In 1977, glass reinforced gypsum was introduced to the UK from the United States. This was a new concept in building materials. It was a lightweight, strong and durable material. It could be used for both structural and decorative interior construction, and it would prove to be enormously popular throughout the later 20th century. It remains highly popular today, thanks to its flexibility as a material, and the fact that it can be easily used in a very wide range of settings. In fact, as long as it isn’t subjected to damp, it can be and is used in all manner of buildings, from casinos and churches, to theatres and shopping centres, hotels and private homes.
One of the key features of glass reinforced gypsum (or GRG) is the fact that it is a mineral based material. This is flame retardant, making it ideal for public interior spaces where safety is a high priority. It is also highly malleable, making it a perfect material for forming unusual and decorative components to interiors, such as domes or decorative arches, and GRG ceilings which require a bespoke surface. Indeed, the design possibilities implicit in the use of glass reinforced gypsum are more or less endless. In fact they are subject only to the limits of the designer’s imagination. Here at Taylor Hart Limited, glass reinforced gypsum has been used to great effect at Waitrose, where we created some stunning feature bulkheads with this innovative and effective material.
Glass Reinforced Gypsum composition
Glass reinforced gypsum is composed of two key materials, the first being a high density gypsum, and the second being glass fibre which acts as a reinforcement, strengthening the gypsum and allowing it a longer lifespan and opening up the possibilities of what one can do with it. The material itself is very similar to other, more traditional plaster mouldings, except thanks to its unique composition, it is both lighter and stronger. It is typically cast, which gives it an endless array of possible shapes and forms, and installation is quick, easy and cost effective.