Coving with wonky ceiling - follow ceiling or put up level?

Hi there. We *were* planning to put coving up in our lounge.
As per the instructions we have just drawn a level line on the top of the walls all the way around the room... and discovered there is a 5cm difference between the place where the ceiling is lowest and where the ceiling is highest.
So if we put the coving up level, on some parts of the room there will need to be 5cm filled above the coving. I'm worried this will look at bit odd. But then if we put the coving up to follow the ceiling it will be wonky too and that might look odd.
Should we put the coving up level, or following the ceiling, or not put it up at all?
The house is old-ish (1900s) so nothing is very level (eg the window recesses), though we've just had the floor redone so that is level now.
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Clare wrote:

You will need to do a mixture of the two... i.e. where there are big changes in level you will need to have the cove follow the general direction or else you will just draw attention the the level error. However you don't want to follow every small deviation in the ceiling - since coving that bends up and down is also obvious. So, small changes you can sail across the high bits, and fill above the cove, but for bigger errors - say one side of the room being higher than the other you need to go with the general ceiling line.
--
Cheers,

John.

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On Mon, 29 Mar 2010 02:24:10 +0100, John Rumm wrote:

Aye, as with most things do it so it "looks right". Dead level or vertical rarely looks right even in a modern, relatively accurate plumb and level, box.
As others have said the the bottom of the cove needs to straight and follow the general ceiling line. Getting this line on might be tricky with only tapes, rules or stretched string. A laser "level" that can project a line onto the wall all thge way round the room makes the job easier, the ends *will* meet up if nothing else and you can edjust it to have the cove as high as possible against the low points of the ceiling.
--
Cheers
Dave.




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Clare wrote:

If you had not noticed that the ceiling was not level before you drew the line, it is unlikely that you would notice it if the coving were not either. That is providing, as John says, you put the coving up in straight lengths and don't try to follow every boggle.
Colin Bignell
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I'd put it up perfectly straight and fill the rest. IME no amount of filler shows once painted, but wonky coving does.
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What he said.
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Not. IMHO, 5cm of filled gap would look naff.
MBQ
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On 3/29/2010 9:55 AM, Man at B&Q wrote:

He said 'straight' - he didn't say 'level'...
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In article

I'd follow the line of the ceiling as best you can. In real life if the ceiling had sagged with coving installed from new it would have sagged too.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Dave Plowman (News) wrote:

Whether it's sagged or just poor initial workmanship, I'd disagree. When we tiled our bathroom to the ceiling I first looked at cutting a row of tiles in complex ways until I realised that skimming the ceiling would be far quicker. The result fully justified the decision.
Douglas de Lacey
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Think you'd be into rather more than just skimming a 100 year old lounge ceiling.
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Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@davenoise.co.uk London SW
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Lots of square tiles with grout lines is (visually) a totally different situation to coving painter the same colour as the wall or ceiling.
MBQ
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By a level line, do you mean a horizontal line. Is there a gradual rise over the length of the room? Filling in up to 2 inches is going to look very strange.
If you measure the coving fitting line down from the ceiling, does that give you a reasonably straight line on each wall even if it isn't horizontal?If it's a gradual rise from one end to the other rather than a really wavy ceiling, then the best straight (not horizontal) line might need only small differences in the thickness of the coving fixative to cope with any minor waviness. The coving would be straight but not horizontal, and you might need coving corner pieces to cover up less than square meeting at corners.
You'd need to chose wallpaper that didn't have a horizontal pattern lines which would show the rise, but that also applies to the situation at present without the coving.
Toom
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Toom Tabard wrote:

I'd still rather have the coving a set distance from the floor. If the ceiling is the same colour as the cove, I doubt your eye would be drawn to it. It certainly isn't where gaps behind skirting have been filled, but 2" might be pushing it a bit

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Thanks for advice so far!
Yes Toom, by level I meant horizontal.
The wonkiness is the sum of both a gradual trend from one side of the room to the other and more localised peaks and troughs (over distances of about 2 or 3ft in a 10ft by 10ft room).
Colin you are right, the more localised variation was already quite obvious. I think it was the extent of the difference from one side of the room to the other that most surprised us. Which perhaps would suggest that the advice of following the overall trend but not the local variations would work best.
Dave's point about how old coving would have moved had there been some there the same age as the ceiling is a good one.
Cheers,
Clare.
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