Basement Ceiling Suggestions

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  #1  
Old 11-15-05, 12:28 PM
Kev72
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Basement Ceiling Suggestions

Well, I am 2 weeks into the new house and everything is settling in nicely. With the weather starting to change, I am looking for an indoor project for the winter. I have a rather large basement that is fully finished with a nice wood burner and fitting for a wet bar. Unfortunately (IMO) it has a drop ceiling with fluorescent lighting, which I find to be too..... office building like and not cosy. The reason it's a drop ceiling is the large "I" beam support running directly across the middle of the room, along with a few pieces of ductwork and some plumbing.

I'd like to make this room more decorative and remove the drop ceiling. I was wondering if anyone had any unique ideas other than standard drywall. The wood burner is surrounded nicely by a stone inlay in the wall and it has a very rustic look. I'd like to do something rustic on the ceiling, but I really don't know what would work best/look best/not break the bank. Any ideas? The only one I had was to do a wood ceiling, with larger beams spaced about 3 feet apart (and be creative around the I beam support). What are thoughts on all wood ceilings? (I'd obviously have to design something to allow access to pipes and ducts where necessary). All suggestions are welcome.
 
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Old 11-21-05, 02:57 AM
M
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I do not have any great ideas other than drywall, wood, or beams.

But before you start the project it would be wise to look abve the ceiling and see if anything can be installed without MAJOR preliminary work.

Sometimes wires, ductwork, etc. is run below the joists; hence the entire ceiling may have to be lowered using wood before you could hang anything from it. (basically reframing the ceiling from below).

This would be no small task, as you need to build "down" around each existing wire to a level where every wire and duct is above the new surface.

My .02
 
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Old 11-22-05, 01:13 AM
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Mudslinger is right about needing to more or frame a whole new ceiling. Most likely the drop ceiling was done because of all the obstructions, like ducting and pipes that hang below the joists. So the first thing I'd suggest is to pop your head up in there with a flashlight and have a look around. If there aren't many low obstructions, then rip it down and go for a wood plank ceiling. It'll look great and that's about as rustic as a ceiling can get.

If, however, you find lots of obstructions (or enough to make it unfeasible to do a flush ceiling), I have an alternate idea for you. Instead of removing the drop ceiling, how about customizing it? For example, you could use 1/4" birch plywood cut to the same size as your ceiling panels. Stain the plywood and paint the drop ceiling framing to match or compliment the stain. I know ceiling panels are pretty light weight, so you might have to strengthen how the framing attaches to the joists if this would even work.

Anyway, thought I'd throw the idea out there
 
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Old 11-25-05, 09:39 AM
maisoe
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Another idea

I'm to am planning a rehab of an old basement with a 7' height to the bottom of 12" joists. Drywall or ceiling max are possible but while I was eating in a restaurant the other day, I noticed them having painted their joists and all the mechanicals on the exposed ceiling flat black and then using a nice crown molding around the room perimeter and all the supporting posts. They hung their lights so the bottom of the fixtures were at the same height as the top of the crown molding. All they are doing is tricking your eye to focus on the lower ceiling and lights and just not on the higher cluttered ceiling.

Has anyone seen this done in a basement? I've already moved all the mechanicals into the joist spaces. I wonder if adding some other linear element in white, perhaps just using the long rails of a suspended ceiling to give your eyes something else to focus on besides the crown would improve the illusion. With the relatively deep joist I have I thought it might look OK.

Mitch
 
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Old 11-27-05, 02:23 AM
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The restaurant ceiling was probably much higher than your basement's. IMO, no matter what you do with the mechanicals, they are going to be very visible. That area is also prime for dust, spiders, and spider webs.

I think the original poster will begin to find that anything other than a drop ceiling will become a pretty big project. I liked the idea of light weight wood attached to the panels. You might look into the 1/8" veneer. I bought a 4' x 8' sheet of oak veneer in the cabinet section at Lowe's to cover the exposed sides of my new cabinets. You could stain it and attach it to the ceiling panels with some type of contact cement. Rustoleum makes some cool textured spray paints you might look into for the tracks. Also, check to see if there are any specialty types of ceiling tiles made for these systems. They might even have some that look like stone. If you were real artistic, you might even be able to stain or paint them to look like stone.

You could get rid of the fluorescent lighting in place of cans (recessed lighting), which is one advantage to having the drop ceiling. Light fixtures can be easily moved around and running wire is much easier. This may come in handy if you determine that new or additional wiring is needed elsewhere in your house.
 
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Old 11-27-05, 04:38 AM
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Bonding an 1/8" veneer could be done, although quite a lot of gluing would be required, 1/4" plywood would be ridgid enough in a 2x4 or 2x2 panel that it wouldn't warp. It could be cut up and put in place of the panels.

Paint the tracks a color of your choosing, and stain the mahogany side of the plywood.
 
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Old 01-22-11, 05:54 AM
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bnt ceiling

my ceiling is way too low for a drop, don't mind the pipes being exposed. house was built in 1956. just want to put maybe sheet rock or i even thought of tin, which is thinner, between the pipes and the wood. Bad idea or not?
 
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Old 01-22-11, 06:03 AM
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Welcome to the forums trozz!

I assume that "between the pipes and the wood" means above the pipes and attached to the bottom of the floor joists ?? If so, that should work although the pipes might hinder installation and finishing. The biggest problem with closing in the ceiling is it restricts access to any of the mechanicals that are between the joist.

I've sprayed a few basement ceilings with flat black. It does a decent job of disguising all the plumbing, electrical and duct work but it does tend to make the space darker. I don't know much about them but there some drop ceilings that can be installed closer to the ceiling joists than normal.
 
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Old 01-22-11, 12:07 PM
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I like the idea of the plywood inserts. You might also try this: Rip some strips wider than the steel track and tack them up over the grid pieces. This will conceal them and give a little more feel of rustication.
 
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Old 01-25-11, 10:40 AM
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I'm going to finish my basement and am debating between a drop ceiling or using Ceiling Links. I have pretty tall ceilings so I'm not concerned about loosing a few inches with a drop ceiling. I just want to with whatever is cheapest.

I'm finishing off a small room that is 12x12 with the 2x2 tiles. The Ceiling Link price is $107 plus the tiles. What would be an estimated cost for a drop ceiling grid minus the tiles?
 
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Old 02-06-11, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by marksr View Post
Welcome to the forums trozz!

I assume that "between the pipes and the wood" means above the pipes and attached to the bottom of the floor joists ?? If so, that should work although the pipes might hinder installation and finishing. The biggest problem with closing in the ceiling is it restricts access to any of the mechanicals that are between the joist.

I've sprayed a few basement ceilings with flat black. It does a decent job of disguising all the plumbing, electrical and duct work but it does tend to make the space darker. I don't know much about them but there some drop ceilings that can be installed closer to the ceiling joists than normal.
White out ceiling.

I am seriously considering spraying mine white. I have minimal head room and i've sprayed q-decking before. I am going to miss the sound deadening of 5/8 drywall but the boiler pipes are the main culprit. If drywalled , I would probably end up making some kind of chase for retroinstallations or whatever.

Somebody tell me running pex would be easy and reliable.
 
 

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