Unfinished basement ceilings are typically a ragtag mixture of joists, wires, pipes, ducts and cobwebs. Covering the unsightly mess will transform your basement into a livable space. Here are five ways you can remodel your basement ceiling into something that complements rather than detracts from the room.
Probably the quickest and easiest way to cover the basement ceiling is with a fabric that matches the rest of the room. Simply choose a fabric that works with basement furnishings, walls and flooring and nail or staple it to the cross beams and joists. Make the fabric taut for a ceiling look or let it hang loose in areas to give a tent-like texture. Cheap and easy!
These days, a lot of restaurants and coffee shops have taken over former warehouse spaces. By painting over the existing ceiling duct and framework and leaving it uncovered, the resulting look is an industrial chic that actually appears quite modern. The job will require a paint sprayer as well as a good cleaning and priming of the ceiling and duct work before paint application. Flat, dark paints work well for this type of look.
To actually hide the various wires, pipes, joists and ducts running across your basement ceiling, consider a drop ceiling. Although it looks permanent, the removable tiles allow easy access if you need to work on wiring or ductwork in the future. A framework is hung off the ceiling below all pipes, ducts and joists and then fitted with panelling that gives the appearance of a solid ceiling. One drawback to drop ceilings is they lower the ceiling height of your basement, so they may not work with basements that do not already have a lot of headroom.
Installing drywall is the most permanent method of finishing your basement ceiling. Using the existing flooring joints you can nail the drywall directly into the wood. From there, mud and tape the seams then give the drywall a good coat of paint. The result will be a ceiling that looks like any other in the house. Although the finished look can’t be beat, drywalling is a skill and isn’t easily done by a novice. Also, once the installation is finished, accessing any wiring or ductwork after the fact will require some demolition.
Box beams are constructions that are used to cover beams, pipes, ductwork or other ceiling protrusions. Typically three-sided, they fit over and cover the offending outcropping while attaching to the ceiling. By using several box beams it’s possible to cover portions of the ceiling that will actually result in an arty look.
Finishing your basement ceiling will give the room a feeling of completeness. You can hide the ceiling with temporary or permanent cover or just spruce up what’s already there. The result will transform the basement’s profile and make it into a truly livable space.