How to Install a Tongue and Groove Ceiling Part 2

a paintbrush applying paint to a tongue and groove ceiling
  • 8-40 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-2,500
What You'll Need
Measuring tape
Tongue and groove ceiling planks
2 stepladders, 5-feet high
Pneumatic nail gun and staples
Ball peen hammer
Top nails
Ratchet clamps (at least 2)
An assistant

For a better understanding of how to install a tongue and groove ceiling, read Part 1 in our Installing a Tongue and Groove Ceiling here. In Part 2 of installing a tongue and groove ceiling, you will attach the ceiling planks and prepare them for reinsertion of light fixtures. Follow these steps to complete this part of the project.

Affix the First Tongue and Groove Plank to the Ceiling

Measure the first board and cut it as close as possible to the width of the ceiling. Install it so it is ¼ inch from the edge of the exterior wall you chose as your installation guide.

It should rest over the perimeter board of the furring strips and overlap all of the perpendicular furring strips. Secure this first plank to the strips so that the tongue faces the room and the first groove faces the wall. Put nails or staples into the furring strips through the tongue of the plank at a 45-degree angle.

Secure this first plank at each furring strip down its entire length. Drive the nails or staples into the plank so that their tops are below the surface of the tongue and groove ceiling plank.

Attach the Next Plank in the First Row

If your ceiling is very wide, attach more planks to the end of the first plank, the perimeter strip, and furring strips. Nail the plank securely to the furring strips through the tongue with nails or staples at a 45-degree angle.

Affix the Second Row of Planks to the First

Cut the planks for the second row, ensuring that no joints conflict in sequence with the previous row. Slip the groove of the second plank over the tongue of the first one. Nail the planks through the tongue into the furring strips at 45-degree angles to the tongue.

Mark and Cut Holes for Lighting Fixtures and Ceiling Fans

As you approach the location of ceiling lights and fans marked on the ceiling, use the jigsaw to cut holes in the tongue and groove planks to allow passage of wires through the ceiling and for ornamental fasteners to be affixed to the ceiling. It may be necessary to cut an arc through one plank and a corresponding arc through the next in the series.

Continue Installing Ceiling Planks

Continue installing the tongue and groove ceiling planks. Use a ratchet clamp every 10 rows to compress the planks more snugly against each other. That is not as important as on a tongue and groove floor, because the ceiling will not bear any appreciable weight.

Place the tip of the ratchet clamp in the groove of the first plank, draw the strap to the edge of the newest plank, and tighten the ratchet. Release the ratchet clamp as you tighten each set of 10 planks.

Proceed to Part 3 to finish installing the final planks and finish the ceiling before reinstalling ceiling fixtures.