Diy ideas for basement ceilings
John Riha has written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Follow John on +.
The one thing that most people desire in their home is more space, and increasingly homeowners are looking to discover this by converting and extending their cellar to create a basement storey beneath their existing property.
Unlike loft space at the top of the home, which lends itself best to creating additional bedrooms, a basement is located shut to the main living areas and access, and as such has a more flexible range of uses.
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Installing Paneling and Drywall
If you don’t own obstructions hanging under your joists, you easily can finish your basement ceiling using drywall or paneling, such as 4-byfoot sheets of decorativegroovedwall paneling.
- Sheet paneling is simple to install, but you’ll own to figure out what to do with the seams at the ends of the panels. If seeing the seams doesn’t annoy you, then problem solved.
Otherwise, cover the seams with a strip of molding.
Planyourpaneling layout so that seams happen every 4 feet; run molding every the way across the room for an even, textured look.
Pre-finished sheet paneling costs $$29 for a 4-byfoot sheet.
- Individual boards, such astongue-and groovepine, is a good-looking option. It’s more expensive, but it’s lightweight, goes up easily, and makes a excellent DIY project. You’ll pay about $ persq. ft.
Leave it natural or stain it to let the grain show through.
- Drywalling your ceiling is a excellent occupation for a moderately skilled DIYer; it costs about 50 to 60 cents persq. ft., including materials. However, a pro will finish the occupation a lot faster and with better results. You’ll pay a pro $ to $2 persq. ft.
Tip:You’ll need a helper or two because holding 4-byfoot sheets of paneling or drywall overhead is awkward.
Getting Around Obstructions
In some basements, pipes or ducts might dip under joists only in certain areas.
If that’s the case, you might be capable to work around them by building soffits.
- A soffit is a lowered part of a ceiling. It’s made using framing materials to build a box around the obstruction. Drywall or paneling goes over the new framing. Soffits make the most sense along walls, where their lowered height won’t get in the way.
With planning, you can get creative with soffits. For example, even if you only need to cover ductwork at one part of your ceiling, you can extend the soffit every the way around the perimeter of your basement to create a two-level ceiling, called a tray ceiling.
- Box beams are another possible solution.
A box beam is a fake, hollow beam made from three boards nailed together. Create a beamed ceiling and let pipes and wires run in the hollow channels. It’s an especially excellent solution if your basement has tall ceilings and you’d love an elegant look.
Tip:Before building soffits or box beams, explore the possibility of moving obstructions. Talk to your plumber or HVAC specialist to see if moving ducts and pipes is easier — and cheaper — than building around them.
Hiding Everything with Paint
One of the fastest and most economical ways to finish a basement ceiling is topainteverything. A monochromatic ceiling disguises every the pipes and ductwork — it’s a technique often used in urban spaces that are converted to coffee houses and shops.
A paint sprayer is ideal because it’s simple to jacket every the various features from diverse angles.
Rent a sprayer and DIY it for $/day plus paint; own a pro do it for $$ ( sq. ft.), including paint.
Tips to remember:
- You can paint unusual surfaces, such as exposed fiberglass insulation and electrical wires, but prime metal ducts beforehand.
- Black and dark colors are more effective than light colors for masking components.
- Use paint with a flatsheen; glossier sheens attract attention.
- Clean off cobwebs and dirt before you spray.
Installing Drop Ceilings
A drop ceiling (also called a suspended ceiling) completely covers pipes and ductwork.
It’s a metal grid that hangs on wires attached to the joists. Lightweight acoustical panels slide into the grid to form a continuous ceiling surface.
A drop ceiling has these advantages:
- The panels absorb sound, helping to muffle noise between floors.
- It’s simple to install.
- The panels are simple to remove, allowing access to pipes and wires for repairs and making changes.
In the past, drop ceilings own gotten a well-deserved bad rap for being unattractive. However, you now can discover acrylic or mineral fiber panels and matching grids that glance love coffered frame-and-panel wood, decorative pressed metal, and other cool designs.
DIY your basement ceiling for $2-$3 persq.
or own a pro do it for $3-$6 persq. ft.
Tip:A primary goal is to install the ceiling grid flat and level. Renting a laser level ($90/day) helps hold your ceiling straight and true. Plan 2 days to install a sq.-ft.
The simplest way to mask overhead pipes and ducts is with fabric. Nail or staple it to joists and let it hang below so it hides every that overhead stuff. It might make your basement glance a sheik’s tent, but that’s not bad! Certainly better than pipes and cobwebs!