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Exposed Ceiling Beams/Floor Joists

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barry1010 | 16:06 Wed 20th Dec 2023 | Home & Garden
28 Answers

What's the difference? If I pull my ceilings down will the joists then be beams?



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They are in our house?  I'm quite an expert on pulling ceilings down!  And putting them up!!  The house is extremely old.  Haven't got a clue about new houses!

Sorry, they are both joists and beams in our house.  Did you realise I was a builders labourer.  ?I can pull down walls as well as putting up new walls  ;0)

We tend to use the term floor joists for separating floors in buildings with 'ceiling joists' being reserved for the joists forming the final ceiling/loft-space.

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It is the enthusiasm for exposed beams in the property shows that puzzles me.

If you want them why not just pull the ceiling down?

Never really understood the craze for them, especially when they are low enough to knock your ruddy block off. :0)

200 year old beams are very interesting, they cropped up in places we didn't expect.

What can be interesting in 200 year old beams, worms?

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That's all been a problem for me. I sometimes think I live in Lilliput.

Are exposed ceiling beams better quality/more attractive than bog standard joists that are hidden under ceilings?  I think that is what I have been trying to ask.

I believe they tend to have beams now for decore opposed to supports. It seems to be a good selling point for some, if you can afford the extra thousands it adds to the sale

There was a craze back in the 70/80s when folk were fastening 3" by 3" timber to their plaster board ceiling, painting it black and artexing in between. The cottage effect if you like.

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I'd be more worried about losing the heat and the lack of noise insulation from above.  

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I remember that, nicebloke, just after people when mad for the Victorian look, replacing dado rails, picture rails, coving, blerdy quarry tiles

Our beams aren't very low.  Our upstairs beams and loft beams are more interesting than downstairsones.   Lots of woodworm holes, but woodworm have been long gone.   Spiders love beams and add extra interest.  

Modern (ish) joists will be rough machine sawn pine & not look good IMO. Old oak beams as seen in churches will have been finished with tools like an adze.

If you want the joists to look best you could go over them with a rotary sander before staining them - not a disc sander that would look awful. 

I must admit to not liking false beams.  

And hate beams that are painted, usually black.  


15.48 Joists that support the plaster board I believe is just bog standard timber of any kind hard or soft. Exposed beams of good qualitiy are normally oak. But the latter now is very expensive thats if you can get it. There are other hard woods but they don't spring to mind at pesent I'm sure Builder will know.

15.56 Plus the dust and draft from the cavity.

16.00 A few years back I treated a block work surface for someone with wood oil, about 5 coats, it looked great and was up to the job. But to keep it looking good I told them it would need doing again in about 2/3 years time.

I had a call from them about 3 years later to say they had done it themselves but couldn't understand why after three weeks it was still tacky, and they couldn't use it. The silly *** had used gloss varnish. They couldn't understand when I told them, that the varnish is just flouting on the oil and will not sink into the wood. :0((

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I have just realised my confusion about joists and beams.  Thanks all for helping it 'click' - I do get the wrong end of the stick at times (often).  

nicebloke, I firmly believe in leaving things to the professionals.  I am cack handed and everything I do is on the wonk.

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