Parging is a popular building technique that has been used for centuries to enhance the appearance of buildings. It involves the application of a thin coat of cement-based material to a masonry surface, resulting in a smooth and durable finish. Parging can be used to make cement look like real stone, smooth out uneven textures, and hide cracks and damage. Additionally, it can make homes more energy-efficient and improve their appearance.

Choosing the right material for parking can be challenging, as there are various options available. Some of the most commonly used materials include:

  • brick pavers
  • sandstone
  • cement
  • gypsum
  • ready-mix parging
  • flat roofing tar
  • limestone

Each material has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, and the choice of material will depend on factors such as the desired appearance, durability, and climate conditions. In this article, we will explore the commonly used materials for parging, their benefits, drawbacks, and which material would be best suited for your needs.


This section provides an overview of the different options available for improving the appearance and energy efficiency of walls through the use of varied building materials.

One popular technique is parging, which involves applying a thin layer of material to the surface of walls. Parging can be used to smooth out uneven textures, hide cracks and damage, and make homes more energy-efficient. It is also an affordable option for those looking to improve the overall appearance of their walls.

Parging costs can vary depending on the material used, the size of the project, and whether it is done by a DIY enthusiast or a professional contractor. Parging maintenance is generally minimal and includes cleaning the surface regularly to remove dirt and debris. However, depending on the climate and weather conditions, parging may require occasional touch-ups to repair any cracks or damage that may occur.

Parging can be mistaken for stucco, but there are some differences between the two. While both are used to enhance the appearance of walls, stucco is a thicker and more expensive material that is often used for commercial buildings or historical structures. Parging, on the other hand, is a more affordable option that is often used for insulation purposes and is available in a wide range of design options.

Whether you are looking to improve the appearance of your home or add insulation to your walls, parging can be an excellent choice for achieving your desired results.

Benefits of Parging

The advantages of utilizing parging as a building technique extends beyond aesthetic enhancements. Parging can smooth out uneven textures, conceal cracks and damage, and provide energy-efficient benefits to homes.

Energy efficiency is achieved through the insulation properties of the parging material, which can keep the interior of the home cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.

Parging can also provide a durable and cost-effective option for homeowners. By hiding cracks and damage, parging can extend the lifespan of the underlying structure.

The aesthetic appeal of parging can enhance the curb appeal of a home, which can increase its value. Weather resistance is another benefit of parging, as it can protect against harsh environmental conditions such as wind, rain, and snow.

Parging requires skill and expertise in application techniques to ensure a quality finish. Proper maintenance is also necessary to ensure the longevity of the parging material.

Additionally, the environmental impact should be considered when selecting a parging material, as some options may have a higher carbon footprint than others.

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Overall, the benefits of parging make it a popular choice for homeowners seeking to improve the appearance and energy efficiency of their homes.

Types of Materials

Various options are available for those seeking to utilize parging as a building technique, each with its advantages and disadvantages. When considering the types of materials to use for parging, cost comparison is an important factor to consider.

For example, brick pavers are easy to install but can be more expensive than other options such as sandstone, cement, gypsum, and ready-mix parging. Limestone is a hard and durable material, but it is also expensive, hard to find, and brittle.

Another important aspect to consider is the installation process. Ready-mix parging is an affordable and easy-to-install option that covers large areas quickly. However, the exterior bonding agent used in ready-mix parging will only stick to the outside of the wall. Cement is also easy to install but is porous and can trap heat, requiring additional steps to block the sun. Additionally, gypsum is affordable and easy to install but needs sealants to prevent disintegration.

Durability factors and maintenance requirements should also be considered when choosing parging materials. Climate considerations are also important, as certain materials may not hold up well in extreme weather conditions. Color options may vary depending on the material chosen, but some options allow for customization.

It is also important to weigh the pros and cons of DIY vs professional installation. Lastly, the environmental impact and historical use of the materials should be taken into consideration when choosing the best parging material for a project.

Brick Pavers

Brick pavers offer a visually appealing option for those seeking to utilize parging as a building technique and may be a suitable choice for those willing to invest in a more expensive material. Here are some key points to consider when using brick pavers for parging:

  1. Installation process: Brick pavers require mortar to be applied to the wall before they can be placed. This can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, making it a task best left to professionals.
  2. Cost Comparison: Brick pavers are more expensive than other options, such as ready-mix parging or sandstone. However, they offer a unique look and can increase the value of a property.
  3. Durability factors: Brick pavers are hard and durable, making them resistant to damage from weather and wear. They also require minimal maintenance.
  4. Color options: Brick pavers come in a variety of colors, allowing homeowners to choose a style that complements their home’s exterior.

In summary, brick pavers can be a great choice for those looking to add a unique touch to their home’s exterior. While they may be more expensive and require professional installation, their durability and visual appeal make them a worthwhile investment. Homeowners should consider their budget and desired aesthetic when choosing materials for parging.


Sandstone is a viable option for those seeking an affordable material to use for wall parging, although it requires the use of mortar and can be prone to crumble if in contact with concrete.

Sandstone applications in parging are varied, as it can be used to create a variety of textures, patterns, and colors.

Installation techniques involve applying a layer of mortar to the wall, followed by sandstone pieces, which are then pressed firmly into place.

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Once the sandstone is in place, a final layer of mortar is applied to create a smooth and even surface.

