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How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

Ladies and Gents,

I am about to have a new Kitchen installed, prior to which I need to replace the ceiling. It is an old stucco ceiling with cracks everywhere from a leaky roof when I moved in (fixed); and a section missing where there use to be a beam (now in the attic). The house is a 4 level back split, with the main floor (top half on image) at the entranceway on the porch being a dining room, and what will be the kitchen (was a kitchen/dinette) on the left side of the image. My desire is to replace the entire ceiling with wood, however, I don't like the idea of an interlocking product - I would much prefer to simply have wood planks that overlap (if any have to come out, it is easier). Do you know of any existing products? I haven't seen any that just overlap.

I was thinking it could even be fun, albeit tedious, to do the work myself. Using 1x6 (probably) boards, and a dado blade on a table saw, I would cut out a 1 inch section from one length, and a 3/4 inch section from the opposing side at half the thickness of the board. The gap this would leave when overlapping I would have visible in the room for style. Does this method sound realistic, or am I nutz?

We haven't yet decided on the wood or stain, but that should be easier once we get a final kitchen design and choose the cabinet, counter top, and floor colours (we've only seen the draft so far).

The included image is of the house portion of my survey. The kitchen area is 108"x261" on the left side of the house running front (top) to back, and the dining room is 278"x166" running left to right. It is very open - no dividers between the two rooms; the flooring will define this - cherry laminate in dining room, ceramic tile in kitchen. Joists run front back.

Thanks for any help / ideas you can offer,


Re: How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

I did one with beadboard. It is "interlocking" I suppose but you can buy it ready-to-install in just about any wood species. It's also very thinly cut, which makes it light, which is important for a ceiling. The bead also provides a nice detail...

All that said, whatever you do, be prepared for hard work. It's like putting in hardwood floors, upside down. Be sure to measure carefully and mark where the boards should go in advance. In my case, the room was not square and you don't want to discover that once you make it all the way to the other side.

I screwed slats into the existing plaster I suppose you could go straight into the rafters? You might consider putting up something first (i.e. thin plywood?) because if you have any gaps in between your boards, you'll have insulation and dust constant flowing through the cracks and getting into your space.

A. Spruce
Re: How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

You might want to look at a product called V-rustic. It's a 1x lap siding very similar to what you're talking about milling yourself. It comes standard in 1x8 and I've seen it in 1x6. Lengths will depend on what you can carry home (up to 16' ). Just make sure that from wherever you buy it that you can buy extra, cull through for what you need, and return the rest.

Re: How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

Thank you both.

I have laid laminate in a number of rooms in my house, so I know how much of a PITA it can be if a room isn't square. Another reason I really wanted to use something that wasn't interlocking - I foresee great pain in my future; my chiropractor will either love me or hate me.

V-Rustic appears to be a siding product - I never thought about that! I had thought about some form of bead board, or other wainscoting product, but that's a cool idea. The only other thought I've had is to take an existing, unfinished wood product that interlocks, and rip off one side of the female edge so it then overlaps instead of locks.

Thanks muchly for the ideas, now I've got something to run with. As for insulation coming through gaps, I intend on replacing the vapour barrier in the ceiling which should prevent that - and having new cellulose insulation blown in (sticks to everything).

If I remember I'll try and post pics once the process gets started.


Re: How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

I've used pine bead board boards (the thin "stuff") and yeah, the tongue and groove was a pain, but I made out fine. I did this in an entry way and bath..stained it with a light stain and then put up some painted crown. I used a construction adhesive and some nails in the tongue. It was work, but it's an inexpensive way to have a nice wooden ceiling. Still up today and has aged nicely. I didn't bother to urethane the ceiling..just an oil-based stain. Keep in mind the bad was a half bath, not a full.

Good luck

Re: How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

I'd put some wood up there....... But only if you want to. Just depends is what I mean. Could be or not.

Re: How do I construct my own wood ceiling?

One thing you might consider if not using interlocking system like T&G is that you will be stuck with exposed nails. It's your house and I'm sure you know what you want in it, but if it was me I would take my chances of having to change a board or two, which is really not that difficult even on an interlocking system , rather than being stuck with exposed nails and trying to fill all those nail holes.

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