Bathroom ceiling and lights

The bathroom planning drags on... (can't get on with actually installing it until the new leave-year at work, though I did buy a toilet today)
I'd be interested in people's thoughts on bathroom ceilings. I currently have a standard, presumably plasterboard, ceiling with artex-type stuff on it. It's a bit mouldy in places, and has holes for extractor fan and central light in places that I probably won't want them in the new layout. For these reasons I'm thinking of replacing, or more likely covering over it.
Unfortunately it's probably not feasible to get at it from above - it's in a narrow off-shoot of the house and the roof-space there is low and filled with truss parts. However I think I could probably pull through lighting cables and so on with the help of a pole. Part of the reason for the new ceiling is so that I can cut temporary access holes in the old one to do things like getting at the extractor's connection to the vertical vent in the roof.
Is it feasible to simply fix a new plasterboard ceiling onto an existing one? I don't want a suspended ceiling as such because there is a glass panel over the door that ends only an inch and a half or so below the existing ceiling. Are there other approaches to constructing a moisture-resistant bathroom ceiling that don't involve any plastering? I have heard of PVC cladding, which has some practical appeal, but I haven't seen it first-hand and I'm concerned it might look a bit naff in an otherwise high-spec new bathroom.
I haven't really looked at lighting much yet, but what I have seen doesn't really appeal. The default position is probably low-voltage inset halogens, but only because I don't know of anything else. Any suggestions?
Cheers,
Pete
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On Sun, 18 Jan 2009 16:51:10 +0000, Pete Verdon

I think halogens are a bad idea they will shine in your eyes as you lie in the bath. I went for the type of ceiling light which is a simple white circle of opaque plastic with a bulb behind. From the big lighting warehouse in Norwich
And a 2*40W led light over the mirror. Same opaque plastic, from Screwfix
Anna
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Pete Verdon wrote:

yes, totally. Just screw new PB on and skim it.

no. If you want a smooth finish all over it means plastering. You can be cheap and just tape the joints, but its hard to make it not show anywhere if you dont skim.

just a bit

Too many downsides there. You've got the choice of filament, halogen filament, cfl, linear fl, and LED. Then you've got the choice of downlighter, uplighter, pendant, drum, wall lights, trough lights, feature lights, etc.
Downlighters are popular, I'd probably go with CFL on those rather than halogen. I prefer uplighters though, standard wall mounted shrouded spotlights are easy to use as uplighters, just fit non-spot bulbs. These can take filament, cfl, led, what you like. Or be braver and go with trough, these work well as long as you use good quality tubes. 3500K triphosphors are good.
Or if you want to go indulgent, stud the ceiling with a mass of 1w LEDs on a dimmer. Etc etc.
NT
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On Jan 18, 3:11 pm, snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

FWIW. Our 38 year old bathroom, rebuilt once by replacement of the bathtub and surround by a fiberglass bath shower unit, still has the original fibre ceiling tiles; as do our four bedrooms. While family room and kitchen areas were strapped, 3/8 plaster boarded over and then (I think the word would be 'stippled') with a rough plaster finish that has been repainted once since, some 20+ years ago. The strapping also permitted adding one inch of Styrofoam.
Our bathroom has never had any problems with mould etc. We do run the exhaust fan consistently to thoroughly exhaust moisture from showering, bathing etc. and to dispel the usual 'odours'! (There is no window). This despite that we leave shower and bathwater in the tub until it cools down releasing its warmth the house. Then sometimes several hour later we pull the plug and drain the now room temp. water.
Commenting on the OPs question would suggest doing the work making holes wherever necessary and then afterwards plasterboard all over (use sheet-rock screws), using whatever fire rated thickness is required by your jurisdiction. Here that is sometimes half inch [13 mm] or sometimes 5/8 inch [16 mm].
However: Provide a carefully sealed vapour barrier immediately above the new plasterboard. Also make sure the roof space above (mini attic?) has cross ventilation.The last thing you need is warm damp air condensing in a cool roof space and causing rot! Our bathroom is only about 7 feet square; say 50 sq. feet (Just went and counted the ceiling tiles!) and is located in middle of house.
If you want to be really fussy use 'blue-board' which is more waterproof than plain plasterboard/sheet-rock. Have also read that using a good 'oil' paint can also provide something of a vapour barrier to reduce egress of moisture. Latex paint said to be not effective?
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terry wrote:

Yep, that's kind of what I had in mind.

