Generally Philippine ceilings are marine plywood or one of the cement board products such as Hardiflex. The price is about the same. There are plusses and minuses for both. Termites and rot don’t attack cement board but the cement board is more affected by roof leaks.
Originally we were going to use Hardiflex but we decided to use plywood instead. Like gypsum board, cement board is a totally uniform material. Plywood has some texture, some hint of once being a natural product. We just like the look of plywood ceiling better. First, angle bar is bolted around the perimeter of the room at the ceiling height. These are bolted to the hollow block wall using 3/8″ lag screws and lead expansion bolts.
A 60cm (2′) x 120cm grid of angle bar is welded to these supports. The 120cm span is split using 1″ flat bar. The angle bar crossing the center of the room is heavier (2″ x 2″ x 3mm) to support the heavy Hunter ceiling fan. Supports using scrap material extend from the ceiling angle bar to the steel roof rafters, further making the ceiling structure strong. Each 60 x 120cm plywood panel will have a bevel at the edge. The holes for recessed pin lighting will be cut before the plywood is installed.
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The plywood will be attached to the angle bar using pop rivets recessed into the plywood. The recesses will be filled and the ceiling painted. A crown molding will cover the joint between the plywood and the wall. These are all very standard ceiling details on modest Philippine houses.
We find this grid-pattern ceiling to be attractive. Fancier Philippine houses go in for all sorts of over-the-top ceiling elaborations, the more complex the better. We’re building a house in the Philippines. Here’s how we’ll be installing our ceilings. Our ceilings will be about 30cm (1′) below the top of our walls and 3.1m (10′) above the finished floors.
We wanted high ceilings because we hope that the hot air will rise above us but also because it makes our modest rooms feel more spacious. Changing lightbulbs will be a challenge! Generally Philippine ceilings are marine plywood or one of the cement board products such as Hardiflex. The price is about the same.
There are plusses and minuses for both. Termites and rot don’t attack cement board but the cement board is said to be more affected by roof leaks. Originally we decided to use marine plywood. Cement board is a totally uniform material. Plywood has some texture, some hint of once being a natural product. We like the look of plywood ceiling better but, based on comments we’ve received (see below) on this blog, we’ve decided to use 4.5mm Hardiflex. Ceilings can be supported by wooden joists or one of many suspended ceiling systems.
We decided to use 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ 2.5mm steel angle bar as our main ceiling support system. This decision was a bit irrational, but not totally. We have good welders. Decent wood is expensive, more expensive than steel. We paid P375 for 6M lengths of the angle bar.
We painted the steel with epoxy primer, but then wood is normally treated with a preservative. The usual lightweight suspended ceiling systems just seemed too flimsy.
As can be seen in the photo, our ceiling system is strong enough to walk on, a real advantage for storage, and repairs and maintenance. Our roof is high above the ceiling, three meters higher at the center, so the possibility of attic storage is real. Anyway the angle bar system seemed substantial and affordable so that’s what we’ve done. First, angle bar is bolted around the perimeter of the room at the ceiling height. These are bolted to the hollow block wall using 3/8″ lag screws and lead expansion bolts.
A 60cm (2′) x 120cm grid of angle bar is welded to these supports. The 120cm span is split using 1″ flat bar. The angle bar crossing the center of the room is heavier (2″ x 2″ x 3mm) to support the heavy Hunter ceiling fan. Supports using scrap material extend from the ceiling angle bar to the steel roof rafters, further making the ceiling structure strong. Ceiling support structure as seen from one of the bedrooms. I have to disclose that our engineer has told us that this whole system is ridiculously overbuilt and wasteful.
Each 60 x 120cm panel will have a bevel at the edge. The holes for recessed pin lighting will be cut before the Hardiflex is installed. The Hardiflex will be attached to the angle bar using blind rivets recessed into the Hardiflex.
The recesses will be filled with auto body filler and the ceiling primed and painted. A crown molding will cover the joint between the Hardiflex and the wall. These are all very standard ceiling details on modest Philippine houses.
