plaster walls and ceiling replacement

Old 11-13-02, 10:14 PM
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Question plaster walls and ceiling replacement

my husband and i are redecorating our 100+ yr old house. our first project is the master bedroom. After discovering 20+ layers of wall paper, we found that the plaster underneath is in terrible shape. huge holes, pulling away from the lathe. ironically though, the plaster ceiling is still in pristine condition. we are planning to tear out the plaster and wood lathe on the walls and put up sheetrock dilema is should we replace the plaster ceiling as well, or just leave it alone?
thanks, april
Old 11-14-02, 02:21 AM
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You could replace it, but if it's in good shape, you don't need to. You could also just add a layer of drywall over it using longer nails/screws.

I used to remodel old houses with my father ( I'm over that now and feeling much better thank you ), and pulled a LOT of old plaster out. We pulled a ceiling down in a room once that had about 6" of coal soot on the top about black thought I was gonna die that day !

And the "20 layers of wallpaper" sounds familiar. Stripped one house down and found the December page of an 1890 calender on the wall where they had just wallpapered over it !

Taking the wall plaster/lath out is a good time to rewire and insulate..

good luck......and remember..."They don't build 'em like they used too".......the response being "Thank God"
Old 11-14-02, 05:45 AM
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One thing that I hear about is to avoid removing the wooden lath. Some walls in older houses are made from not-so-straight framing and were corrected by shimming the lath. The sheetrock will go up on the lath fine. If the wall is not flat and you remove the shimmed lath, you have to find some other solution on your own. Generally, this consists of adding new studs down the length of the entire wall.
Old 11-14-02, 08:23 PM
bungalow jeff
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The lath will help some, but the real corrections were made in the scrath coat of plaster, if a correction was made at all. I have plenty of walls in my house that vary from 3/8" to 1/2" along the height.
Old 11-15-02, 03:40 AM
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I'd leave the ceiling alone. That old expression, "If it ain't broke - don't fix it." is true. As far as your walls, it's my opinion and my experience that working on a home of that age and era presents both problems and wonderful opportunities. A problem will be removing the plaster while trying to leave the lath. That's not easy, so it becomes a wonderful opportunity to pull everything and insulate. Another problem will be the studs. They're not going to be straight, so it becomes an opportunity to sister or nail new studs that will be straight. Look at your problem walls as good opportunities to effect some real improvements.
Old 11-15-02, 04:41 AM
bungalow jeff
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Nut&Bolt and Tn_Andy make good points. Turn your bad wall situation into an oppurtunity to rewire, insulate, update plumbing, add smart home wiring, etc.
Old 11-18-02, 07:40 PM
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well guys, after ripping the plaster and wood lathe off, only 2 of the original studs had been shimmied for the lathe. so i left those on the studs and put up the sheetrock. so pretty now. anyway i did discover that the ceiling did have some cracks in it. so instead of tearing that down as well, i'm just going to get some screws and plaster washers and really make sure that the plaster stays up where it should. hopefully, that'll make it last for 100 more years.i'll let you know how the project turns out when it's all over : )

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