A suspended ceiling, also known as a dropped ceiling, is an additional ceiling installed below the actual ceiling. Suspended ceilings are very popular in construction, especially in offices and commercial structures. These ceilings typically consist of a framework of metal tracks suspended from the main ceiling using wires. Tiles or panels are then laid between the tracks, forming the suspended ceiling. There are several benefits and a few disadvantages associated with suspended ceilings.
Pro: Easy Installation
Suspended ceilings are easily installed in a home or office. Many homeowners with the required knowledge can purchase the materials to install the ceiling themselves. However, to maintain the safety of your home or office, it is wise to consult a licensed contractor for advice before installing suspended ceilings.
Pro: Conceals Ductwork, Pipes, and Wires
A suspended ceiling can easily conceal imperfections and flaws on the actual ceiling. Instead of performing costly repairs and painting, you can install a suspended ceiling to cover pipes, ductwork, stains and peeled paint. Beware of this before you purchase a home with suspended ceilings. Make sure you have some panels removed and inspect the space above to make sure there are no structural deficiencies.
Pro: Easy to Remove in Case of Repairs
With traditional plaster ceilings, repair work can be time-consuming and expensive because you have to demolish the ceiling to reach the hidden components. In the case of suspended ceilings, this is not a problem because the required number of panels can be easily removed and reassembled after the repairs have been carried out.
Pro: More Economical Than Renovation
Suspended ceilings are much cheaper than carrying out extensive demolition and repair work, making them popular in many homes and offices. These ceilings are so easy to remove; therefore, renovation and redesign are much quicker.
Pro: Provides Sound Proofing
By installing a suspended ceiling with fiberglass, you can block all of the sounds from outside. This makes a room much cozier.
Pro: Allows for Easy Installation of Lights
You can install lights, fans and other overhead appliances easily between panels of a suspended ceiling. Some lights that are the same size of the panels can also be installed at regular intervals instead of panels.
Pro: Available in Many Materials and Colors
Suspended ceilings are available in wood, plastic, fiber, and other materials. Some panels also have an added degree of fire protection.
Con: Reduces Room Space
The biggest disadvantage of suspended ceilings is that they reduce the height of a room by several inches or feet. Sometimes, a room may end up looking cramped or stuffy.
Con: May Deteriorate Faster
Suspended ceilings do not last very long. They tend to sag and show discoloration and stains after a few years of use. Frequent maintenance is required to maximize their lifespan.
Con: Not as Sturdy as Traditional Ceilings
In the event of an earthquake or a fire, suspended ceilings may be very unstable. There is also the added danger of the installed fixtures falling.