How to level a ceiling with a laser

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Installed properly, 1-byinch spruce or pine strapping runs perpendicular to the direction of the ceiling joists.

Strapping attaches to the bottom of the joists, at inch intervals, across the width of the ceiling.

How to Fix Uneven Joists Before Drywall

Strapping alone helps even out height discrepancies between joists, while shimming above strapping or planing low joists takes care of significant variances. Measure along the length of an end joist that is adjacent to a wall, and make a mark at Drive a nail halfway into that joist at the mark.

Hook the end of the tape measure to the nail and mark the joist every 16 inches along its length across the room. Remove the nail when all measurements are marked. Use a chalk line to create a line which extends across the room from one marked joist to the other. Chalk a line at each opposite pair of marks. The chalk lines will be the layout marks for the strapping using a inch-on-center layout.

The center of each strapping board will be 16 inches from the center of the adjacent strapping board. Measure across the ceiling joists at a degree angle. Ensure that the end of each strapping board lands on the center of a joist. Cut the first board, with a saw, to fit the measurement. Install the first strapping-board on the ceiling joists, next to the wall, across the joists. Nail the strapping board to each joist with two 10d nails with a hammer or pneumatic nail gun. Install strapping boards across the joists at each chalk line.

Position the edges of the strapping boards along each chalk line as you install the strapping across the ceiling. This will maintain the inches-on-center layout for the drywall installation. Install a last line of strapping boards across the room against the opposite wall. This line of strapping boards will be less than inches-on-center, but it is necessary to secure the drywall to the ceiling next to the wall.

Check the strapping boards for level as you work your way across the room nailing the strapping to the joists. Use an 8-foot level and hold it against the strapping board you are installing, before nailing the strapping in place. Another option is set up a laser level running just below the strapping; measure from the laser line to the strapping to gauge its height at each joist intersection.

If a joist is higher or lower than its neighboring joists, correct it before you nail the strapping into place, as follows. Measure the gap between the underside of the strapping board and the joist, when a joist is higher than its neighboring joists. Install the shim material between the strapping and the joist by nailing through the strapping and the shim into the joist.

Plane down any joist that is lower than its neighboring joists -- remove excess joist material with a hand-held power planer before you nail the strapping into place.

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Check the level of the strapping, after you plane the joist, and ensure the strapping is level across the joist. It is only necessary to remove material from low hanging joists where the strapping boards cross the joist. Install the strapping to the adjusted joist by nailing through the strapping into the adjusted joist.

Use two 10d nails at the intersection of the strapping and the joist. Fred Howe, a writer sinceholds a B. A retired correctional officer from Pelican Bay State Prison in California, Howe has also worked as a sous chef and catering manager.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. It only takes a minute to sign up. Many self-leveling lasers, including my Bosch GCLhave a limitation when used to level a ceiling or a floor: the horizontal laser beam often cannot get within several inches of the ceiling or floor due to where the laser emerges from the device.

This really slows things down for me when trying to grind down a high spot in a concrete floor, or trying to shim the ceiling strapping. My workaround typically involves getting the laser as close as possible to the surface I'm trying to level, and then using a tape measure to sample the distance from the laser to the surface at a bazillion different locations.

A good ol' scrap block of two-by does nicely. This doesn't work for ceilings, of course, but hopefully you have fewer points to measure in that case. You'd have to use something with a suction cup or magnet otherwise. That's actually the way one normally does such things, and has been since before there were lasers, other than one normally uses a rod rather than a tape for more consistent results.

During the work you may use a marked stick rather than a graduated rod, where the stick is marked for the distance from the reference plane you are trying to achieve, so no math is needed, just a check against the stick to see if you are at the mark yet. For typical floor or ground work, I generally keep the reference plane up around 30 inches, so I don't have to crouch way down to check, I can just bend over a bit and clearly see the mark.

how to level a ceiling with a laser

Putting it inches off the floor would be painfully annoying to work with, IMHO. Use a 2x2 of any suitable height. Pre-drill a hole in it so it doesn't splitthen screw in a lag screw about half its thread length. The lag screw goes down, to touch the surface being measured. Then mark a line on the 2x2 at the appropriate height so the laser hits it right on the mark.

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If you find your mark is not quite in the right place, turn the lag screw in or out until it is. I have built myself one it took me several attemptsbut it depends on how your laser works. I place it on the floor, adjust it until it's level and then a small rotating head red reflects a laser ray all around, creating a flat "plane" at about 10 cm from the ground, which as you say is really awkward why they didn't think to put the rotating head below is beyond me.

What I did is I took a Plexiglass disc fuchsiawith the legs drilling through, so that it's flat against the cylinder and coplanar with the laser.

