Preserving the Popcorn in Textured Ceilings
Use structural screws as standoffs, driven directly up into the joist to be supported.
The problem I run into on lots of remodeling jobs where I’m retrofitting a header, replacing a header, or dropping in a beam is that the temporary walls that must go up to support the overhead joists can crush the popcorn in textured ceilings. Trying to patch and match existing textured ceilings is not a lot of fun, so years ago I started playing with the idea of somehow padding the top plate of the temporary walls to solve the problem. I tried a foam sill-sealing gasket as a means to cushion the connection, but it didn’t help much. I decided to try FastenMaster HeadLok structural screws as standoffs. First, I located the joists to be supported and verified their centerlines so the large structural screws wouldn’t split the joists. Using a laser line to guide my work, I drove one pan-head screw up into each joist, holding a scrap of 1x as a depth gauge so each screw head would protrude the same amount from the popcorned ceiling drywall. Then the top plate (this could be a 4×4 or 6×6 if you’re using screw jacks instead of building a stud wall) presses up against the pan heads rather than crushing the popcorn. When the job is done and the temporary supports removed, I back out the screws, I spackle or caulk the holes, and I’m out the door.
—Justin Fink, Plainville, Conn.