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Community and Q&A

Stringers on interior ceilings

Ralph Foll | Posted in Green Building Techniques on

I been reading and looking at pictures of green building techniques and noticing stringers used on interior ceilings a lot. Is there some reason for this other then to just hang sheetrock. Also if it’s just for a hanging strip for sheetrock is it to provide 16″ centers?

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #1

    Ralph,
    There are really two answers.

    There is an east-west divide on furring down ceilings. Builders in the East, where the practice is widespread, claim it is necessary. Those out West reply their houses work just fine without it.

    It is also often used in energy efficient buildings to create a service space so that wiring, and occasionally plumbing and ducts, can be run inside the building's air barrier.

    Ceilings are routinely framed at 24" oc without ill effect. Either 5/8", or higher density 1/2" ceiling drywall is used.

  2. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #2

    Ralph,
    Drywall contractors in the Northeast like strapped ceilings, because (a) with shims, the furring can be made dead level (correcting for any problems with the ceiling joists), and (b) it's easier to fasten to a 3 1/2-inch-wide 1x4 than to a 1 1/2-inch-wide 2x10.

    Drywall contractors out West are skilled enough to hit the joists.

  3. Ralph Foll | | #3

    Thanks for the replies, I was beginning to wonder lol.

  4. Bennett G. | | #4

    Another reason to use stringers: Along with cap plates, they help make achieving an airtight ceiling simpler. http://www.finehomebuilding.com/2014/03/05/a-practical-air-sealing-sequence

  5. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #5

    Maybe the term is used differently in some regions, but in general Stringers are what hold up your stairs. What we are discussing is more commonly called Furring or Strapping.

    One downside is that if you are using pre-cut wall studs, furring down the ceiling means cutting the same depth off the bottom of your drywall to fit two sheets into that remaining height.

    Is there is any real advantage to including a 3/4" third plate at the exterior walls (As FHB suggests) over placing the first row of strapping tight to the framing and caulking the intersection?

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