How to Measure a Straight Line Across a Ceiling

A second disc is mounted on top with three clear Plexiglass columns. And the second disk also holds several small mirrors that reflect the laser horizontally. My "laser plane" is now about one millimeter from the ground. Actually it's no longer a plane, I have two "fan" interleaved planes at about 10 cm distance. I've also thought I could try and build myself one with thermoplastics, but for my needs, the small mirrors are enough.Shop all Laser Levels from Johnson Level.

Laser Levels from Johnson Level come in all sorts of different varieties. We offer several different options for all sorts of different construction and home improvement projects. Working outside? Seeing a laser outside can be difficult, if not outright impossible, only using the naked eye.

Thankfully, most modern laser levels from Johnson Level come with red or green tinted glasses or goggles that make seeing a laser beam outside simple. Rotary laser levels are the best choice for an outdoor laser level. Working indoors? You may require dot laser levels for drywall work, or cross-line laser levels for to display horizontal and vertical lines across every wall in an enclosed room.

Wondering how to tackle your project and use Johnson Level's many different kinds of laser levels? Read on below for a handful of helpful guides. How to Choose a Laser Level Indoor project? Multiple line lasers work well for aligning kitchen cabinets or framing pictures in a smaller, enclosed room. Use a laser square for tiles and masonry. Outdoor project? Consider room size or distance for the laser to travel. High RPM levels travel further, but the laser is fainter.

Think about the type of wall. Laser levels attach with pins or suction cups. Avoid push pin laser levels on paneling or wallpaper. Determine stability of the job. You can use a manual laser level for indoor projects. If it is a manual level, you must ensure the bubble vials show level. Find the small screws near the vial. Adjust them until the bubbles vials show level. Turn on the laser level. If it is a self-leveling model, allow it a moment to self-level itself.This is time-consuming, slightly monotonous work that can involve a lot of measuring and marking.

But the sweet spot for a ceiling job is the cross-beam laser level. This gem creates intersecting vertical and horizontal lines. This is why you need to use a laser level to mark a ceiling. First up is planning out your grid of lighting. In addition to getting the dimensions of the light fixtures you also need to plan out the positioning of the fixtures. Obviously, getting the dimensions of the ceiling itself is key, then doing some easy math to space the fixtures as you desire.

how to level a ceiling with a laser

You can draw a little plan on paper, but the most important thing is to write down the distance from one wall to the first light fixture and so on. The important thing is just to make sure to take the time to make sure everything is precise.

Laser Tape Measure. Using a laser level to mark a ceiling, is clearly a project that cried out for some heavy preparations! To put it simply a cross-beam laser level basically turns two laser shoots into one. Planning and Measuring First up is planning out your grid of lighting. Place it equidistant between the two walls.

If not, take it through the quick self-leveling phase. Shoot the cross beam so that you get both vertical and horizontal beams. This is when you make your actual markings for the placing of the light fixtures. Use a laser measure to find the distance from the wall where the first fixture will go. You will mark it along the line that runs horizontal to the wall. You now use the vertical beam, intersecting it with the horizontal beam.

Simply make the mark tight on the horizontal beam. Now you know how to use a laser level to mark a ceiling!!! Related Posts.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service.

It only takes a minute to sign up. My kitchen ceiling joists are old and at varying heights. I'm trying to make it level, or at least flat, in preparation for drywall installation. Would you suggest installing strips of wood to the side of the joists or stacked to the bottom of the joists in order to even them out? Which is easier and faster? Which is stronger?

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The way we do it is to strap the joists perpendicular with 1X3 cheap strapping. Find the lowest point in the existing field of joists and that will be your level reference.

We use a laser degree levelbut you can get by with a good 6 foot standard bubble level. Mark off the joists in 16" on center with an extra piece of strapping along each wall edge. Then set the first piece of strapping closest to the lowest point of the ceiling.

Use simple shims under the strapping as you go to keep each piece of strapping level side to side and row or strapping to row of strapping.

Secure the strapping with 4d or 6d ring nails to the joists. It will take a little time, but you should get the hang of it very quickly. The result should be a nice flat and level ceiling.

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I know this is a quick description, but I will be happy to give you more info and hints if you decide to use this method. BTW, this is definitely a 2 or 3 person job, and an air nailer will really help. Just saw an article on FineHomebuilding about leveling an old ceiling. It sounds similar to what you ended up doing, except they used steel studs.

They also give a good description of the installation process using a couple of guide strings to make sure everything ends up level. Seems like measuring from the ceiling to the floor wouldn't be much good if the floor isn't level either.

We used steel studs which are comprised of two pieces but we just used one piece half of the studs and screwed them to the existing joists. The ceiling turned out flat and level but I ran into problems along the two parallel walls when I went to put up crown moulding because I hadn't considered installing a nailer.

How to Frame Perfect Walls Using a Laser Level (Perfect Plumb Walls!)

