The basement isn’t exactly the most exciting part of the house, but it remains an essential area that is more than a glorified storage area.
And if you want the basement to be more inviting than ever before, you have to think about the ceiling. Here are basement ceiling ideas worth considering.
Preparing Your Basement
Whether you intend to change the flooring or the ceiling, it’s important to prepare the basement for any significant changes.
The first thing you should do is to clean the area. Prepare a pair of gloves and a mask to avoid getting in contact with dirt and being exposed to harmful substances in the air.
Take away all the things in the basement. Gather all the box and move them up. Likewise, don’t be afraid to seek assistance if there is too much stuff to carry.
If there are lots of small items, you should create categories so that you can store them in different containers.
Once you’re done with the cleaning, it’s time to check if your basement is prone to leaks or not. You can check this through a simple moisture meter.
If your basement does need some waterproofing, your new ceiling must have a waterproof design as well. The walls must have a waterproof coating.
In addition, any cracks on both the walls and the floor should be fixed with carbon fiber installations. Not only is this material more durable than steel but carbon fiber is also lightweight and resistant to corrosion.
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- Michigan basement waterproofing
Identifying Basement Ceiling Types
In general, there are two types of basement ceilings: the drop-ceiling and drywall ceiling. But there’s also what we call tile ceiling.
You could just paint the ceiling however you want. Still, following one of these types will make your basement look singular in terms of the overall aesthetic.
1) Drop Ceiling
First, the drop-ceiling type. This one is a fairly affordable choice — making it a favorite choice among most homeowners.
It succeeds in keeping all the pipes hidden away from plain sight. Plus, any utilities located above aren’t out of reach even if the joists are no longer visible.
2) Drywall Ceiling
Second, drywall is a great option if you want to maximize the space. You need to allocate more time for this type to prevent the pipes and ducts from being affected.
Then again, this material will effectively reduce the noise in your basement and make the ceiling resistant to fire.
Installing this requires a drywall lift. Otherwise, you should ask for help. Getting this done is pretty similar to arranging the walls of your basement.
The difference is that the drywall ceiling must have a cavity — this is where you will reach the pipework.
3) Tile Ceiling
And lastly, tile ceiling helps you cover the basement using light materials. Apart from improving the acoustics, the tiles also provide a bit of insulation once positioned in the aluminum grid.
This one is a practical option since the tiles are easy to replace if they are damaged or if you want a new design.
4) Painted Wooden Plank Ceiling
If you have seen those trendy Brooklyn lofts with painted ceilings, those are basically what we are getting at here. This is used as a final basement ceiling design or a remedy for wood paneling.
If you want an artsy basement ceiling, you can paint your wood plank ceiling any way you want it.
You can also have the wood panels painted if they become stained and look moldy due to exposure to moist and other elements. In this way, you could save your wood paneled basement ceiling.
5) Painted Pipes or beams
When beams connecting to the main house litter the basements, you have to be creative and think out of the box if you are envisioning turning your basement into a room, entertainment room or personal office.
The cheapest way to do that is by painting these beams or pipes. Bright colors will liven up the space and neutral ones will make it look modern and industrial.
6) Painted Rafters
Installing rafters in the basement ceiling is pretty functional for people who are in need of extra storage spaces. You can actually use the rafters for safekeeping important stuff.
Ordinary rafters can be turned into visually appealing ones that will change the look of the basement entirely.
Like the painted wood ceiling, you can use any design that you want. Opting for this is also relatively cheaper than going for the traditional basement ceiling cover.
7) Stretch Ceiling
If you want a visually appealing basement ceiling without involving a lot of furniture moving, messy work and in a short timeframe as it is easy to install, this is the basement ceiling type for you.
The upside of this type is that you won’t have to worry about the basement being too damp or humid. The downside however, is that it is more expensive than others.
8) Corrugated Metal Ceiling
If you want to cover the beams or pipes that litter the basement ceiling, you can do so with corrugated metal. Aside from this inherent function, corrugated metal also helps in minimizing the noise that travels through the basement ceiling.
You can also put it in between beams to provide interesting accents. More than this, it is easy to install, relatively cheap and adds an industrial flair to your basement.
Typically, beadboard is used for walls especially in making modern natural dividers. But if you have an uneven basement ceiling, you can use a beadboard to level it out.
Aside from covering the unevenness in the ceiling, it also covers other structural eyesores. It is also easy to install and is relatively cheap. Adding lightwork could also make it more visually appealing.
10) PVC Tile
There are debates with the use of PVC tiles for ceilings. One of its upsides is that PVC is generally moist-resistant, minimizing the dampness of the basement. However, the downsides are more apparent.
For one, PVC is made of plastic, meaning that it produces more heat for the ceiling. Thus, you cannot install too many lights up there. Other than that, PVC has known harmful chemicals.
11) Tin Tile
If you intend to have a basement with the vibe of old pubs, complete with pool, bar, arcade and video games making a total recreational area, tin tiles will surely do the trick.
Tin tiles are not that expensive and installing them does not involve too much time and labor. Functionally, tin tiles reflect sound and light so you can go loud and rowdy or just chill with drinks and music without disturbing the people upstairs.
Related: Modern basement bar ideas
12) Wood Paneling
This is easy to install if you already have support beams in your basement. It will also be cheaper for you because all you need is prepare the wood planks, measure them to fit the basement’s ceiling and install them one by one.
