One of the beauties of a timber frame home is the gorgeous planked ceiling contrasting with the beams. It really complements what a post and beam house is all about. But the 2 ½” planks used by some builders for second floors leave the homeowner with quite a few limitations. Enter such a house and you will quickly realize that you can hear EVERYTHING that is going on upstairs! As you continue to investigate, you notice that one portion of the dining room ceiling has a wire running across the ceiling from the side wall to the chandelier. You look and realize that a plank ceiling leaves no space for hiding electrical wires. Further investigation shows a section of the ceiling in the kitchen is dropped lower. As you look at this trying to figure out why this is so, someone upstairs flushes the toilet and you are amazed at how loud water running through a drain pipe can be. (As I said, you can hear everything!)
A way around this is to have the second floor built using traditional open floor joists so all the plumbing and electrical can be properly hidden. Then add tongue & groove boards for the antique plank appearance. By the way, where do they put the heat and A/C vents if the plank floor is only 2 ½” thick? (I didn’t have enough time to snoop!) Plank ceilings have a classic appearance but I’m not interested in building the Little House on the Prairie.