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Old 05-20-2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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Need some help identifying ceiling material / layers


First time DIY'er and I am installing ceiling fixtures into bedrooms in my house that don't have them. Cut out the hole for the first one and I came across this material and I was just curious what it was.

Here is a pic


Also I am tracing the shape of the ceiling box from the attic and drilling down to make sure I have the orientation of the box perfect (it has a set position on a metal brace I bought - should have bought just the box and then attached it to a cross-brace board in the attic).

Anyways, the drilling down *almost* created a problem on the first one because the drill bit pulled a chip of paint down around each exit hole (bottom left and top right of pic above), both of which were small and extended just a tiny bit outside the extent of the new ceiling hole. I have two more holes to make and I don't want to create ghastly chipped paint areas around the hole if I can avoid it. Any suggestions, or do I have to drill upwards to prevent this?

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Old 05-21-2010, 06:14 AM   #2
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Need some help identifying ceiling material / layers


Looks like a 40's-50's plaster ceiling. 3/8 rocklath(similar to drywall) on the joists, then scratch coat and finally finish plaster.

The old paint is apparently quite thick, and pulling loose when you drill. Drill from bottom.

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Old 05-21-2010, 10:39 AM   #3
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Need some help identifying ceiling material / layers


Thanks Just_Bill, that matches the age of the house. I thought it looked like drywall and was wondering why a previous owner might have replaced the ceiling. But this makes it sound like this is the original ceiling. Thanks
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Old 05-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #4
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Need some help identifying ceiling material / layers


Don't know about Bill, but I was a rug rat around then: http://www.nps.gov/history/hps/tps/briefs/brief21.htm

Be safe, Gary
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Old 05-22-2010, 01:58 AM   #5
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Need some help identifying ceiling material / layers


I didn't come along till 25 years after the house was built. Was pretty happy that the ceiling is rocklath as opposed to wood lath, cutting out my ceiling fixture holes was a breeze. Thanks all
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