Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws? - Carpentry - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum


Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Carpentry

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-15-2013, 01:54 PM   #1
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Enid, OK
Posts: 75
Rewards Points: 75
Question

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


All -

I have 4" wide ceiling crown made from pine in a game room. The guy that installed it for me about 6 years ago did not install wedge-shaped strips of wood behind the crown to ensure every nail had a solid grab/something solid to bite into (for those who may not understand, it is common to cut a 2" x 4" into wedge-shaped / triangular-shaped lengths, screw the wedges into the corner where the wall meets the ceiling and then install the ceiling crown over it, shooting the crown nails into the wedge strips....I learned that by reading a crown installation book and tried it in my master bedroom closet. Four years later there's not even a tiny crack between the crown and the wall or the ceiling.)

Anyway...about 2-3 yrs ago ugly gaps between the crown and the walls in the game room started appearing. The largest gap in one area is almost 1/16". Most gaps are about 1/32". Simply re-caulking is not an option since expansion/contraction will still occur and creat more gaps. I first thought about closing the gap using long finish nails but I have almost zero confidence the nails will permanently close the gap due to expansion / contraction over time plus when I checked with local hardware stores/big box stores and even Fastenal, I could not find a long enough finish nail that would ensure a good bite into the walls' 2" x 4" top plate.

Question: has anyone ever tried using SCREWS to eliminate ceiling crown gaps between the crown and the wall? If so, did you use finish screws or long sheetrock screws? (Finish screws have a smaller hole to putty / sand over but less holding power due to smaller threads while sheetrock screws leave a bigger hole to putty / sand over but more holding power due to larger threads). How well did using screws work?

Knowledgeable opinions are welcome (and needed!). Gotta keep a slow moving home remodel going....

I'll post pix tonight.

Advertisement

__________________
'Twister'

"A professional is only a DIY-er with more experience."

Last edited by Twister; 08-15-2013 at 02:21 PM.
Twister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 02:25 PM   #2
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Well, for starters, any time you need to fill a screw or nail hole, as odd as it sounds, you do NOT want a small, shallow hole.

You need a large enough, and deep enough hole to give sufficient area for the spackling to grip into and remain there during shrinkage. Shove that spackling in there with your thumb... hard!

Advertisement

__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

Last edited by Willie T; 08-15-2013 at 02:46 PM.
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 02:36 PM   #3
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Wedges sound cute, but are very insufficient... and a pain in the rear to cut and install.

Crown backers made from unaltered dimensional lumber (1x to 2x, depending on the crown size) gives you the opportunity to nail the crown anywhere you feel like nailing it.

Shoot the backers in with a framing nailer..... They WILL NOT move.

Even though you may have installed wedges, you never nail the crown right at the edges anyway.... it will often split.

I have installed a ton of crown on regular old firring strips. 1x3 works pretty good on slightly larger crown........ and "Yes", sometimes on HUGE crown (where you use the 2x material), you may have to bevel off the back edges a little to keep the backer from getting too close to the crown.... you need it to stay away from the crown a little.
Attached Thumbnails
Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?-crown-backer-pt.jpg  
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

Last edited by Willie T; 08-15-2013 at 03:20 PM.
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 02:45 PM   #4
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Install all your crown with a liberal bead of ADHESIVE caulking along the top and bottom back edges, and, trust me, the stuff will never pull loose from either the wall or the ceiling.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 02:51 PM   #5
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


You will find that "X" nailing, (crossing two nails close to one another at about 35 degrees), will help "pull" the crown tighter than just straight individual nails.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 02:58 PM   #6
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


1/16" to 1/32" does not seem an unreasonable gap to caulk now and then to me? You are never going to get the crown and wall to stay one and the same. They are different materials and expand and contract at different rates.

Use a quality flexible put paintable caulk. Some silicone it is may help but be wary of the evil solid silicone stuff.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-15-2013, 03:04 PM   #7
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


One more point.... Never install your backers so that they actually "touch" the crown back. They should always have at least an eighth, if not a quarter of an inch of space between the backer face and the crown back.

Installing right, smack-dab on the face of a backer can actually CAUSE the crown to later move away from the wall or ceiling.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 12:46 AM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Enid, OK
Posts: 75
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie T View Post
You will find that "X" nailing, (crossing two nails close to one another at about 35 degrees), will help "pull" the crown tighter than just straight individual nails.
Willie -

All good info to know for installing crown in the future. I wondered if nailing at an angle or in an "X" pattern would work, too. If I nail the crown back to the wall, that's what I'll do.

