tuff hide is a leveling compound applied to a sheet rock base to use in lieu of joint compound skim coat ( level 5 ) plaster skim coat is a whole different beast.
with tuff hide you hang regular dry wall and finish as usual to a level 3 or 4 finish and apply the tuff hide as the 5th and prime coat.
with skim coat plaster you start with blue board mesh the seams and apply a skim of plaster to mimick an old hardwall assambly.
hoped this helped.
Thank you James for your response. I assume skim coat plaster over blueboard is a very high quality product, a bit nicer than Tuff Hide over GWB? Or could you not tell the difference? Given of course that both were installed by competant tradsmen.
I guess what I am looking for is the premium installation method out there, within reason, and without going the extremes of a solid plaster/wood lath old school aproach or other.
The tuff Hide provides a very nice finish. Not as hard as plaster but harder than a regular drywall finish. The added benifit is that Tuff Hide is a primer surfacer, so you achieve a level five finish and prime the drywall all in one step.
Plaster can be quicker than taping. It has greater sound reflection (isloation}. It has much greater impact resistance and resists abrasion. As for cracks, durabond 90 and paper tape on seams is the best protection before plastering. Plaster also delivers a true flat plane. No feathering corners to outside corner beads and no feathering out but joints to look flat. A good plaster job leaves a polished surface. There should NEVER be any need to sand or spackle before painting. The highest quality interior wall is three coat over wire mesh. We use job sanded Red Top wood fiber plaster with a finish of lime and gaging plaster.