How to Install Wood Planks on a Ceiling

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Wood-paneled ceilings are a way to dress up the ceiling of your home. This type of ceiling creates a country cottage atmosphere. It has been around for centuries, longer than drywall or plaster ceilings. Wood ceiling panels are generally made from pine.

Things You'll Need

  • Stud finder
  • Pencil
  • Chalk
  • Tape measure
  • Plank paneling
  • Drill
  • Finishing nail gun
  • Finishing nails

Installing a Wood-Plank Ceiling

  • Remove all of the furniture from the room. Remove any crown molding in the room. Remove any vent covers and track-lighting covers.

  • Find the ceiling joists with an electronic stud finder. Mark them at each end with a pencil and snap chalk lines between the marks. Be sure to mark the center of the joists. The planks will be installed running perpendicular to the joists and nailed into them.

  • Divide the ceiling into sections, separated by the two beams that cross in the center. Measure the total linear footage of the walls in the room in which you will be installing the paneling. Divide that number by the width of a single plank. To determine the width of a plank, measure from the grooved edge to the back of the tongue on the plank face. If you have a fractional number, round it up. Add 10 percent to this number to account for waste. This final number tells you how many planks you will need.

  • Pre-drill holes for attaching the planks. Turn the tongue edge away from the wall and secure the board with finishing nails. Drive the nail at an angle through the tongue and into the joist. Drive nails through the face of the plank for the first and last boards only. Drill them into the tongue for the others.

  • Attach the rest of the boards to the ceiling by fitting the groove over the tongue of each. Secure with finishing nails.

  • Reinstall vent covers and lighting. Return furniture to the room.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have any vents or lights to put in, take measurements and cut the boards to fit around them. If you put crown molding up, use caulk between the moulding and the ceiling.
  • Allow the planks to acclimate to the room before installing them. Let the planks sit on the floor in the room for three days to a week prior to installation. This will allow them to expand or contract depending on the atmosphere in the room.

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