Install a Suspended Ceiling with Your Basement Remodel

by Matt Goering

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A suspended ceiling is an excellent option for just about any room, though it is particularly well suited to basements and their particulars. If you're currently remodeling your basement, or are just looking for a way to spruce things up, installing a suspended ceiling can work wonders.

Suspended Ceiling 101
These ceilings are the type of ceiling common in offices, schools, and other structures. It consists of a metal framework that hangs from the ceiling joists, and suspended ceiling tiles that conveniently fit into the framework. It's so common in larger buildings because it provides a space for plumbing, electrical wiring, and ductwork between the tiles and the actual ceiling, which is precisely why it's such an excellent ceiling solution for basements as well.

Cover up Ugly Pipes and Ductwork
One of the main challenges when it comes to a basement finishing project is how to work around the infrastructure of your home. Basement ceilings often harbor unattractive pipes, ductwork, and electrical wiring that you've got to find some way to work around. A suspended style ceiling is the answer. With a suspended design, you can install your ceiling below the line of pipes, wires and ductwork. And because suspended ceiling tile is easily removed, you still have easy access to everything running along the joists should something go wrong or need to be worked on.

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Create a Quieter Home
Another plus of installing suspended ceiling tile is that they serve as much more effective sound barriers than traditional drywall. The ceiling tile material is naturally more sound absorbent than sheetrock, and the space between it and the floor above acts as a natural damper. And if your teenager likes to crank up the music, you can always choose acoustical ceiling panels instead of traditional ones. Acoustical panels are specially made to absorb sound and prevent it from reaching other areas of your home.

Easy Installation
The final reason suspended ceilings are so attractive to many homeowners is that they are relatively easy to install. Any homeowner with a good collection of tools probably has everything they already need in the garage to put in a drop ceiling. It is a time consuming process, however, and it's vital that you get the framework measured correctly and leveled right if you want your new ceiling to look up to par. For that reason, and because installation often requires you work around your home's infrastructure, many homeowners still choose to contract out a suspended ceiling installation to ensure it's done right.

If you think a suspended style ceiling is the answer for your basement, or anywhere else in your home, talk to a contractor experienced in installing these creative ceiling solutions about what you need to do to get your new project started.

Matt Goering, formerly a carpenter and house painter, is a freelance writer for the home improvement industry who has published over 600 articles.