Cheap and Best solution for covering basement ceiling

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harishusharma

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Hello,

I am new to this forum and home owning. Bought a old house few months ago, a ranch. I would like to cover basement ceiling (basically hide the woods and look more cleaner). I tried coloring it white (spray painted), but it doesn't look good and I lack professional touch.

Have few questions.
1. Do I need to insulate ceiling before covering? Although I have insulation added up to the required R value and roof joist sealed with spray foam insulation.
2. Basement height is 8ft, so tiling cannot be an option as it will take 4-6 inches of height. What all options are available?
3. Is this something I can do or I need a pro? I have no trouble doing handy jobs.

Appreciate all suggestions/guidance.

Thanks,
Harish
 

Flyover

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Howdy Harish!

1. If the basement is directly below living space you don't need to insulate it. Actually, I think insulation could disrupt airflow.

2. I recommend painting it just as you did, but try black instead of white. I had a ranch house and it had an exposed ceiling in the basement, painted black, and I thought it looked really nice. If you already own the equipment, and some experience from having painted it white before, why not try again with black? You will do a better job this time, correct any mistakes you thought you made last time, and it's a lot cheaper than hiring a pro.

Even if your ceiling was higher I think the drop tiling looks horrible anyway. Enjoy the exposed look, plus it allows functional access to pipes/ducts/vents/wires/etc. Those are the organ systems that keep your house "alive", they're cool to see!
 

harishusharma

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Howdy Harish!

1. If the basement is directly below living space you don't need to insulate it. Actually, I think insulation could disrupt airflow.

2. I recommend painting it just as you did, but try black instead of white. I had a ranch house and it had an exposed ceiling in the basement, painted black, and I thought it looked really nice. If you already own the equipment, and some experience from having painted it white before, why not try again with black? You will do a better job this time, correct any mistakes you thought you made last time, and it's a lot cheaper than hiring a pro.

Even if your ceiling was higher I think the drop tiling looks horrible anyway. Enjoy the exposed look, plus it allows functional access to pipes/ducts/vents/wires/etc. Those are the organ systems that keep your house "alive", they're cool to see!
Thank you so much Flyover. It makes more sense.
I will try to convince my wife, she wants it covered at least 1 section, to be used for kids play area. Hope she approves :)

Best,
Harish
 

bud16415

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At my old house I had low basement ceilings and wanted them covered but also wanted some air flow. I used 4’x8’x.25” thick white garage peg board. I screwed it up with black drywall screws using the holes in it where they hit a floor joist and if the end didn’t land on one I used a strip of 1x4 behind it for a splice screwing to that.



I put some pot lights in it also.

The nice part is if you ever need to get at wires or pipes, just a few screws and its down.
 

JoeD

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My basement ceiling is only 7 feet and we installed drop ceiling. You don't need 6 inches unless you are going under pipes or something. You can get by with 3 inches.
 

Flyover

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One of my favorite benefits of leaving things exposed has been teaching my kids about how a house works. I can explain to them about where the water or electricity come from, or how the furnace heats the rooms, or how at least one floor of a house is constructed, but with the exposed ceilings we can go to the basement and I can actually show them. "That is a joist. That is an i-beam. That is a duct. Copper pipe carries water to the faucet, pvc carries it away from the drain. Etc." And they're kids so of course they ask Why? So that sparks those conversations about materials, construction methods, etc. Sometimes it means I have to go look it up so I'm learning too!. My kids, at ages 7 and 4, know more about this stuff now than I did in my 20s! Should be obvious to everyone here why that is going to be valuable to them one day.

Thus why I say don't cover anything up if you can help it.
 
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harishusharma

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At my old house I had low basement ceilings and wanted them covered but also wanted some air flow. I used 4’x8’x.25” thick white garage peg board. I screwed it up with black drywall screws using the holes in it where they hit a floor joist and if the end didn’t land on one I used a strip of 1x4 behind it for a splice screwing to that.



I put some pot lights in it also.

The nice part is if you ever need to get at wires or pipes, just a few screws and its down.
Thanks. I really like the idea of using peg board. I can even paint it black, not sure we get peg boards in color other than white.
 

bud16415

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Thanks. I really like the idea of using peg board. I can even paint it black, not sure we get peg boards in color other than white.
Some locations have black. I bought the white and it had a grove at 16”&32” painted gold to make it look like paneling. My basement stairs did not allow for 48x96” sheets to go down so I ripped it into 16” strips outside and brought then down. When I hung it I staggered the end seams and it didn’t look like a big 4x8’ pattern. Incidentally all the little holes helped the audio in the room a lot. I didn’t know it would do that but I had a guy over that is a soundman and he remarked how most basements have awful sound reflections and mine didn’t and he said it was because of the pressure and the holes with space behind etc.

I used the room for my first front projection home theater and had a 120” screen down there when most people had 32” tube TVs. White ceiling is not good for front projection so I did end up painting the ceiling flat black 6’ out from the screen. I would have painted the whole thing black but we also used the room for other things and all black would make it really hard to light. At my house now I have a first floor front projection HT and it is an all black ceiling. It is a very restful room. :coffee:
 

Eddie_T

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I thought of the acoustical benefit, remember the acoustical ceiling tiles with similar holes. The holes also prevent sound reflection. So peg board is a win-win that hides the mess and improves acoustics.
 

Sparky617

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My ceiling is 10' in my basement. I'm planning on drywalling it. If I need access I can always cut a hole and repair same as I'd have to do if I needed access to the ceiling above my first floor.

Spraying it black is a great option if you have limited headroom.
 

BuzzLOL

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As Bud noted above, a black ceiling can make the room difficult to light if you want it well lighted at times.
I'm using a HD projection TV at 200" (14' x 8 1/2') and don't see any problem with the white ceiling... don't need any other lights on to see to walk around...
A tiled ceiling needn't take up more than 1 1/2"... 3/4" for furring strips... 3/4" for acoustic tiles...
Or just 1/2" if using 1/2" drywall board... I boxed in around any ducts, etc. on the ceiling...
 

bud16415

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As Bud noted above, a black ceiling can make the room difficult to light if you want it well lighted at times.
I'm using a HD projection TV at 200" (14' x 8 1/2') and don't see any problem with the white ceiling... don't need any other lights on to see to walk around...
A tiled ceiling needn't take up more than 1 1/2"... 3/4" for furring strips... 3/4" for acoustic tiles...
Or just 1/2" if using 1/2" drywall board... I boxed in around any ducts, etc. on the ceiling...
Not to go too far off topic. But with FP cross reflections where the projected light bounces off the screen and to the ceiling (white) and then reflects back to the screen really impacts PQ in terms of CR. You can get a nice image with a white ceiling but that next step up in PQ will be with absorbing that stray light. What I found out is doing it 5-6’ out from the screen helps the most and leaving the rest of the ceiling white makes the room user friendly for other activates.

When we moved into this house and I had one small room as a dedicated media room she kind of balked when she saw me painting the ceiling black. I told her she had the say over all the rest of the house and I just wanted one small room and she didn’t even have to open the door and come into it. She agreed. Now where do I find her sitting and reading? Yep in the media room with a task light on her book and the star ceiling turned on projecting stars to the black ceiling. She likes it because it is quiet and relaxing.
 

BuzzLOL

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Not to go too far off topic. But with FP cross reflections where the projected light bounces off the screen and to the ceiling (white) and then reflects back to the screen really impacts PQ in terms of CR. You can get a nice image with a white ceiling but that next step up in PQ will be with absorbing that stray light.
My projector is mounted high so the light reflects downward toward the viewers and that is prolly why it isn't a problem... the ceiling stays dark...
 

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