The EIFS system is applied to the outside face of exterior walls. The surface to which the EIFS is installed is called the substrate. The substrate can be composed of, but is not limited to, block, brick, cement board, Dens Glass wallboard, and plywood.
Installing the EIFS system requires a skilled professional contractor. There are three main layers to the EIFS system. The first layer is a layer of foam insulation which usually comes in 2' x 4' sheets, ranging from around 1" to 4 inches, although different thicknesses can be used for accents. The next layer of the EIFS systems is the base coat. A cementitous adhesive is applied over the foam using a trowel, with fiberglass reinforcing mesh embedded into the base coat, for added strength and durability. The final layer is the layer that is visible to the eye. This layer is called the finish coat, which is a textured paint-like material that is also applied with a trowel. This finish coat comes in a wide variety of colours and textures. To acquire an even finish, a processing called floating is performed right after toweling the finish coat on.