Photo Courtesy of AZEK Exteriors

Your first thought when you look up in the home’s 27-foot-by-36-foot grand salon is, “How?”

Welcome to the central entertainment area of a new 14,000-square-foot home in Baton Rouge, La. One of the home’s signature architectural feats is the salon’s nearly 1,000-square-foot ceiling. The curved ceiling displays an ornate custom profile you might expect in a stately French chateau, which this home certainly rivals.

Tough Challenge

For general contractor Chad Roper (pronounced row-pay) of family-owned and -operated Alfred Roper Construction, the central question about the ceiling was, “How am I going to build this?”

Photo Courtesy of AZEK Exteriors

The lavish ceiling effect was a carryover design from the client’s previous home, though that ceiling was flat. Hmmm … curved ceiling, 19-foot height, Louisiana heat and humidity, intricate moulding and installation, cracking and separation issues, embedded lighting, sprinklers, ductwork.

What could go wrong?

Big Idea

The initial stage was installation of plywood ribbed joists. “I made the curves on the joists” Roper says. A gypsum ceiling was placed over it. “It was tricky to get the curve correct,” he adds.

The curve was formed using two layers of 3/4-inch plywood securely fastened to each joist above. The plasterers took care to follow that curve during the process of installing the 1-inch-thick gypsum ceiling. “Popping grid lines on the floor and using lasers helped pinpoint each can location,.” says Roper.

Photo Courtesy of AZEK Exteriors
Photo Courtesy of AZEK Exteriors

The main event was the intricate ceiling design profile. Should he risk plaster? Every time Roper poured a cast, it broke. Scratch that. How about wood? Backfilling the space created by the sloped ceiling could separate. Then it hit him. To build up the profile, why not cut out and laminate PVC sheeting? Not only would it have a bit of needed flex but it would also be comparatively light and crack-proof. “I ran it by the architect and owner and they loved the idea,” Roper says.

PVC to the Rescue

Roper arranged to have AZEK 4-foot-by 8-foot PVC sheets cut on a local millwork’s computer numerical control (CNC) machine. “The 1-inch thickness was close to what I needed. It really worked out great. I just wish I had come up with the solution right away,” the homebuilder says.

The PVC solution worked like a charm. First, Roper and his installation team covered the curved ceiling frame with metal lath using Loctite PL construction adhesive, followed by 1-inch gypsum plaster. Then the AZEK PVC decorative elements were affixed, also with Loctite PL construction adhesive and trim screws.

Photo Courtesy of AZEK Exteriors
Photo Courtesy of AZEK Exteriors

Remarkable Finish

“CNC milling with AZEK sheets and trim was the best approach. With that ceiling height I didn’t want a callback,” Roper explains. Everything has performed without a hitch, with no callbacks.

His installation team is also thankful. The lightweight AZEK PVC profiles were installed in just two days.

The owner and architect are delighted. The ingenuity displayed with this ceiling only adds to Roper’s growing reputation as the region’s go-to luxury homebuilder. The story even made the rounds at AZEK. “Just when you think you’ve seen every application possible, something like this comes along,” says the company’s division sales manager, Jason Sparger.

To learn more about using PVC sheet and trim products, visit