Does your ceiling hang low, does it wobble to and fro?
August 24, 2007 8:20 AM   Subscribe

The movers put a big gouge in my living room ceiling. This is sad and annoying, but leads to a burning question: what the hell kind of ceiling do I have?

Here's the gouge. Sad, yes. But look: you can see through the gouge! What I thought was the ceiling is actually some canvas-kind of material, hanging about 8 inches below the sheetrock. You can see how it bows and hangs in this photo. The weird thing is that it was apparently designed to do this -- even at the edges, I can push the canvasy stuff up nearly an inch without hitting anything hard.

So what kind of ceiling do I have? What key words do I need to use in finding someone to repair/replace/whatever this gouge? (Recommendations for ceiling guys in Central New York most welcome.)
posted by gleuschk to Home & Garden (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Canvas ceilings (excellent keyword, btw) used to be quite common, and canvas is still a terrific material to use for a perfectly flat ceiling surface (unless, of course, it gets gouged). You are probably looking at replacing the canvas in this case.

The material used is likely cotton sailcloth, finished with a type of whitewash or calcimine paint. A boating supply place should have a source for the width of canvas for your ceiling. I don't know NY contractors, but perhaps look for a co. that does work on historic buildings?
posted by vers at 8:31 AM on August 24, 2007

It's a false ceiling, put in probably in the 70s.

Anyway, you could probably plaster it yourself, just buy some spackle and a putty knife and smooth it out as much as possible while wet, then sand when dry.

The way the ceiling sags, though, I would tear the whole thing down and either patch up the regular ceiling, or put in a new false ceiing with acoustic tile or similar.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 8:34 AM on August 24, 2007

While I can't name your type of ceiling, it seems that anyone competent in drywall would be able to fix it. (By 'fix it,' I mean that they will most likely recommend removing the canvas-type material and sheetrocking the whole room.) You would be searching for a 'general contractor' to do the work.

It might also be wise to see what kind of insurance the movers carry and if it would cover their damage. Chances are, getting your ceiling redone will not be an inexpensive venture. Labor is expensive, and sheetrocking is fairly labor intensive.

As for CNY, I was impressed by the drywall work that P&P Enterprises did at my home. (Syracuse)
posted by wg at 8:42 AM on August 24, 2007

Err... by sheetrocking the whole room, I mean sheetrocking the ceiling, if needed, after taking down the canvas. I don't mean to imply you need to redo the walls as well.
posted by wg at 8:44 AM on August 24, 2007

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