Advanced search

Lath and plaster ceilings - replace or overboard?

(20 Posts)
SayrraT Sat 17-Oct-15 10:56:59

OH and I have just bought our first house grin we should be getting the keys on Friday it is an old house which has lath and plaster ceilings. One of the ceilings definitely needs fixed as a section has come down already and other parts are sagging/moved when we pushed them. The others are alright I think but we will check them properly when we move in (we will be renting for 2 months while we get the basic (messy) work done which needs done).

We are just trying to find out what the best way to fix the ceilings are, we have done some research and it seems that our options are:

1) pull down ceiling and replace with plasterboard
2) have the ceilings re-plastered with lime plaster
3) put plasterboard over the existing ceiling

Does anyone have any experience with this or other methods we could explore. If you've done it before what method did you use and would you do that again?

MeolsCop Sat 17-Oct-15 11:10:07

Is the house listed, OP? As that could affect what you can do.

SayrraT Sat 17-Oct-15 11:13:07

No, it's not listed.

NattyGolfJerkin Sat 17-Oct-15 11:20:24

If not listed, I would pull the whole lot down and replace with a good plasterboard/fire rated board. It's uber messy so do it whilst you aren't living there.

PigletJohn Sat 17-Oct-15 11:26:12

my opinion is that all the ceilings are the same age and built with the same materials, so if some of them have started to sag, the others will not be far behind.

Ceilings sometimes stay up out of habit, even when the nails have rusted and the nibs are broken. Kitchens and bathrooms may go first because the humidity may rust the nails faster.

You can have a look by lifting boards in the upstairs rooms and looking from the loft.

Taking down a ceiling is a filthy job. Do it before you fill the house with furniture and carpets.

OTheHugeManatee Sat 17-Oct-15 11:29:05

Get a couple of plasterers/builders asap to take a look and advise you. You might be able to get away with overboarding it as long as the joists above are sturdy enough. Taking a ceiling down is absolutely filthy though so if you do, make sure it's before you've done anything else and ideally before you've actually moved your stuff in.

SayrraT Sat 17-Oct-15 11:30:03

I was just scared of the mess!!

Our first option was to do that but I've seen so many youtube videos and it looks so messy grin that I wondered what other people had done.

Do you know if it is possible to save the cornicing while pulling the ceiling down. One of the rooms has the original cornice which is lovely, I don't want that to be damaged.

PigletJohn Sat 17-Oct-15 11:30:03


if you can afford to have it re-done with lime plaster (which is thick and heavy) it will give better soundproofing. You will probably need new lathing.

A competent old plasterer can retain coving, cornice and roses. They were most likely mass-produced in a Victorian factory with fibrous plaster, and nailed up. A plaster restorer can also run or mould missing patches copying existing parts.

SayrraT Sat 17-Oct-15 11:35:03

Oh, there were more replies while I was typing!

Yes piglet that was what we were concerned with, though the otehr ceilings looked ok we thought we'd be best to sort them all at once rather than have it fall down later!

I was in a friends house when a small section fell down from her lath and plaster ceiling and it made such a mess and it was only a wee bit!

I've seen a plasterer nearby with a wee old workshop, he advertises lime plastering so I will speak to him and get some advice.

manatee yes, that is one reason we are keeping our rented flat for a couple of months so that we can avoid getting all our stuff messy and dusty. We have an old sofa bed we will take and chuck afterwards, luckily the new house is only about 20-30 mins away.

PigletJohn Sat 17-Oct-15 14:19:55

look out for a canister vac such as this

Be sure to get a spare cartridge filter and some disposable bags. You can brush dust out of the filter pleats, but a spare one will save you time. The bags will delay clogging of the filter.

Eventually, you can hose out the filter with water but it will take a day to dry.

SayrraT Sat 17-Oct-15 15:10:28

Thanks for the advice, no doubt I'll be back for more once we've moved in and start doing the house up.

SayrraT Sat 07-Nov-15 10:25:51

It is dusty grin but we are having fun so far!

do11y Sat 07-Nov-15 11:29:52

OP, one item you may not have thought of - noise from different areas in the house.

So, I live in a house which has been converted into two flats. My flat is on the ground floor and my ceilings are lath and plaster. We can hear EVERYTHING going on upstairs because essentially there is nothing but thin air between the floorboards upstairs and the ceiling below.

I know you have said you have bought the whole house (lucky you!) but if you decide to take the ceiling down and replace (which I would recommend, you're not going to be living whilst it's being done anyway so the mess shouldn't be a deal breaker in my view), you then also have the opportunity to add more sound proofing material between the floors.

Just an idea which you might want to consider.

knaffedoff Sat 07-Nov-15 15:31:09

Lath and plaster are notoriously unpredictable and will commonly just collapse with huge disruption and dirt !!!! A repair may be a false economy!

Marmitelover55 Sat 07-Nov-15 16:00:32

We had a ceiling in our Victorian house over boarded last year. Originally the builder was going you'll it down but it seemed likely that the cornice would be damaged. Our architect suggested overboarding but leaving a "shadow gap@ around the edge, so cornice still there. This was the cheapest option and we are really pleased. The cornice was not a particularly special one, but seemed a shame not to save it if we could help it.

fallenangel14 Sat 07-Nov-15 16:20:44

Same as Marmite here. I was really pleased with the result. Previously we had had a lath n plaster ceiling pulled down. Everything is affected including the wooden doors which have never really looked clean since. Please think carefully before having it done. I'd overboard like a shot in future

lighteningirl Sat 07-Nov-15 16:52:40

Love that shadow gap marmite it works well

Marmitelover55 Sat 07-Nov-15 17:57:25

Thanks lighteningirl smile

queenrollo Sat 07-Nov-15 18:22:15

Overboarding is fine unless at some point in the future you have an issue which means it needs re-doing. Our Victorian property has been overboarded by previous owners, and with major renovation work being necessary the mess from taking down the overboard is awful. In most of the rooms the lath and plaster has collapsed over the years onto the overboard....adding weight to it, and it has all come down with the ceiling being removed to replace.

What should have been a simple job in the kitchen took 2 days longer and my builders looked like they been down a coal mine.

SayrraT Sat 07-Nov-15 19:46:14

Thanks everyone, I was just updating my thread with the picture. We are taking down the ceilings and putting in extra insulation/sound proofing when we put the plasterboard back up.

It is messy but not as bad as we thought it would be. Nearly completed one bedroom smile

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: