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Fasteners for Tongue and Groove Ceiling

DSkinner's picture

Please suggest a nail fastener type and size for the installation of 3/4" tongue and groove cedar on a cathedral ceiling. My rafters are 16 inches on center and are 2x6. The cedar tongue and groove is nominal 1x6. I have been getting conflicting advice; one carpenter suggested ring shank nails and others have suggested that a 16 gague finish nail is acceptable.

Any assitance is appreciated!


(post #96738, reply #1 of 10)

2.5" trim gun nails would be fine.You might use a little const glue too

(post #96738, reply #2 of 10)

I used a nail gun with mine like the other Mike said and also used glue too.  Us Mikes think alike!

Using a nail gun is the only way to blind nail it as if you are going to do it by hand, its going to be a pain setting all those nails in the tongues and grooves.  Use a generous amount of adhesive too as I have two spots in my ceiling (its painted pine) that open about 1/4" in the dry winter.  Looks bad but come around March when the humidity rises, they close right up.

Hope this helps.


(post #96738, reply #3 of 10)

BTW, how are you insulating the ceiling?

Les Barrett Quality Construction


(post #96738, reply #4 of 10)

I will have spray foam insulation applied direct to the underside of roof sheathing within the rafter cavity.

(post #96738, reply #6 of 10)

Just wondering.  That solution seems to be the one most folks are going to.  I will be building a similar ceiling when I expand my home in the spring.  Just looking for good ideas on t&g cathedral ceilings.

Les Barrett Quality Construction


(post #96738, reply #5 of 10)

You could also use 1/4" x 1-1/2" pneumatic staples, thru the tongue, parallel to the grain, one into every rafter. A stapler like a Senco SLS or SKS model would be appropriate. A dab of construction adhesive behind each staple wouldn't hurt, but don't glue the entire width of the board to the rafter or you're inviting trouble. Definitely a good idea to prime the back of the material before installation.

Cedar T&G Ceiling install (post #96738, reply #9 of 10)

I'm having 1x10 T&G D-select cedar installed on the ceiling of a wet boathouse.  The contractor wants to glue the boards in place in addition to the be blind screwing (small head trim srews).  Something is telling me that a continuous bead of adhesive is NOT the way to go.  The cedar is is going to move with the changes in moisture and I can't believe there won't be problems if it's glued in place.  Based on your response to a previous post, I'd guess you feel the same way.  I could get onboard with a "dab" of adhesive but not a continuous bead across the board.  How do I convince him to not go with his install method?

You are responding to a 14 (post #96738, reply #10 of 10)

You are responding to a 14 year old thread. You'll get more answer by posting a new topic.

Florida Licensed Building Contractor, 50 years experience in commercial remodeling, new homes, home remodeling and repairs and all types building maintenance.

(post #96738, reply #7 of 10)

I'll cast my vote for the staples too.  I have done it with them before and I like the results.  The staples get much more meat than finish nails because of the trapping of wood under the staples connecting bar.   In the long finish staple sizes they will still countersink nicely right out of the gun and the glue on the staple legs helps to insure against pullout.  I also drive them at about a 35 to 40 degree angle (back toward the plank) which helps to keep them tight to the joists.  Where you have to face nail them keep the gun perpendicular to the grain and fill the slots with matching finish putty.  I like to prefinish the planks on the ground so that I can spray both sides (for weather resistance).

(post #96738, reply #8 of 10)

I'd grab either my 15g finish gun ...

or the 18g trim stapler ...

have used both on T&G wainscot with no problems ....

don't see why a ceiling would be any different.

and I'd not worry if my helped used his 16g or 18g finish guns either.


if there is a bead detail somewhere in there ... the stapler oriented right makes for nice face nailing when an extra nail is needed ...





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    Buck Construction

 Artistry In Carpentry

     Pittsburgh Pa