By Gene and Katie Hamilton
With today's ceiling systems designed for DIY installation you can install a laminate wood plank ceiling and create a striking look in any room; transforming it from ordinary to extraordinary. The attention-getting planks add a charming contrast in a stark contemporary setting or complete the look in a country décor. The ceiling systems make the job easy because they include random length tongue-and-groove planks that you can install on wood furring strips or in a metal track designed to suspend them.
Here's a look at the cost comparison: A carpenter will charge $1,370 to hang a plank laminate ceiling system on a drywall ceiling on furring strips in a 15- by 18-foot room. This includes labor and material. You can buy the materials for $800 and do it yourself, saving 41 percent. The materials include furring strips or metal track, planks, and clips and screws used to hold the planks in position. Carefully read the manufacturer's instructions to plan the installation, and lay out the location of the furring strips or track following the directions. Usually the planks of a ceiling are installed so they run parallel along the longest wall. It's easy to get confused because the planks are installed perpendicular to the furring strips so there's a surface to attach them to.
DIY Hassle Alert
To make layout easier and be assured that the ceiling is level, rent or buy a laser level.
You'll need a measuring tape, chalk line and a power or hand saw to cut the planks to length. Use a cordless screwdriver to fasten the system in place.
Sound too complicated and time consuming? Here's a link to Home Advisor,
a free referral service that matches homeowners with local contractors.
Here's advice from Armstrong to Install a Ceiling Plank System.
The bottom line: compare the price of a contractor’s bid to install a plank ceiling with what it costs to do it yourself and make your decision. You adjust the cost to where you live by adding your ZIP Code.
Improvement and Repair Cost Updated 2019
The cost and time data is generated by averaging labor and material data from annually updated cost books used by contractors and refined by the authors'
experience remodeling 13 houses. They are authors of 20 home improvement books and Do It Yourself or Not, a weekly column syndicated by Tribune Content
Agency. The national cost can be adjusted by ZIP Code.