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Ceiling - Wood Planking


In theory you can use any type of wood plank on a ceiling, including shiplap and other types that are normally used for

exterior siding. But those materials generally are 3/4 inch thick, which is not only unnecessary on a ceiling but also a disadvantage due to the weight.

Because there is no load on the planking (it just has to stay attached to the rafters or ceiling joists), you can use thinner material that is ˝ inch thick or less. On ceilings, the standard installation has planks that interlock with a tongue and groove. This configuration is available in a wide variety of materials, including exotic hardwoods and plain pine. It’s also available in different milling patterns--for example, with a small bead next to the seam or a more elaborate combination of shapes cut into the edges.

Several manufacturers offer packages of thin material in cedar or pine. The individual planks are extremely flexible but firm up once you lock the joints together and add nails. Always check the manufacturer’s installation instructions. On some thin material you may need to add a layer of strapping to provide more frequent support than standard rafters or ceiling joists set 16 inches on center.

On either a flat or sloped ceiling, start by ripping the grooved edge off the first board. A solid edge generally looks better unless you plan to cover the edge with wood trim. It’s also important to make sure that the first board is straight, even if the wall against which it rests bows in and out. Because the boards interlock, you need to keep them straight in order to close the seams uniformly and tightly.

If the wall is straight, you can keep track of the boards by sighting down their lengths, stretching a string end to end, and measuring back to the starting edge every few courses. If the adjoining wall does bow, hold a full piece against the wall and scribe the first edge.

 

ABOVE Plank ceilings can be installed on nailer between rafters in cathedral ceilings, leaving some framing exposed.

 

 

 

 

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