The condition of your ceiling may be starting to show signs of wear and tear and coming away from the ceiling timber joists. If so then it could be time to think about replacing it. Some ceilings after time will also begin to show excessive cracking which can also contribute towards the ceiling coming away from the original ceiling timber studs.
There are a number of options you have to try and improve the condition of the ceiling you have including plastering over the existing ceiling (only if cracked but plaster not coming away), taking down the whole ceiling down to the ceiling joists and then plasterboarding it or even plasterboarding over the whole of the existing ceiling as it is.
We will envision in this article that your ceiling is totally irreparable and needs to be purely replaced with new plasterboard to get it back to the nice flat and smooth surface that it may have once been.
Taking A Hammer and Bolster to The Old Ceiling
Before you even think of starting to take down the old ceiling you will need to be adequate 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.
While I have heard of people setting up a step ladder to remove the old ceiling I have to advise against this. You ought to hire trestles and boards to create a safe working platform. Once done, hack of the old plaster and also remove the timber laths down to the timber studs. De-nail as to prepare for the plasterboard. Any existing coving will need to be watched to avoid any damage.
Fitting The Plasterboard In Place
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 purchase adjustable supports that you use to hold the plasterboards in place while you screw or nail them.
Fitting the new plasterboard is not as difficult as one may think. It can be a little fiddly at first but sooner or later the process will become seamless. The plasterboard should be fitted to the ceiling studs in what can be described as a staggered alignment. Think of how a brick wall is bonded. Joins should not be lined up so the boards have no staggering. If you need to cut the boards then do so with a sharp knife, scoring one face of the board, breaking the board by bending back and then finally cutting the last bit of paper backing holding the plasterboards together. It is easier to cut the boards straight if you use a straight edge as a guide to help you. Screw the boards in place with drywall screws at 6 inches intervals.
Now that you have got the new ceiling in place you can begin ringing round for a plasterer to come and put the final finish of plaster on it for you. I would not advise you to try plastering it yourself as there is much to know about the art of plastering that we cannot even begin to cover in this article. A pro plasterer will not take long to skim it all up and you will have just got yourself a brand new ceiling.