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Between pleasure and the need to create a living environment, more than 80% of French people do DIY. Some innovative solutions simplify the task and reduce the bill when doing work.

choose your plasterboard

The do-it-yourself market represents the first item of capital expenditure of the house (1), and DIY superstores (GSB) are the first beneficiaries, before the distribution networks specialized in materials (trade). Responding to the demands of modern life, these banners offer thousands of references that make "making oneself" accessible to everyone. In particular, there is a large choice of wood-based products, plaster or composites, designed to facilitate layout and decoration work.
(1) Source: The Echoes Studies.

Wood derivatives, everywhere in the house

Available in large panels, wood derivatives all have improved technical characteristics compared to solid wood. They are suitable for multiple applications in dry or wet conditions, depending on usage, some offering additional specific fire resistance. Holding the nail or screw, the plywood (multipli) is made of sheets of wood unrolled, glued together by crossing the direction of the wire. This alternation of layers, or folds, gives the panels a remarkable dimensional stability and mechanical strength. Species such as okoumé, poplar and conifers are used for interior plywood.
The panels for decorative use are covered with veneers, for cabinet making, which come from noble hardwoods (chestnut, hornbeam, oak, cherry, walnut...) or exotic fine species (framiré, iroko, moabi, rosewood, sipo, teak, Wengé...). There are also bendable versions (3 or 5 ply) that allow all kinds of curved or fully cylindrical shapes.
Entering the category of plywood, the block consists of panels plated on both sides of a soul made of soft wood slats laminated on edge. The yarn of the veneer sheets is perpendicular to that of the slats, for better stability over time. The blockboard is also sold in standard or decorative panels (replaceable).

OSB, agglo, MDF...: easy to machine panels

Commonly called agglomerate, the particle board is obtained by hot pressing of fine ligneous waste bound by thermosetting resins. The standard agglo, allows to make arrangements and furniture very cheap.
The coated panels are more expensive, the importance of the extra cost depends on the nature of the facings: melamine, laminate, veneer. Of homogeneous but friable texture, the agglomerate assembles by nailing, screwing, flat dowels, pins, etc. For added strength, it is useful to reinforce bonds by bonding or to use double-threaded sockets (inside and outside) for reversible assemblies.
The OSB panels Oriented Strand Board (Oriented Strand Board) are mainly coniferous, sometimes hardwood. Its cross-ply structure meets increased technical requirements, offering a very interesting aspect in decoration.
As for medium or high density fibreboard, they have an exceptional homogeneity.
The MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is easy and pleasant to machine. It can be stained, painted or varnished like solid wood.
The HDF (Hight Density Fiberboard) is heavier and even stronger.
Both versions are found in the manufacture of furniture and coverings: paneling, engineered parquet flooring, laminate floors...

Floor-to-ceiling plasterboard

The launch of plasterboard in France in the late 1940s revolutionized the construction sector. Consisting of plaster molded between two layers of cardboard, its use on a large scale has led to a new profession, that of plaquiste, midway between carpenter and plasterer. Suitable to receive different coatings (paint, wallpaper, tiles...), the plasterboard makes it possible to work quickly and well and offers multiple options such as light partitions, doublings, false ceilings on framework, panels of ground for dry screeds... associated or not to an insulator.

reconstituted stone

The reconstituted stone reproduces materials such as slate, brick, granite, travertine, wood... Depending on the models and supports (interior or exterior wall cladding, terrace slabs, pavings), the installation is carried out by simple or double gluing, with adhesive mortar or with plots (here, tiles on "Ceres" tiles from Carré d'Arc).

ecolabelled floor plate

This ecolabeled plaster board, made of cellulose reinforced plaster, has rebated edges for overlap assembly. It is glued and screwed into the original floor (120 x 60 cm x 18 mm thick + 10 mm of wood fiber underlayment).

The parquet flooring

engineered parquet

Engineered parquet flooring and laminate floors simplify floating installation considerably. The absence of glue makes the work cleaner and saves a lot of time. ("Elegance", blades of 19 cm x 9 mm thick).

