Q: I currently have a drywall ceiling and I'd like to accent the room with bead board. What's the easiest way to install the bead board? Do I need to remove the drywall or can I install the bead board on top of it? — Chris, Tampa, Florida

A: Tom says: You can install the bead board on top of your drywall. Think of your ceiling as drywall that's covering up either a system of joists, or a system of joists and strapping. I say this because in this part of the country, we have joists and under our joists we use 1x3-inch strapping that runs perpendicular to the underside of the joists. Either way, you've just got to figure out the direction it's running, because your bead board will go perpendicular to those. Now what you want to do is use a liquid nail product or a construction adhesive and apply a bead either on the ceiling first or on the back side of the bead board — it doesn't matter which. When you put the bead board up under there, you then toenail a nail through the drywall into the strapping or the joist at the tongue side of the bead board. For that you want to use probably a seven- to eight-penny finish nail.
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