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Anyone installed plywood or similar material for ceiling

Anyone installed plywood or similar material for ceiling

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  #1  
Old 03-25-18, 10:33 AM
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Anyone installed plywood or similar material for ceiling

I am working on my basement and saw some pictures of plywood used instead of sheetrock for ceiling.
I really like the look and the fact that it would be a dust-free install..... I can do all the cuts outside and then just screw the panels to the joist ...and then glue a thin strips to hide the seams and screws....

So...wondering....anyone here did this...how thick plywood would you recommend... is it better to use smaller...say 2x2 feet square panels or just go for full size 4x8 ?
What kind of screws or can I get away with 16gauge finish nailer ?
I do NOT want to use glue - in case I need to remove a section to access wires etc...
Finally...what grade plywood would you use? I have worked with B and seems really perfect ...probably wouldn't even have to paint it.... maybe just give it a one coat of protective stain/ poly

All opinions are welcomed....
thanks
 
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  #2  
Old 03-25-18, 11:02 AM
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I don't suppose anything is wrong with it. But it seems costly. And an awful lot of wood tone for room.
 
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Old 03-25-18, 11:26 AM
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forgot to mention....that would be only in 1 section of the basement.....this is my audio room....comparing to sheetrock - yes - much more expensive but haven't calculated the exact number..... sheetrock is $12...plywood about $70
 
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Old 03-25-18, 12:20 PM
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plywood about $70

You must be pricing cabinet grade plywood?
 
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Old 03-25-18, 01:30 PM
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My oldest son has a shop/garage that has OSB on the ceiling, it was that way when he bought it. Other than needing a fresh coat of paint it looks fine. The ceiling on my front porch has 3/8" beadboard plywood which looks nice although if the ceiling is wider than 8' it could be a challenge to make the joint look nice.
 
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Old 03-25-18, 05:27 PM
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yeah... 3/4 cabinet grade..... I bet I could get away with something much cheaper.... first, I think 1/2inch is good and then go for something like C grade.
I don't want to buy crappy quality plywood as I really liked the unpainted / clear stain look of it....so can't have too many imperfections
 
  #7  
Old 03-25-18, 07:06 PM
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"C" grade is fairly low on the quality list. Look at 1/2" A/C and the A should look nice.

Rather than strips to cover the seams, consider clean cuts (sanded) and use cabinet screws uniformly spaced in pairs. By keeping the screws arranged neatly you can leave them exposed and the brass look of the cabinet screw will fit right in with the plywood ceiling.
https://www.grkfasteners.com/products/cabinet/cabinet

Bud
 
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Old 03-25-18, 07:32 PM
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This may not work for you, but it worked fine for me because of design & use.

I built a personal play/wood/metal/mechanic shop. Because I did not mount anything from the ceiling (only from the rafters), I didn't need really anything for support between the rafters. I did put R-13 roll insulation, but it weighs almost nothing.
To get to the point, I used lauan. Light weight, 1/4" 4X8 sheets. All I needed was something to hold up the insulation & finish the ceiling. Worked for me for 15 years until we sold the place & still served my purpose. No issues.
Now, if you're gonna need something to support stuff hanging from the ceiling, you'll want to consider something thicker/stronger.
 
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Old 03-26-18, 05:54 AM
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I did my wine cellar in OSB. When painted it has an "interesting" texture and actually looks pretty decent. If you go with plywood, espcially if you intend to paint, I would also consider a premium luan sheet. It's about 3/16" thick and has a nice smooth face that accepts paint well. And, it is less than $20 a sheet.
 
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Old 03-26-18, 06:10 AM
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I did a similar project and did not want to use drywall for the same reasons, weight and dust. I ended up using hardboard (Masonite) because all of the reasonably priced plywood was warped in a way that the edges of adjoining pieces would not line up well, given that I did not have furring strips lengthwise under every joint..
 