We find this grid-pattern ceiling to be more attractive than a plain flat. Fancier Philippine houses go in for all sorts of over-the-top ceiling elaborations, the more complex the better. Riveting Hardiflex panels to steel ceiling structure Holes are drilled through the Hardiflex, angle bar (1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 2mm) and flat bar and the Hardiflex riveted to the ceiling with 3/16″ blind rivets. Holes are drilled with Bosch cobalt twist drill bits. The Hardiflex is abrasive and dulls ordinary bits almost instantly. The cobalt bits need constant sharpening. The worker sharpen the bits using a grinding wheel on the 4″ angle grinder.
The workers are installing the rivets with a Craftsmen riveting tool I bought at Sears a decade or two ago and never found too much use for. It really gets a work out here! We did our whole 2nd floor ceiling (100M2) using a galvanized steel grid system common in the Philippines. It’s light weight and installs easily suspended from your existing roof joists.
Hardiflex panels were then rivetted to the cross members, which I found out later that Hardiflex doesn’t recommend. You can buy the Hardiflex screws from their suppliers for a good price, and then you don’t have to predrill holes to set rivets. The screws are self tapping and install flush like drywall screws and will save a lot of time. My contractor didn’t have a clue about that, but after I showed him, now he knows. Luckily I showed him how to countersink the holes for the rivets, so when they go to finish it they won’t have to put too much fill over them.
Next year we will be getting the ceilings finished. Hardiflex makes their own tape and compound too, so make sure you find a distributor in your area and get the proper stuff to finish. John, thanks for the information on Hardiflex accessories. We did not know they were available or even what is the official method of installing Hardiflex.
Our attic is quite big. We used angle bar instead of the galvanized grid system you mention. I am sure that the grid is cheaper and works well.
The plus for the angle iron is that it easily supports the weight of a worker and anything we would like to store in our attic, spare floor tiles for example. I can wander around our attic making repairs and improvements at will. I don’t know how such work is done with the prefab grids. Hi Bob and Carol, My 2nd floor is divided into 5 bedrooms, bathroom, and living room. The cement walls for each room extend past where the ceilings are installed, so it is easy for workers to walk on the tops of the walls. We had 6″ of cellulose fibre insulation blown in after the ceilings were done and they had no problem reaching everywhere. Here is a link to the Hardiflex website that lists what you can get and where to get it: The closest distributor to me was in Olongapo City which is about an hour south of me.
I contacted their website to inquire about shipping a box of screws, a few rolls of tape and a 25Lb pail of compound and they said they would ship it for free.not a bad deal •. Hi Carol and Bob I like your documentation and took some ideas from it. Also we have some building work ongoing in capiz and hopefully shortly in iloilo itself. In few things we have different opinions.
First of all we prefer a wooden construction for the roof. The expansion on metal in heat causes broken bars if no expanders are included in lengths over 6 meters. Wooden joints are more flexible in temperature and storms. The price must not be necessarily higher if wood is bought in rural areas according to measurements. It is also much faster what reduces costs. Just nail plates and brackets should be imported. To keep heat out as much as possible we use aire action under the roof top as common in Malaysia for example..
But good you found insolation for the roof. A water repellent material between roof sheets and insulation will extend the life span as small leaks within time will cause to flatten it. Besides my comments.
I would also like to know some of your opinions. Besides your standard windows with metal bars for security. What is your opinion about using heat absorbing laminated glass what eliminate the need uf metal bars for security and allow more light coming into the house What is your opinion about using separate gather from strong plastic comparing to the galvanised iron version what makes roofs fragile in storms I will need some good carpenters next year for a wooden roof with probably roof tiles in iloilo city.
House floor size is 7.5 x 9 meters. Roof angle is planed around 45 degree. As I am not permanent in iloilo the work should have a time limit and in that way I need very reliable workmen. Thanks for reading my message Peer •. Heat absorbing laminated glass might be fine as long as the windows are closed. A determined breaker-in can alway get in with glass or metal. Hopefully the breaker-in will make noise and alert the occupants.
