Here's the lowdown on lath.
Lath is thin strips of timber, usually about 1" x 1/4" in size. These wooden slats are positioned about 1/4" apart and nailed into wall studs then coated with plaster. This was the interior wall creation method of choice from the 1700's to the 1940's. In the 1950's, drywall became much more common and began replacing the lath and plaster method.
The pros: it is believed to increase insulation, combined with plaster it provides natural soundproofing, it is said to be fire resistant, and provides a whole lot of character with the ability to create curves and arches on walls and ceilings.
The cons: because of the extremely brittle nature of plaster natural settling can cause cracking, the plaster can fall off in chunks, updates or new electrical work is extremely complicated and difficult, and in old homes there are entire portions of wall where insulation was not installed within the lath and plaster.
Lath on lath at the #WTPhillyHouse.
Over at our renovation project the #WTPhillyHouse, we had a lot of lath to work with. In our experience, lath is commonly wasted when renovating or demolishing old homes and buildings. Obviously this didn't sit well with us, so we decided we would not let any lath from this project go to waste.
The stairway at the #WTPhillyHouse.
After removing and loading up all of the lath we salvaged, we took it back to the shop to be processed, which includes removing nails, sanding smooth and cutting to size. Once that was done, it was time to really hone in on our ideas and decide how we'd use the lath, so we began designing.
These pieces reflect Woodward Throwbacks philosophy in every way and we're so excited to share the story behind them.
The #WTPhillyHouse has given us so much opportunity to continue pushing boundaries, thinking outside of the "box" with materials and waste, and in turn design some rad furniture. Our first three pieces are linked below, and are available in 4 different finishes.