Basement Ceiling Ideas

When considering basement ceiling ideas, think in terms of access and light. Unlike other ceilings, the basement ceiling often has pipes and wiring that might need repair, so access is crucial. The lack of natural light in the basement also means you should choose a light colored material.

Several Basement Ceiling Ideas

  • Check the code. A quick call to your local building inspector will give you all the information you need to know about what types of basement ceiling building materials are acceptable in your area. You'll also be able to find out what level of utility access is required by your local building code.
  • Hanging around. Suspended ceiling tiles hang from a metal armature attached to the floor joists of the floor above. Suspended ceiling systems can take up as little as 3" of vertical space and the removable tiles provide easy access to pipes and wiring underneath. Although some people don't appreciate the industrial look of suspended ceilings, the tiles are easily painted to match any décor. Also, there are many styles available that mimic wood, pressed tin and other designer materials.
  • A permanent solution. Drywall ceilings create a finished look that will probably match the rest of your house. Drywall also creates a solid acoustical barrier if you're concerned about noise. Drywall can be expensive, however and you'll need to carefully plan for access panels to get at areas that might require repair.
  • A casual alternative. A tongue and groove wood ceiling can create a striking, rustic look in your basement. Be sure to choose a light colored wood like pine or ash and stain it with a clear or lightly shaded stain. You'll also need to construct access panels in critical utility areas.
  • Keep it down! If noise transmission is important, you'll want to consider insulating between the floor joists before putting the ceiling in place. You may also want to consider noise abatement strategies like a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl or resilient metal channels to hold the ceiling materials. A soundproofing consultant can give you more information on proper construction strategies.
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