  #11  
Old 03-26-18, 06:40 AM
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My father-in-law and I did the ceiling in his tool shed with OSB, and it's held up fine for something like 20 years. More recently though, and more on track with your project, I have seen several limited areas of plywood ceiling in basement game rooms, bars, etc., some that looked really great, and some that I would have had regrets if it were mine. I'm sure colors and techniques come into play. Preferring to err on the side of caution, I'd probably go 1/2" to avoid any potential for sag. Before you get to the point of hanging it, I would check the bottoms of the joists with a level and string to see how you want to support it. I honestly haven't been back down there to see how it came out, but a buddy of mine did something similar, asked me if I would take a look at it first, and in the 4' wide strip I think it was that he wanted to hang it the joists happened to be badly enough tweaked, bowed, and whatever that I told him I thought it was going to look pretty bad with plywood with a high gloss simply hammered up to the bottom of the joists. I didn't have much time to spare at that time, so ripped some 1x's for him to use, loaned him a level, gave him some instructions, and he and a guy from his church did it. Again, I haven't been back to see it, but he said that he was glad they put that extra effort in because even the shallower bumps where they decided to let it go show up in the right light. Now on a different tangent, do you happen to have a garage in the basement? If so, and I do not know all of the applicable rules, sorry, but you may want to drywall first, and then put your plywood under that. Another buddy of mine asked to borrow my drywall lift last spring to hang OSB on his garage ceiling. I had not been t his house, but something he said caused me to pick up that his garage was under the house, so I told him I was sure he was supposed to have drywall up there. Not what he wanted to hear, but he checked, and no, OSB was not permitted. Was a permit required, no, not in his case, and he could have quietly done whatever he wanted anyway, but it could have been an issue when they go to sell, which their intent is to do within the next few years.
 
  #12  
Old 03-26-18, 09:25 AM
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T111 siding is another option to look at, cant imagine needing anything thicker than 1/4 to 3/8"!
 
  #13  
Old 03-26-18, 05:12 PM
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I agree with you Marq, 3/8" is probably thick enough, and I shouldn't make assumptions, but unless bought from a full service lumber yard, not a big box, which a lot of homeowners seem reluctant to do, a decent quality plywood, particularly under 1/2", is harder to find. Also, the objective usually would be to set the tops of the joists as close to the same plane as possible, not the bottoms, so any deviations are going to be greater on the bottom, and the thinner the plywood the more that will show, assuming the nails are driven similarly.
 
  #14  
Old 03-27-18, 07:39 AM
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Finishing Ceiling

1/2 in. plywood is very adequate for a ceiling. Fasten with screws to enable easy removal for future wiring or plumbing projects.

Before closing in the ceiling, draw a location map of important items that will be hidden above the ceiling. This will enable removal of a minimum number of sheets should you need to open the ceiling for repairs or additions to wiring or plumbing items.
 
  #15  
Old 03-27-18, 08:03 AM
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I did the same as Dixie2012. Cheap, clean, easy to work with, and easy to cover if you want to. Much nicer looking(IMHO) than particle board, or OSB also. Pegboard could be another alternative, but more expensive.
 
  #16  
Old 03-27-18, 09:07 PM
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so you guys saying that 1/4 inch lauan won't sag at all....I see that, it is the most cost effective and looks nice...so would be great...just a bit concerned over its thickness...worry that it would show sagging
 
  #17  
Old 03-27-18, 11:42 PM
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Assuming 24" rafters I'd go with the assumption that yes you will probably see some sag especially if there is any insulation up there.

You have gravity working against you and the material is not really make for overhead installation but as you note it's cost effective!
 
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Old 03-28-18, 04:05 AM
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He said basement, so I'm assuming joists 16" on center, but a good question. Are they 2x joists, 16" OC, or what exactly are you spanning? My opinion is that 1/4" is going to sag, but have not had occasion to try it so don't know. I guess if I were thinking of doing it myself I would probably clamp a piece to the bottom of a couple 2x4's laying across a set of horses for a few days and see what it does before I started hanging it from the ceiling.
 
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Old 03-28-18, 04:14 AM
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Usually nothing thinner than 1/2" is recommended for ceilings because of the propensity of sagging with anything thinner. It will be worse if there is any humidity. My front porch ceiling is 3/8" thick beadboard plywood and it hasn't sagged any [around 15 yrs] but I did add extra blocking.
 
