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Welcome Canadians! Start here →

Master Cove Construction in 7 Simple Steps

Cove construction doesn’t have to be a difficult process. With the right tools and just a little know-how, you can master cove construction in just 7 steps.

Let’s be honest. Mastering cove construction isn’t exactly like learning how to perform brain surgery. But still, it requires a great deal of practice, skill and patience to get every curve just right. That’s why we recommend installing our cove ceiling kits instead of attempting cove construction from scratch.

A cove ceiling creates a rounding effect in the room that eliminates the 90 degree corner that is naturally formed where the wall meets the ceiling. This style offers different installation methods that allow you to spotlight the walls, ceilings or both depending upon your chosen reveal (more on this soon). These ceilings look great with or without crown molding. They are perfect for rooms with pop-up ceilings and can be added to almost any job at any time – even at the last minute.

So, now that you’re sold on the ceiling, let’s get to the 7-easy steps to cove construction:

Step 1: Choose one of four styles

No Reveal – This essentially means that you’re installing a curve that will be flush with the ceiling and the wall, so the angle is completely eliminated. For this reveal, measure and mark each corner of the room based on your specific set of instructions.

Top Reveal – With a top reveal, a step is added between the curve and the ceiling. For this reveal, mark your measurements plus the thickness of your reveal on the top.

Bottom Reveal – This reveal adds a step between the curve and the wall. For this reveal, mark your measurements outlined on your instruction sheet plus the thickness of your reveal on the bottom.

Top and Bottom Reveal – As you might have guessed by now, the top and bottom reveal adds a step next to the ceiling and the wall. Follow your set of instructions to mark each corner of the room, but remember to add the thickness of your reveal on the top and bottom.

Okay, now that style is out of the way, it’s time to get down to the meat of the cove construction process.

Step 2: Snap a line at the marks on the wall and along the ceiling around the entire perimeter of the room.

Step 3: If you’re using a reveal, line up the sides of the ledgers to your snap line and nail it in place.

Step 4: Use a brad nailer or stapler to install your inside and outside 90° corners to align with your snap line. We’re more than halfway finished with the cove construction now.

Step 5: Install any other corners that aren’t 90° angles by angle-cutting the bottom of a cove piece and aligning it to your snap line. Then, nail it into place with your nail gun.

Step 6: Nail all cove pieces 16” on center along the walls and ceilings between all the corners.

Step 7: Fire block your cove construction along the perimeter if necessary or according to code requirements.

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