How to install a reclaimed wood ceiling in 10 easy steps

How to install a reclaimed wood ceiling in 10 easy steps


Reclaimed wood can add a unique and stunning touch to any room in your home. Ceiling installation with reclaimed lumber can be an especially dramatic feature, transforming a space into something truly spectacular. If you're looking for ways to create the perfect rustic charm in your home, installing a reclaimed wood ceiling is definitely worth considering. In this blog post, we'll take you through each step of the process so that you can turn your space into something truly unique and unforgettable.

wooden ceiling

What you will need

  • Screwdriver
  • Stud Finder
  • Chalk
  • Measuring Tape
  • Construction Adhesive
  • Finishing Nails
  • Nail Gun
  • Circular Saw
  • Miter Saw
  • Wood Putty
  • Wood Trim Molding
  • Sandpaper
a hammer on a wooden board

How to install a reclaimed wood ceiling

Step 1: Turn off the power in your room and use your screwdriver to dismantle any overhead lights or ceiling fans. Fortunately, you normally won't have to remove the whole fixture. Just remove the canopy that covers the wires instead.

Step 2: After choosing your ceiling design, locate the ceiling joists using your stud finder, then use your chalk to draw marks on each joist to help you position your planks. In most cases, your boards will be installed perpendicular to the ceiling joists.

Step 3: Measure and draw lines at 1/4-inch gaps from the wall to the ceiling using your measuring tape and chalk. Repeat on each side of your ceiling. These lines serve as the beginning point for your plank installation. The required 1/4-inch spacing gives your planks room to compress and expand as they respond to the humidity levels in your environment.

Step 4: Make a zigzag pattern with construction panel adhesive on the back of one of your wood planks. Place the board along one of the expansion gap lines with the groove facing the wall. Pull your plank away from the ceiling for a few seconds before reinstalling it to enable the glue to spread. The glue should keep the plank in place until you're ready to add your nails.

Step 5: Attach the board to the ceiling joists using finishing nails with two nails into each joist on either side of the board.

Step 6: Take your next board and apply ceiling glue in a serpentine pattern to the rear end. Insert the plank with its groove into the tongue of the previously fitted plank. To secure the plank, repeat step 5.

Step 7: Repeat Steps 4, 5, and 6 until the row is finished. Measure the length needed to finish the row and cut the boards to size using a circular saw. 

Step 8: At some point during this procedure, you'll most likely need to cut a gap in one of your boards to fit around the light fixture.

Step 9: Using your miter saw, measure the perimeters of your space and cut wood trim molding to the required lengths at a 45-degree angle.  Use finishing nails to connect the trim to the walls.

Step 10: To conceal the nails, fill all of the nail holes with wood putty. Remove any excess with a soft cloth and sandpaper. Lastly, reconnect your ceiling light or fan fixture.

a person removing a ceiling camera

Installing a reclaimed wood ceiling not only adds a rustic charm to any room, but also enhances the overall atmosphere of the home. While it may seem like an arduous task, following these 10 steps can make a daunting process much more approachable. With focus and determination, you'll have yourself a stunning ceiling in no time!