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Sheetrock Ceilings

When installing sheetrock ceilings, weight should be a consideration. In normal construction 5/8" thick sheetrock is hung on ceilings because it won't sag. However, 5/8" thick sheetrock is heavy and generally hung on joists 16 inches apart. Using ½" sheetrock would be much lighter and less apt to cause roof problems, but would require joists or supports every 12 inches.

This is accomplished by screwing furring strips (1x4 boards) across the ceiling joists 12 inches apart (left picture). The strips can be screwed over the existing ceiling assuming you have a flat surface. Or the existing ceiling can be removed, the insulation updated if desired, then the furring strips screwed up. Any dips in the furring strips can be correct by shimming before screwing. Doublecheck the flatness of the furring by pulling strings from side to side and corner to corner. If the gap changes by more than a ¼" between the string and the furring strip, adjust the furring strips to even the gap. The better job you do of leveling the furring strips, the better your ceiling will look once completed.

sheetrock ceilings Once the furring strips are leveled and screwed in place, ½" sheetrock can then be installed. First apply a bead of construction adhesive to the furring strips, then screw-up the sheetrock carefully setting the screws below the surface but not breaking the paper. Then tape the seams using self-stick mesh tape (other types of tape are available but the mesh tape is easiest to work with and least likely to crack.) Then apply three coats of joint compound (mud). After applying the first coat of mud, allow it to dry then lightly sand. The second coat should be applied wider than the first coat and the third coat applied wider yet. Allow each coat to dry and lightly sand. Lightweight joint compound is easiest to sand. Finally, apply a coat of sheetrock primer, paint then texture. Mix paint in with the texture (see below) to avoid a final coat of paint.

Ceilings - Repairing or Rebuilding | Texturing Tips

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