Not sure about plastic roofing. Making sure that all elements of the roof structure are firmly anchored to each other and the roof beam is critical. The tech screws that were used to apply our roofing are rusting away. I noticed that the roofing on a new school building down the road uses different connectors. I will have to bring my binoculars to get a better look at how it was done. I don’t know of any workers to hire.
There is a lot of construction work in Iloilo. Hi, Beautiful home! I am planning on doing the ceilings on my second floor this year and have been searching and searching for ways to do it. Here in Canada, there are many simple drop/suspended ceiling systems that would work perfectly and could be a simple self install. Unfortunately nothing like that is available in the Philippines???
Our house is located in Casabaan brgy, Cabangan, Zambales and most of the contractors around there would prefer to do it using wood.yuck. I will either do it like you with steel or aluminum furring and probably drywall (gypsum board). I plan on getting either glass wool laid or cellulose blown in after.
The upstairs is divided into 5 bedrooms a bath and a living room, just over 100M2 area. I will let you know how my contractor search goes. Hi,Thank you for your reply.
We are finally back home here in Cabangan, Zambales. We visited our local hardware store today and had a talk with one of the longtime clerks there.
She said her husband that did our soffit, facia and evestrough a few years ago, also does ceilings. She recommended hardiflex and galvanized steel faring. The faring is only 90P/20 footer and the 1/4″ hardiflex is 450P/4×8 sheet. We supply the materials and they supply the labor.
I’ll let you know how it goes. We have just over 100m2 to do. Alex Banade 18.104.22.168 Submitted on 2013/06/27 at 12:59 am Hi, I don’t use Gypsum boards for walls/partition/drywall.
For one thing that they are not hard enough to bear the load we put on walls. You can actually kick the wall made of Gypsum and create a hole. But Gypsum boards are best for ceiling. You can use a 9mm or 12mm Gypsum board for ceiling and use metal frames they call ‘metal furring’ which is commercially available in different sizes and thickness and length.
Since the regular Gypsum Boards are not moisture resistant, we avoid using them in toilet and bath ceiling or exterior ceiling or any part that are exposed to rain or moist. We use a special gypsum board we call ‘Gypsum Board MR’ or Moisture resistant or better yet use 6mm Fiber-cement boards or Ficem boards.
Prices of a Boral Gypsum and Ficem are almost the same. Around 300-350/board for 12mm thk Gypsum. One board is 4ftx8ft or 1.2m x 2.4m. For walls and partitions, we use 6mm Ficem boards.
Ficem boards are like sheets of concrete. And you can use metal studs and tracks for framing.
You can buy these materials from your local hardware. Hi Bob, using hardieflex boards for ceilings means that you need the 4.5mm thickness to allow for countersinking the screws, thus enabling space to cover with plaster. This size is quite heavy. 12 mm gysum board is easier to install and the self tapper screws can be tightened into the panel easily. The local hardware framing system is indeed flimsy as you say, but it does the trick of holding the boards up and it is NON RUST.
With the humid air Bob, I can see in a few years you may have staining by using steel angle despite the epoxy primer. We are experimenting using the “C’ channel 2 x1 (ceiling furlins) that is a bright chromium looking metal guide. I shall flatten one side and use this edge to drill and 8mm “hang” from the roof. Rivet 2 pieces of the c channel together back to back and put 24 inch strips of 9mm gypsum board to “rest” on the lip of the c channel. This way we do not use any screws. The c channels can be cut in half and masonry nailed (1 in) for the room edges for the gysum board to rest on.
My next job is o fasten the strips together to prevent the boards opening up and dropping down!!! Another c channel above the boards will be cut and pushed into the long strips at right angles to hold the main purlins together. The c channel will be exposed to the room and we can prime with flat white to blend in with the gypsum boards.
Does this make sensesorry. We have done a small bathroom already and the effect is very appealing. The bright steel furlings are 89 pesos a 6 meter strip.bargain. Must think of other items to make from them haha •. I have seen fiber glass panels that I think are 4′ x 6′ and cost about the same as hardiflex(?).
Water and bugs should not bother it and it must be easy on drills, but I don’t know if it might need more support to avoid sagging. Do you have any thoughts on fiber glass ceiling panels? As a matter of full disclosure: I got a B on a bird house in 7th grade shop back in 1955 Illinois.