2 questions:

1 - Have you ever heard of anyone using screws to eliminate gaps?

2 - What brand of adhesive caulking do you use and is it paintable?

The game room is being remodeled/repainted and to do it right I cut the old caulking out to ensure I could close the gaps 100%. Will the adhesive caulking you recommend have much grip/holding power if it's only installed on the bottom edge of the crown? (I left the caulking between the crown and the ceiling; that didn't split/leave gaps.) Thinking that answer is "no"....
__________________
'Twister'

"A professional is only a DIY-er with more experience."

Last edited by Twister; 08-16-2013 at 12:53 AM.
Twister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 12:52 AM   #9
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Enid, OK
Posts: 75
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
1/16" to 1/32" does not seem an unreasonable gap to caulk now and then to me? You are never going to get the crown and wall to stay one and the same. They are different materials and expand and contract at different rates.

Use a quality flexible put paintable caulk. Some silicone it is may help but be wary of the evil solid silicone stuff.
sdsester -

1/32", 1/16".....what can I say?....I don't like any gaps at all. Re-caulking is a hassle because if you don't tape along the wall your caulking gets 'smushed' on your nicely painted wall (and wiping it with a damp cloth doesn't seem to remove it entirely) and even if it did, because caulking is invariably never a 100% match on color, you need to take a brush and touch up the bottom edge of the crown to hide the new caulking. Again, a hassle. Unpainted caulking ALWAYS retains/holds dust and dirt and gets gross due. I'd rather fix it once/do it so the fasteners will hold the crown snug and never have to worry about expansion gaps again. I'd been told by someone once that screws are the way to do that but wanted to ask here....
__________________
'Twister'

"A professional is only a DIY-er with more experience."

Last edited by Twister; 08-16-2013 at 12:58 AM.
Twister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 01:34 AM   #10
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twister View Post
sdsester -

1/32", 1/16".....what can I say?....I don't like any gaps at all. Re-caulking is a hassle because if you don't tape along the wall your caulking gets 'smushed' on your nicely painted wall (and wiping it with a damp cloth doesn't seem to remove it entirely) and even if it did, because caulking is invariably never a 100% match on color, you need to take a brush and touch up the bottom edge of the crown to hide the new caulking. Again, a hassle. Unpainted caulking ALWAYS retains/holds dust and dirt and gets gross due. I'd rather fix it once/do it so the fasteners will hold the crown snug and never have to worry about expansion gaps again. I'd been told by someone once that screws are the way to do that but wanted to ask here....
Of course caulk is never a match in color so you use flexible and paintable caulk and paint over it.

I guess we have different approaches. I don't mind caulking and painting and view it as maintenance. In any job I was hired to do, I promise you, you would never see a bit of airspace between trim, walls, ceilings or whatever. I finish caulk joints with my finger and a damp cloth for the most part. If you feel you have to tape, I can see why you would view it as a hassle. And such caulk joints must look quite intolerable for lack of a better word. You would never know it was not part of the trim when I am done. Until...

Would it stay that way forever? Absolutely and positively. I promise. And if the screws you had in mind never edged out even a bit from where you threaded them in because, for example, the wood you threaded them in dried out or just changed humidity from season to season. And if a heavy truck never drove by and rattled things. And if the ground under your house never ever shifts so much as inch to to make ever single connection in your place adjust, just a bit, and create a 1/16-1/32 inch gap somewhere.

I used to be a perfectionist, and still am to a point. You the know the person who really changed my life? I kid you not, a gun packing private investigator and bay area police detective whose real passion was tuning pianos all over the San Francisco Bay Area including for the symphony orchestras. Bill had to tune the pianos and all its strings between performances for some exacting pianists because fog would roll in and fog would roll out and the wood just stretched and contracted. There was more money in shooting pics of wayward spouses but talk about an anal retentive other career more exacting than piano tuning?

And you are whining about caulking and thinking you can fix it all, once and for all with fasteners? Wish you look.

Caulk the trim nicely. Get over you may have to do it again someday. No fastener or adhesive is going to be able to provide what you seek here. You will still have to caulk because your home, I hope, moves, breathes and is sort of a living entity.

Last edited by user1007; 08-16-2013 at 01:41 AM.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 01:50 AM   #11
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Enid, OK
Posts: 75
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
.......And you are whining about caulking and thinking you can fix it all, once and for all with fasteners? Wish you look.

Caulk the trim nicely. Get over you may have to do it again someday. No fastener or adhesive is going to be able to provide what you seek here. You will still have to caulk because your home, I hope, moves, breathes and is sort of a living entity.
sdsester -

Caulking: definitely know I need to caulk again. No way I could get a joint without caulking to look good.