Tiles and plasterboard

Materials that make life easier for DIYers: life

Examples of application of tiles and plasterboard:
1. Partition made of plaster tiles
2. Dry screed
3. Insulating lining on framing
4. Storage structure in honeycomb plasterboard
5. Partition on frame

The different plasterboards

Standard plasterboard
Simple to implement and at a competitive cost, it is one of the favorite materials of DIYers. Gray-beige, type A or BA (according to the old classification), it has two thinned edges to compensate for the thickness of the grouting. There are also ceiling plates with 4 tapered edges, which facilitate the realization of joints
The specialized gypsum board
The manufacturers (Placo Saint-Gobain, Lafarge, Knauf, Siniat...) have expanded their ranges by proposing qualities adapted to precise constraints, each identifiable by a distinct color: acoustic (blue facing), water-repellent (green), fireproof ( pink), high hardness (yellow), etc. The formats marketed in supermarkets are 250 to 300 cm high and 60 to 120 cm wide, in thicknesses ranging from 6 to 25 cm.
Gypsum plasterboard
Composed of 80% gypsum and 20% cellulose, these plates (Fermacell, Knauf...) are equipped to resist. Compressed at high pressure without any other binder than water, their hardness makes it possible to fix light to medium loads by simple nailing or screwing. They have good behavior with moisture and fire. With conventional wall plates with straight edges, the installation and grouting (polyurethane glue mastic) is carried out in a single operation. The new references with thinned edges, they require the same treatment of joints as the cardboard plates. Formats: H. 150 to 300 x l. 100 or 120 cm x thick 10 to 18 mm.

Wood and its derivatives

Materials that make life easier for DIYers: easier

CTB-H or HDF water repellent quality wood

The agglomerate and the medium or high density fiberboard are regularly used in the manufacture of laminated or melamine elements.
A water-repellent quality CTB-H or HDF is recommended to realize a plan of kitchen or bathroom.

composite wood

Composite wood is almost maintenance-free and adapts to all climates. Good alternative to solid wood, it is suitable for many outdoor settings. Based on recycled waste, he supports in his way the fight against deforestation in the tropics. Without organic solvents, chlorine or formaldehyde, it is easy to recycle.


Plywood is made from 0.8 to 4 mm thick veneer sheets. The siding wire is generally oriented in the length of the panel. In order to guarantee its stability, the leaves are always odd: 3, at least, up to 17 or 19 for the "outdoor" and "marine" qualities. The use classes are defined by EN 636-1, 2 and 3 standards.

DIY products "with water"

Other products whose evolution facilitated the implementation: water-based paints. They relegate to the rank of curiosities their competitors based on derivatives of petroleum products. This reality concerns both the consumer market and the professional sector, subject to the provisions of a European directive (n° 2010/75 / EU) on the reduction of pollutant emissions, including VOCs (volatile organic compounds).
If glues, paint strippers, paints, stains, varnishes and other products in the aqueous phase may contain a variable percentage of fillers, pigments, additives... not very ecological, their high proportion of water makes them much less harmful to health and the environment. Some glues are used in the manufacture of materials (wood-based panels, plasterboard, wall or floor coverings) that comply with the regulations on indoor air quality.
On a practical level, water products are almost odorless and dry quickly. If the synthetic components they may contain emit a slight odor, this action is short-lived and without the unhealthy effects of petroleum solvents. In addition, dilution with water simplifies tool cleaning.

Media preparation and painting

laying a glass cloth

The canvases and glass sails strengthen and stabilize the supports in bad condition. Some references are to ask by gluing the wall. Others are pre-glued. Easier still (as here), the EasyFix fiberglass fabric is adhesive and repositionable.

application of the first coat of paint

The painting is done in two layers minimum, the first obligatorily in aqueous phase.

painting with water

Dilutable with water, the paint "Metaliz" spreads with the roll in two passes spaced about 4 hours.
It can be used without primer on previously painted surfaces and rough woodwork.
On a plastery or porous bottom, a layer of primer is necessary.
It also applies to smooth or "closed" surfaces such as tiling or melamine.

to paint tiling

How to rejuvenate furniture or tiling? Thanks to a tinted resin that is applied to the roll on plastic, tile or wood.
A simple degreasing and a few hours are enough to transform the support without big jobs! The product usually comprises two components: a colored resin and a hardener, each packaged in a pot. An additional container may be provided to effect mixing.

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