Written by Todd Fratzel.
Recommended Basement Ceiling Types
Basement remodeling / finishing seems to be one of the hottest DIY projects right now. We get tons of emails about how to insulate basement walls, how to insulate basement floors and what type of basement ceilings are best.
Finishing or remodeling a basement requires lots of planning. The basement ceiling is no different because many of the homes utilities (water, waste drains, electrical, phone, cable and even heating pipes are located in the floor system. Because of that careful planning is required to prevent future maintenance issues while providing the most flexibility to the home owner.
Suspended (Acoustical) Ceilings Vs Hard Ceilings
The debate about basement ceilings always comes down to a battle between suspended (or acoustical ceilings) and hard ceilings (drywall, plaster or wood). For me the debate isn’t much of a debate at all when you consider the quantity and importance of the utilities that will be inaccessible behind a hard ceiling. Suspended ceilings provide the greatest amount of flexibility and access for those utilities in the event of problems.
I know many of you are probably cringing (my wife included) at the thought of suspended ceilings in a newly finished basement. However, the reality is you can buy almost any style, color, level of detail in a suspended ceiling as you could ever create with a hard ceiling. The other huge benefit to suspended ceilings is they are typically much easier for a DIY’er to install. There are lots of great resources online showing you How To Install Suspended Ceilings if you’re interested in doing it yourself.
Cost of Basement Ceilings
Whether you decide to install a suspended acoustical ceiling or a drywall ceiling, the costs are fairly similar. Both of those ceiling types range from about $1.50 per square foot to $2.50 per square foot installed. Obviously you can spend tons of money on a beautiful copper ceiling tile or mahogany wood panels. We recently built some removable cedar ceiling panels for a custom indoor pool house which allowed the owner to remove them if necessary while taking advantage of a hard ceiling appearance.
Regardless of the type of ceiling you choose for your basement it’s important to plan ahead and consider the pro’s and con’s of the removable type ceilings vs the hard permanent ceiling types.
Photo Credit: Tim’s Blog
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