On Friday, we celebrated the completion of six months of construction. Here is the final product:
While the shiny ceiling is impressive, the greatest improvements are more subtle. We tacked instillation between the upstairs floor joists. My husband re-wired the out-dated electrical system and added 9 recessed light fixtures. We removed the radiators and had them professionally sandblasted and powder coated. The blown glass windows, which were glued shut by countless coats of paints, have been exchanged for functional (and lead-free!), double-hung windows.
Our tin ceiling, from the American Tin Ceiling Co., lends glamour to the room and was easier to install than traditional dry wall. In days of plaster and lath, the floor joists could be very uneven (as ours were) without giving the ceiling a rippled appearance, because excess plaster could smooth any lumps and bumps. Dry wall, however, requires an even surface. If we wanted to dry wall our ceiling we would have had to spent days insuring that the joists were level. The tin tiles made this step less necessary.
We were thrilled to learn that tin ceilings were popular in 19th century America, because they provided a cheap alternative to the elaborate plaster designs found in the wealthiest European homes. Our goal is not to restore the home to its original state — who wants to live in a museum? However, we find it particularly rewarding when our taste concurs with the home’s style and history.