January 13, 2013

New Bathroom Ceiling in Pictures

Here's what we did with the ceiling.

Original  tongue & groove ceiling, height 8' 9".
That's an  old fashioned light fixture in the middle.

Dan dropped the ceiling 9 in. to put in an exhaust fan. New ceiling is 8 ft.

Plywood, to be covered with...

Styrofoam ceiling tiles. They're
lightweight, cheap, and simply glued up.

First tile was centered over the fan duct.

We worked out from there.

Seams are caulked, then the tiles are primed and painted. 

Crown moulding was next

Ceiling done.

On the plus side, the ceiling tiles were inexpensive (less than $4 apiece) and required no special tools to install. The job could easily be done by one person. It adds insulation to the ceiling and can make an ugly, stained ceiling look really good.

On the negative side, styrofoam (polystyrene) is a petroleum product. It is especially frowned upon in one time disposable products, such as restaurant take-out containers because, like all petroleum products, it is not biodegradable.

For the ceiling though, it was a good option. And because the tongue and groove ceilings in both bedrooms are in pretty bad shape, this may be the best solution for them as well. One problem with T&G is that over time, the individual boards shrink and are not air tight. I can't help but wonder if dust and the blown-in insulation from the attic doesn't sift down through them. Those rooms are still down the road and for now, I'm happy with how the bathroom is coming along.


  1. It looks very nice!!! Great job, as always.

  2. What a cool thing. I wouldn't feel bad about using styrofoam for that. Like you said, it will help add insulative value, and it looks like it was easy to install.

    It looks great!!

  3. I love your new ceiling! It is beautiful. I found your blog about a year ago and read it all in one sitting. Now I check in daily and truly love keeping up with your homestead. Thanks for sharing!

  4. That is nice.I have seen those tiles before and they are very decorative!

  5. Wow! I guess it is the attention to detail that does it...the ceiling would never even enter my mind to redo. But it makes SUCH a difference! Great job...now to just show my husband these pics and get him to agree! ;)

  6. Michelle, thanks!

    Laura, I figure with building materials we want them to last anyway, LOL. Very easy to install, very economical, and I love the way they look.

    Ashley, why thank you! I appreciate you comment more than you know.

    Mandy, I never knew about them until I researched ceilings for our kitchen. I have to admit Dan was not convinced about these things, but now that the ceiling is done, he's willing to consider using them in the bedrooms.

    Shannon, well, if you had seriously yucky ceilings you would! ;) . This was so much easier than the alternatives.

  7. It looks terrific, Leigh! You've certainly given new life to that old space.

  8. sometimes you have to make compromises. Michael refused to use material like that, he put up a timber ceiling... of course the timber wasn't properly dried (good material seems to be impossible to find here:(), so after a while we had gaps.. the only solution was to put up thin slats over the gaps. still timber, but it looks.... different:) not your average ceiling, but it works, so I am not complaining. of course it made extra work, cost extra money - and I'd say you're safe from that now with your solution!

  9. DFW, thanks!

    Debbie, well, we have yet to make it look like a bathroom. :)

    Bettina, yes, it's a trade-off. Cost was a limiting factor, as was work, but so is conviction. Can't fault anybody for that. :)

  10. What a perfect fit for that bathroom and easy and cheap. Can't go wrong with that! I love how it turned out. I have used the foam composite trim in a couple of my rooms - really like it!

  11. I absolutely adore that! Hope you don't mind, but I am going to Pin it, so I don't forget :)

  12. Totally gorgeous ceiling tiles. I showed my sweetie the photo of the finished ceiling and he asked me where to get them! It's definitely a product I want to keep in mind for future use.

  13. Good choice for a humid area too, like a bathroom. Cute!

  14. Leigh, what a beautiful solution for a humid bathroom. Beautiful!

  15. Very professional job there. It looks beautiful. Your bathroom is really turning out nice - you have so much talent!

  16. Leigh,

    Wow, the ceiling looks amazing. One more step closer to finishing the bathroom up.

    I'm happy for you and your husband, great work :-)

  17. LOVE those ceiling tiles! I've never seen anything like them. Thanks, as always, for sharing with us all. Such good ideas you come up with.

  18. Sherry, I've heard the trim is good too. We just went with primed trim purchased locally.

    Stephanie, not at all. :)

    Nina thanks!, I got ours from DecorCeilings.com, but I'm sure if you googled styrofoam tiles you'd find tons of options!

    Nancy and Martha, humidity was one reason we went with them. I'm pleased with how the new ceiling looks. :)

    Kris, I have to admit this feels like the most hodge-podge project we've done so far. Hopefully it will all pull together in the end!

    Sandy, thanks! We're getting ready to put down the floor sometimes this week. Then we can get to work on the tub. Can't wait!

    Mama Pea, I learned about them when I was searching for tin ceiling tiles for the entry alcove in the kitchen. They also make them out of PVC.

  19. Wonderful job! And way to keep the momentum going on the todo list in 2013!

  20. Looks great! You guys are really busting out moves over there on your list, good job.

  21. absolutely beautiful! And another plus for styrofoam ceilings in the bathroom- i bet moisture won't damage it easily. The insulation factor really is a nice bonus too.

  22. Very nice! Perfect for your bathroom. I don't know cost, but if you are worried about the environmental costs of using styrofoam, at least for the bedroom, there are heavy embossed wall papers that look like tin ceiling tiles.

  23. Badgerpendous, thanks! I have to admit though, I'll finally be glad when we get all our house projects done.

    Jen, thanks! With all the rain lately, there's nothing to do but work indoors.

    Icebear, thanks! I think they were the right choice for all those reasons.

    Theresa, I hate styrofoam (and plastic) for throwaway stuff, but for this project, I think it was a good choice. Who doesn't want their building materials to last forever, LOL. Didn't know about the wall paper, though I can't imagine myself wallpapering a ceiling. I know they used to do it, but sheesh.

  24. I can see where that type of tile could be a good choice for a bathroom, and your ceiling certainly looks very nice! How did you vent the fan? Is through a wall, with one of those bendy hoses like for a clothes dryer?

  25. Quinn, that's exactly what he did, used a flex-hose to vent the fan. He had to because the outlet on the fan was on the side rather than the top. Then he went out the ceiling/roof. :)

  26. Leigh,

    The ceiling looks great - what a makeover! As far as them being styrofoam, I'll echo others here and agree that sometimes you have to compromise. I'd love to be green and organic in every single area of my life, but I have yet to find a nursery that sells money trees, so... And like you and others mentioned, it has great qualities for a bathroom. I think you are right to be very pleased! Nice job. I'm living vicariously through your projects these days, since I don't currently have any... doh!

  27. Oooh nice! I absolutely love pressed tin ceilings - my great great grandparents house (still in the family thankfully) has pressed tin on all the ceilings and some walls and I have always adored it, but to get it these days can be quite expensive. It's nice to see an alternative I could afford when I have my own place :)

  28. BA, thanks! I think this was a fair compromise. The objection to styrofoam seems to center around its non-biodigradablity. Since we want our ceiling to last for centuries, that's not an issue!

    Em, thanks. We did put a tin ceiling in our kitchen dining alcove. It's true tin is expensive, but we had a small area so we got the look at a fraction of the price. Didn't really want a metal ceiling in a humid room though, plus needed to save $$ for other necessities, like a low-flush toilet.


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