A tongue and groove cedar ceiling can be one of the most beautiful finishes in your house, but it’s also one of the most high-maintenance ones. The wood needs regular sanding and staining, as well as some sealing, to keep it looking its best and even to prevent mold growth or warping of the wood over time.
Why Is This Important?
Although cedar ceiling beadboard is a popular choice for many remodeling projects, it isn’t a particularly durable option. It often requires immediate staining or painting and won’t hold up over time. Instead of covering your ceiling with a material that will likely fall victim to water damage, choose materials that are more durable and less prone to buckling. A combination of plywood and drywall can create ceilings that are both attractive and able to withstand whatever abuse they might encounter in your home. The results are simple: Your home stays comfortable all year long, no matter what type of weather you experience. To learn more about how you can install drywall on your ceiling, check out these handy tips for laying out drywall in your home!
The Old Way
All cedar, whether it be in a cedar fence or cedar ceiling board and batten ceiling, will eventually fail. As humidity changes, especially if you live in an area that experiences more than four distinct seasons, your cedar board and batten will swell and shrink. As it shrinks it is prone to failure where it has been nailed. By using a tongue-and-groove system on both sides of your beadboard ceiling you can make sure that won’t happen. Just make sure you caulk around every corner and crevice so that water doesn’t get behind any boards causing them to warp over time. Aesthetically I prefer just a smooth beadboard ceiling but either way is long lasting!
Finding The Right Material
The biggest issue with beadboard ceilings is that it just isn’t durable. With that in mind, wood is probably a better choice. But not all wood is created equal; cheaper pieces of wood can splinter and disintegrate into chunks. Cedar tongues and grooves are designed to be incredibly sturdy, which makes them perfect for closets, laundry rooms and storage areas. But remember: cedar will only protect from bugs for a couple of years—but, even so, it’s a huge improvement over traditional birch or pine options. The bottom line? When your eyes are ready for something new… Go ahead and spruce up your home with new cedar tongue and groove ceiling panels! You won’t regret it!
Start small, then expand. There are a few reasons for starting with an intimate project or small room before tackling a bigger space. For one, it’s an affordable way to hone your craft and perfect your technique. You can see how you want things done, and make sure it’s right before applying those skills on a larger scale (and bill). Starting small also ensures that your first couple jobs are successful—which helps grow your business more quickly by word of mouth (and reputation). It’s easier to convince future clients they need what you offer if they’ve seen how great of a job you do on their friends’ homes.
What Does it Look Like?
There are many variations on cedar beadboard, and some of them look similar enough that it can be difficult to tell whether a ceiling is made from it or not. For example, some cedar ceilings use pine boards instead of cedar, but other types make up for it by using thicker or wider boards. In order to find an alternative material that doesn’t have quite as much give as regular beadboard does—and won’t settle over time—you need something with strength. Hardwood plywood is one option; fir and mahogany plywood are two solid choices that are both durable and more affordable than regular hardwood.
What About Other Materials?
If you’re not in love with cedar, then consider one of its main competitors: bamboo. The natural material has been gaining popularity as a replacement for cedar in many areas, including ceilings and floors. Some homeowners prefer bamboo for its rustic charm and odor-resistance. It can also be sanded, which makes it ideal for imperfections that are just hiding beneath a layer of paint or polyurethane. A quick pass with some fine grit sandpaper can even out those bumps and crevices so they don’t show through your paint job.