What are the Different Attic Ceiling Options?

J. Beam

If your home has attic space that could be finished, whether for added living space or simply for extra storage, there are a variety of options available for tapping into its hidden potential. Depending on the style of your home, your attic space may be considered a half story, or simply an attic or overhead storage area. If you are investigating attic ceiling options, chances are you have already decided to finish your attic space and are well into the design and planning stages.

An attic simply used for storage may be fitted with a ceiling made of plywood.
An attic simply used for storage may be fitted with a ceiling made of plywood.

When it comes to the attic ceiling options available, your options are limited only by the scope of the overall project. For instance, if you are simply looking to provide a rough-finish space for added storage, you may choose to install a plywood ceiling. However, if you are looking to finish your attic for added living space, you might wish to install a more polished finish, such as drywall.

While there is really no limit to the attic ceiling options available, it makes sense to invest equally in appearance and practicality. Since attic space is the primary area for loss of heat in winter months, it is important to make sure your attic is well insulated regardless of its ceiling structure. Invest in properly rated, quality insulation to make your home as energy efficient as possible, even if you only plan to install a plywood ceiling.

Once your attic is well insulated, you can proceed to finish the space. While drywall, or gypsum board, provides a nice, finished look, this may be impractical if you are only using the space for storage. Other attic ceiling options that provide the look of a finished ceiling, but with less work and cost, include decorative paneling and ceiling tiles. Keep in mind that if you select ceiling tiles, which do provide added insulation, you will have to install a plywood base first.

If you are preparing a major renovation or attic conversion, consider adding dormer windows for additional light and space, as well as breaking up the overhead sloping. In the case of a complete renovation, you will likely be finishing the ceiling with drywall, which provides a smooth surface for painting or texturizing. Remember to plan ahead for electrical boxes and overhead lighting before installing the ceiling.

Whatever your choice in attic ceiling options, the added value of simply creating clean, usable storage or additional living space will prove a worthwhile endeavor. If you are unsure about how to proceed with your space, consult a specialist at a home improvement retailer or contact a remodeling contractor. You can also get ideas from home improvement magazines and books, television shows, and websites.

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