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Lathe and plaster ceiling solutions!

(12 Posts)
Freddiesmother Sun 16-Sep-12 20:38:37

So bedroom ceiling is awful big cracks and the plaster has clearly come away from the lathe in places and needs sorting. Absoulutly refuse to have it all pulled down but two builders have two solutions and I have no idea which is right? Thoughts welcome!

1. Plaster board them

2. Go up into the loft and reattatch the plaster to the beams then paper over so the cracks don't show. (the builder how suggests this says it is madness to attach plaster board as this will add more weight to the ceiling.

Either option is going to cost an arm and a leg so I want to choose the right one!

amazonianwoman Sun 16-Sep-12 20:59:31

DS's ceiling is the same. Our plasterer is going to board over the whole ceiling then replaster. A neighbour did the same a while ago (also in the hall/landing) and it hasn't fallen down or cracked!

PigletJohn Sun 16-Sep-12 21:13:56

builder 2 - does he restore listed buildings? There is a way of doing it (have done it myself) but it is very labour-intensive to do it properly. Very satisfying to see an old ceiling restored and sound, especially if it has cornicing and decoration.

Method 1 will work, thickish board fixed to the joists with a lot of bugle-headed screws, not too tight.

the best solution is to pull it down but this will be unbelievably filthy. You have to take the rubble sacks and industrial hoover into the room before you start, and tape round the door to keep (some of) the dust in, and have clean overalls and shoes ready to change outside the room after cleaning up and stripping off.

I had some old L&P ceilings repaired 18 months ago, the labourers slowly chipped the old plaster away and the plasterer (a skilled older man) replastered onto the laths (though he didn't use lime plaster).

Sausagedog27 Sun 16-Sep-12 21:34:05

Adding plasterboard may add weight and bring the who,e thing down- it depends how bad it is. If its listed it may also need consent. Have you discussed with a plasterer rather than just a builder? It's specialist stuff! Builder 2 is more sensible option IMHO.

Sausagedog27 Sun 16-Sep-12 21:34:20


PigletJohn Sun 16-Sep-12 21:38:00

the plasterboard will be fixed to the joists above, not hanging off the laths. If they will support a 20-stone builder clumping about, a few sheets of plasterboard will not pull them down.

Freddiesmother Sun 16-Sep-12 22:35:07

Thanks very helpful! The other downside of the plasterboard is it will spoil the beautiful original coving. Hmm think I need to talk to builder 2 in more detail.

PigletJohn Sun 16-Sep-12 23:37:45

pedant It's Lath, not Lathe /pedant

pron "larth" to rhyme with "barth" down here.

7to25 Mon 17-Sep-12 12:44:19

You can keep the cornice by cutting carefully round the cornice with a saw ( small electric) and removing the old ceiling, put up new plasterboard, skim and repair the join between the two with "stookie" ie plaster of Paris.

minipie Mon 17-Sep-12 13:20:31

Ooh option 2 sounds interesting, never heard of that.

We had some cracks and a large ish sagging area in our bedroom ceiling. It's not accessible from above since there is another bedroom above with fitted carpet. Builders managed to get the area to hold up from underneath using a whole load of self tapping screws, we then redecorated. However, several months later a crack has reappeared (no sagging thankfully yet) so I wouldn't recommend this method except as a temporary fix. Though I guess might be longer lasting if you only had loft above and not an actual room.

Do get it sorted though, plaster which is only being held up by the paper is pretty dangerous.

reluctanttownie Mon 17-Sep-12 15:08:47

We had option 1 done through most of our house 3 years ago at suggestion of builder who I would trust with pretty much anything. It's secured to joists so no weight problem. Only problem is if you have lovely original cornicing you want to keep, as obviously it won't line up anymore. Was a no brainer for us as our cornicing was all broken and couldn't afford to repair it so just replaced with new cheapo stuff (regret now not getting a replica style but too expensive at time.)

Freddiesmother Sun 23-Sep-12 19:54:47

So decided to bite the bullet and go with option one and I am so pleased I did. On further investigation the plaster was ok and the bits that were cracked were screwed back up from below and the ceiling repapered it looks great and I am convinced that the builder knows what he is talking about. Thanks for the helpful advice, mumsnet is genius at everything!

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