In rental properties I often have problems in which I need to pull
down the ceiling. Drywall ceilings are destroyed in this process and
drop-in-tile ceilings are considered "low class" by some tenants.
They also lower the ceiling height. I have torn down a drywall
ceiling which was water damaged... for the THIRD time in the same
property. I have the notion that I would like to replace it with a
1/2" OSB or Plywood ceiling held up by brad nails. After popcorn
texture is applied it would look no different from a regular drywall
ceiling but I could hire a $10/hr guy pull it down if need be and
reattach / paint it. OSB and Plywood are also much more water
resistant than drywall.
I believe that screws would make this process much harder if not
impossible. What is the minimum spacing of 2" 18 AWG brad nails (16
AWG?) that I would need to hold up this 1/2" board with 16" joist
spacing? (too many will make the boards harder to pull off). If for
some reason it is not possible with brad nails then what is the
minimum finish nail requirement or some other fastener which I can
pull out instead of having to unscrew after the heads are filled?
Thank you for your time,
PS: The last question I posted received some very helpful answers but
also a lot of off topic responses and responses which were not
addressing the question which I asked. No, you WILL NOT be able to
tell after I lightly texture coat with a single coat drywall mud mixed
with paint then popcorn. I'm not going to fix the water problem.
Period. If you want to talk about "source of water", "stopping
water", "addressing water" or how stupid I am you are welcome to among
yourselves, but I might not be able to find the time to respond to
you. This is a question about safely (if possible) affixing OSB to
the ceiling with (brad) nails.
Are you using a nail gun? If so, then brad the bejeezus out of it---
every 6" or so? If you are hand nailing it, every foot or so should
be sufficient. Now I know you aren't looking for advice, but I have
to say that I don't see how OSB is going to hold up to water or
survive being pulled down and put back up, etc.
I know that you don't have to have boards of any sort over the ceiling
joists at all if you are not exposing any electrical. I have seen a
few with the ceilings down and the joists painted flat black (esp high
ceilings) but in my case there is normally Romex or other reasons why
it wouldn't work. If there is a code reason why nothing is OK but yet
OSB is not OK then please let me know.
I worry about thinner boards not being stiff enough to span the 16"
without eventually developing dips.
In this particular property the third floor is a an attic with a
standard stairwell so people commonly use it as a bedroom. Since it
is hot in the attic people tend to leave the windows open. The first
good multi-day rain or torrential downpour with a cross breeze and
enough water can blow in to ruin the ceiling below. Once there was a
cup on the windowsill and it collected well over an inch of water
during such a session (maybe 2). The floor is made out of 1" oak T&G
floor boards and the water just drips straight through. If I wanted
to fix the problem I could nail down plywood and then glue down
linoleum so that the water didn't pass through the floor... but then I
would be replacing linoleum instead of ceilings. In other properties
people overflow the toilet, don't pay for more fuel oil and let the
pipes burst, or stop up the tub with paper towels and turn it on full
blast before they leave the house after being evicted and then claim
vandals must have broken in and done it after they vacated. Sometimes
there's a roof leak but normally it's a man-made disaster.
One thing right off: OSB isn't going to be any more resistant to water
than drywall. Soaks it up like a sponge in my experience.
IMHO those little wire brads are not going to cut it, no matter how
many you put up there. They're just going to pull right out the first
time your degenerate tenants leave the windows open in the attic. When
the board falls, it'll probably hit someone in the head, and you'll
end up with a lawsuit on your hands.
Plywood, 1/2" or thicker so they can't throw stuff through it, and
drywall screws are the only way to go here. You can get the screws out
and let the board down without damaging it when you need to. If you
nail it up, then you have to force a pry bar under a seam, half-
destroy the board in prying it down, and then you'll have hundreds of
little nails to bend over or pound out.
1/4" plywood will be easier to put up, but then they can throw stuff
through it. Sounds like your typical tenants are that type of people...
I care. I am the property owner therefore everything is my fault.
See reply to Edwin Pawlowski above.
PS: If in a PCP-induced satanic ritual the tenants built a bonfire in
the middle of the floor and threw their babies on top the property
owner would still be the one sued ... they are the only one capable of
paying out money therefore the lawyers must find a way to make it
their fault. Sound far fetched? Vegas odds (people betting actual
money) on a 2008 pro Slave Reperation president were above 20%
recently. That means whatever mutual fund your 401K is in will be
devalued by the amount appropriate to make up for your evil doings in
the slave trade. Yes YOU!
(1) In some places gypsum board is required as a fire barrier. One
obvious example is the ceiling of a garage with living space above.
So you'll need to determine what the requirements are.
(2) The ceiling fasteners are loaded in withdrawal, so they really
should be screws. I wouldn't trust anything held up only by brad
nails or finish nails. Particularly if you are worred about water
damage--the water could accumulate and increase the load on the
Yeah, I have serious doubts about making 18ga brad nails
weight-bearing. For all intents and purposes, they don't
have heads, and with OSB they'd tend to pull right thru.
Better with plywood, but still...
Both OSB and plywood suck as a ceiling material.
Picking on another comment, it _might_ be possible to minimize
damage by plastic sheet over top of drywall. If there's a slope
in the ceiling, or you can channel things, perhaps you could
"focus" water runoff to one spot, where repairing it is less
That said, drywall is cheap, and if you have someone you can call
who can do a reasonable/economical job, it'll probably be cheaper
in the long run.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
OSB will absorb water and you'll be repeating this again.
Use 1/2' cement board, the kind used for tiles, not the green or blue
aqua board used in bathrooms. Expensive and heavy, but durable.
How about susended ceiling? Easy to fix if there is a leak/repair
I would not use brads, maybe 1-9/16 staples though. Maybe even
Is cement board fire rated? Cutouts for downlights or ceiling speakers could
be a bitch if there are many. I've ruined an expensive bi-metal hole saw
just doing one cutout. The screws for cement boards are way over priced. I
have to agree this stuff is the next best thing to a pour concrete
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