Go Back  DoItYourself.com Community Forums > Interior Improvement Center > Basements, Attics and Crawl Spaces
Reload this Page >

Drop/Suspended Ceiling Height... 'How high can you go'

Drop/Suspended Ceiling Height... 'How high can you go'

Reply

  #1  
Old 11-15-08, 02:10 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Drop/Suspended Ceiling Height... 'How high can you go'

I want to put up a suspended ceiling in the basement but I don't want to lose head room. I have nothing below my floor joists. All the water pipes, etc are above, in the joists. I was wondering how high the suspended ceiling can be where I can get the 2x2 ceiling tiles in/out. I didn't want to go lower then 2inches.

Thanks
 
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 11-15-08, 05:37 PM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
You can do 2", but it will be tight. I like to leave 3" just so I don't tend to break tiles when I torque them in the cramped space.
 
  #3  
Old 11-15-08, 07:16 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Thanks Chandler....

I was going to use a product called Ceiling Max which attaches directly to the joists but not sure how good that would be.... I am 6'2 and right now my walls are 7'2. With the ceiling and rug im going to be cutting it tight. I wanted to get the most out of the the ceiling by going at least 2 inches. Wanted to go less but I know 2 inches was cutting it tight.
 
  #4  
Old 11-16-08, 03:43 AM
chandler's Avatar
Banned. Rule And/Or Policy Violation
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 39,967
Likes Received: 1
I have never installed the ceiling max, but question whether or not you will be able to gain access once it is installed. Should you need to extend an electrical line, or repair a leak in a water pipe, from what I have read, the ceiling max can't be disassembled. Just check it out first. Good luck with the remodel.
 
  #5  
Old 11-16-08, 07:30 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by chandler View Post
I have never installed the ceiling max, but question whether or not you will be able to gain access once it is installed. Should you need to extend an electrical line, or repair a leak in a water pipe, from what I have read, the ceiling max can't be disassembled. Just check it out first. Good luck with the remodel.
I scrapped the ceiling max and going with the suspended. Just hope he doesn't go lower then 2 inches!

Thanks!
 
  #6  
Old 11-16-08, 08:05 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 21
I'd go with a minimum of 3".
 
  #7  
Old 11-16-08, 10:04 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 21
Or

You could alway's install a drywall ceiling. That would only be
1/2" to 5/8".
 
  #8  
Old 11-16-08, 01:42 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Stilts View Post
You could alway's install a drywall ceiling. That would only be
1/2" to 5/8".
That would be the best but I need access to plumbingm electrical, etc.. It is a ranch. If I have a leak, I don't want to have to worry about replacing drywall. Just rather replace a ceiling tile.
 
  #9  
Old 11-16-08, 03:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: East Central Florida
Posts: 21
I understand where you are coming from. But beleive it or not that was the whole point of drywall replacing plaster. A light weight material that was easily removed, modified, or repaired.

But I could be a little bias.
Beer 4U2
 
  #10  
Old 11-16-08, 07:15 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Stilts View Post
I understand where you are coming from. But beleive it or not that was the whole point of drywall replacing plaster. A light weight material that was easily removed, modified, or repaired.

But I could be a little bias.
Beer 4U2
HAHAAHA, I can see that! Thanks
 
  #11  
Old 11-17-08, 03:58 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington
Posts: 4,219
I have done a couple of ceilings with CeilingMax. Easy to install but you must keep lines straight and aligned with the previous row, laser helps. Things above are accessible, but care must be taken not to damage the tiles. Uses any tile that you would use on a typical dropped ceiling. Everything is vinyl so nothing to rust in a damp basement climate.
 
  #12  
Old 11-17-08, 06:29 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
I have done a couple of ceilings with CeilingMax. Easy to install but you must keep lines straight and aligned with the previous row, laser helps. Things above are accessible, but care must be taken not to damage the tiles. Uses any tile that you would use on a typical dropped ceiling. Everything is vinyl so nothing to rust in a damp basement climate.
Bill, can I hire you to put one up for me

Anyway, have you installed suspended ceilings as well? If so, how high from the floor joists have you ever gone?
 
