many different sizes, which is nice because you can really achieve any type of design and look that you desire.
Let's take a look at a couple of different pictures and I will explain some of the differences, see you have a better understanding of what's out there and what to expect, as far as design goes.
Symetrical Design: These quoins have a symmetrical look to them and are larger than what is commonly used but is a good example of a symmetrical design.
All of the edges of the quoins, on both the left and right sides are the same length and form a straight line, which some people prefer over the offset look.
Off-Set Design: Offset stucco quoins are usually two different sized quoins that form an offset look, which you can see in the picture on the right.
The top, bottom and middle quoins in the picture are the same size and the other two are a different size, which gives that offset look.
Custom Design: I found this picture online and thought it was a very interesting design, one that I've never seen myself but looking at all of the other phone detail around the Windows, it makes sense that a more elaborate design like this one would work for building that has this type of architecture.
These quoins (and the other trim) are likely a custom-made foam type of design that really makes the building stand out.
A Note On Spacing:
Quoins can have different spacing between the too (vertical spacing between the quoins) which can make the design different and gives you a different look too.
Quoins that are spaced out a 1/2" apart are going to have a much different look and overall feel on the corner of the stucco building than quoins that are spaced 3 inches apart, so make sure you do some planning ahead and look at a few different houses that have different spacing between the quoins themselves to see what you like better.