Coving - hopefully this is the right forum!

26 Nov 2007
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Fellow DIYers,

I arrived home on Friday night to find that some coving on the chimney breast above the fireplace in my living room had fallen down and marked my Mahogany mantelpiece. Certainly not something I was particularly thrilled about. I installed the coving around 3 years ago and suspect the accident was due to one of the following:-

1. The heat from the fireplace had dried out the coving adhesive (Wickes pre-mixed ready to use type).

2. There is a lot of spring in the upstairs joists causing ceiling flex.

3. The chimney breast is not the flattest in the world and therefore I had not used enough coving adhesive.

I have now fitted some new coving using Gyproc mix yourself coving adhesive. I have lightly screwed the coving at both ends. This is done with clearance holes through the coving with screws into the plasterboard. This is not to hold the coving in place, more to prevent it falling down if in the future the adhesive fails.

Whilst a good quantity of coving cement pressed out of the coving during installation (which I then removed) my question relates to filling. Prior to the original coving falling down, I always seemed to have a crack open up between the cove and the ceiling. Can anyone suggest a decent flexible heat resistant filler which is paintable??

Many Thanks

Need Help21
Sponsored Links
You mentioned 3 possible reasons for the coving falling from the wall, but there is also a 4th which is very often overlooked. A key must be provided for the adhesive to stick to the wall. It will tell you that on most of the products. Most recommend the wall/ceiling area where the coving is to be fitted, should be well prepared, scored/roughened up, anything that will provide a key, so as the cove adhesive will grip to the actual ceiling /wall plaster/board, and not just the smooth painted surface. That's probably what the crack along the ceiling was, the first sign is was coming loose. I would check the rest too. There is a fair bit of weight in a length of coving plus the adhesive. It would stick to unpainted plasterboard no problem,even without a key, but onto new plaster or a painted surface, always prepare/provide a good key. I prefer to use the powdered cove adhesive,and I like to finish the wall/ceiling joints as I go. I'd never use ready mixed. Coving put up onto a well prepared/keyed surface will hold without the need for nails or screws. The only nails that I use temporarily are underneath the length of cove, just to hold it in place until the adhesive has set. When it's dried out and given a little sand down here and there, it's ready to paint.

Thanks Rough, thats really appreciated. I did originally key the fresh plaster but perhaps I did not key it heavily or well enough. On the subject of my original question, I do feel it would be prudent to fill any gaps with something that is flexiable. Can you provide some guidance on this?
B&Q sell a permanantly flexible acrylic "Coving Filler"( that's the product name). It comes in a tube, and it is made just for coving,cracks,gaps etc. It is quick drying and stays flexible......... I still say that it would be worth checking that the rest of the coving is secure. Even if you put two or three screws in it as you did to the other length. It's sacrilege to do it that way normally, but it will put you mind at rest to know it won't fall down and cause damage to person or property.

Sponsored Links
Thanks Rough, I am going to re-visit all the cove in the room, although it appears to only be the bit above the fire that has come loose. Thanks for your advice on the flexiable filler which I will now get from B&Q
I usually use decorator's caulk for that sort of thing - flexible and dirt cheap. Biggest worry though is if the crack is just the start of something worse.
Nah, I doubt its anything sinister, I tend to agree with what Roughcaster has said
How's it going lads,

I got a plasterer in as a nixer to skim the entire house but got coving up as an after thought after a couple of coats of emulsion went up as undercoat. When eventually I got the painting going we took the supporting pins out from around the coving and a length fell down with gaps forming elsewhere. We quickly put the pins back in.

Anyway, I rang the plasterer back and he was to come and fix it on two separate days last week but is giving me the run around. She's in my ear about getting the painting finished and moving in. I'm wondering is there some way of fixing the existing coving without pulling it all off and scoring the walls. I think this is what the problem is as stated in other posts.

Any reason why you can't screw the b*stard to the wall and be done with it? That's how I put a section of this up and took advice form cornice specialists. fill the holes later.
+1. Plaster coving is screwed and glued to the wall, no reason you can't do that same with fake coving too.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local

Sponsored Links