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Moisture content t&g ceiling

by David
(Irvine, Ky.)

I have a new construction house that is not climate controlled yet. I need to run tongue and groove ceiling before the insulation can be installed in the attic. So, with no insulation, all wood inside is essentially open to outside air by way of sofit and space above walls where rafters sit. I have tongue and groove properly stacked inside to "acclimate". The moisture content of the tongue and groove is showing 12% on the meter. Some studs and other wood inside read 12% also, or very close to that (some studs show 8-9%). The tongue and groove is yellow pine. What can I do at this point? The T+G lumber can't acclimate to a heated house before installation because the house can't be heated until the T+G ceiling is installed to support insulation. Won't the T+G installed at 12% moisture content shrink quit a bit after the home is heated? Especially since the T+G will be on the upstairs ceiling of a home heated by a wood stove! What do I do? Thanks so much for your time!

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Apr 14, 2018
Moisture content t&g ceiling
by: Gary

Hi David,
This is an interesting question! A bit ‘chicken & the egg..’

I would be tempted to install a thin plywood ceiling first, so that the insulation could be installed, the home sealed up and the boards etc. all acclimatised properly before installing the t&g ceiling boards. Because otherwise like you say when the heat goes on and everything dries out they will shrink and look awful.
Is this possible to do? You could potentially then leave the t&g for a fair while longer before installing so everything has more of a chance to air out.
This would also have the added benefit of a much larger surface area to glue the t&g boards to making for a stronger ceiling?
If this isn’t possible or practice for any reason I would probably go back to the architect and or manufacturer & have them specify the best process/way forward.

Hope that helps, please come back and let me know what you did and whether it worked out well?


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