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Should we use drywall or a drop ceiling?


nkb0525's Avatar
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04-28-05, 03:15 PM   #1  
nkb0525
Should we use drywall or a drop ceiling?

We have radiant heat on the main floor of our house. We are in the process of finishing the basement into a playroom. We would prefer to drywall the ceiling (for aesthetic reasons) but are hesitant. Should we use a drop ceiling in case we need to access the pipes for the radiant heat floor above?

 
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04-28-05, 04:14 PM   #2  
Unless I'm mistaken, You should never have to access the radiant heat pipes that are in your floor... and if you did, you'd have to tear up the floor (from above the pipes, not underneath) to get to them. If there is some sort of complicated control fittings, where the radiant heat branches off to other parts of the house, you "might" want to leave an access hole there, but realistically, drywall is cheap and it's fairly easy to repair. Water pipes are covered up with drywall all the time, so I wouldn't hesistate to hang drywall as opposed to a drop ceiling.

 
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04-30-05, 05:06 AM   #3  
nkb0525
We thought that we might need access to the pipes in case something went wrong (pipe broke, etc.). The radiant heat pipes are visible from the basement...they are behind the insulation in the ceiling. I would think that if we need to access the pipes we would from the basement rather than tear up the wood floor above. Am I wrong?

 
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04-30-05, 06:56 AM   #4  
Many radiant systems are sandwiched within the floor, so that's what I was picturing. If your radiant heat is below the floor, then yes, you would get at it from below.

But I guess my reasoning would be... I doubt you will ever need to get to it. "IF" it leaks is a big "if". Unless you have no confidence in the way it was installed, I see no reason why you couldn't cover it up with drywall. You have water and sewer pipes that "could" leak at every connection... but they get covered up with drywall in other parts of the home, so why should your basement ceiling be any different? Unless your radiant pipes will definately require some sort of service in the future, I don't see what the problem would be.

 
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04-30-05, 07:23 AM   #5  
In any basement have always put in drop ceiling. Not just for to get at the pipes but move the phone the PC TV and electric just to start. later on can move lights around in the ceiling. On some have put some frost plastic up there with just a fluorescent light hanging on the joist works real good. can put some Xmass lights up there with it. Turn of the white and turn on the xmass light and you have party time .

ED

 
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05-05-05, 06:02 PM   #6  
skohlmey
Drop down or dry wall ceiling in basement? It all depends on what is important to you. If you value: easy access to the mechanic stuff in your ceiling and lower cost (not sure about the cost) then drop down is the way to go. If you value a more "finished" look then go with the drywall. Personally, I like a drywall ceiling with a "knock-down" finish. But some people may prefer the look of the drop-down than they can have the best of both worlds.

A drywall ceiling can be repaired if you do need to cut into. I had to make 5 1 foot diamter holes in my basement ceiling to feed the electrical hookup to my new hot tub. It cost me a $300 to have it fixed by a guy that specializes in repair work. It looks good as new.

In my house, the drywall ceiling in my basement makes it seem more like the rest of the house and less like a basement. Another consideration, is what the market expects. In my neighborhood a drop-down ceiling would be a detractor from the selling price of my house.

 
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05-07-05, 03:48 PM   #7  
I just made the same decision. Just pulled down some old light boxes and had new recessed cans/bulbs put in. I'm going with sheetrock to give it a more "upstairs" feel. this room is below the main bath and it looks like, maybe back in the 70's there was some leakage beneath the shower. Nothing but dust up there now, but just in case, I'm considering leaving an access "door" or "panel" near those old water stains just in case. And that's IF I can figure out how to create this access panel that I think will be oh so easy to do. Other issues are price and headache. I've got a 150 sq.ft. room. The ceiling tiles I was interested in would cost me at least $250. Now I buy 5 sheets of sheetrock, some tape and mud, and I'm good to go. $75 maybe? I also don't know how "quick and easy" those ceiling tiles really are. I was looking at the toungue and groove ones, and if you start getting crooked, the whole room gets crooked. Can make any patterns you want with sheetrock, then...mud it up. Now the question is, how the heck do you hang sheetrock on the ceiling. I can see it now: "No, honey, you've got to hold it flush with the ceiling as I drill!!!!"

-Woostah

 
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05-07-05, 04:24 PM   #8  
Rent a ceiling hanger they work great. Or make like aT out of 2X4 to help hold it up.

ED

 
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