Drywall for Shop Ceiling

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Forum topic by docspencer posted 06-06-2013 10:09 PM 1293 views 0 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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361 posts in 1971 days

06-06-2013 10:09 PM

I’m starting to plan the next phase of my shop renovation. Overall dimensions are about 23’ X 15’ with beams running overhead (to support the loft).

I’m going to insulate the ceiling then cover that with something. Not sure between mdf beadboard Drywall would be considerably cheaper.

The shop is consistently on the high side of average humidity so my question is – if I go with drywall should I consider the mold resistant stuff?

Any opinions?

10 replies so far

View toolie's profile


2134 posts in 2653 days

#1 posted 06-06-2013 11:47 PM

yes and a ventilation system of some sort to keep air moving through the space. perhaps a gable mounted thermostatically activated fan pulling air through a screen door. i don’t like things like wafer board, paneling, mdf, etc, as they are more flammable than drywall.

-- there's a solution to every just have to be willing to find it.

View MNgary's profile


301 posts in 2442 days

#2 posted 06-07-2013 12:20 AM

Please share some more information, docspenser, for those of us unfamiliar with your shop renovation so we can give better advice. Is the loft open to the shop? Is the shop heated or not, same with the loft? Loft to be used for living quarters, lumber storage, whatever? Why do you want to have insulation beneath the loft? And anything else that might help us understand your goal.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View kdc68's profile


2658 posts in 2302 days

#3 posted 06-07-2013 12:21 AM

I’d consider looking into your area building codes to see what is recommended…

-Craft Paper backed insulation may require a fire rated covering like drywall
-5/8” drywall might be code because of fire rating
-The drywall suited for your needs would be that of a noncombustible, moisture resistant gypsum core with moisture and mold-resistant green facing and brown paper backing

-- Measure "at least" twice and cut once

View docspencer's profile


361 posts in 1971 days

#4 posted 06-07-2013 12:45 AM

Quick responses – thanks guys.

Okay – in response to MNgary – The shop is in our barn. Built on a concrete slab. The other half of the first floor of the barn is open to the roof and we use it for mowers, tractor, etc. The loft is not open to the shop (perhaps calling it a lost is not accurate). It’s a second story room over the shop. The ceiling of the shop is 6/4 popular T&G – which is the floor for the room above. That room is used for storage and has no ceiling but for the roof and is not insulated. That’s why I want to insulate the shop ceiling. I’ve never seen water in the 2nd story room. The shop is not heated at present, but that will change – hopefully soon. I installed a fiberglass entry door and a steel door in the passage between the shop and the rest of the barn. The ultimate goal is to get it closed up so I can work in there year-round. I hope this helps.

View Woodbum's profile


813 posts in 3090 days

#5 posted 06-07-2013 12:59 PM

Drywall materials may be cheaper than beadboard etc, but consider your or someone else’s labor to finish it. Hanging, taping, skimming, finish coating and sanding are a pain in the ass. I did this for a living right out of college. Plus it is heavy and you will definately need more help than you think if you have never done this before. The fireproof-ness ? and moisture resistance of drywall is attractive and must be considered, but consider the labor needed because I would definately hire pros to do the work. It will be more cost/time effective in the long run. I made a lot of money going in and fixing bad homeowner attempts at drywall. I would not spend the extra dough on blue board though. 5/8” is much more sturdy than 1/2” for ceilings and the fire rating is higher. Ultimately however, your building code will be the deciding factor if applicable. Put as much insulation in your spaces as you can. It will pay dividends in the future.

-- "Now I'm just another old guy wearing funny clothes"

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361 posts in 1971 days

#6 posted 06-07-2013 01:49 PM

I hadn’t considered building codes – we’re in the county.Huhm….

View MrRon's profile


4795 posts in 3268 days

#7 posted 06-07-2013 04:46 PM

5/8 drywall is the way to go. It is heavy, but you can rent a drywall lift which will hold the drywall against the beams so you can drive in the screws. If you don’t want to do the taping and finishing, you can find an out-of-work plasterer to do it for a few dollars. Insulation is a must.

View Fred Hargis's profile

Fred Hargis

4999 posts in 2518 days

#8 posted 06-07-2013 05:42 PM

True enough that finishing drywall is a royal PITA, and if I was having my house done I would hire it out. But for a shop? My below average drywall skills are plenty for that. I’m wondering about the moisture resistant part as well. Your barn may be humid, but is on the level of a bathroom where someone just took a hot shower? I’m thinking you may be just fine with 5/8 rock.

-- Our village hasn't lost it's idiot, he was elected to congress.

View MNgary's profile


301 posts in 2442 days

#9 posted 06-07-2013 08:51 PM

The only thing I have to add is you’ll need a vapor barrier on the shop side of the insulation when you heat the shop.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View docspencer's profile


361 posts in 1971 days

#10 posted 06-07-2013 09:22 PM

Fred – no its not nearly that humid. I’m not sure if its due to the concrete slab, the general humidity of this area (compounded by the fact the barn is tucked partway into the woods) of both. Its sounding like I can probably get away without the fancy drywall and just use 5/8. Speaking of which, Homedepot carries somethign they call “high strength light” by Goldbond – in 1/2”. Claims to be as good as 5/8 for ceilings. It’s nice a cheap. I’m kinda hoping just insulating from the outside air will help, too.

I figured I could to the finishing. The beams are – on average – about 33” edge to edge so with a bit of waste I only get one seam in the middle of each cavity. All I need to do is put up some 2/4s on the inside of the beams and I should be set. I’ve done drywall before – I’m not a pro but as Fred said good enough for a shop.

I’m assuming that you can get roll insulation with vapor barrier, but I think I can save a bit of $ by tacking some plastic sheeting to the 2X4s after the insulation and before the drywall.

Soon I hope to get a heater and that should take care of any humidity at all in the winter and if I can find a deal get a window AC which would dry things out in the summer?

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