HOW TO FIT A PLASTERBOARD CEILING – This is a very cost effective way of achieving a new look to your ceiling without spending much money at all and by doing it yourself following these simple steps, it will save you hundreds of pounds in labour costs. This also allows for a perfect opportunity to install ceiling spot lights as you will have access to the cavity where they would sit.
There are two main ways to attach a new plasterboard ceiling and these are either fixing the new plasterboard to the existing ceiling and simply covering up the existing one, or you can remove the current ceiling to reveal the joists and continue with having a completely new ceiling.
Fixing to an Existing Ceiling
If you don’t want the mess and hassle of pulling down your old ceiling to reveal the joists for your new ceiling, then you can just attach new plasterboard to your existing ceiling. To do this you need to locate the position of the joists in the ceiling. If installing this to an upstairs room, you can find this out by going into your loft and locating the joists. Once located and you are above the appropriate room, to make yourself aware of where the joists are when in the room below, from the loft, drill a small hole through the floor as close to either side of each joist as you can which will reveal the location of the joists in the room below. Continue doing this every meter on each joist across the ceiling. If you are fitting a plasterboard ceiling to a downstairs room, you can locate the joists by either lifting up the floor boards in the room above or by prodding the ceiling to find them. Repeat the process to mark the joists on the existing ceiling.
Returning back downstairs, using a pencil, draw lines to resemble the joists so you have a firm line of where each plasterboard sheet needs to be fixed to. See below for how to attach the plasterboard sheets to the ceiling.
Fixing Direct to Joists
If your current ceiling has damp or mould issues, then it is best to remove the existing ceiling and replace it completely. Remove the ceiling safely, ensuring you have taken precautions such as turning off the electricity and made the space safe to work in. Once the existing ceiling is down, make sure that all the nails are removed from the joists to enable you to fix new ones.
Your joists should now be exposed and this will make it even easier to apply your new plasterboard ceiling.
Fitting your New Plasterboard Ceiling
Whether you have exposed your joists or marked them out onto your existing ceiling, the process from now on is very similar. Once you have acquired your 12.5mm plasterboard and prepared all the necessary tools and materials such as a stanley knife, spirit level, joint filler, 40mm dry wall screws and perforated plasterboard tape you are ready to get started.
To ensure a secure fitting that will support the plasterboard, it is worth checking to see if there are any joists on the edge of the wall where the joists meet the wall to secure the plasterboard at the edges of the room. If there is nothing there, it may be worth adding some small timber struts in-between each joist around the edge of the room in the floorboards or loft above to give something for the edge of the plasterboards sheets to attach to.
Once this has been checked, start to fit the plasterboard sheets to your ceiling, ensuring that the long edge of each sheet goes across the joists and sits resting halfway across the joist. This allows for both plasterboard sheets to sit almost flush and have a secure surface to screw into. Screw every foot distance to ensure a secure fitting, making sure you don’t damage the plasterboard. Bear in mind that if you are screwing through your existing ceiling, you may need longer screws and also check that you are not drilling through any wires or pipes beforehand.
Repeat around the room, cutting any sheets as necessary with the stanley knife to give you a clean cut edge. Also, make any holes necessary for the light fittings before fitting the plasterboard as this will be easier than doing it once they are fitted.
Sealing your New Plasterboard Ceiling
Once all the boards are fitted, go over the joins with the perforated plasterboard tape to secure them. Then, mix the filler to apply over the joins and any gaps that you can see. Be generous with this and if you feel necessary, give it multiple coats once dried. Using the filler tool, go along each join and over each screw head to ensure a flat and smooth finish. Once done, allow for the filler to set and using a some light grain sanding paper, go over the joins to rub off any excess filler leaving you with a completely smooth and level surface.
Your new ceiling is now complete and you are ready to proceed as you wish.