ASK A DESIGNER
DESIGN DILEMMA: WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EIFS AND STUCCO?
We are building a home and considering an EIFS or Stucco covering. We love the sleek, smooth, clean contemporary look and the variety of styles and colors. We’ve also heard many benefits including fire resistance and good sound barrier. They both look the same. What can you tell me about the difference between these surfaces?
From looking at the exterior of a home, it can be difficult to tell the difference between EIFS, Exterior Insulation and Finish System, and Stucco. They look similar because they are covered in similar material.
The greatest difference is in the construction. EIFS has a base layer of insulation board attached to wall sheathing. A thin base coat including a reinforcing mesh is applied over the boards. This base coat is sealed with a finish coat. Stucco consists of a layer of cement-based stucco covered with a thin finish coat and installed over stone or plywood.
When choosing either system, it’s very important to hire a respectable company to install either surface and then perform regular inspections over the years. The chart above helps explain how the two stand up to each other.