Thursday, January 13, 2011

plywood ceilings?

Whenever I mention that we are using plywood for the ceilings.. people look at me funny.  I think they are picturing this...

And while this is perfectly appropriate and economical for a shop, we were inspired by ceilings like this...

yum yum farm house office
sourced from dwell

And this is what we settled on...

my photography skills (or lack thereof) are not doing this ceiling justice

To keep things simple (and costs down) we used simple 4 x 8 sheets which we purchased from Upper Canada, it is C-grade domestic white birch, whole piece face 1/2" plywood.  We requested NAUF glues, which turned out to be simple enough, it just meant waiting a couple of weeks for them to be made.  Oh, and as usual an additional charge.  I can't help wondering if (or should I say hoping that) one day manufacturers will move to NAUF products as the standard rather than the exception.

Greg has been painstakingly softening the edges with a router, and then hand-rubbing them with hardwax oil before they go up.  He can only do about 15 sheets at a time, so many evening and weekend hours have been spent on this task.  I am quite sure he will be glad to see the end of it.

the ceiling before and after.. Thank you Joel for all your hard work!

this shows the gap along the wall above the kitchen... we'll need to come up with a solution for this

The ceiling sheets have all been installed with exposed chrome screws.

The product we are using to finish all the wood surfaces in the house (ceiling, cabinets, floor, closets) is a hardwax oil.  We've actually used two brands... Eukula and Osmo.  This was not intentional, but we purchased some leftover Eukula from Koeda which they had hanging around.  Koeda is a local hardwood floor supplier, manufacturer, and installer.  They are my go-to guys for hardwood, and if we were doing any in this house they would be the ones doing it.  They generally use the Osmo, so for the rest we will be using that.  You can read all about the benefits and technical info on the links, but I will just mention briefly what a gorgeous finish this makes.  I have long disliked polyurethane for how it turns perfectly beautiful wood into something that looks plastic.  This oil is the answer.  It is widely used in Europe for finishing wood floors.. even in public spaces like train stations.  The obvious upside is that you can maintain it easily yourself, and it will age beautifully.. like antique furniture.


Maureen said...

your little house is looking good - so exciting to get near the finish. Is there a way to measure off-gassing on the finished building? and a way to compare that to a standard build house? How much of your materials did you have to compromise on and use products that you did not feel were ideal? Do the suppliers see green building as something to invest in? More pictures please!

Natalie - The Senses Five said...

Hello, just found your blog. The house is looking awesome! I know this is an old post, but I couldn't find an email address. I was wondering if you did anything special for fire code for the ceiling. We are looking to do a similar ceiling and are having issues with potential fire spread.

mika said...

Hi Natalie!

Thanks for your comment, I wish I had a better answer for you but I don't remember the issue ever coming up!
Code varies so much from place to place... for example here we can't do stairs with a horizontal rail, or hanging lights over the bathtub. Wood ceilings are done frequently here (although usually in the form of tongue and groove planks). Any time we had building code concerns we checked with our district to see what the rules are.

Good luck in your project! Hope you get the house! Your blog is beautiful by the way...