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Ceiling Treatment Ideas

The plaster ceiling may be distempered, painted or papered. The unvarying monotony of the old whitewashed ceiling with its inartistic centre flower is much improved by the use of moulded ceiling ribs of fibrous plaster or modelled canvas. When ribs are used they should have but little projection in order not to bring down the ceiling, and thus make a room appear lower than it is.

Enamelled metals are suitable for some ceilings, especially those of dining, smoking or billiard rooms, as they effectually withstand the action of the heat, gas fumes or smoke, and can be cleaned down with a damp cloth. The plates, which are generally three or four feet square, have a surface pattern, and are fixed to the under side of the joists or boarded ceiling, the joints between the plates being covered with a moulded rib.

The ordinary plaster ceiling may be omitted and the floor joists are then visible, the space between them adding to the cubical capacity of the room, instead of forming dust-traps as mentioned in Building Chimneys. This simple method of construction is effective and satisfactory, the floor timbers openly doing their work instead of being hidden behind a plaster ceiling.

The joists, which in this type of ceiling should have a broader proportion than usual (say seven by four inches), need not necessarily be planed, but can be left from the saw and toned to a dark colour or even coated with Stockholm tar. Some additional interest can be given in this type of floor by arranging larger beams into which the smaller joists can be framed. If this type of floor is adopted, special precautions have to be taken to prevent the passage of sound through the floor of one room to the other, as mentioned in Floor Construction.

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