Porch Ceiling with Beadboard (Sheets or boards)

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Support Spacing

VERSATEX must not be used in load bearing applications, but it may be used in spanned applications such as soffits and ceiling.

For Soffit/Ceiling Installation

VERSATEX Sheet and Beadboard 1/2” or thinner are not designed to be ripped and used for trim applications. These products must be glued and mechanically fastened to the substrate.

  • Use 1” nominal beadboard products or thicker boards for spans of 16” to 24”.
  • When using VERSATEX 1/2” Beadboard or 1/2” thick VERSATEX sheet, orient it perpendicular to the joists, fasten every 12” or less on center and apply construction adhesive to the underside of the rafters.
  • Never span VERSATEX more than 24”
  • Before installing VERSATEX Beadboard, be sure the underside of the ceiling joists are true and level. You may want to place a 1/2” or 7/16” sheet of OSB or plywood to the underside of the ceiling joists to reduce or eliminate joist read through.

Beadboard/Beaded Sheet

Step 1: Cut the beadboard to length, measure the depth of the porch front to back at the end where you will start installing the beadboard. Subtract 1/2” from this measurement to account for the 1/4” gap you want to leave around the perimeter of the ceiling to allow the beadboard to expand.

Step 2: Trim the first board before installing the first piece, calculate how many boards it will take to cover the ceiling. Divide the width of the porch ceiling by the width of the beadboard to get the number of whole boards needed to cover the ceiling. If the last board is less than 2”, trim down the first and last board to make the ceiling look evenly spaced.

Step 3: Trim the first board to width, cutting off the groove side of the beadboard, leaving the tongue-edge for nailing.

Step 4: Face nail the first board, positioning it on the ceiling, groove side 1/4” away from the wall. Using a pneumatic gun and 2” finish nails, face nail the beadboard to the plywood underlayment or ceiling joists every 12” on center. Position the nails 1/2” to 3/4” from the outer edge of the beadboard. Beaded sheet should be nailed 16” on center across the width and 12” on center around the perimeter.

Step 5: All beadboards, including the first one, should be nailed every 12” on center through the tongue or extended leg, if you’r using a Stealth Beadboard. Position the pneumatic gun at the back edge of the board's tongue, angle it away from the tongue and to one side. This will keep the nail from pulling out and blocking the tongue when you fit the groove of the next board over it. Slide the groove of the next board into the tongue of the previous board. If necessary, tap it tightly in place with a hammer and woodblock.

Tip: Use a scrap of beadboard as your woodblock so you can fit the groove over the tongue and keep it from mushrooming when you hammer.

Step 6: Finish installing beadboard over the ceiling. Trim the final board, if necessary, from the tongue side. Install one or more mouldings around the perimeter of the ceiling, making sure the mouldings cover the expansion gap.

Step 7: For runs longer than 18', cut a bevel or shiplap joint into the end of the beadboard. Leave a 1/8” gap when installing beadboard at temperatures below 40°F. Consider a “T” moulding or faux beam as a means of hiding the butt ends of the beadboard.

Step 8: Where possible, orient the beadboard in the direction that uses the shortest possible board length. As with any ceiling application, be sure any space above the ceiling is properly ventilated to prevent heat build up.

Coffer Beam Detail Illustration – Click below to download drawing