How to Install Plank Ceiling

Man installing plank ceiling
What You'll Need
Stud finder, electronic
Chalk line
Tape measure
Wood planks with tongue and groove edges
Table saw with miter gauge
Jig saw
Bevel gauge
Construction adhesive
Nail gun with finishing nails
Two stepladders, six feet tall
An assistant
Eye protection

Installing a wood or laminate plank ceiling will take some time, but if you measure carefully and use the ceiling joists to support the wood planks, your ceiling will become a superb decorative accent to your living space. Follow these procedures to install plank ceiling safely and effectively.

Step 1 - Empty the Room

Remove all the furniture, light fixtures and ceiling fans from the room where you will install the plank ceiling.

Step 2 - Find and Mark the Ceiling Support Beams

Use an electronic stud finder to locate the ceiling support beams, or joists. Mark their location with a chalk line marker in a visible color.

Step 3 - Measure the Area Where You Will Install Planks

enclosed patio living area

For easier installation, divide your ceiling into two or four parts, so you can place beams shorter than eight feet in length. Lay the planks and then cover the ends that meet in the center with a perpendicular plank, spaced the same distance from each side wall of the room. Take measurements for any angled corners or ceiling fixtures, such as a fan, so you can fit the planks around them.

Step 4 - Cut the Ceiling Planks to the Correct Length

Trim both ends of each plank on the table saw so you can start measuring from a straight edge at each end. Always wear protective eye goggles when sawing wood. Measure the length of the planks every 12 inches to ensure they are the same width from one end to the other. Cut all the planks to the desired length.

Step 5 - Install the First and Second Plank

Apply a long thin line of construction adhesive on the back of the first plank. It should go up with its groove side next to the ceiling edge, and its tongue side facing into the room. Set the plank on the chalk line for the first ceiling joist. Next, pull it away from the ceiling on a slight angle, then push it firmly back into place. This process helps spread the construction glue across the entire plank. Nail the plank onto the ceiling joist with at least two finishing nails spaced 24 inches apart. Glue and raise the second plank so the tongue of the first fits snugly into the groove of the second. Continue to cover the ceiling section with planks till you reach the last one.

Step 6 - Fit in the Final Plank

pieces of laminate flooring

To fit this plank in smoothly, cut it along its tongue side to the desired width, then trim off the bottom extension of the groove. You can then drop the last plank in neatly next to its neighbor. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for the remaining ceiling sections.

Step 7 - Attach the Perpendicular Plank

Cut one or more planks to cover the adjoining ends of the planks down the center of the ceiling. Glue them on and nail to every ceiling joist.