In the interest of eliminating delay in getting reinforcing steel, the owner of the building we are constructing wants us to use metal lath. He has read that, though the lath itself costs more, the labor cost is reduced from $0.09 per square foot for bars to $0.035 per square foot for metal lath. He also says it produces a better bond. Is metal lath safe to use ?
Metal lath is excellent reinforcement for thin slabs, say 3/4 inch to three inches thick. It is, of course, especially fitted for use as wrapped reinforcement enclosing structural steel beams and columns for fireproofing concrete or plaster. Similarly, it can be used to good effect for reinforcing thin coatings of shotcrete. Some variations of metal lath serve as combined form and reinforcement for thin floor or roof slabs of concrete over closely spaced steel joists with spans of two to three feet. In general, however, the use of metal lath as a substitute for welded wire fabric is very limited. As a substitute for reinforcing bars it is almost out of practical consideration.