How to Install a T&G Pine Ceiling

Written by kevin mcdermott
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A ``T&G'' (or tongue & groove) pine ceiling uses a similar principle as a tongue & groove floor, with the boards fitted together at the sides by milling that's designed to hold it firmly in place. Since the ceiling won't have to hold the weight of walkers, the boards can be lighter and softer, and don't require special installation tools like floors do. Make sure to use pre-finished or painted boards, as trying to finish a ceiling after it's installed is difficult.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Electronic studfinder
  • Level
  • Pencil
  • Tape measure
  • 1/2 inch thick board
  • Tongue & groove pine ceiling planks (pre-finished or painted)
  • Trim nailgun
  • Mitre saw
  • Table saw
  • Pine ceiling moulding

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  1. 1

    Use your electronic studfinder to find the ceiling joists. Mark their positions throughout the ceiling, using a level and pencil. You should end up with a series of parallel pencil lines, about 2 feet apart, running across the whole span of the ceiling in one direction.

  2. 2

    Measure the ceiling along the wall where you want to start the courses of wood planks (it has to be a wall that runs perpendicular to the marked joists). Transfer the measurement to a tongue & groove ceiling plank. Cut the plank on a mitre saw at the measurement.

  3. 3

    Hold up the cut board against the ceiling, along your starting wall, with the grooved'' edge of the board facing the wall. Leave a 1/2 inch gap between the plank and the wall, using a 1/2-inch thick board. (Thisexpansion gap'' will allow the wood to move with climate changes.)

  4. 4

    Use your trim nailgun to shoot nails through the board at each point where it intersects a joist. Put two nails at each intersection. Move the 1/2 inch board along the side by the wall as you go, to keep a consistent gap.

  5. 5

    Measure for the next board and cut it on your mitre saw. Place it against the first board, snapping it in place by the tongue & groove edge. Secure the second board by shooting nails through side of the board, at an upward angle, at each point where it crosses a joist.

  6. 6

    Install the rest of the boards in the same way. Cut the last plank lengthwise on your table saw so it fits against the ending wall with a half-inch gap there.

  7. 7

    Measure and cut your ceiling moulding, and hang it around the edges of the ceiling, cutting it on your mitre saw and attaching it with your trim nailer, covering the gap.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear eye protection when you use your mitre saw and table saw.

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