I'm getting ready to frame in a tray ceiling in my closet. The dimensions are 70" x 30".

I was thinking about just using one 2x6 joist that spans the entire length (70") of the trey ceiling right down the middle and then adding two 2x4 nailers along the sides.

Is this the right way to go or would it be better for me to have multiple 2x6 joists that span the shorter width of 30".

There won't be anything too heavy being supported, just 2 light fixtures.

Here's a photo of how I was thinking about doing it: enter image description here

  • Joists almost always cross the shorter dimension. It's usually cheaper and stronger, plus you end up with more connection points for things that attach to them.
    – isherwood
    Mar 27, 2017 at 19:15

1 Answer 1


If it was me, I'd do 30" joists... they math with less waste out of 8' sticks, and the structure will be more substantial if you walk on it in the attic.

My only hesitation is about the light from above in the picture. Is there a chase for a skylight that you haven't mentioned? If so, design for that, rather than anything else.

  • Actually I'm removing the skylight and decided to convert the space from the old skylight to a tray ceiling. Mar 27, 2017 at 19:21
  • @bigmike: Why was there a skylight in your closet?
    – user48010
    Mar 28, 2017 at 0:01
  • I'm actually turning it into a closet. It used to be the master bathroom ;) Mar 28, 2017 at 0:53

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