AFAIK, between upstairs and attic there is no fire-resistance requirement as there would be between inhabited floors. Is that right?

Hmm, that's a good point. In the cold snap we've just had (not cold by Terry's standards :-) ) I had a bit of water condensing on the underside of the roof and dripping on the stored contents. It's normally fine so I don't propose to do anything about it, but it would be good to avoid getting shower-steam up there.

I think that's more or less OK; there's often a slight breeze through the eaves vents when I go up there (the small part is connected to the main attic, it's just not big enough to get into and be able to work).

I don't think "blue board" is a known substance here in the UK; any locals care to suggest a suitable alternative?
Cheers,
Pete
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Pete Verdon wrote:

Plasterboard is fine damp wise. A coat of oil based undercoat is more than enough insurance policy.
Cant help wondering which would be less work, to just block the holes once done and skim the existing ceiling or add a new layer.
NT
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

The problem with that is the tacky-looking artexing really. Plus the mould/mildew - could probably be cleaned but I quite like the idea of starting afresh.
Pete
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Pete Verdon wrote:

Thats probably extruded styrene foam plus a cardboard coating. You can get a celotex platerboard/foam sandwich which is a bit safer firewise.
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snipped-for-privacy@care2.com wrote:

OK. I think that's the plan then.

OK. I'm a bit wary of plastering as requiring real skill (which I don't have) - is this kind of skimming likely to be DIYable for a first timer? Any pointers?

OK :-) Scratch that idea from the list.

...and I'm totally overwhelmed by it all :-)

Oh? I've never seen a bathroom downlighter big enough to take a CFL (or GLS bulb).

...as long as I can find appropriately IP-rated ones.

I'm vaguely aware of what this is, though I don't remember seeing any in action. Not sure how it would work with a tiled wall

Is that indulgent? I can't really envisage what that would look like, but I have a feeling it might tend towards the tacky. I'm not trying to fit out a Hollywood brothel here :-)
Cheers,
Pete
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Pete Verdon wrote:

inset halogens *useless* in the ceiling, unless you use eyeballs near the walls as wall-washers or to pick out glass shelves of luxurious smellies.
If it's a small bathroom then it won't really need much more lighting than good lights each side of the main mirror.
Light for shaving needs to come from below the chin on each side.
Owain
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Owain wrote:

I don't really go in for luxurious smellies :-)

It's not huge, but sort of long and thin. I think lights by the mirror only would leave the ends dark.

I'll bear that in mind - thanks. Sounds like mirror lights as low as possible without looking silly are wanted, even if there is other lighting for the rest of the room.
Pete
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Pete Verdon wrote:

impresses the ladies ;-)

So the mirror is on a long wall? Could you run a long sequence of mirrors along that wall, interspersed with lights? Would also help the room look wider.
Or a fluoro tube behind a pelment to wall-wash that wall. 2 x 4' tubes or equivalents should be ample general lighting then you just need the mirror lighting.
A small separately switched light is also useful for nocturnal visits when you don't want bright lighting, or for relaxing with a glass of wine and the screwfix catalogue ...
Owain
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Owain wrote:

Yep. Well, long_er_, anyway; it's not a huge room.

I'm planning to have a big mirror on that wall, yes, but one side of it is where the door opens into, and the other is part of the shower stall. So the expanse of available wall is not gigantic.

Hmm, that's a possibility. At first I thought it would look a bit fussy (the rest of the room has a minimum of surfaces and edges for ease of cleaning) but it might be possible to do something that matched the boxing-in below (wall-hung toilet and basin). One to consider.

Yep, going-for-a-pee light already on the list :-)
Pete
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Why not rip it all down and replace it? While it's down, you can do any wiring and fitting of extractor vent tubing required.

When I moved into this flat, the kitchen had a PVC-cladded ceiling in tongue-and-groove style. It looked awful, it was the first thing to go. Replaced with a conventional ceiling, plastered and painted with eggshell, which can be washed and is mould-resistant.
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Mike Tomlinson wrote:

Firstly because that's extra work and disposal :-). Also because the insulation above it in the loft would come down with it. What would be the benefit of removing it vs boarding over the top? I have quite high ceilings so I'm not going to miss an inch or two.

This is a benefit; my plan is to instead cut an 18" square hole where required. The rockwool can hopefully be pushed aside while working and then pulled back over the hole before re-boarding.

Second vote against cladding :-)
I'll make sure I find some oil-based paint to use.
Pete
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