Home>Discussions>INTERIORS>Molding & Carpentry>Installing Beadboard or Tounge and Groove How To?
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jkhill1984
Installing Beadboard or Tounge and Groove How To?
jkhill1984

My wife and are planning to install a tongue and groove ceiling in the farm house we recently bought. I have already put up the furring strips but I am unsure what nails to use to finish the job.

Some background:
The furring strips are 1X3 and are actually over top another bead board ceiling. This probably sounds stupid, however the previous owners had a put up a crummy dropped ceiling (like you'd find in a school) and just stapled the electric and mounted lights etc. to the ceiling above - ruining it in the process. It would take as much work if not more to even attempt restoring it and I'm sure I'd be disturbing a lot of lead paint in the process. Also, given the insane amount of dust and mouse poop encountered when taking down the drop ceiling, I'm not eager to repeat it with a ceiling that is ten times as old/dirty. I'm not worried about the weight because I have secured the furring strips through the bead board and into the joists with 2 inch screws and IMO they will hold. However, I'm open to input on that.

The boards I was looking at at Home Depot are 6 inches wide by 8 ft long and are solid pine. Needless to say, they are not light. What I've read says to blind nail the boards but I've read conflicting info on whether to use a finish nailer or a framing one. I would think the latter would damage the tongue but I don't know. My questions are: Will I be putting to much weight on the ceiling? and If not, what size nail should I use to secure the boards?

A. Spruce
Re: Installing Beadboard or Tounge and Groove How To?
A. Spruce

If you are putting T&G on a ceiling, you do not need anything more than 1" thick material or less. 2x T&G is for flooring and decking, not for use on a ceiling.

As for attachment, a finish nail, placed at an angle through the tongue will suffice to keep the boards in place. The groove side does not need nailing, as it will be held captive by the previous tongue. Nailing schedule should be no less than 16" on center and no more than 24" on center.

One last tip. Measure the width of the space you'll be installing the T&G in several places along its length and divide it by the width of the boards you are using. To avoid ending up with a little sliver at the end, you may need to start with a partial piece first. You will also want to monitor the space width measurement as you fill in with T&G so that you can adjust small amounts at a time to keep your lines parallel to the walls.

Sombreuil_mongrel
Re: Installing Beadboard or Tounge and Groove How To?
Sombreuil_mongrel

Hi,
Use sheet plastic or typar to keep the old dust and debris that's above the old ceiling boards from filtering down onto the new ceiling. You may want to close off the penetrations from the old wiring etc., so to preclude vermin.
With 1x6 material from the borg, to avoid warping you may want to both nail the tongues and the face in the center. I'd use a 15ga finish nailer myself. 1 1/2" nails should be plenty; 1 3/4" would also be fine. Room-length boards would of course be preferable, but try to find some pattern for the breaks that repeats no more than every third course.
My advise it to prime and one finish coat before installing, then you will just be filling nail holes an putting on the final coat above your head. Get the beads and tongues really well, but not too heavy on the paint and no drips, or you'll have a hard time getting them together. If it's winter in your hemisphere, don't drive them together too tight, they will need some room to expand in the warmer/damper weather. If it's summer, drive 'em as tight as you can so's they don't shrink clear of the tongues next heating season (that's the downside to wider t&g stock, the shrinkage is concentrated in fewer places).
Casey

Mastercarpentry
Re: Installing Beadboard or Tounge and Groove How To?
Mastercarpentry

If you've got 1X furring, then 1X T-G underneath there's 1 1/2" of wood before the rafter/joist so a 2" screw is only getting a 1/2" bite, nowhere near enough for a ceiling (or anything else for that matter)! Add 3" screws before covering.

If the finish nails set flush then they will hold through the tongue well enough, but with 6" width boards I prefer a face-nail on the center too as that helps prevent cupping. A dab of putty hides those but with darker stains they might not need anything. If the tongue nails set below flush you lose a lot of strength since there's not much wood there to start with. If you nail-gun is not adjustable enough to get flush-nailing you can take double-stick foam tape, peel one side while leaving the other, apply that to the shoe, then with scissors cut out the center so you can see what you're doing. That should get you into the adjustability range but visually inspect every nail anyway. I do love a beaded T&G ceiling, even painted they add a lot of character to a room.

Phil

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