Is installing tongue and groove boards a job for a novice?
I'm considering installing 6" t&g cedar boards on the ceiling of a
porch and carport myself. On a scale of 1-10, with "1" being
virtually no experience or knowledge of carpentry skills, I would be a
"1". Or maybe a "0". On the plus side, I'm fairly methodical on
things I undertake and am well coordinated working with my hands.
If this could be practical for a novice to attempt to undertake, are
there any tips or suggestions that any of you would care to offer?
Thanks in advance for any input.
You are probably the best judge of your own capabilities so look over
the books at your library and read up on the nuances of tongue and
groove. If you find a book you like, check the displays at a box store
for the same or similar to buy. Odds are you'll see it's all pretty
much common sense stuff and your project will go forward quite well.
It's a god-awful job for one novice, it's not that
bad for two. Soft rubber mallets are your friend,
as is a scrap peice of T&G that you slide into
the one you're pounding in place, so you don't damage
I'd rate it a 3 also.
1) Have help. Even a kid. Your arms will hurt after a few hours.
2) Do whatever surface treatment you're going to on _before_
installing it (eg: prime/paint or stain). This also forces
you to inspect the boards, do any repair or sanding you want.
You may still want to do a coat after installation, but do the
majority before putting it up. "Tip off" the paint before letting
it dry, so it doesn't screw up the T&G.
Rollers are faster for bulk coverage, but tipping it off with a
brush will knock down the globs.
3) Measure carefully, and precut batches to length. Speeds things
4) For a large job of this nature, I'd suggest renting an air nailer.
Nailing large ceilings from the underside gets real old real quick,
and the air nailer makes smaller holes for where you have to face-nail
it. Even if you don't want to air nail the whole thing, the
air nail is real good at getting the thing to stay put long
enough to come back at it with hand-driven nails or screws.
Age and Treachery will Triumph over Youth and Skill
I actually bought a small compressor and nail gun when I was putting up moldings
window/door frames in the bedrooms) - after I put the first baseboard in with
hammer & finishing
nails & had tons of dents I had to fill where I'd missed! OK, so my hand-eye
great. I think I more than made up for the money (maybe a couple hundred for
the 2) with the time I
saved on that project - in the nailing and even more in the patching. It's
grade, but I love having it so I can pull it out for smaller jobs that I
wouldn't rent it for. The
compressor doesn't have much air capacity, but really, I'm driving a few nails a
minute, not a
hundred. (Mine is shaped like a suitcase with plastic shell, extending handle,
and wheels to make
it easy to move around - I was torn between that and a more professional-looking
one with more air
capacity, and decided that for the above reason I didn't need the capacity, &
would use it more if
it was easy to get up from the basement/in from the workshop when I needed it.)
Anyway, I hope it goes well for the original poster - when more pressing jobs
have been dealt with,
I have to replace the ceiling on my front porch and so I'm paying attention to
the responses in this
I am with the others. I is not a 'hard' job to lay T&G but it does
require knowledge. Books just don't give it all. Same as with dry-
wall. You can read all you want (I did) but 10 minutes watching a
professional will show "how" to do it. Try catching a pro laying
I would recommend you do a sorta 'dry-run' by taking one of your
longer stips nailing it down on a floor somewhere and then installing
anther piece to it. That will give you pretty much the total
process. Yes, it will cost you two pieces of T&G.
Now picture doing it upside down. Definiely not a 1 person job.
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