Lowering Existing Ceiling & Adding Tray Detail

sequoia_2007July 14, 2010

We want to drop the ceiling in our dinning area to match the height of our new kitchen ceiling and add a tray detail in the dining area. The current ceiling in the dining area is 9Â high and it will be dropped to 8Â. The combined length of the new 8Â ceilings, kitchen and dinning area, will be 24Â. It is very important that the ceiling is flat and straight and resistant to sagging. The dining area portion of the ceiling will be 9.27Â (111-1/4") wide by 15.89Â (190-3/4") long and I will use 2x6 on 16" centers to span the width. Three of the sides of the new ceiling will be framed by attaching 2x6 rim joists to the existing wall studs and 4x12 beam. The new joists spanning the dining area will attach to the new rim joist on one wall with metal hangars, but how to support the opposing joist ends facing the living room is not clear.

There are six 2x12Âs above where the end of the new 8Â ceiling will abut the existing 9Â ceiling in the living room. I could not find any examples in framing books on how to support this section of the ceiling from above. I was considering doing what is shown in the drawing below, but I imagine the code would require some type of metal connector to attach the 2x6 ceiling joists to the 2x4 attached to the existing 2x12 floor joist above. I am hoping someone here will be able to help with the best method of framing this side of the ceiling and meet code requirements. I see Simpson makes an adjustable 2x6 truss hangar, Model THA218, that would provide adequate hanging support, but it provides no lateral support.

In addition, the tray opening will be framed with 2x6 double header joist and double trimmer joist. The depth of the tray will be 11" and the top of the tray opening perimeter would be defined by 2x4Âs attached to the existing 2x12Âs above. The sides would consist of 3/4" plywood attached between the 2x6 framed tray opening and the 2x4Âs attached to the 2x12Âs above.

Thanks for taking the time to read my post and consider my questions. Comments and suggestions appreciated.

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Sorry, I can't address the framing issue but I do want to ask why you'd want to drop a 9' ceiling to 8'? IMO, you're going to lose value in the home by doing so since the majority of buyers today would die for ceilings higher than 8'.

I would leave the beam exposed and cover it in another wood or with drywall, put in crown molding and call it a day.
If at all possible, put a tray ceiling in the kitchen and raise the height as much as possible.
If you have to leave the kitchen at 8', I see nothing wrong with walking into a DR with a higher ceiling.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 11:03AM
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Actually there will be an 18" wide by 11" high by 24Â long soffit that will run the entire width of the 4x12 beam supporting the floor above. We were going to put a tray ceiling in the kitchen, but that would have severely impaired the air handling capacity of the range hood. In addition, the curved soffit with breakfast bar would have intruded too far into the dinning area so we though we would extend the kitchen ceiling height into the dining area and define the dining area with a tray ceiling. The adjacent living room will still have a 9 foot ceiling.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2010 at 3:09PM
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Don't drop it, trust me. I just spent a few months on mine and raised it from 6'10 to 8'. Made a HUGE difference.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2010 at 5:46PM
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