EIFS can be used on new buildings and also can be installed on existing walls, called "retrofitting", to upgrade the appearance and provide insulation, without affecting the activities indoors during the renovation (EIFS is installed completely from the outside of the building). EIFS has a number of features that contribute to its popularity, including a modern seamless look , the ability to mimic other materials, reasonable cost, and high energy efficiency. EIFS looks like traditional stucco or concrete, and is very common through North America.









Although often called “synthetic stucco”, EIFS is not stucco. Traditional stucco, otherwise known as Portland Cement Plaster, is a centuries-old non-insulating material. Stucco consists of sand, Portland Cement, and water, and is a hard, dense, thick, non-insulating material. EIFS is a lightweight synthetic wall cladding that includes foam plastic insulation and thin synthetic coatings. There are also specialty stuccos that use synthetic materials but no insulation, and these are also not EIFS either. A common example is what is called one-coat stucco, which is a thick, synthetic stucco applied in a single layer (traditional stucco is applied in 3 layers).

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