View Full Version : Droopy ceiling questions

05-01-2004, 09:24 PM
Is that how you spell droopy? LOL

OK, I have a lady that wants her ceiling drywalled. The existing ceiling is plaster, around 75 years old, and it is sagging pretty badly. What would be the best way to draw the plaster up tight before hanging the drywall? Im thinking 3" screws with large washers, driven into the joists?

Has anyone else tried this? Is the ceiling still up? ;)
Thanks for the advice!!

P.S.-------She refuses to allow the removal of the plaster!

05-01-2004, 11:04 PM
Jeremy: We have used fender washers and long screws with a 100% success to date and for many years. We repair the plaster if necessary, and use longer screws to install the drywall.
(Fender washers are the large ones with the little holes)
You will have to take into consideration the drup. Is it going to cause a distortion in the new ceiling too? If so, consider using 2x2's installed perpendicular to the ceiling joists as firring strips.

05-02-2004, 10:01 AM
Jeremy, I have done lots of ceilings with loose plaster and they are all still up. My favorite way is to use 1x3 or 1x4 and fur the ceiling with them. I screw these to the ceiling joist and using a couple of string lines and shims level out the ceiling. This can take a while to get the 1x3 to level up but it will give a nice ceiling. And it does not really lower the ceiling too much. The 1 by materials help to trap the plaster and push it back up for us. And by using the 1x3 or 1x4 it helps to not miss the strapping so much. I still can miss something that wide some days. Mostly when I think I can get another screw or two in before moving my ladder and find out I am off by just an inch or two.
Also I know of nothing that frustrates me more than to try to screw thru the drywall and right into the plaster and miss the stud and the lath and hit nothing. On a wall it is not as frustrating, on the ceiling it gets to me more.

Remember that you will have to do something about ceiling light boxes like add extension rings. And for some reason the electrician who wired the ceiling light 80 years ago only left about 2 inches of wire in the ceiling so you have to add something to the existing wire. Often there is not ceiling box so you have to add one and I find the often a pancake box works well.

myron Ferguson
05-03-2004, 08:52 PM
The furring is a good idea, but you won't be able to straighten the ceiling if it sags to much. Maybe all the owner wants is a smooth crack free ceiling and is not worried about any sagging. I have run into this before.

05-09-2004, 12:53 PM
I have done both.For a small area the screw and washer works. There is a company that makes a¿plaster screw" to do this but I do not know where to find them. The furring works the best if you are doing just the celing. If you are doing the whole room I like strip the plaster on walls and ceiling. Replace wiring, add insoulation, make other repairs which many times is why the plaster is sagging in the first place. Each case is diferent, if you use the screws make sure the new rock is screwed to the joist not the lath.

05-12-2004, 04:53 PM
You can get the plaster washers at Cliff’s Hardware in San Francisco but they are not cheep. We use these washers for restoration work when the area is small or when we are trying to avoid removing elaborate base, casing, chair, picture and/or crown. The washers work very well but are a bit tedious to install and you will use many more than you expect as you chase the new cracks that you create. For your application, we would strip the ceiling and take advantage of the benefits that Jim outlined along with the fact that the assembly will be much lighter (something to consider with long span 2x ceiling joists).