What are the Different Kinds of Basement Ceilings?

Stacy Carey

Basement ceilings typically fall into one of two general categories: suspended ceilings or hard ceilings. Suspended ceilings use acoustical panels or tiles placed into a frame on the ceiling. Hard ceilings include those made of wood, plaster and drywall. The are pros and cons to each of the different kinds of basement ceilings, and each type has many styles and prices available.

Drop ceilings are common in basements because they can easily hide wiring or pipes, or a central air system.
Drop ceilings are common in basements because they can easily hide wiring or pipes, or a central air system.

Suspended ceilings are a popular choice for basement ceilings because of the variety of options from which to choose. There are many colors and styles available, and many do-it-yourself homeowners are able to work on this type basement ceiling on their own. Utilizing basement ceiling tiles for a suspended ceiling does have some additional advantages over a hard ceiling. The acoustical tiles help block noise from upper levels, and access to the space above the suspended ceiling remains convenient. Homes that have wires or pipes running along the top of the ceiling are an excellent setting for a suspended ceiling.

The appearance of suspended basement ceilings does not have to be that of drab, commercial-looking tiles. The tiles can be paint or decorated, or different colors can be used to create a pattern for visual complexity. Basement ceiling panels tend to be generic in nature, but a touch of creativity can lead to a visually pleasing result while still providing easy access to the space above.

Hard ceilings are another kind of basement ceilings. These generally use plaster, drywall or wood, and they provide more decorating options than suspended ceilings, but their installation is more complicated. It is possible for a homeowner to install a hard ceiling himself or herself, but having some expertise and additional help usually are necessary. Constructing a hard basement ceiling is a project that is often best left to professionals because of the complexity of the work involved.

After it has been completed, a hard ceiling lends itself to various decorating options. These include texturing and painting. In addition, many homeowners incorporate trim or decorative tiles to enhance the basement ceiling's appearance.

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