  #13  
Old 11-17-08, 07:00 AM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New England
Posts: 10,317
Likes Received: 12
Different idea. I saw a basement, same reason, where the owner installed 16" by 8' drywall strips on each joist. Screwed in place and covered the joist seams with a clamshell trim. All was installed so it could be removed if necessary. He spaced the cross seams so they would form a grid and added more trim. All painted up it actually looked great. Depends upon what you like, but he also saved that 2" to 3" inches.
Bud
 
  #14  
Old 11-17-08, 03:15 PM
Member
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Wilmington
Posts: 4,219
I am available, but travel time/mileage could be a killer. As suggested above, 2" is very tight for a standard dropped ceiling, 3" a bit easier to work with.
 
  #15  
Old 11-17-08, 03:42 PM
Member
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: USA
Posts: 15,834
Go with drywall ceiling. Insulate your pipes, so that if condensation on pipes is not an issue that you will not have stains on your ceilings. As indicated, drywall can easily be cut out and repaired.

Too, like popcorn ceilings, dropped ceilings tend to be a dated ceiling finish in homes from the standpoint of interior decorating because they look cheesy in a residence. If you are going to live in the house forever and you want dropped ceilings, then go for it. From the standpoint of height considerations, I think you have already confirmed your hesitancy to go with dropped ceiling.
 
  #16  
Old 11-17-08, 07:31 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Just Bill View Post
I am available, but travel time/mileage could be a killer. As suggested above, 2" is very tight for a standard dropped ceiling, 3" a bit easier to work with.
How about an inch and a half... was down there measuring again and nervous. I don't want to feel claustrphobic.

I would be VERY nervous doing a drywall ceiling... I'm at the point where the contractor I had is finished with the walls and am ready to prime... Cleaning was a bear.. I have him drywall the ceiling I will never get done
 
  #17  
Old 11-17-08, 07:32 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central, IL.
Posts: 109
Dry wall vote here as well.

Its drywall. Cut it, fix, patch. Drywall is one of the easiest materials to work with and leaves a profesional finish to teh room.

It wont sag like a drop cieling, if it yellows, paint it. If a drop ceiling changes color you have to replace. What happens when somone pokes a hole in a tile? How many do you keep on hand. How long will that style be available from teh manufacture? Drywall will be around for a very long time, and did I mention its cheap.

I just drywalled my recroom. Cost me $180 for the drywall. How many tiles can you buy for that price? Will that even cover the cost of the support structure? Unlike you, I had to reroute my electrical, and outside plumbing lines to mount the drywall to the floor joists. I couldn't be happier. I did leave a section in the middle (between my duct work) so I could add or access the joist space anywhere in the basement if needed. Like to add an outlet for some bar lights over my kegerator. Beer 4U2
 
  #18  
Old 11-17-08, 07:53 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Hanr3 View Post
Dry wall vote here as well.

Its drywall. Cut it, fix, patch. Drywall is one of the easiest materials to work with and leaves a profesional finish to teh room.

It wont sag like a drop cieling, if it yellows, paint it. If a drop ceiling changes color you have to replace. What happens when somone pokes a hole in a tile? How many do you keep on hand. How long will that style be available from teh manufacture? Drywall will be around for a very long time, and did I mention its cheap.

I just drywalled my recroom. Cost me $180 for the drywall. How many tiles can you buy for that price? Will that even cover the cost of the support structure? Unlike you, I had to reroute my electrical, and outside plumbing lines to mount the drywall to the floor joists. I couldn't be happier. I did leave a section in the middle (between my duct work) so I could add or access the joist space anywhere in the basement if needed. Like to add an outlet for some bar lights over my kegerator. Beer 4U2
You guys are KILLING me here.... You know how long it will take them to sheetrock the ceiling.. and the mess again, spakle, sanding The walls left a ton of dust.
 
  #19  
Old 11-18-08, 02:20 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central, IL.
Posts: 109
Typically it is best to drywall the ceiling before oyu do the walls. The walls then can hold teh ceiling in place. However in your situation use drywall screws 6-8" apart and you should be fine.

The mess can be cleaned up for much less than the cost of ceiling tiles.

To make the job easier rent a drywall hoist. It cost me $40 for the day. I managed to hang the ceiling all by myself in a weekend. That was 24 4x8 sheets of drywall for the ceiling. Teh beauty of the hoist is you can get the sheet exactly where you want it before you start anchoring it in place.

