If you have a ceiling that is showing signs of wear and tear or the plaster is damaged and coming away then it simply may be time to begin replacing it. It is not just older houses that need ceilings replaced but also more modern properties as well, as even newer premises can be affected due to damage from leaks etc.
The first thing you ought to do is really check the condition of the existing ceiling. If your opportune and the ceiling is just suffering from ‘crazing’ or light cracks, you may be able to plaster over it to get the finish you require. Should the plaster be coming off though, then stripping it down and plaster boarding it may be the way to go.
We will assume in this article that your ceiling is totally unsalvageable and needs to be wholly replaced with new plasterboard to get it back to the nice flat and smooth surface that it may have once been.
Ripping Off The Old Plaster Ceiling
Before you even think of starting to take down the old ceiling you will need to be applicable prepared. The whole area should be sheeted up with dust sheets, windows should be opened for fresh air and your ought to wear a dust mask and other safety wear such as hard hat and protective footwear.
Taking down the old ceiling is fairly straight forward but you will want to do this safely. Invest in trestle and boards and make a safe working platform to work off. The old plaster can be removed with a hammer and bolster and you should also remove the old timber laths. Pull out any remaining tacks so the joist are ready to receive the plasterboard. Take care with existing coving or cornice.
Cutting and Fixing The New Plasterboard
There are 2 main sizes of plasterboard which are 6×3 or 8×4 and they come in different thickness which are 9.5 mm and 12.5 mm. Before fitting the plasterboard you should hire or acquire adjustable props that you use to hold the plasterboards in place while you screw or nail them.
Before trying to fit the new plasterboards, make sure the site is clear from all debris and that you have de-nailed the timber studs. You will want to offer up the plasterboard to the timber studs and fit in a staggered fashion. Inevitably you will need to make cuts and these cuts ought to be done with a sharp blade. The plasterboard is scored, bended back along the score line so that it snaps and then the remaining paper holding it is cut with the knife leaving a nice crisp cut. Use a straight edge or rule to keep your line straight. The plasterboards ends should rest on the centre of a timber joist and then screwed up firmly with drywall screws. A 150 mm gap between screws is common.
So we did it! Our ceiling is very nearly complete but we don’t want to be looking at some staggered pieces of plasterboard every time we look up at the ceiling.May be appealing to some but I’d much rather prefer a nice plastered finish. That I’m afraid though is a job for a professional plasterer and there are many about who will do the job quickly for you with a perfect finish. Don’t try to finish the ceiling yourself at this stage. Get a pro in, have it plastered and then get your roller and brush out to put the paint on.