How To Install A Shiplap Ceiling
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see our disclosure here.
Today I am showing you how to install a shiplap ceiling in a kitchen we recently renovated. If you’re looking to add a unique, cozy touch to your home, shiplap ceilings are the perfect way to do it.
I will break down the steps you need to take to install a shiplap ceiling, as well as discuss the different materials, tools and techniques needed to get the job done. Installing shiplap ceilings can seem intimidating but with the right tools and some patience, anyone can do it.
As popularized by shows like Fixer Upper with Joanna Gaines, a white kitchen with shiplap has become a hot kitchen design trend and an easy way to elevate the style of any room.
We partnered with Armstrong Ceilings and used their Country Classic Planks for our shiplap ceiling and your mind is about to blown when you see the kitchen transformation below.
FAQs about Shiplap Ceilings
What Is Shiplap
Shiplap wood is long and narrow separated by grooves which can be painted, stained or left natural (cutting strips of pine wood is an inexpensive shiplap option). Shiplap has traditionally been used outdoors and made from wood. Over the years, shiplap ceiling products have evolved to a lighter faux wood product. These products are durable, easy to install and perfect for indoor ceiling projects.
Shiplap Ceiling Ideas
Many are installing shiplap ceiling products over popcorn ceilings in basements or simply to add a farmhouse style to vaulted or cathedral ceilings. If you are looking for a shiplap ceiling with beams, check out our lake house living room and 10 shiplap ideas and our pool house ceiling with gray beams and white shiplap.
1. White Shiplap Ceiling
If you have been following along on our split level home renovation, the newly vaulted kitchen and living room shiplap ceiling is gorgeous! The white shiplap ceiling planks are stylish, lightweight and can be installed using the Armstrong Easy Up Track Clip System or with adhesive (see instructions for best installation method based on your project).
Shiplap on a ceiling offers a variety of styles depending on the material used. If you are looking for a modern farmhouse look, this is DIY project is for you!
Looking for shiplap wall installation ideas? Read this post, white shiplap walls in our basement featuring a beautiful accent wall.
Looking for basement shiplap ceiling ideas? Read this post, our basement ceiling installation vs drop down ceiling.
2. Shiplap Vaulted Ceiling
The first part of the ceiling makeover involved removing the kitchen wall and adding a new load bearing / support beam as we wanted an open kitchen and living room space.
Here is a kitchen image below when we started to remove the wall and before we removed the ceiling. As you can see below, the kitchen was typical of a 1970’s kitchen with low ceilings and a wall that boxed off the eating area and living room.
Here is the kitchen with the walls and ceiling removed below.
The walls and ceiling of the two rooms were removed, revealing an attic space which was then transformed into a stunning kitchen and living room with a vaulted ceiling finished in white shiplap.
Shiplap Ceiling Installation Tip
Something to be mindful of if you are installing on a sloped ceiling, the Armstrong Easy Up® Installation System is intended for ceilings with a slope of less than 10 degrees.
HOW TO INSTALL SHIPLAP ON A CEILING
Materials needed for this shiplap ceiling installation:
- Armstrong Ceilings Country Classic Ceiling Planks
- Armstrong Ceilings Easy Up Track and Clips
*Order online and have everything ready for curbside pickup or have it shipped
Depending on your installation method, your tools necessary will vary (see instructions for specific method tools).
First Step: Install Ceiling Tracks
- The first step of the shiplap ceiling installation is to install your Armstrong Ceilings Easy Up Track System by screwing the tracks to the strapping. We installed our tracks so they ran in the opposite direction of the strapping.
Normally you would install drywall to the ceiling strapping but in our case, we installed the shiplap ceiling planks.
The blown in insulation is what you see under the strapping.
The ceiling track installation took about 1 hour and was easy to install. The directions are very self explanatory as well.
Armstrong Ceilings also has a customer service hotline that you can call with questions.
Recessed Light Tip
If you have recessed lights, you will need to add a track on either side of the light and cut a hole in the shiplap ceiling plank around the light.
Second Step: Mark Starting Point
2. The second step of the ceiling installation is to make a chalk line (see image above) to create your straight starting point.
Add your first ceiling plank (we started in the middle of the wall) using the clips to fasten the plank to the track.
Work your way to the end of wall and cut a smaller piece to fit at the end.
Be sure to stagger your ceiling plank seams as shown below.
Third Step: How to Cut Ceiling Plank Recessed Light Holes
3. The third Step involves cutting around recessed lights or along the edges near the wall.
The process of cutting out the holes for the recessed lights is a little time consuming so depending on how many recessed lights you have, the installation may be quicker.
We used a utility knife and hand saw blade to cut the ceiling planks and staggered the seams to create the shiplap look we were going after.
This tongue and groove ceiling is lightweight and they are fastened to the tracks with a clip.
As you can see above the planks fit into each other (tongue and groove) and the clip slides over the edge of the plank to hold it in place. Easy peasy!
Our ceiling space was about 900 square feet which encompasses both the kitchen and living room.
The entire kitchen shiplap ceiling installation took about 6 hours with two people.
How much does a shiplap ceiling cost?
A shiplap ceiling cost depends on the type of product or material you buy plus installation cost. For a faux wood product like this, you will pay between $4 and $7.50 a square foot plus labor costs to install. You can also save on the labor if you install yourself.
These ceiling planks would also be great installed over a popcorn ceiling, drywall and even a new construction ceiling. Ceiling planks are also perfect for older homes as you can hide any imperfections in the existing ceiling or wall.
Here is a look below at the final vaulted kitchen remodel (click here) and living room shiplap ceiling and white cabinets.
Take A House Tour
If you would like to see more of this home, click through to this page, split level renovation to see all of the home improvement projects completed.
A wood floor and shiplap kitchen ceiling that ties in with an adjoining living room creates a cohesive feel and helps the rooms flow together.
A shiplap bathroom ceiling is also a great way to add character and charm, similar to our small bath at our lake house. When adding shiplap in a bathroom, make sure it’s moisture resistant.
Our lake house features painted shiplap walls and vaulted shiplap ceilings which are beautiful. The shiplap at our lake house is traditional solid wood tongue and groove and I am curious what you think about our idea to paint it all white! Click over to our painted shiplap walls and let me know what you think!
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Armstrong Ceilings. All opinions and words are 100% my own.
About The Author
What started as a hobby, Jessica’s blog now has millions of people visit yearly and while many of the projects and posts look and sound perfect, life hasn’t always been easy. Read Jessica’s story and how overcoming death, divorce and dementia was one of her biggest life lessons to date.
What brand of flooring do you use?
Are you talking about these floors in this blog post? These are existing floors that we are having refinished to a white/gray finish.
Thank you ! We do too!
I live in a traditional split level home with the entrance, kitchen, living room and dining room on the main level. I like the idea of vaulted ceiling in the kitchen and dining room but am concerned about losing attic space. At 1600 sq ft my house does not have enough storage space. Would I lose storage space by installing a vaulted ceiling?
Thank you for your blog. I am on the lookout for anything that would improve my 1962 split-level!
we still had storage on the other half of the house (the hallway/bedrooms/bathroom) end. we only vaulted the kitchen/dining/living room area.
Hello, beautiful renovation! We are trying to figure out what trim color to use. What is the trim paint color that you guys are using in the house? Thank you!!
Hi thank you! We used bright white by Behr