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A bright idea

Experts agree that improved lighting should play a key role in every garage makeover.

  • A bright idea

    Experts agree that improved lighting should play a key role in every garage makeover.

    Mike and Marta Clark skipped the time-consuming mess, fuss, and expense of drywall installation, and covered their shop ceiling with light-reflecting corrugated PVC. "For my woodworking activities, it's a perfect solution—and the panels should work well for other garages and home shops, too." Mike says.

  • Attaching the J-channel

    To support the edges of the panels and hide slight gaps of the panels to the walls, attach J-channel to the wall with 114 " drywall screws. One person can install the J-channel, but a second person makes quick work of supporting the 10'-long sections to the ceiling perimeter. The plastic channel trims easily with aviation tin snips.

  • Drilling the mounted holes

    Lay out and drill 14 " mounting holes (18 " larger than the #12x1" screw shanks, as recommended). To streamline this step, Mike and Marta stacked and drilled eight sheets at a time.

  • Outlet box openings

    To cut holes for electrical boxes in the ceiling, first drill 12 " starter holes in opposite corners. Then cut the 132 " corrugated PVC sheets with aviation tin snips or a similar tool. Because of the rib height, cutting the material with a standard-length jigsaw blade was challenging (the blade jumped out of the rib and bent).

  • Securing the ceiling panels

    When attaching panels to the ceiling, a T-bar helps support the thin material. Mike made his T-bar from a 48" 1x6 and 2x4 (slightly longer overall than the floor-to-ceiling height). To prevent damaging the ceiling material, he covered the top of the 1x6 with a scrap of foam sill seal. An old towel or T- shirt could provide similar protection.

  • Overlapping he panels

    While the T-bar helps support the second panel, Marta checks for a smooth overlap (one corrugation) on the long edges. When working down the ceiling, the Clarks followed the recommendation of overlapping the ends 4-8". On an open ceiling, 36" on center is standard for perpendicular spacing.

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