I thought Black and Decker were a comedy team, but I’m learning under the goad of necessity • Pingback: • Pingback: •. Your ceiling support structure looks a work of art but must be taking ages to complete. I did a similar framework but welded steel purlins to the frame as fixing battens. Its a milder steel which allowed us to attach Hardiflex sheets (full size sheets, not cut) with self tapping screws using electric drill with screwdriver attachment. No pre-drilling is necessary and if for some reason a sheet has to be removed its a simple process of using a studfinder to locate the screws and reversing the fixing procedure. My Hardiflex sheets were taped at the joints, filled and painted.( You can purchase here Hardiflex with a rebated edge for taping). After three years no cracking or opening of the seams is evident.I suspect the milder steel is more forgiving allowing for temperature expansion contraction thus no cracksyet.
Hi Simon, Yes, like many things in our house they were done in a eccentric way, the result of my learning as I went. We wanted the pattern of smaller panels with visible v-grooves as part of our design. That too took more time. I just don’t like the look of unbroken expanses of plaster board but that’s just a personal prejudice.
Our old house in NY had plaster over riven wooden lath. It had real character. Our apartment had the small panel design so we just imitated that.
I’ll bet there are at least 5,000 blind rivets. We also riveted the 1/2″ plywood used for our soffits. I hope ours holds up as well as yours!
Regards, Bob •. I see many worry about security.!! I dont see how hardiflex can improve that really, because the plywood is a lot more difficult to brake in pieces, and using rivets or screws make them sustainable against pressure from above. Just the rivets has heads that can hold the plates.
Water, moisture, mold and dew. With that wide roof overhang, and a good solid roof lioke yours i dont see how water stains, nor condensation can build mold, just one thing, using aircon, will cool down surfaces under the sorroundings, and that can start condensation in the roof plates.
Dreambox 800 Hd Se V2 Enigma2 Download there. But with the room height you have, and the cold air staying low in the room, it will still be hot under the ceilings, so its a question about keeping an eye on it and eventually insulate over the ceiling. Dont foget the moisture membrane.
(always to the HOT side) best regards John • Pingback: •. I think that the Filipino intruder will be looking for an easier way into your house Bob than getting through into the roof. It would only be possible if he knows you are away for a period of time, then he has the opportunity. Some flashing lights in the rooms will scare them off, small lights that only shine during the night. There is a dummy camera for sale in the hardware malls that you can modify to fit two heavy duty 1.5 volt batteries (clamp to a torch). This will flash a red light mounted on a dummy camera 24/7 for at least 6months. Another thingy is an electronic insect repellent that sits in the mains plug and emits varying ultrasonic sounds that the insects don’t like.
The small unit flashes a green and red lamp to signify that the emission is working, however it glows very well in the dark. We kept the kids away from our place on the beach by warning them against snakes!! Funny watching them run! The is also a twin beam infra red detector that is active during the dark hours but with insects and cats about they can be more of a trouble than not having anything.but you could use a small alarm module instead of the powerful lamps, in this way no one would hear the sound but your intruders. Have no other idea about keeping the burglers out but since you invested a lot of “unnecessary” stuff into your house it wouldn’t matter to add some more mesh, right. So I agree to Andrew once more In my case, we will be trying to always have someone in the house at least the maid to keep burglers out, don’t know if that will work out Here some pictures of my workers closing the nail holes of the Hardiflex boards with filler. Here they put a net band on the Hardiflex board joint and then the filler, kind of quality job here is how it looks later on, they also do some sanding work on the filler more pictures of my house construction here: •.
With Hardieflex you still need to keep it dry because it will produce a water-stain. I had it happen to me and it was worse because there was 5inch fibreglass matting over the top for insulation that soaked a small water leak up. To suspend the ceiling I have an idea to make up concrete lintels/beams and put these accross the rooms. We can get the timber effect with stiff brush whilst green. Laying the hadieflex panels over these and having the old fashioned dark brown and white effect.
