Paneling
For a classic New England cottage look, you can't beat a paneled ceiling. Among the several materials that create the effect are wood (plywood panels or solid-wood, tongue-and-groove board paneling) and mineral-fiber planks that imitate wood. Wood
In the plywood category, Georgia-Pacific makes a product called Ply-Bead that imitates old-fashioned bead board. It comes in 19/32- and 11/32-in. thicknesses. Suitable for both sloped and flat ceilings, the 4x8-ft., tongue-and-groove sheets have a pine top veneer that's milled to look like bead board. The panels come in two patterns. Use the thinner, 1.6" on center bead to visually enlarger smaller spaces, and the wider, 3.5" one to shrink an area that's too large. To finish off the edges of a beadboard ceiling, try pairing it with traditional crown molding. Ply-Bead costs $16 to $20 per sheet. The panels, which can be cut with a power saw or handsaw, should be nailed to the ceiling joists. Construction or panel adhesive provides extra insurance. Because of the size of the panels, it's best to have a helper during installation. Opaque stains and acrylic latex paints over a primer can be used to achieve any number of looks. The former allows the wood grain to show through, but the latter is more durable. If sheet paneling is a little daunting, there are real-wood options at any lumber yard in nominal widths of 4 to 8 in. and in thicknesses of 3/8 in. to 3/4 in. Look for tongue-and-groove edges that are beveled to form a V-groove. This paneling is installed board by board with adhesive and blind nailing. Mineral-fiber "planks"
If you want that wood paneling look but don't relish hoisting lumber overhead, consider fiber planks, which are similar in composition to acoustical tile but don't require a suspended grid. Armstrong's new Country Classic Planks are a good example. These 48-in.-long x 6-in.- wide planks weigh only 21 oz. each, making installation a simple, one-person task. The tongue-and-groove planks are easy to assemble, and can be attached directly to drywall or plaster with adhesive or staples. Costing about $1.25 per square foot, a carton covers 40 sq. ft. No visible seams or grid lines mar the surface of the ceiling. If the 6-in. width of Country Classic Planks doesn't suit your space, you might want to look at Heritage Planks. These are scored down the middle to give the appearance of narrow, 3-in. boards. The wood-grain planks come white, which can help brighten a dark room. They also take well to painting for a variety of effects. You can even create featured panels within a ceiling by using several colors. Or you can stain the planks with a water-based gel for a wood look.
Ask TOH users about Ceilings

Contribute to This Story Below