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Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

Posted by Kitchenin2013 (My Page) on
Wed, Jul 24, 13 at 16:48

Our contractor just finished demolishing and re-framing the kitchen ceiling only to discover that their are three layers of material (two layers of sheetrock and one layer of acoustic) in the ceiling in the room adjacent to the kitchen.

We removed a post and header wall dividing the two rooms and added a structural beam with the intent of creating a "seamless/flush" transition in the ceilings. Our GC suggested two options: 1) install a "fake beam" between the two rooms, or 2) if we really want to, install multiple layers of sheet rock or other material in the kitchen. We hate both options.

We're desperate for suggestions. The affected opening is probably no more than 12-15' (I'm not in the space so not exactly sure).

Thank you in advance.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

Why not strap the ceiling joists with the additional thickness needed (may need to plane them to get exact height) and then sheet rock as usual?


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I won't see my GC until tomorrow. Is this what you mean? Is this a very costly solution? We also just thought about leaving the ceiling in the kitchen 2" higher than the adjacent room. Maybe the drywaller can use corner bead?


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

This is the floorplan for the two rooms. Our budget only covers the remodel to the kitchen, not the dining room, but I've drawn a circle on where the ceiling heights differ


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I like your floor plan. That's going to be nice. And charming.

So tough decision time. How about redoing the dining room ceiling now, paying for it by choosing one of the appliances to buy "practically new"? They're all going to be used themselves by this time next year anyway. Perhaps invest that about-to-depreciate-big-time money in something that'll hopefully satisfy you a lot more than watching a gloriously new refrigerator become last year's style?


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

No advice for the ceiling issue, though I tend to agree with Rosie - do it right now and get it over with, as long as you're making a mess anyway.

I just wanted to say that you are going to LOVE your Sola-tubes! I put two in my dining room last year, and I still can't get over how much light they bring in. If it's sunny out, we don't even turn on the overhead light any more. Best investment ever!


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

Thank you all for your suggestions. Unfortunately, the adjacent room is our great room (dining and family room). We really don't think removing the ceiling in that room is an option. We've maxed or have already gone over budget (no surprise) on the reno which is part of a larger remodel that includes restructuring our master bedroom and bath.

How odd would it look to just step the ceiling down between the rooms using a corner bead type of transition? I might also be opening up to the idea of having a minimal "fake header".


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

Here's a close up of the different materials.


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I think you can have the slightly different heights and it will all blend once you paint the two ceilings the same color. I have some different ceiling heights and it doesn't bother me at all.

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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I agree with cam349 and just add some strapping to the kitchen ceiling. There will be some extra cost to it, as you do have to factor in the materials and labor to install them, but if the differing ceiling heights is always going to bug you, then bite the bullet and take care of it now.


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

If such a simple and obvious (and cheaper) method is available, though, why would the contractor be suggesting mickey-mousing it with a fake transition beam or copying the dining room ceiling instead?

OP, since the final effect of a seamless ceiling is your goal, what's wrong with covering it with multiple layers of drywall if it came to that? Visually no different from the strapping method. But you say you hate that idea.

BTW, think you misunderstood my suggestion, which is to rearrange your budget if necessary to take care of this very basic problem the way it should be done--whatever that is.


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What don't we know here?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 7:35

Deleted duplicate.

This post was edited by rosie on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 9:13


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What don't we know here?

  • Posted by rosie NE Georgia 7A/B (My Page) on
    Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 8:33

Triplicate deleted.

This post was edited by rosie on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 9:08


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I would put in a soffit from the fireplace to the doorway with crown molding on either side and no one will notice the difference in height between the two rooms. I think it will add a nice visual break to the space and help transition from one room to the next while keeping the space open. It also won't draw as much attention to itself as a contrasting beam would.


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I would think that using strapping or furring strips on the joists and putting the finish drywall on those would be the Least expensive solution since it's just a bit more framing and the other options will involve some picky finish work to make it look decent.

I think anything other than a perfectly flat ceiling here and you wasted all the money you've put into it so far. There was no point in removing the header and putting in a structural beam that was flush just to end up leaving it with another header or not flush in the finished product.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Thu, Jul 25, 13 at 10:38


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I also vote for perfectly flat ceiling. Details like that are important to me. If I were your buyer down the road I would have to fix it, if you had one ceiling two inches lower than another.


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

I also vote for perfectly flat ceiling. Details like that are important to me. If I were your buyer down the road I would have to fix it, if you had one ceiling two inches lower than another.


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

What about an archway of some sort between the two rooms?
It might be a way to make lemonade from lemons, and give you some beautiful definition between your kitchen and adjacent dining room.


Here is a link that might be useful: Lots more archways to the kitchens on Houzz


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RE: Help! Resolving different ceiling heights

Thank you all for your input. We've now been faced with another critical decision that will affect this one. We're now considering removing the fireplace. I'm going to start a new thread that may reconsider our floor plan.


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