This would make a strong ceiling and a useful floor in the attic at least for storage. Thanks so much for this feedback on Hardiflex v. Plywood ceilings. I did not divulge that one of the reasons I was preferring plywood was that our soffits are the biggest security weakness in our house.
We will have security screen doors which can remain open 24/7 and quite heavy security bars on the windows. In fact these window security bars make the perfect ladder to reach the soffit. My construction crew used them all the time as ladders and to support bamboo scaffolding.
Anyway, I thought plywood, possibly a bit heavier plywood on the soffits could improve security compared to more brittle Hardiflex. One soffit panel removed, give access to every room in the house. The heavy angle bar supporting the ceiling, and the high ceilings, makes it easy to get around up there. This is an excellent and informative site, Bob. I really look forward to your house building updates, too! Could I just suggest one thing concerning the use of plywood for the ceilings? When we built our first house near Bacolod a number of years ago, we used plywood (marine).
The carpenters love the stuffeasy to work with. After a while during the wet season, I honestly regretted not going with Hardiflex. Mould started to grow under the eaves, then it spread to the ceiling inside the houseit was everywhere!
I couldn’t get rid of it. An American living nearby was using Hardiflex and he had absolutely no problems with mould.
The other issue I found with plywood was trying to find consistent quality sheets. I went from lumber yard to lumber yard trying to find sheets without defects.
Anyway, I think you’re getting a top notch job done on your place. Nice to see how your attacking the overhead ceiling. I have been a bit excited to see how its done when using iron frames. I understand the idea with the plywood boards, but rivets?? Isnt it possible to buy metal self-drilling self-cutting screws there and use a battery screw maschine??
Are you going to put insulation above the ceiling plates to prevent heat from the roof region to heat up, and create heat radiation to the room under?? Here we use 300 mm YES Three hundred Millimeter, but that is to keep heat inside, but 100 mm in you case would be an apropriate layer to prevent heat from above i think. What is your plans.?? Its really taking form there now, rooms start to show as rooms and you can see how it goes and how it can be used. Regards John •. Hi John, I was thinking about using pop rivets because the heads are very low profile compared to a screw head, making finishing and painting easier. Also the rivets are very popular and available here.
This is unlike battery powered tools. I showed my workers a Hitachi battery drill I brought with me and they were amazed — had never seen one before! We put our insulation under the roof rather than above the room ceilings to try to keep the attic itself cool. It probably would be good to insulate the ceilings of the rooms which will have air conditioning — two bedrooms, but our real interest is NOT using air conditioning. Regards, Bob •.
From Peter, The Philippines has some really arty ceilings very ornate and eye catching but I admired the one in Max’s restaurant where there was just a drop down border of about 1 meter wide surrounding the centre. The lighting was behind the border and it lit up the centre very well. I’ve done the same effect in our kitchen by installing fluorescent tubes behind kitchen cabinets, but Max’s was super, maybe I’ll find some one who can do it for me over the lounge. The usual electrician’s job in new houses seems to be putting “Pin” lights in each corner of every room.cost me a fortune in lamps and we’ve not used them very much. We prefer to have wall lights and building your own house gives you the opportunity to provide them very easily. The choice however is quite limited; most of the wall lamps we find are for gardens! All Site Topics • (67) • (12) • (2) • (3) • (9) • (3) • (4) • (4) • (7) • (4) • (1) • (7) • (4) • (1) • (7) • (1) • (9) • (83) • (11) • (2) • (9) • (8) • (5) • (10) • (10) • (10) • (26) • (12) • (28) • (8) • (7) • (9) • (6) • (3) • (1) • (41) • (6) • (28) • (3) • (5) • (104) • (22) • (3) • (1) • (4) • (1) • (2) • (3) • (1) • (3) • (1) • (1) • (39) • (2) • (2) • (1) • (1) • (2) • (2) • (1) • (27) • (1) • (1) • (8) • (1) • (35) • (5) • (2) • (1) • (5) • (3) • (4) • (2) • (2) • (9) • (25) • (7) • (5) • (6) • (9) • (14) • (14) • (17).