I ended up removing the drywall, luckily, I hadn't mudded yet, and added the nailer so that I had something to nail my crown to. Just find the lowest joist,use a 8 ft. If it is only,say 1in.

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Each backing about 2 ft long ,but first make level marks on walls with string line,using a small hanging bubbled level that hangs on string line. Now nail all 4 backings ,with are four 2 by 4 blocks to each comer of the room,where the marks are,mark under block. Now fill in space between blocks with straight 2 by 4. When you run sringline be sure the line is the touching the bottom of low joist. Use 2 ft. Run 3 more string lines, one center of room, other 2 center of center line and lines from first 2 by 4 blocks, total of 5 string lines.

No fill in gaps from string line to joist,using plywood strips and thin cardborad strips,each 1 and a have each wide. Now you have a square and level room. It's easy.With such a wide offering, how do you know which one to choose for your job? A line laser projects an accurate horizontal or vertical illuminated line onto the surface at which the laser is pointed.

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Use line lasers indoors when installing cabinetry, tile, a drop ceiling, or for basic leveling. They can also be used outdoors when framing or installing a deck. There are two types of projections, a forward projection and a projection.

The forward projection does just what it sounds like, it projects a line directly onto the surface where the laser is pointed. Similarly, the projection will project a line degrees surrounding the laser. For example, when using a line laser in a room, the forward projection would provide you with a line on one wall whereas the would project that line on all four walls of the room. Line lasers are offered with a red beam or a green beam. A green beam is easier to see with the human eye because the green wavelength is larger than red.

Green is also more visible in sunlight, so it is easier to see outside. When it comes to the visibility range, it depends on the lighting conditions.

In dim, dusk-like conditions, it is possible to see a green beam for over feet. One thing to keep in mind is that green beams do require more battery power than red beam lasers. Plus, our line lasers offer an integrated magnetic bracket to make them easy to mount during use. Spot lasers differ from line lasers in that they project a small circle of light onto the surface your laser is focused on.

They are intended for transferring points from one surface to another. This could be for making sure a joist or wall is plumb vertical or to ensure pipes traveling from floor to floor are plumb.

Spot lasers are most commonly used for plumbing installation, electrical work, HVAC, and framing applications. A 3-spot provides plumb and forward-facing dots whereas the 5-spot ad d s a right and left dot for transfer of points from wall to wall.

Combination lasers project both lines and spots simultaneously or independently. These lasers are great for professionals who complete a wide range of projects as they allow the user to switch between lines, spots, or both depending on the job at hand. Electricians and plumbers will find these lasers to be extremely helpful for countless applications such as installing lighting, outlets, running wires, and pipes.

This laser includes an integrated bracket to easily mount onto metal surfaces. It also offers a foot range with a detector for the line, and a foot range for the spot. Rotary lasers are used to kick off nearly every professional construction job. Their applications range from grade work digging foundationsto layout and masonry.The laser level is one of the most common ways of helping yourself with DIYs or professional projects.

In this write-up, you'll understand how to use a laser level to frame a wall. A laser level can be used for tiling the walls, installing the decking, you can use it on any ceiling work. You can use it for installing lights, and of course, you can also install frame walls.

The primary use of laser level is that it can make you follow a benchmark accurately and with precision. The laser will make sure that whatever you are trying to build is going to be at a leveled. There are various types of laser levels available in the market. Usually when you are trying to frame the walls in the existing space, then you can use a chalk line.

The chalks line will work as a guide and will set your wall.

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The laser will make your task much easier. It will make sure that your range is perfectly straight and is not going to fade with time. The laser level should always be set up on a firm and stable surface. This laser level will work by projecting the perfectly straight beam of light. This means that in the scale if there is an uneven surface or the line, is crooked, then you are not going to get accurate measurements. Majority of the heavy-duty laser level is self-levelers.

They have a self-leveling design inside them which will automatically correct the problem of crooked and unleveled. Still, if you are going to use a small level which is in the torpedo style, then you will have to ensure that the standard is being set before you use it. Secondly, when you are building or trying to frame a wall.

At that moment you will have to make sure that the floor on which you are creating is off level. You can also do this by setting your level in such that the project is in a horizontal line.

how to level a ceiling with a laser

It should also be across the room where you want your wall to be. Then use tape for measuring the distance between the bean and the floor, so that you can make notes of the spots which are lower significantly or are higher. Then, literally you would want to set it up in such a way that the project is in the vertical beam; further, you would have to use the laser level for framing the walls in whichever way you want to.

Now use this line for building up your wall bottoms and the top plates. You can also choose to make the benchmark where the line, bow turn off or put away the laser and then start building on the markings, in case you are framing walls then you should use the self-leveling laser device. Use this line to build up to with your wall's bottom and top plates. For framing walls, it might be best to use a self-leveling laser device.


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