This is a headline from an article published in the December 2022 issue of W&C magazine, which states that the global stucco and EIFS market was $10.7 billion in 2018. More importantly, it forecasts an additional $5.3 billion by 2026 for North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America, Middle East and Africa. Since the North American market accounts for more than one-quarter overall, there is an indication that domestically, a great opportunity exists for tremendous growth, earnings and profit over the next few years.

Additionally, manufacturers have all invested heavily in these systems over the years and although they may seem complicated to the nonprofessional, those in the business understand how each of the various components are not only sold as a complete system, but also as stand-alone products.

Here’s a rundown:

  • A water-resistive barrier that covers the substrate.
  • A drainage plane between the WRB and the insulation board that is most commonly achieved with vertical ribbons of adhesive applied over the WRB.
  • Insulation board typically made of expanded polystyrene, which is usually secured with either an adhesive polymer basecoat or mechanical fasteners.
  • Pre-blended and concentrated stucco basecoats.
  • Numerous lathing configurations and materials.
  • Polymer-modified basecoats.
  • Glass-fiber reinforcing mesh embedded in basecoats.
  • A finish coat that typically uses colorfast and crack-resistant acrylic co-polymer technology.

EIFS Today

EIFS is one of the most tested and well-researched claddings in the construction industry and has experienced remarkable growth for not only its various systems but also for technological innovations, many of which have resulted in the development of these products. Moreover, new energy codes requiring continuous insulation to offset thermal bridging will continue to play a big part in both residential and commercial construction markets.

 and plaster have been around a bit longer than EIFS
 and plaster have been around a bit longer than EIFS
 and plaster have been around a bit longer than EIFS
 and plaster have been around a bit longer than EIFS


Stucco and plaster have been around a bit longer than EIFS and have evolved over the years. Although the components of the system remain essentially the same, there are also new innovations in the manufacture, packaging and performance of its various materials, which contribute to more consistency, better quality and enhanced performance.

For instance, stucco basecoats are now available as a pre-blended product, which involves high quality aggregates that comply with ASTM standards. The drying process, which allows the product to be packaged, also takes advantage of the sand bulking process, which when mixed with water, expands its volume by more than 30 percent, enabling higher yields and reduced shipping costs.

Other benefits of pre-blended stucco include consistent and innovative mix designs, such as theme park and zoo habitat carving coats, lighter-weighted stucco and fast-setting stucco, to mention a few. Furthermore, job site safety and efficiency have improved significantly and have replaced the need for wasteful sand piles.

Today’s stucco systems now incorporate improved air/weather barriers, innovative lathing products, such as metallic and non-metallic, self-furring diamond, welded wire and rainscreens. In addition, to comply with energy codes and offset thermal bridging in its own right, stucco systems can incorporate energy-efficient expanded polystyrene and extruded insulation products.

The Future of EIFS and Stucco

Although there are many opportunities ahead for what has been referred to as the trowel industry, it is not without its challenges. A growing lack of experienced professionals has been plaguing the industry for years, but with some effort on the part of trade unions, related trade associations and trade schools, the situation is improving.

Trade unions do an exemplary job of training their members through apprenticeship programs that promote proper installation techniques through classroom instruction and on the job experiences.

EIMA (together with AWCI) have also done a yeoman’s job with respect to certification programs, designed to not only improve installation knowledge, but also how the various system components interact.

The Stucco Manufacturers Association and related local trade organizations have been a great source of knowledge for product training, building code compliance and system performance and have produced a series of web-based videos leading to specialized applicator certification.

Bottom line, the market is there: It’s innovative, growing, has longevity and, most importantly, holds opportunity. The challenge, however, is reaching out and attracting the kind of professions needed to maintain its momentum.