If you live in an older property and believe that a ceiling height of 3m or more is overwhelming, you might opt to instal timber ceiling battens, also known as a suspended timber ceiling. Conversely, your house might be a section of a larger property that has been broken up, and the ratio of space height to room width may appear unbalanced, making tiny rooms appear even smaller. Dividers may occasionally cut over a beautiful plaster cornice that you might wish to cover, or you could have a roof with pipes and wires that you want to disguise.
Whichever your motive for making this change, you may effectively build a suspended timber ceiling yourself when you follow basic precautions. Before you start, consider if the space is usable by Building Regulations and whether the ceiling is below 2.3m from the base for at least half its size.
Why Do We Need Ceiling Battens?
Timber ceiling battens are a form of ceiling constructed of wood, which is a sustainable and cheap resource. Timber battens are frequently employed in garages, workshops, and warehouses because they offer superior sound and heat insulation. Furthermore, a suspended timber ceiling may be utilised as an architectural and structural component, as well as to fill gaps among ceiling rafters and joists. Aluminium battens come in various widths and lengths, allowing you to find the right fit for your space.
How To Install Timber Ceiling Battens By Yourself?
If you want to instal your ceiling battens yourself, keep the following tips in mind:
Getting Ready For Installation
You must first select what direction to cross the joists, which will generally be throughout the room’s smallest width. If the span is 3 m or longer, you will need posts that are approximately 5 x ll in wood, and it may be more cost-effective to instal a binder or beam over the short length that is linked to smaller intermediary supporting joists throughout the larger span. If you are using plasterboard sheets for completion, you must also assess what direction will need the minor cutting and inspect every wall to determine whether there are any potential fixing issues.
Check if the interior walls are built with a wood component structure or masonry, and determine if any of these are particularly uneven, requiring additional fitting and cutting of ceiling timbers. Assess whether the current floor above can support a binder, and the existing joists must be at least 6 x 2 to provide this stability.
Cutting And Measuring
Determine at least 2.3 m above the ground at different spots throughout the space and label this distance on the walls using a long graduated cylinder as a reference. This line represents the location of the underside of the ceiling instead of the placement of the joists. It will also highlight barriers like light fixtures, pilasters, and pipes that need to be relocated or cut around. If the line connects, verify the precision of your spirit level.
With a panel cutter, slice raking or sloping notches in the baseplate at 400 mm increments, being careful not to damage more than one-third of the width of the wood, or it will break.
Building The Fundamental Framework
To instal a binder:
- Drill holes in the previous ceiling so that wood hooks, located approximately 900 mm apart, may be screwed to the edges of the joists overhead.
- Fasten the binders horizontally towards the bottom of every hanger with three or four coaching screws.
- Fasten a 38mm thick timber offcut towards the wall, with a container formed to the size of the binding tip.
- Insert the binding information into the enclosure. If loose, push timber wedges into the accommodation to hold the binder end.
Putting Up A Wall Panel
The walls of a home were constructed over six decades and are likely to contain lime mortar within the bricks. In this scenario, use 75 or 100 mm chopped screws at 300 mm spacing to drive the wall plate into the brickwork. Other nails should not be used because they might not hold and cause the bricks to flex or crack.
Furthermore, plugging the wall is a sluggish but safer procedure. Drill pilot holes in the central axis of the wall plate, then place the wall plate and insert a long nail over every spot.
Joists must immediately drop into the slots in the wall plate. When you have sliced excessively from a joist tip, use a thin strip of scrap hardwood to cover the space between the bottom of the wall plate slot—skew-nail into the wall plate and the joists with at least two chopped or round cable screws. As you proceed, utilise your spirit level to ensure that the softis or joists’ undersides are all on one level. If you’re operating alone, it is helpful to instal a length of batten beneath the wall plate opposing the end of the joist you are repairing to hold the other tip of the beam.
Finishing The Ceiling
After completing the foundation, you may now instal the cladding. Grooved and tongue wood boards and plasterboard sheets are the best materials to utilise. Consider utilising foil-backed plasterboard installed with the foil on top to retain the heat. In keeping the plasterboard, arrange it properly so that the sheets are almost vertical against a wall, or else the material might be destroyed.
Timber ceiling battens provide a feeling of solidity to the building. It also reduces the effect of sound and timbre shrinking on ceilings and plasterboard. Homeowners may save time and money on repairs because they require less upkeep and guarantee the ceiling stays level. As a result, ceiling battens have evolved into a must-have in every home.