How to Cover a Ceiling With Reclaimed Wood Floors

Add a touch of antiquity overhead by using salvaged floors as architectural interest.

Brown and Red Hardwood Ceiling

Reclaimed Flooring as Ceiling

Materials Needed:

  • reclaimed wood flooring planks
  • 1/2"-thick 4x8' sheets of plywood
  • circular saw
  • jigsaw
  • liquid nails
  • screwdriver
  • 1/2" paddle bit
  • chalk line
  • nail gun
  • pneumatic nailer
  • air compressor
  • measuring tape
  • sponge
  • bucket of hot water
  • wood floor cleaner
  • pencil

Measure, Mark and Cut Plywood

Prior to installing the planks of reclaimed wood flooring, a subsurface must be cut and attached up through the ceiling joists. To start, determine the length and width of ceiling using a measuring tape. Referring to measurements, mark 1/2"-thick 4x8' sheets of plywood to size with a pencil. Cut plywood to size using a circular saw.

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Cut Holes for Junction Boxes and Air Vents

Based on measurements taken with measuring tape, mark plywood in order to cut holes for air vents and junction boxes in the appropriate spots. Next, use drill and paddle bit to create a pilot hole, then cut out traced area with jigsaw.

Add Liquid Bonding Adhesive

Apply liquid bonding adhesive to joists with caulk gun. This will help hold the plywood in place, making it easier to secure with drill and screws.

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Place and Attach Plywood

With the help of a friend, hold plywood up in place, then secure with drill and 3" drywall screws.

Mark and Drill Center Point

After attaching screws around the perimeter of the plywood, snap the chalk line down the middle of the ceiling to create a guide for precisely screwing in the center. Attach screws every 18" to prevent sagging.

Tip: The center point will help ensure all planks of wood are installed evenly.

Mark & Cut Wood

Use a pencil to mark planks of wood as needed, then cut to size using circular saw.

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Stagger and Attach Wood to Plywood Substructure

Stagger wood planks with different colors and/or finishes randomly placed. Secure to plywood substructure using a pneumatic nailer and air compressor.

Thoroughly Clean Wood Ceiling

Once all planks are secured to the plywood substructure, thoroughly clean the surface using a bucket of hot water, wood floor cleaner and a sponge.

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Finished Ceiling

All that's left to do: Enjoy the warm, rustic vibe that the newly installed reclaimed-wood ceiling creates.

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