DIY How To

Ceiling uPVC Cladding

Plastic cladding is the ideal solution for covering your bathroom ceiling. Bathroom ceilings can require a lot of attention due to the high levels of humidity and condensation. Ceiling cladding is made of uPVC and will look good for years to come. It is available in numerous colours, finishes and styles and there are coloured inserts available to match or compliment the chosen cladding.

Installing ceiling cladding

Plastered ceiling

Ceiling cladding can be fitted directly onto a plastered, lath and plaster or even an artexed ceiling, as long as the ceiling is even and is in good condition. If the room is an extension or new build, the cladding can be fitted directly over the plasterboard, saving the need to plaster.

Cladding

The cladding can be fixed to the ceiling a number of ways, the fixing method can be determined by the condition of the existing ceiling, the height requirement and whether you have access above the ceiling. (i.e. Loft space, additional floor above)
Direct fixing is suitable if the ceiling is even and there is access above, othewise a suspended batten ceiling is probably the way to go.

Mark out ceiling joists To secure the cladding to the ceiling, you can use staples, adhesive, plasterboard fixings or screws. If you plan to run the cladding lengths at right angles to the joists, screws are probably the best method for fixing through the plaster and directly into the ceiling joists. Mark out where the joists are with pencil lines.
pic of j edging There are different edging trims available, J trim is ideal to go aroung theedges of the room. Its design means it is fitted with the longest edge against the ceiling, this can be screwed directly into the joists or battens.
Fit edgings Fit all of the trim around the edge of the room, mitre the corner joints to give a professional finish, secure the edging with screws into the roof joists where possible and use suitable plasterboard fixings or similar for other areas.
When measuring what length of cladding is needed remember the edges of the cladding need to sit on the bottom of the J trim. As the J trim is approx 25mm at each side, that gives you quite a lot to play with. Measure from the back of the one J trim to the back of the other J trim and minus approx 5mm, if this is too long it can always be shortened. Cut it too short and it could be useless.
Tongue and Groove Cladding Most makes of ceiling cladding are tongue and groove, this makes fitting easier. Start off by putting the tongue facing the wall and push it fully into the J trim running the full length, secure using countersunk wood screws through the top groove of the cladding, through the plaster and up into the ceiling joist.
Fit cladding Starting with the first length, as the cladding is flexible it is quite easy to push one side up into the J trim and allow the middle to sag, this will give enough slack to push the other end into the opposite J trim, push up the middle and manouvre into position, secure using the countersunk screws into the top groove as previous.
Cladding Continue adding lengths of cladding as before only now when the middle is pushed up, you will need to push the tongue of the new piece into the groove of the length previously secured. When the new length is pushed fully into the groove the screws in the previous length will be hidden.
Last length of cladding The difficult part comes when you finally get to the last length, there are numerous ideas on how to fit it without the screws showing but most recommend using an adhesive to secure the last length of J trim to the cladding and then using one of the many fast fix adhesives to fix the cladding and trim to the ceiling.
Measure the width of the last piece of cladding

An alternative method is to fix the J trim all around the room as directed earlier, now measure the distance between the bottom outer edge of the trim and the edge of the last board, measure to the board and not the groove. As can be seen from the photo, the minimum width of the final board must be 10.5cm to ensure there are no gaps.

Measure maximum width of gap for last piece

We now need to find the maximum width the final board can be, measure from the back of the J trim to the edge of the last board, measure to the board as you did when finding the minimum. As can been seen from the photo the maximum width of the final board must be less than 12.5cm

Measure the last piece and mark out Mark out the width of the last piece taking into account the minimum and maximum widths from the previous measurements, in this example the maximum width available was 12.5cm, the minimum width to span the gap was 10.5cm, to ensure complete coverage and ease of fitting we marked out the cut at 11.5cm
Cut along the length of the board Cut along the length of the board taking care to stay along the line. A fine tooth wood saw is ideal.
Fit last length Fit the last length, start by pushing the long cut side into the J trim and slowly work along the entire length.
Scraper It may be necessary to use a paint scraper or similar to assist when sliding the board into the trim. Take care not to damage or mark the board or the trim.
Gap between last boards Once the last length is fitted fully along the J trim there will be a gap between the tongue in this board and the groove of the previous fitted length,this can be seen in the photo. To close this final gap and to be able to pull this last length fully into the groove of the adjoining length can prove difficult, especially if they are a tight fit.
Sucker A simple solution is to use some kind of sucker, the sucker in the photo is off a sat nav, lock the sucker on to the board and carefully manovre the tongue into the groove, this will pull the length away from the wall but there will still be enough resting on the J trim.
Cladding The job is complete and everything is fastened up securely.

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