Why Should I Choose Polystyrene/Polyurethane instead of Plaster Coving?

Coving is a popular feature that many people decide to add to their home interior. Although traditionally associated with older houses, coving styles have updated and evolved throughout the years and can also add a crisp, clean modern feel to any newer household.

There are many different types of coving materials on the market, and choosing which is right for you can be confusing. The two most popular materials are plaster and polystyrene coving, each of which has their own characteristics and benefits. Plaster is the original material that was always used for coving, before time moved on and more modern counterparts came to the fore. At Coving Direct we stock both High density Polystyrene and Polyurethane covings. If you are struggling to know which type of coving you should use, here are some key characteristics for you to take into consideration.

What are Plaster and Polystyrene Coving?

Plaster coving used to be the most authentic and best quality coving on the market. However, it is both heavy and fragile to handle. Plaster covings also require specialists to install them correctly and as we all know, when specialists get involved things become very expensive!

Polystyrene covings first came on the market as a cheaper alternative to plaster. Unfortunately back then they looked just that…cheap! Advances in manufacturing technology have changed all that. Our covings (manufactured in Europe) are made from a “high density” polystyrene blend. They are both robust and lightweight. More important is how well these new polystyrene covings look. They have an exceptionally smooth finish with sharp crisp lines and will accept all paint types.

What is Polyurethane Coving?

Despite all the technological advances made with polystyrene covings they are limited in the range of styles in which they can be produced. For more intricate designs such as traditional “Egg & Dart” or “Dental” we use polyurethane as in our Classic range of covings. Whereas polystyrene covings are “extruded” through machines, the process for polyurethane covings is a little more “hands on”. They have to be produced in individual moulds one at a time. For these reasons they are a little bit more expensive than polystyrene but offer a limitless range of design possibilities.

Here are some of our top reasons as to why you should choose polyurethane/polystyrene coving over plaster material:

1. Lightweight

Polystyrene is a lot more lightweight than plaster. Plaster is extremely heavy and fragile, therefore it can be difficult to manage and is prone to cracks if not installed correctly.

2. Strong and Durable

Our covings are made from high-density polymers. You are not compromising on strength. Although light, it is highly durable, therefore will withstand impacts and general wear and tear, meaning that your coving will have a much longer lifespan.

3. Cost-Effective

Polystyrene coving has always been more budget friendly than plaster. The great thing about polystyrene today is that it maintains its lower price, without compromising on quality or longevity. The result is that it is the number one option for both the more budget-conscious homeowners and those who are looking for top quality decorative moulding.

4. Easy Installation

Due to its light weight, polystyrene coving has always been much easier to install than plaster coving. Plaster is a heavy material, and the installation of it requires at least two people who are qualified and know what they are doing. Polystyrene and polyurethane however can be installed by almost anyone with moderate DIY skills. It is for this reason that, when you buy from Coving Direct, you are getting the most efficient option on the market. Not only can you buy online and have it delivered to your home, but you can also easily install the coving by yourself, without having to pay for expert installation.


At Coving Direct, we stock a large range of High density Polystyrene and Polyurethane covings, in the Leggero, Linea and Classic Styles. Shop online today. We deliver throughout the UK and there is free shipping on orders over £100. 

Important information regarding Coronavirus (Covid-19)

We’re still open online and delivering, but have temporarily closed our warehouse until further notice.

In light of recent advice and to protect our customers and colleagues, we have decided to close all stores until further notice.

We continue to operate online, but due to high demand, our delivery lead times maybe longer than usual. Please bear with us, we’ll get your orders to you as quickly as possible.

Our logistics partners, ParcelForce and GLS Logistics have advised us they are delivering as normal and all orders placed will be sorted ASAP.

As always thank you for your custom and Good luck with your project!