  #20  
Old 03-28-18, 04:26 AM
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It would be possible to counter the sag effect by running batten strips every few feet base on where each seam fall. That would also break up the continuous flat all wood look. It would give the ceiling a bit of "texture".
 

Last edited by Norm201; 03-28-18 at 04:52 AM.
  #21  
Old 03-28-18, 05:50 AM
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Ill say this... Mine did not sag. I had 16" centers so you have 4 rafters to tack to. Its light weight so there is hardly any weight to pull down. By the time you get it tacked/nailed/screwed to the rafters, it aint gonna sag. Now, let me say again, you cant hang anything from it alone. I hung ceiling fans & 4ft florescent lights at the rafters, but dont plan to attach anything much from the lauan itself. Its just not strong enough to hold very much. Its there mainly for finishing out the area... period. It looks good for a shop or garage, its light weight & cost effective.
 
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Old 03-28-18, 05:17 PM
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Thank you all guys - this has been extremely helpful.
As noted - this is for basement ceiling so it would go up on joists 16"OC
Won't have anything hanging off of it.... and the insulation , pipes, wires are secured so they won't weight against the ceiling.
Good prices at Lowes...HD doesn't carry it...special order... but still want to check my local lumber store - they always have best quality material but not sure they will have this type of stuff.

Another question.... most people talk about using screws...but I'd prefer to use finishing gun...for obvious reasons (ease / speed of work and less visible spots)....Assuming I will go with 2x4 1/4 inch Lauan - any concerns ?
 

Last edited by PaulSC; 03-28-18 at 07:05 PM. Reason: corrected dimensions
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Old 03-28-18, 05:51 PM
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I maybe wrong but I was calling this lauan.. maybe its not, but its what I always called it. Thin, light weight & flexible. Its a ply... type product.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-8-in-4...0000/301619470

I mention this cause its 1/8"... you're saying 1/2". What I used wasnt even close to 1/2" . Again, this stuff worked great for 15 years for me with no issues inside.. on the ceiling. But, if this stuff gets wet, the top layer will separate & just peel right off in sheets. I have seen interior doors made with this kinda stuff.
 
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Old 03-28-18, 07:08 PM
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I meant to say 1/4 inch but it also comes in 1/2 inch.... When I read your original post and search for lauan I understood that's a specific wood...and the ply made out of it looks really nice:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/1-4-in-Laua...X-4/1000068895
 
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Old 03-29-18, 04:09 AM
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most people talk about using screws...but I'd prefer to use finishing gun...for obvious reasons (ease / speed of work and less visible spots)....Assuming I will go with 2x4 1/4 inch Lauan - any concerns ?
I'm not sure a finish gun nail would have enough holding power on 1/4" luan. The small head on the nail is the issue. A staple gun would be better.
 
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Old 03-29-18, 05:14 AM
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Why not 4x8 beadboard sheets. Use finish nails and construction adhesive.
 
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Old 03-29-18, 08:39 AM
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Ray - this was my first choice....I already did 1 section of my basement with that material but it sags even when glued and nailed every 16 inches....
 
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Old 03-29-18, 09:10 AM
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What I used on my porch ceiling is 3/8" plywood bead board - it won't sag on 16" centers. You'd have to either stain or paint it.
I'm not surprised that the 1/8"-1/4" paneling sagged.
 
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Old 03-31-18, 02:40 PM
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Another question.....so I am pretty sure I will go with 1/2 inch or 3/8....but wonder....Am I right to think that using smaller panels (say 2x4 vs. 4x8) will also let me get away with fewer screws/ nails as each sheet is much lighter so the overall amount needed will be less ?
 
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Old 03-31-18, 03:17 PM
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Never mind, thought about this again and what I wrote didn't really apply, except that you will be doubling up fasteners where two half sheets meet. Nevertheless, I would go with full sheets wherever you can, rather than half sheets.
 

Last edited by aka pedro; 03-31-18 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 04-02-18, 08:06 AM
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thanks Pedro - I actually saw your previous post and did understand where you coming from...
But in any case your feedback makes sense.... thank you!
 
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