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Do you want to remove dated artex or repair a damaged ceiling? If so, you should consider covering your ceiling with a new layer of plasterboard using this guide on how to plasterboard a ceiling.
The process of covering your ceiling or walls with plasterboard is know as dry lining. Dry lining is probably the easiest way to get the best results, and you can avoid many of the health risks associated with scraping off asbestos filled artex.
Fixing plasterboard to your ceiling is a serious undertaking, but still well within the reach of an average DIY enthusiast. In this article I'll guide you through the process step-by-step.
IMPORTANT: If you suspect your ceiling contains asbestos, call in a professional to check it out. Do NOT do any work on your ceiling until you have consulted a trained asbestos professional.
The table below highlights the pros & cons of covering your ceiling with plasterboard:
Saves you scraping off artex which is time-consuming, very messy and potentially dangerous if it contains asbestos (see warning above)
Heavy lifting is required so you will need a second pair of hands. A plasterboard lifter is highly recommend
Leaves a perfectly smooth finish that makes decorating easy
Creates lots of mess, but not quite as much as scraping off or wet plastering over artex
Saves you fixing holes in the ceiling
More challenging than scraping off artex, but still easier than wet plastering
Provides an opportunity to cut holes in the ceiling before covering it. E.g. It's the perfect time to add or move light fixtures
Costs more than both scraping off and wet plastering over
The skill required is well within the realm of an average DIY enthusiast, unlike wet plastering where you really should hire a pro
If you still think dry lining is the solution for you, please read on and bookmark this post.
BTW, if you want to learn more about dry lining, please check out Dry Lining Stud Partition Walls - A Beginner's Guide. Also, if you're looking for alternative ways to remove artex from your ceiling, please check out 5 Ways To Deal With An Artex Ceiling.
I recommend 12.5mm thick 'light-weight' plasterboard for this project. It's not only lighter than standard plasterboard but also stronger, so you can hang it from joists centred 60cm apart.
If available, get sheets that are long enough to span the entire ceiling. Shorter sheets are easier to handle, but the convenience will cost you when it is time to finish the 'butt joints' (where ends of sheets meet).
Pro Tip: Unlike the tapered joints along the long edges of plasterboard, butt joints are hard to finish. Avoid them if you can.
Important safety tip – always wear safety goggles, a dust mask and remember to use gloves when handling these types of products
Locate joists with an electronic stud finder, or just probe for joists by driving a nail through the plasterboard.
All the joists should be centred either 40cm or 60cm apart, but double-check with a nail. For rooms upstairs, you can simply measure the joist gaps in the loft.
Mark each joist with a chalk line on the ceiling and with tape stuck to the wall (see Fig. 1 below).
Plasterboard must be well supported by a timber frame made of joists and noggins.
Use 50mm x 50mm sawn timber battens and follow the points below to ensure you have sufficient support for your plasterboard:
Note: You can see below that the end of the plasterboard sits halfway across the joist to allow the next board to butt up to it.
Most of you ceiling should be covered by full length boards that require no cutting. However, chances are, there will be some areas where a board must be cut to a custom size. The steps below guide you through the cutting process:
For more information on how to overboard artex ceilings with plasterboard, please watch the video below:
To produce a nice finish for decorating, tape, joint and sand the ceiling smooth.
1. When all the plasterboards are in place, tape over the joints with perforated plasterboard tape.
2. Mix up some joint compound by following the instructions on the bag
3. Using a taping knife, lightly spread the jointing compound over the taped joints. A wide-bladed taping knife feathers out the compound, leaving only a tiny ridge to be rubbed down once it's dry.
4. Leave the ceiling to dry for 24 hours and then sand it down using 120-grit sandpaper.
Pro Tip: When sanded, the jointing compound creates a fine dust that irritates our skin when showering. To help avoid this, open all doors and windows before you start sanding. Also remember to wear goggles, gloves and a good dust mask.
To get a neat finish where your wall meets your ceiling, use a paper-faced metal angle bead stuck in place with jointing compound.
1. Measure the width of your wall
2. Cut the angle bead 12.5mm less than the width of your wall
3. Mix the jointing compound in a bucket and spread it on the wall-ceiling join with a filling knife, covering just beyond where the angle bead will fit.
4. Press the angle bead into the wall-ceiling join
5. Cover the angle bead with a top coat of jointing compound
6. Smooth the top layer of jointing compound with an internal corner trowel
For more info on taping & jointing, please watch the video below:
I hope you enjoyed reading this guide and you now know how to plasterboard a ceiling. If so, please share this guide with others using the social share buttons. Oh, and don't forget to leave a comment below!