Beer 4U2
 
  #20  
Old 11-21-08, 11:16 AM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Loveland, Colorado
Posts: 11
I have done both suspended and drywall ceilings

I would go with drywall much cheaper and easier to install. That said drywall is not easy to finish it just takes time to do it right. I have textured drywall ceilings which hides some mud and tape sins. I have also done smooth my preference now.

The last ceiling I did was smooth; I am so "over" knockdown. I think very few drywall installers know how to finish drywall smooth anymore. The reason that knockdown is so widely used is that it saves labor slap up the drywall slap a coat of mud on spray it, done, no painting required. Now the poor homeowner has to spend $12 for a spray can of texture to do a simple repair. I use caulk and my faux knockdown technique to do repairs. Apply a genrous amount of caulk hit it once with a drwall knife then go away don't touch it or even look at it. After about 6 hours re-paint and it end blends right it. (If you mess with it after the first swipe it will end up as a noticeable spot on the wall, trust me)

I installed a suspended ceiling on 1/4 of my basement that had gas lines, water and 3" DWV pipes below the joist. I droppd 2" below the lowest "stuff" and I had to install the tiles as I framed the hangers. I feel sorry for anyone that wants to replace the 2' X 2' tiles now. I picked up half of my tiles for free on the side of the road. I bought the other half and the hangers etc. Even with half of the tiles free it cost $500 ten years ago. I used 4' X 16' drywall on remaining 3/4's of the ceiling for about $200 for materials and $50 for beer for my friends. I had calluses on my calluses when I finished my ceiling and walls. It was worth it I got compliments from construction friends who said my drwall was better than all professional work he had seen. I would make about $2 an hour if I did drywall professionally because it takes me so long to do a job.

My motto: drywall mud always underfill never overfill you can always add more but it's a "female dog" to remove if you add too much. I did 3 coats in some places and 5 in others.

Instructions for drywall mud coats 4 and 5.
Open cold beer
take a swig
open mud bucket
add a small amount to drwall mud tray
take a swig of beer
spit in mud and mix
take swig of beer
add a small amount of mud to the end of th knife.
apply and final wipe excess once and once only
take a swig of beer and admire you work.
repeat until mud or beer is depleted.

Keep your tools clean and never work directly from the mud bucket!
 
  #21  
Old 11-29-08, 01:45 PM
Member
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 10
Sorry but another drywall vote. I'm finishing my basement right now and have so many pipes hanging below the joists it'd be nearly impossible to DW. Hanging the ugly drop ceiling will be almost the most expensive portion of the job; even the generic 2x2's are very expensive and the grid is no bargain either.

Good luck

Peter
 
  #22  
Old 11-30-08, 06:50 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Central, IL.
Posts: 109
If you have a decent table saw buy 2x4 and rip them down to 2x2.

I went through the hassle of moving all my electrical, plumbing, phone, and cable lines before I hung my ceiling. I wanted every inch of space. Plus I made my lines accesable in case of emercengy or remideling. If I ever want to add on, it will be easy to get to my lines, they all run in one central location that is easily accessable.
 
  #23  
Old 12-03-08, 10:06 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Hanr3 View Post
If you have a decent table saw buy 2x4 and rip them down to 2x2.

I went through the hassle of moving all my electrical, plumbing, phone, and cable lines before I hung my ceiling. I wanted every inch of space. Plus I made my lines accesable in case of emercengy or remideling. If I ever want to add on, it will be easy to get to my lines, they all run in one central location that is easily accessable.
Hanr3, how low did you go from the joists? 2 inches????
 
  #24  
Old 12-03-08, 04:36 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 75
I installed the Ceiling Max 3 years ago. It was easy to install and easy to get into once it's up. I kept one extra box of tiles just in case - haven't used any yet. There are many 2x2 tiles out there - including some that have step edges or look like a tin ceiling. The regular suspended grid said it had to be dropped at least 3 inches and 4 was preferred. I also thought it would be more difficult to level that than the ceiling max. We installed a surround sound system and the acoustics are great. Whichever you use - measure carefully so you end up with cut tiles on the ends and sides that are close in width to each other. Enjoy the project....
 
