Remove the Old Ceiling
The first step in renovating an old ceiling with a tongue and groove ceiling is to remove to old one. This can be a nasty business, especially in any home built before 1973. Any home built before that year has the potential to contain asbestos in any number of materials from insulation, paint, joint compound and plaster. Always wear proper respirator equipment, eye protection, gloves and skin protection when handling old structural materials. The potential for health issues are always severe.
Always dispose of old materials properly as well. Calling a waste management company in advance an ordering a small dumpster is probably a good and safe alternative to hauling it away yourself. The Bagster is a small WM product that gets shipped to you in the mail. You unfold the bag and fill it up with your debris, then they come pick it up.. It’s simple, small and cheap; perfect for little projects like this.
Set up materials to be cut up on a miter saw. Set up ladders or scaffold for you and a helper. Starting in the left corner of the ceiling, run a tongue and groove board from left to right. Nail it in place on the tongue at a 45 degree angle into the ceiling joist above every six inches on center. Measure and cut the remaining piece to the opposite wall. Save the left over piece of scrap to start the next run. This will alternate the seams and prevent any waste from accumulating during the process.
When you come to a light outlet or other ceiling penetration, you must cut around the object. It’s best to cut out a template from cardboard for repeat or awkward shaped ceiling penetrations. You can use the cardboard template to trace the cut onto the board over and over.
Inside Tip: Stack multiple tongue and grooves pieces together at the same time to cut out perfect circles easily with a jigsaw.
As you work your way across the room, continue to check your measurements are the same distance from the edge of the boards to the opposing wall. This will ensure you don’t get into trouble at the end of your ceiling boards by having an odd board width you have to rip down.
Once you make it to the end, your going to want to trim out the ceiling. Many people like installing crown molding for their tongue and groove ceiling trim work. You can find out more about installing crown molding at Construct101. No mater what kind of trim you have from simple shoe molding to elegant crown, a tongue and groove ceiling looks beautiful with any trim it gets.