Plaster Ceilings - Demolish or Keep?

Old 01-16-12, 01:18 PM
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Question Plaster Ceilings - Demolish or Keep?

Hi Everyone,

My wife and I are finally 95% complete with removing all of the plaster and lath from an 1880's home. Yes, I know sacrilegious but there are plenty of reasons, one we are moving walls for rooms so we really could have only kept outside walls anyway. Two, I really wanted to insulate and wire properly. And third, there was paneling everywhere so the plaster had tons of holes and cracks from nails.

Anyway, I was always planning to remove the plaster ceiling (on the second floor) but now I'm second guessing that and am wondering why not just leave it? I do want to install drywall, but why not just drywall over the plaster? I'm thinking the only con to this is possibly a less "perfect" finished drywall result with possible waves. But lets face it, the house is balloon framing and 130 years old. The drywall won't lay perfect anyway and that's part of the character of old homes. Oh, and I guess another would be about an inch less of ceiling height. Not a problem though because they are already 8'3".

The pros to leaving it, as I see it, 1) Less mess and time - walls are bad enough to tear out. A ceiling that has access from the attic will mean everything that has accumulated in the attic for years will fall on my head. 2) Better insulation - granted I'm sure it won't add much, but more material must be better than less material for insulating. 3) stronger "fall" protection from the attic. Plaster and lath at least has a little strength compared to drywall alone. I know it still breaks (from experience), but you're not likely to completely fall through.

Can anyone suggest whether this is a good idea or not? Maybe someone has experience dry walling over plaster?

BTW, the wiring and everything is accessible under the floor boards in the attic and they are relatively easy to pull up.

Thanks for your help!
Old 01-16-12, 01:24 PM
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Ok, so I had bad forum etiquette because I just realized a nearly identical question was asked just a few posts later. Well, I'll read through those responses as well and sorry for the duplicate! I guess anyone's advice for both of us is appreciated
Old 01-16-12, 02:58 PM
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I don't think there would be any problems with laminating over the plaster with drywall, just make sure your screws are long enough to go into the ceiling joists. Screws that just go into the lath won't hold much.
Old 01-17-12, 05:32 AM
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You have the height to spare, I think drywall would be my choice as well.

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