Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>drywall between exposed ceiling joists
6 posts / 0 new
Last post
drywall between exposed ceiling joists

I am planning on creating an exposed beam ceiling look in a room since my house has nice, thick, redwood joists. I was thinking of putting drywall between the joists and leaving about 2" of the 2x10 joists exposed. I would put 2x2's across each joist cavity to have something to screw the drywall to. Was also thinking that using a J bead on the drywall would give it a nice, clean edge. Any thoughts on this? Would it look decent? Am I mad for creating so much work for myself? The room I'm planning on doing this to has 14 joist cavities in the ceiling that I would have to finish.

Re: drywall between exposed ceiling joists

Sure it can work and be visually appealing --- depends.

Personally I like to see wood elements as part of the features .
At times when you show appreciation and celebrate parts of the structure it can be stunning. However , for me personally, too much wood can be drab and needs a different surface like plaster or drywall that is a pleasing contrast.

Redwood is a beautiful wood. You will definitely will want to ensure it's nice and clean along with being oiled since it will be exposed.

Now depending on the room will determine how your idea will look.
If the joists are 16 inch on centers , scale of the room and a low ceiling height this may end up making the ceiling look too busy. On the other hand the exposed joists can offer the sense of height as well.

Here's the part where I'm a little confused about ---- the joists are 2x10 and you mentioned only having 2 inches exposed.
Again depending on the room , if you had as much of the depth of the joists exposed it may be more appealing.

Using the J bead will make a nice crisp edge and look good providing you take your time making nice straight cuts. After all , the bead will follow your cut and there is only so much it can do to hide imperfections. So , if the drywall is tight at one end and you have a 1/4 gap at the other , then your messing around with caulk.

Many folks have difficulties visualizing concepts --- perhaps try painting a couple of spaces between joists with white paint to get a feel of how it might work out.
After all, paint is pretty cheap and relatively easy to put up.

2 cents. :)

Re: drywall between exposed ceiling joists

Thanks, canuk. Glad you like the idea. The joists are on 16" centers and the ceiling is only a little over 8', and one of my concerns was having it feel a little too busy, but I think we'll give it a try. The reason we are only keeping 2" of the joists exposed is primarily because we have already purchased the lighting for the room and we went with recessed fixtures before we thought about exposing the beams. The housings have a 7" height, hence the limitation of the amount of the joist that can be exposed. I also thought that having less exposed might help with that too busy look. On top of that, we have installed radiant floor heating in the rooms about the remodel, so we have to insulate the joist cavities with at least R-13, which means we could not drywall all the way up to the subfloor above anyway.

I like your idea of visualizing it first. Perhaps I'll put up a 4' long piece in a couple of adjoining cavities just to get an idea of what it would look like. Thanks for the suggestions!

Re: drywall between exposed ceiling joists

I am thinking of doing the exact same thing. I also have radiant heat in the floor above so I can expose the whole thing. I've been trying to figure out how to do the drywall without doing mudding between the drywall and the beams. This j-bead idea might just do the trick. I'm not really familiar with j-bead, is it glossy? Paintable? I'd love to see pictures if you do it. I need some ideas.

Re: drywall between exposed ceiling joists

The J bead is metal and it's paintable .
It's used to provide a finshed edge on drywall when it's exposed.

Re: drywall between exposed ceiling joists

My thought from your description is that 2" of the joist exposed might seem like an accident or not enough bang for the effort. I would consider a different way to light the space and not let the fixtures you bought rule the design.
Also instead of drywall perhaps another material like painted beadboard could be used if you want a painted material. I would spend some time looking into what redwood is available. If you use wood or even drywall, wood trim could be used at the edges against the joists.
Can the insulation be placed over the joists rather than inside in order to maintain the joist depth? something about being able to use exposed redwood joists sounds appealing. Not too many houses or any are built that way today.

Sponsored Stories

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.