General Question

Fieryspoon's avatar

Is it possible that my ceiling does not have joists?

Asked by Fieryspoon (1058points) July 4th, 2010

I’m trying to mount a hook in my ceiling. I cannot find the joists on which to mount it though. The ceiling has a popcorn texture, which makes everything annoying.

I’ve tried using a stud finder slightly away from the ceiling, but it seems there are some kind of metal supports as well that trigger the stud finder.

I’ve tried knocking on it. I’ve tried finding a stud on the wall and tracing up to a spot on the ceiling.

I ripped a hole in the ceiling to take a look around and saw that there was some wooden support about 2.5 inches above, but that’s too far away for me to mount anything really.

Is it possible that this ceiling just doesn’t have proper joists?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

7 Answers

dpworkin's avatar

It may be a dropped ceiling. The actual ceiling above it will have the joists.

rebbel's avatar

The only thing that i can come up with is that when it is a ceiling which is made of plaster boards, usually there are joists every 60 cm (in the Netherlands that is), starting from the wall.
That could be worth a try?

gasman's avatar

Assuming you can locate a joist:
If you need to firmly attach a ceiling hook into a joist several inches above the ceiling surface, consider using a “hanger bolt”, which is typically a ¼ or 5/16” bolt threaded at both ends. One end has coarse threads for wood & the other end has fine machine threads that will accept standard hex nuts or hex joiners, the latter for attaching (if necessary) a threaded extension rod of any length. The rod can simply poke down through the ceiling to accept a mating hook.

The hanger bolt can be screwed into the joist by attaching a pair of nuts and tightening them against each other, then applying torque to the outer nut to rotate the whole assembly into the wood (drill a pilot hole first). Make sense?

Fieryspoon's avatar

@gasman that makes sense, yeah. Is there a way to locate the joists without tearing the whole ceiling down though?

gasman's avatar

You said, “I ripped a hole in the ceiling to take a look around and saw that there was some wooden support about 2.5 inches above…” Are you describing a horizontal beam / joist or just the bottom of the floor above?

In the U.S. floor joists are 16 inches apart (though 12” or 24” is possible)—that’s a very old standard, so chances are when you find one joist you’ve found them all. You might have to enlarge the ceiling hole to allow sticking your head into the space above the ceiling with a flashlight & looking 360 degrees around.

Stud finders aren’t always that reliable if the framing is non-standard, or if (like my house) the walls & ceiling use plaster & lath instead of drywall. You might need to buy a super-long drill bit to probe for solid wood by drilling a series of holes. It helps to at least know which direction the joists run. If the floor above is hardwood boards, they’ll be perpendicular.

Fieryspoon's avatar

I actually made that hole in another room. I haven’t done it in this room yet. the space between the ceiling and the possible joist is only a few inches, so I couldn’t really look to other space in any case.

There’s no floor above me, but I’ll look into buying an extra long drill bit.


gasman's avatar

Also before you start drilling up vertically through the ceiling, beware of electrical cables !

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther