Can You Plasterboard Your Garage Ceiling? (Complete Guide)

Plasterboard Garage Ceiling

Whether you’re simply tired of looking up at an unattractive garage roof space, or you hope to use the garage as a livable part of your home, installing a garage ceiling can be an excellent way to improve the space. There are many ceiling options currently available, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Plasterboard is a great material to use as a ceiling for your garage. This material is relatively easy to work with and somewhat inexpensive. With the correct thickness of plasterboard and proper installation, a smooth, aesthetically pleasing ceiling surface will be the end result. 

While there are several other materials that can be used in the installation of a garage ceiling, plasterboard affords the opportunity to create a clean, smooth surface that will greatly improve the overall interior aesthetic of your garage.

Can You Plasterboard Your Garage Ceiling?

Plasterboard Your Garage Ceiling

There are many options available for garage ceilings, and all of them are perfectly suited for the job. The most significant deciding factor between different garage ceiling materials will be price and aesthetics. 

Because a garage is typically not a place where you spend a significant amount of time, and it generally does not form part of your home’s living space, most homeowners will opt for the cheapest option when it comes to their garage ceiling.

Other factors such as building codes related to fire protection will also play a role in the possible choice of ceiling for a garage. If there is no room directly above a garage, however, there may be no need to consider the fire implications. This is dependent on the building codes in your area.

There are a few different options when it comes to plasterboard for your garage ceiling. One such option is a foil back plasterboard that simultaneously acts as a vapor barrier.

Plasterboard in a garage may be subject to condensation and dampness in some instances, so it is important to establish whether this material would be correct for use in your specific garage application.

Plasterboarding your garage ceiling will not only improve the aesthetics of your garage space but may also help in the temperature regulation of the space.

If there is a chance that the ceiling may be subjected to significant knocks by building materials and so forth, then a different ceiling option may be better, such as OSB, as this material is better suited to significant impact from the goings-on in a garage.

How To Plasterboard Your Garage Ceiling

Plasterboarding your own garage ceiling is an easily achievable task given the right advice, tools, and assistance.

Step 1

To begin with, you may need to trim your plasterboard to ensure an accurate fit in the space where it’s required. Trimming the plasterboard is easily achieved through careful scoring with a knife along the surface of one side of the board.

Step 2

After scoring, the plasterboard can easily be broken along the back edge, ensuring a clean and even break.

If the edge is not completely straight, simply use a specially designed tool that somewhat resembles a cheesegrater in order to shave and straighten the edge of the board.

Step 3

Next, measure the distance between the centers of the joists and ensure that this distance matches up with that of your board dimensions.

Hold the board up in position. This can be done either with the assistance of another person or through the use of a piece of machinery that holds the plasterboard up for you while you attach it into place. 

Step 4

Screw-in the one end of the plasterboard along the joists while the other end is being held up. Ensure that there are no cables touching the plasterboard while you are screwing it into place, as this could cause major problems further down the line.

Screw the plasterboard into place along each joist. You can ensure that the screws are all going directly into the center of the joists by first making use of a straight edge and drawing a line down the center of the joist.

Step 5

Prepare the next section of plasterboard and ensure that the measurements are written onto the board so that you don’t need to try and remember them. You should start mounting a new board on the opposite end of the room to the first board you installed. This will ensure a more even distribution across the ceiling surface.

Step 6

When you have completed the installation of the plasterboard ceiling, you will need to make use of scrim tape along all of the joints. Scrim is a sticky gauze tape that will prevent cracking at the joints once it has been plastered over.

Best Plasterboard Thickness For Garage Ceiling

Best Plasterboard Thickness For Garage Ceiling

The thickness of plasterboard to use for your garage ceiling will generally depend on the spacing between the rafters, as the plasterboard will naturally need to comfortably span the distance between these rafters without sagging.

The further the distance between rafters, the thicker the plasterboard will need to be in order to ensure that it does not begin to sag. Generally, 23” spacing between rafters will require 1/2” plasterboard. It’s also possible to use two sheets of the 3/8” plasterboard, one on top of the other.

There are some cases in which the use of ½” plasterboard for 23” rafter spacing may result in the sagging of the plasterboard. If this is the case, a 5/8” plasterboard may be a better option. Alternatively, one can make use of batons along the perimeter of each board, but this can add significantly to the overall expense of the project.


The choice to plasterboard your ceiling will depend on several factors, including, but not limited to, the overall aesthetic you hope to achieve within your garage. Plasterboard can be plastered in any way you choose, whether smooth or textured, and it can also be painted in any color of your choosing.

The customizability afforded by plasterboard makes it an attractive choice for some, as does the way in which it can be used to disguise any displeasing elements above while creating a smooth, attractive surface.

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.