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Old 10-05-2006, 12:38 PM   #1
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sheetrock cieling? old house


i have opened up 2 rooms in my house to make one L shaped room. one room being 13x15 the other 12x16. you walk into the room from the front door or our main entrance on the other end, the kitchen, you see the room longways mostly. the joist are 16', i already have sheetrock, 12' boards. i like to run the boards perpendicular to the joist, in this application it would work great. i was hoping to rock it this weekend. last nite i was inspecting the joist as i know a few have some pretty bad bellies in them. and a few i had to sister new ones along 3 with bad splits and cracks. it is a blloon frame house, with rough cut lumber, the joist vary in hieght pretty bad even without the bellies in them. some 3/8" from one to the next, most are within a 1/4" of one another. last nite i began shimming some until a came to one that was 1/2" lower than most. i trimmed it back. that was a real pain in the butt. even cutting 1/4" strips is not fun task to try to shim. now im considering "strapping" my cieling, using 1x2 or 1x3s. what do you think? i really want this cieling to be nice and strait as im planning on crown mouldings. . where do i draw the line? what kind of tolerance should i deal with here? im kind of leaning towards the strapping idea as the cieling hieght nbow is 8'-1-1/2", after i rock the cieling i will have to deal with a 1" void all around when i rock the walls with 4x8's. if i strap it i will lose 3/4 and only have a 1/4" void. now if i do strap it, do i rock perpendicular to the strapping or the joist? what is the propper way to strap a cieling? i was thinking 12" o.c. shiming the 1x' to get them as strait as possible and using construction adhiesive and long screws to attach to the joist. this sound right?

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Old 10-05-2006, 07:47 PM   #2
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sheetrock cieling? old house


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Originally Posted by jamesdart View Post
.... what do you think? i really want this cieling to be nice and strait as im planning on crown mouldings. . where do i draw the line? what kind of tolerance should i deal with here? im kind of leaning towards the strapping idea....
You should definitely strap it with shims to level it off. Especially since you are planning to install crown molding.
Note: A string with a string level works great in this application, unless you want to go high-tech laser.
Tolerance? You must mean allowance for error.
I would say to get within 1/8 of an inch to your common mark. Remember to find your lowest point and go from there. Do not use your floor as a measuring point to find the lowest point of your ceiling joists, since your floors are probably off level.

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.... as the cieling hieght nbow is 8'-1-1/2", after i rock the cieling i will have to deal with a 1" void all around when i rock the walls with 4x8's. if i strap it i will lose 3/4 and only have a 1/4" void.....
As far as the extra 1" or less, don't even worry about that.
Why? Common practice in the industry is to:
1.) Leave that space up top since the crown molding will be covering it. OR....
2.) Leave the space down low, since baseboard will be covering it.
If you are concerned about the baseboard 'pitching-inward' where there is no sheetrock under it, just put strips of sheetrock or 1/2" OSB there to serve as a 'backer-board'. It's all going to be covered up anyway.

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.... now if i do strap it, do i rock perpendicular to the strapping or the joist? .....
ALWAYS sheet rock perpendicular to the strapping.....always....
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Originally Posted by jamesdart View Post
.... what is the propper way to strap a cieling? i was thinking 12" o.c. shiming the 1x' to get them as strait as possible and using construction adhiesive and long screws to attach to the joist. this sound right?
Code is 16" O.C. for 1/2" GWB (Gypsum Wall Board) sheetrock. However, you can over kill it to 12" O.C. - that's up to you.
Screws alone will do the job. No need to use construction adhesive.
Industry...we don't use CS for such an application. But you can if you want to overkill....again, it's up to you. Screws do hold tight...period.

Do NOT use screws that are too long for the strapping. Get several lengths...dependant on the shims you use. The reason is because....too long of a screw can actually split the bottom of your joists...in effect splintering it.
You only need 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch penetration into the joist. That will hold the dead load of the GWB and strapping fine.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 10-05-2006 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 10-05-2006, 08:02 PM   #3
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sheetrock cieling? old house


cool thanks. i guess im on the right track. i can get a laser from work and i figured id start in the center of the joist with the strapping as that is the lowest point.
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Old 10-08-2006, 04:22 PM   #4
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sheetrock cieling? old house


Strapping perpendicular to the joists is the way to go. No need for adhesive, the screws will hold anything you need to, and leave the gap at the bottom. The 1/4 inch is less than you would normally have on any new construction anyway, and the base boards easily take care of it. Don't waste your time fooling with a string level, they have caused more shoddy leveling jobs than torpedo levels, and that is plenty. Borrow or rent a builders level, optical or laser, and use it to establish a level line around the room. While it is set up, shoot the bottom of the existing joists to find the lowest spot, as that is what you are going to have to shim everything down to..Set up a table saw and rip stacks of shim material in various thicknesses from 1/6 to close to the thickest you estimate you need the crossut into 5 or 6 inch lengths.Set the two outside straps level, holding them about 1/2 away from the side walls, this allows you to pull a string line arount the strap and eaily hook it on a nail in the joist. A finish nail gun works great for holding things in place as you go. When these two are straight, screw them into the joists, it helps to drill a clearance hole through the strapping and shims.Then pull a string line at each subsequent joist from the two level straps you established and shim to it. Sounds like a lot of work, but once the perimeter is set level, it goes pretty quickly. You should be able to easily get withinh 1/8 of an inch.Even though crown will hide the ceiling/wall sheetrock joint, tape it. It doesn't have to be finish floated, but if not taped, the fine dust that settles in attics and floor cavities after many years will eventually filter through the unsealed joint and leave shadows on the wall., probably even quicker in a balloon wall as this old framing was usually not blocked off very much.
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Old 10-09-2006, 03:36 PM   #5
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sheetrock cieling? old house


thanks for the info. im using a laser. i now have about 3/4 of the cieling strapped. difference from the lowest point to the highest point is a little over 2". unfortunately its not just from one end to the next its close to the center of the one old room to the end of the other. the worst spot being from the low point, 4' away, a 1 inch difference. one joist is close to 3/4 lower than the ones on either side. its a lot of work, but it bet it will look so much better. i plan on mudding the cieling to wall joint as im not sure if im going to do the crown right away. im also going to be adding a firestop to the chases as it is balloon framed and it is somewhat of a creepy thought.
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