Maintenance tips for sandstone parging involve regular cleaning and sealing to prevent water damage and staining.

Color options for sandstone parging are limited, as it is a natural stone and only available in its natural hues.

Durability factors include its resistance to weathering and decay, which makes it a popular alternative for exterior wall parging.

Cost comparisons for sandstone parging are favorable, as it is more affordable than many other materials.

Environmental impact is minimal, as it is a natural stone and does not require much energy to extract or manufacture.

DIY vs professional sandstone parging depends on the homeowner’s skill level and experience.

While homeowners can install sandstone parging themselves, it is recommended to hire a professional to ensure proper installation and avoid costly mistakes.

Sandstone also has historical significance, as it has been used in construction for centuries and can add a touch of traditional charm to homes.

Popular alternatives to sandstone parging include cement, gypsum, and ready-mix parging, each with its benefits and drawbacks.


Cement is a versatile and popular option for wall covering, with its smooth texture and ability to be molded into various shapes and designs. Cement applications include both interior and exterior walls, and they can be used to cover brick, concrete, and stucco surfaces.

Cement is commonly used for parging because of its durability and strength. It is also easy to mix and apply, which makes it an ideal choice for DIY projects. Mixing techniques vary depending on the type of cement being used but generally involve combining cement, sand, and water to create a smooth, workable consistency. Decorative finishes can also be added to cement parging, such as colored pigments or stamped patterns.

Cement has waterproofing properties, which makes it an excellent choice for parging exterior walls. It is also resistant to fire, insects, and weather damage. Maintenance requirements for cement parging are minimal, with occasional touch-ups needed to repair any cracks or chips.

The environmental impact of cement is a consideration, as it is a non-renewable resource and requires a significant amount of energy to produce. Cost analysis for cement parging is moderate, with the price varying depending on the size of the project and the complexity of the design.

Professional installation tips include ensuring that the surface is clean and dry before applying the cement, using a bonding agent to improve adhesion, and smoothing out any bubbles or imperfections during the application process.


Gypsum, an affordable and easy-to-install material, offers a viable option for covering both interior and exterior walls, with its ability to be molded into various shapes and designs while requiring sealants to prevent disintegration.

The application process for gypsum involves mixing it with water to create a paste, which is then spread onto the wall using a trowel. Sealing techniques involve applying a sealant or coating to the surface to prevent moisture from penetrating the gypsum.

Gypsum is moisture-resistant, making it ideal for use in bathrooms and other areas where water is prevalent. When it comes to a cost comparison, gypsum is more affordable than some of the other materials used for parging.

DIY enthusiasts can attempt to park their walls using gypsum, but it is recommended to hire a professional for optimal results. Color options for gypsum include white, gray, and beige, with the ability to add pigments to achieve a desired color.

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Maintenance tips for gypsum include cleaning the surface regularly to prevent dirt and debris buildup. The environmental impact of gypsum is minimal, as it is a naturally occurring mineral. Common issues with gypsum include cracking and crumbling, which can be prevented by applying a sealant or coating.

Future trends for gypsum include the development of new sealants and coatings that are more durable and long-lasting. In summary, gypsum offers a cost-effective and versatile option for parging walls, with its ability to be molded into various shapes and designs, moisture resistance, and minimal environmental impact.

Ready-Mix Parging

Ready-mix parging is a popular material used for both interior and exterior walls due to its affordability and efficiency. This material is easy to install and covers large areas quickly, making it a favorite among both DIY enthusiasts and professional contractors. Its exterior bonding agent only sticks to the outside of the wall, which ensures that the parging material is securely attached to the wall’s surface.

In terms of cost comparison, ready-mix parging is a more affordable option compared to other materials like brick pavers or limestone. It comes in various color options that can match the existing color of the wall or create a new look. Additionally, this material is weather-resistant and durable, making it an excellent choice for homes in areas with extreme weather conditions. DIY enthusiasts can easily install it, but it is recommended to hire a professional for a more polished finish.

Maintenance is crucial to ensure the longevity of the parging material. It is essential to avoid chipping or scratching the surface, which can cause water damage. Regular cleaning with a mild detergent and water is enough to keep it in good condition.

Ready-mix parging has a long history of use, dating back to ancient civilizations. Its environmental impact is minimal, as it is made from natural materials and does not release harmful chemicals.


Parging is a versatile technique used in construction to improve a building’s appearance, energy efficiency, and durability. Various materials can be used for parging, including brick pavers, sandstone, cement, gypsum, ready-mix parging, flat roofing tar, and limestone.

Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, and choosing the right one for your needs depends on the specific project requirements. Brick pavers and sandstone are popular materials for parging due to their natural appearance and durability. Cement is a commonly used material that is versatile, easy to work with, and provides a smooth finish. Gypsum is a budget-friendly option that is easy to apply and dries quickly.

Ready-mix parging is a convenient option that can save time and effort, but it may not provide the same level of customization as other materials. Flat roofing tar and limestone are also used for parging, but they may not be suitable for all projects.

In conclusion, when choosing a material for parging, it is important to consider the project’s specific needs, including budget, durability, and desired appearance. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, and careful consideration should be given before making a final decision. Ultimately, the right material for parging will depend on the specific requirements of the project, and a professional contractor can provide guidance on which material is best suited for the job.