  #25  
Old 12-03-08, 06:39 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Rivethead View Post
I installed the Ceiling Max 3 years ago. It was easy to install and easy to get into once it's up. I kept one extra box of tiles just in case - haven't used any yet. There are many 2x2 tiles out there - including some that have step edges or look like a tin ceiling. The regular suspended grid said it had to be dropped at least 3 inches and 4 was preferred. I also thought it would be more difficult to level that than the ceiling max. We installed a surround sound system and the acoustics are great. Whichever you use - measure carefully so you end up with cut tiles on the ends and sides that are close in width to each other. Enjoy the project....
I had the guy down there tonight that sheetrocked the walls and we discussing sheetrocking the ceiling but I really don't want to sheild off my access to the pipes or stop me from adding more outlets, etc in the future... We talked again about the suspended ceiling and he said he can do the 2 inches min blow the joists... Like I mentioned in earlier threads, I had all my water pipes, etc moved up in the joists so I have nothing below.

We talked about Ceiling Max and it was more then the normal suspended ceiling plus he was nervous about attaching the grids directly to the joists... He mentioned about the flex from the upstairs and what would happen in the future if the grid system would bend, screws loosen, etc...
 
  #26  
Old 12-04-08, 03:26 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 75
Clearly your installer has never done a Ceiling Max system. I installed mine with 1" drywalll screws. I don't understand why the installer would think a screw back out of a floor joist? If it would - the same would happen to his wire fasteners. The grid is very flexible so it would give with any movement (a good thing) - but the point is you really shouldn't have any "flex" in a floor joist - that could be noticed - let alone cause a screw to move.

Many people do drywall but we shared your concern about future access (it too would be fastened to the joists). Here is another Thread on this topic. Also, if you go to Home Depot they have a video on the Ceiling Max system that may help you decide which path you want to go. Good luck with whatever you decide to do....

http://forum.doityourself.com/baseme...d-ceiling.html
 

Last edited by Rivethead; 12-04-08 at 06:03 AM.
  #27  
Old 12-04-08, 07:08 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Originally Posted by Rivethead View Post
Clearly your installer has never done a Ceiling Max system. I installed mine with 1" drywalll screws. I don't understand why the installer would think a screw back out of a floor joist? If it would - the same would happen to his wire fasteners. The grid is very flexible so it would give with any movement (a good thing) - but the point is you really shouldn't have any "flex" in a floor joist - that could be noticed - let alone cause a screw to move.

Many people do drywall but we shared your concern about future access (it too would be fastened to the joists). Here is another Thread on this topic. Also, if you go to Home Depot they have a video on the Ceiling Max system that may help you decide which path you want to go. Good luck with whatever you decide to do....

http://forum.doityourself.com/baseme...d-ceiling.html
Did you get a chance to compare the price difference between a traditional dropped ceiling and ceiling max? just curious...

Also, how hard is it to install. Is it easier then a dropped ceiling? For 1000 sq foot I was quoted $1,600 materials included the 2x2 ceiling tiles.
 
  #28  
Old 12-04-08, 08:44 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 75
No I didn't - we couldn't afford to lose 3 or 4 inches so I had to either dry wall or ceiling max. I thought the installation was pretty easy - just took my time and laid everything carefully out on paper before starting. We did 230 square feet. Have you seen this:

ACP - Surface Mount Grid System CeilingMAX
 
  #29  
Old 12-04-08, 06:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 270
Do you have pictures of yours?
 
  #30  
Old 12-05-08, 03:48 AM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Ohio
Posts: 75
I can get you pictures if you like. You would at least be able to see what I mean about not being able to lose any height - especially where the door passes under the beam into the unfinished area. New to this forum but looks like I can't post them here.
Do you want to PM me an email address to send them to you. You must promise to ignore the mess - doing a total face lift on this house to prep it for selling late next year so the room is full of "stuff" waiting a trip to the storage unit.
 
  #31  
Old 12-07-08, 08:47 PM
Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1
Hello, I recently did a movie room in my basement. I listen to radio show host Glenn Haege (dont know if i spelled right) and caught him one day discussing a new ceiling product called Zip up. I went to thier web sight, zipupceiling,com and found that it solved my need for a low profile ceiling... and it came in black as well. You might want to check it out. Its a plastic ceiling that is no more than2 inches down from the joist.
Good luck
Galibo
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Display Modes