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Removing plaster ceiling that is cracked and pulling away from the lath board

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bmschwert

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Just wondering if there is a way to remove the plaster ceiling and not damage the plaster walls because I would like to keep them for now. The ceiling is starting to droop pretty bad and pieces have started to fall. Want to take plaster and lath down and put just drywall up but don't want to damage the walls or have any plaster from the walls fall in the process
 

Snoonyb

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Where you'll find the greatest potential for damaging the wall is attempting to hurry the project, and removing the lath which was more than likely installed first.

You have the choice, to attempt to remove the lath or too secure the lath and install the drywall over the lath.
 
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chrisn

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I would be using plaster washers, glue, whatever, to get the ceiling back up. Taking it down will be a monumental mess
 

bud16415

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The old place we live in I did every ceiling on the first floor and didn’t take the plaster down. As chrisn mentioned screw the old plaster up tight with plaster washers and get it flat if some of it is falling off just take it off and shim the opening. Locate all your joists and put a new layer of half inch drywall up over it using extra long screws. The old plaster won’t hurt a thing and the extra thickness will help with sound and fire rating. You might have to get some box extenders if you have ceiling fixtures.
 

bud16415

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Another method I didn’t mention in my last post is using furring strips. In these old houses with lath and plaster stud and joist spacing was sometimes measured by the length of the carpenters hammer and the 16” on center idea wasn’t even thought about as nothing came in 4’ widths. With removing the lath and plaster or leaving one or both up even with some of the plaster missing furring the ceiling down is the best opportunity to get the ceiling dead flat and make the job of hanging the drywall the easiest.

My kitchen was in the worst shape and that is how I did it. Run your furring around the outside of the room and then run the strips 90 degrees to the ceiling joists on 16 inch centers. Doing it this way once you find the low spot you can shim everything else down to be flat. Just make sure you locate all the ceiling joists and snap lines on the ceiling and get the lath anchored into the joists. I put mine up with screws and it is easy to make adjustments by running the screw out and adjusting the shim.

Couple pictures of the furring before and after drywall.

IMG_0269.jpg

IMG_0366.jpg
 
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