Permanent fix?.....well, my hope is that as materials contract and expand, that they contract and expand together. Yes, I know sheetrock is not the same material as wood, etc. But that's what overkill on the nails (or screws?) is for....to minimize movement. And....a heavy bead of caulking to stretch as needed.

I did my master bedroom closet with the wedge strips behind the crown like I mentioned in the 1st post on the thred, TONS of nails (I mean probably 100? in a ~ 9' x 6' closet...yes, about a hundred...there were not the biggest gauge finish nails) and a decent bead of caulking (went too thin a bead on some on my remodel in another room and it cracked so I go a little heavier now) and after 2+ years there is Z-E-R-O cracking / gaps in my closet ceiling crown.
__________________
'Twister'

"A professional is only a DIY-er with more experience."
Twister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 09:41 AM   #12
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twister View Post
Willie -

All good info to know for installing crown in the future. I wondered if nailing at an angle or in an "X" pattern would work, too. If I nail the crown back to the wall, that's what I'll do.

2 questions:

1 - Have you ever heard of anyone using screws to eliminate gaps?

2 - What brand of adhesive caulking do you use and is it paintable?

The game room is being remodeled/repainted and to do it right I cut the old caulking out to ensure I could close the gaps 100%. Will the adhesive caulking you recommend have much grip/holding power if it's only installed on the bottom edge of the crown? (I left the caulking between the crown and the ceiling; that didn't split/leave gaps.) Thinking that answer is "no"....
I don't like screws because most crown is so thin, screws seem to tend to tear up what little bite there is for the threads... that leaves only the (usually rounded) head to do the holding. I almost always use brads in my gun, as opposed to finish nails, because of the "T" head.

I use Loctite Polyseamseal. The painters seem to love it.

If caulking has held thus far, I'd not worry about removing it. The adhesive really doesn't do that much good (except as just caulking) on the surface. You need to get a good bead back in there, between the two surfaces.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

Last edited by Willie T; 08-16-2013 at 09:45 AM.
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Willie T For This Useful Post:
Twister (08-18-2013)
Old 08-16-2013, 10:00 AM   #13
Old School
 
Willie T's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: St. Petersburg, FL Minds of moderate caliber ordinarily condemn everything which is beyond them.
Posts: 3,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


BTW, on a side note, since you mentioned it, over-fastening drywall is probably the #1 cause of cracking. Fasteners are to hold the stuff on the wall, not hold it stiffly in place. Houses move all over the place, and the wall board needs to be able to "float" to only slightly follow the deflections of the lumber.... never to stay directly WITH it.

That's why good hangers never fasten up close to 90° intersections.... like wall-to-ceiling and at inside corners.
__________________
"True eloquence consists in saying all that is necessary, and only that which is."
François Duc de La Rochefoucauld
Willie T

Last edited by Willie T; 08-16-2013 at 10:18 AM.
Willie T is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2013, 10:07 AM   #14
Too Short? Cut it Again!
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 9,634
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Twister View Post
and after 2+ years there is Z-E-R-O cracking / gaps in my closet ceiling crown.
You fitted real crown trim in your closets? And you are claiming 1/16 to 1/32 non-caulked gaps bothered you there?

Wow is all I can say. I guess I am happy for your success in this pursuit.
user1007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2013, 01:40 AM   #15
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Enid, OK
Posts: 75
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Ceiling Crown Gaps: Eliminate Via Screws?


Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsester View Post
You fitted real crown trim in your closets? And you are claiming 1/16 to 1/32 non-caulked gaps bothered you there?

Wow is all I can say. I guess I am happy for your success in this pursuit.
sdsester -

Yes, real ceiling crown trim in my master bedroom closet. Looks superb. ZERO cracks/gaps.

The 1/32 - 1/16 ceiling crown gaps are in my game room.

Advertisement

__________________
'Twister'

"A professional is only a DIY-er with more experience."
Twister is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
ceiling crown , gaps


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Crown molding and space between it and ceiling tb582 Painting 2 07-30-2012 01:59 PM
tray ceiling, need crown molding help?? chipraynor Carpentry 4 10-20-2011 08:32 PM
Vaulted ceiling crown molding with adjacent room cmcfalls2 Carpentry 4 10-13-2011 11:38 AM
Crown moulding with a vaulted ceiling? cstrat Carpentry 34 06-17-2011 07:51 PM
Crown with Tray ceiling, Arghh. chuee Carpentry 15 08-24-2010 10:06 PM




Top of Page | View New Posts