How to Find Ceiling Joists?
In the past, when you were looking for roofing materials or needed to locate attic space, you had to use your hands. You would have used a flashlight and looked at it from various angles until you found something that could possibly give you some kind of clue about where the room was located. But now, there are many different ways that one can search for ceiling joists. There are even apps available on your smartphone which allow you to take pictures of the ceiling joists and then send them to your phone.
There are several types of ceiling joists that can be searched for:
1) Popcorn Roofing Caulk (Ceiling Joist #2): This type of ceiling joist is made up of two pieces, one piece being caulked together. These are usually attached to the outside wall. They are often found in kitchens and bathrooms.
Popcorn ceiling caulking is very easy to remove, but it’s not recommended if you want to keep the ceiling intact. It can cause damage to the plaster or woodwork around the ceiling. If you don’t mind having a few holes in your ceilings, then these are great because they’re cheap and easy to install. They are typically found in the attic area.
2) Lumber Ceiling Joist (Ceiling Joist #3): This type of ceiling joist is made up of three pieces, one piece being the lumber and another piece being caulked together. These are commonly found in the basement area.
2) T-Bar Ceiling Joists (Ceiling Joist #4)
These ceiling joists are probably the most common ones found in residential homes. They are made of wood, and they are the most reliable type of planking for a ceiling. The reason being is that they can’t be nailed through, and they’re pretty difficult to break.
Because these are made up of three pieces, it’s easy to cut them to size. These are still the best type of ceiling joist to use, especially if you’re replacing an old one.
These are also very cheap and easy to find at your local lumber yard or hardware store. You can easily cut them with a sawzall or any other power tool.
4) Cold Roof Joist (Ceiling Joist #5)
These are rarely used in residential homes. They’re usually found in industrial buildings or warehouses. These can’t be nailed through and aren’t very easy to break either.
Cold roof joists also come in three pieces, but they are much thicker than T-bar ceiling joists. They also have a weaker design than the T-bar ceiling joists. This means that you might need fewer of them to span the same distance.
These are a little more expensive, but if you’re looking to save money then this is a great choice for you.
Ceiling Joist Layout
Now that you know about all of the different types of ceiling joists available, it’s time to learn how to layout the joists.
Before you start laying anything out, it’s important to make sure that you know the purpose of your ceiling joist layout. Ceiling joists are primarily used to give structural support to your ceiling as well as keeping the roof from falling on your head.
Ceiling joists are measured by how many inches they span between two walls or other sturdy objects. The more weight that the joist has to support, the thicker the wood needs to be.
If you are planning on putting a heavy object weighing more than 500 lbs such as a bed or heavy dresser across your ceiling, you will need to use heavier duty joists.
When laying out the layout for your ceiling, it’s important to space the ceiling joists evenly. You should also stagger the joints so that they’re not all in a straight line. This will give you added support and prevent the joints from assuming most of the weight.
It’s best to start from one end and work your way to the other, while making sure that you leave no cripple walls.
For this project, we will be laying out a simple ceiling, using T-bar ceiling joists.
This house has a simple open concept layout with all of the walls being load bearing. This means that there are no interior walls to support the roof and that all of the walls that divide up the rooms are supported by the ceiling itself.
This means that we need to use a strong, reliable ceiling joist that can span a large distance while being able to support weight above it.
We’re using T-bar ceiling joists since they fit these needs perfectly. We’re also going to keep our cripple walls instead of tearing them out, so we need our ceiling joists to support some of the weight of the roof.
It’s also important that the joists are evenly spaced out and secured properly to support all of this weight.
Lay Out Your First Joist
Use either your formula or the charts to help you determine how long your first T-bar ceiling joist needs to be. Remember, if your span is over 8 feet then you will need a secondary joist.
You should also use your measurements to determine the height and thickness of your joists. The heights of your ceiling joists should be in a multiple of 2 1/2′. Most ceilings are around 8 feet high, meaning that your ceiling joists should be no higher than 5 1/2′.
The thickness of your T-bar ceiling joists depends on how far you need them to span.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Building structure with separate floor and ceiling joists (L Helfman, AA Shacket – US Patent 3,537,221, 1970 – Google Patents)
- Hanger bar for ceiling fixtures (NS Carter Jr – US Patent 5,074,515, 1991 – Google Patents)
- System for installing suspended ceiling (GD Ashmore, M Hensley – US Patent 6,729,096, 2004 – Google Patents)
- Ceiling boxes for distributing air (WR Trahan – US Patent 3,559,560, 1971 – Google Patents)
- Removable ceiling panel assembly (MA Halchuck – US Patent 6,079,177, 2000 – Google Patents)
- Universal ceiling mount assembly for television monitor (TW Anderson – US Patent 5,064,161, 1991 – Google Patents)
- Drop ceiling system (G Benvenuto, L Elliott, D Coletti – US Patent 5,893,250, 1999 – Google Patents)
- Ceiling fan mounting apparatus (JH Manning – US Patent 4,538,786, 1985 – Google Patents)
- Ventilator device and mounting arrangement therefor (WM Hott, JW Hundley – US Patent 4,406,216, 1983 – Google Patents)