This can be done DIY and is perfect for minimalist, rustic basement styles. If you want to turn your basement into your personal office, wood paneling is also suitable. Aside from this, the natural look of the wood panels is visually astounding.
13) Suspended Ceiling
This is one of the most common basement ceiling types for finished homes/buildings. It makes use of metal frames that will hang from the ceiling joints.
After this, it is topped off with ceiling tiles and some light work. It is relatively easy to install. The work is only concentrated on aligning the metal frames. The major upside for this type is that it is less expensive but does not fall short on looking good.
14) Decorative Ceiling Tile
Decorative ceiling tiles could be anything from acoustic to lattice to brick but with decorative embellishments that make it look astonishing.
You could find some of these in modern architectural designs, in operas, cinemas and other themed establishments.
Of course, more aesthetically embellished ceiling tiles will be very pricey but there are also cheaper options in the market right now especially that it is becoming a new trend.
15) Box Ceiling
If you already have a perfectly framed ceiling, the traditional box ceiling basement is a good fit. It gives the illusion that the ceiling is higher and the entire room more spacious.
It is also used to cover some ceiling eyesores brought about by the structural process. It is more laborious and expensive though since you will still need to put some wood panel ceilings in between the beams. Nonetheless, it is a clean sight after it is done.
16) Acoustic Tile Ceiling
Noise from foot traffic is a common issue of having basements. This is all specifically true for basement floors of office buildings. To minimize the noise coming from frequent foot stomping, objects moving and dropping, an acoustic tile ceiling is a good fit.
Acoustic tiles have the ability to dampen sound by minimizing sound vibrations to seep through the ceiling. This type of basement ceiling is commonly used by upstart musicians and homes that converted their basement into guest rooms.
17) Lattice Basement Ceiling
Installing lattice panels beneath the ceiling is both decorative and functional. With the addition of light work, lattice panels are decorative for the basement ceiling because it diffuses light that gives off beautiful patterns on the floor.
As functional panels, they add humidity to the room making it warm and cozy and also act as cover for ceiling stains and cracks. Lattice panels are installed like acoustic tiles.
18) Brick Basement Ceiling
If you are refurbishing old brick houses, chances are, they already have all-brick basements.
If you are going towards the industrial feel basement route, you can just improve those brick basements by adding construction adhesives or painting them with some neutral colors. You can transform your basement into a wine cellar or an industrial recreation area in no time.
19) Fabric Basement Ceiling
Since basements can typically be cold, damp and lacking natural light, giving it a soft touch can be achieved with more than just paint.
Draping the basement ceiling with fabric does not only make the basement warmer and more comfortable but also used to cover cracks and littered beams.
You can use any textile depending on the vibe you are going after. Bohemian, cheery, colorful, you can have it with fabric basement ceilings.
Related: Awesome unfinished basement ideas
Basement Ceiling Ideas
Once you’ve ensured the insulation and acoustic properties of the basement ceiling, you should also pay attention to the lighting fixtures.
One unique way to brighten up the area is by installing some pipe lamps on the ceiling. They are small in size and create an intimate and inviting atmosphere.
#1. Painted Basement with Low Ceilings
#2. Paint a Basement Ceiling with Exposed Joists
#3. White Painted Basement Ceiling
#4. Make a Paneled Wood Basement Ceiling on a Budget
#5. Wood Basement Ceiling for a bar
#6. DIY Exposed Painted Basement Ceiling
#7. DIY Beadboard Ceiling To Replace a Basement Drop Ceiling
#8. Tips for Painting an Exposed Basement Ceiling
#9. Lattice Basement Ceiling
#10. Brick Basement Ceiling
#11. Fabric Basement Ceiling
#12. Wood Basement Ceiling
#13. Barn wood ceiling
#14. Ornate wood ceiling
#15. Old license plates
How to insulate basement ceiling
Insulating the basement ceiling will come in handy during the winter frost. The first thing to do is to install insulation batts in the pipes, rim joints and wires along the ceiling.
You have to cross brace them after by stapling them in the joists’ edges.
At present, fiberglass and drywalls are used for ceiling insulation. For visuals of how this is done, here is a tutorial video from John Mansville.
How to soundproof basement ceiling
Sure, you can just ask experts to soundproof your basement ceiling but it will take a lot of money. But there are cheap ways to soundproof your basement and here are some of them.
First, you can add thick carpets or mats in the floor directly above your basement’s ceiling. Other than this, you can also rearrange the furniture above the basement to avoid the heavy sounds of moving and dropping objects.
Second, install soundproof panels or acoustic tiles. Third, insulate the spaces between the joists in your basement’s ceiling. Fiberglass insulation is a trendy choice nowadays. You can also consider using a soundproofing drywall if you are not comfortable with fiberglass.
To conclude, basement ceiling types could be DIY if we are only talking about a cramped space.
Most of the basement ceiling ideas here make use of relatively cheap materials like wood planks, paint, PVC and corrugated metals.
And although cheap, you can always think outside the box and transform these materials with some decorative flair.
You should also take into consideration the overall vibe that you want your basement to have.
If you are eyeing a basement room, box type, beadboard and lattice are a good fit. If it is for basement offices, acoustic, stretched or suspended types would do.
For wine cellars and recreational areas, tin tiles, corrugated metal, painted beams or wood panels would be perfect.
Related: Simple basement bathroom ideas