Ceiling Tiles

matt_rNovember 5, 2007

Have no headroom for a true suspended ceiling. Was looking into those firring strip 12"x12" tiles. Are these junk? I do not see the total advantage with them for "easy" access to basement joist area. Better than sheetrock, I guess, but a pain. Are these dated...do they look OK? I guess if you did a "perfect" install, they may look decent...but I guess I envision cracks between all the tiles and bumps and waves, no?

What about CeilingLink or CeilingMax...any issues? Supposely they attach to the joist and only use 1" of drop.

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Our basement ceiling is 7'. After adding up the materials cost of Ceilingmax, I decided drywall was cheaper and cleaner.
Glad I did it, since access panels aren't a big deal and repairing drywall after leaks isn't really a big deal either.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 7:35PM
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How expensive is ceilingmax...I would think drywall is expensive too. Most need to sub this out. What do you mean by access panels? I am concerned about closing up the basement ceiling...how do you run new electric lines or pipes, etc? Do you have pictures of access panels?

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 10:13PM
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When you close a ceiling (or walls), you need access to all the shut-off valves, phone interfaces, any gas unions, HVAC dampers, etc. So you cut holes and install panels. You can buy plastic ones, metal ones, or make your own.

As for running pipes, electric, sound system, etc. you either do that before you close it in, or open it up again later.

As for the cost, my memory is faint, but I recall the materials total for ceiling max for a 14 x 16 room was like 400-500 alone. But you can go to HD and use their calculator to find out what your cost will be. I have no idea what an installer would charge for it, but I'd guess you'd probably be looking at $1000 for one large room. I'd think drywall is comparable and maybe cheaper.

Sure, if you install the ceilingmax yourself, you save money.

Anyway, it sounds like you need to get some quotes.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2007 at 11:20PM
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Armstrong Ceilings has several flexible fiberglass ceiling tile patterns available. I have a low ceilinged basement and was able to use this type of ceiling panel with about an inch of clearance below the floor joists.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to Armstrong

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 9:56AM
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You can still do a grid and tiles--I'm not familiar with Grid Max, but there is one called Grid Tight that doesn't hang real low. If you do go with drywall, you definitely still want to have access to certain parts of the ceiling and would want to do something like a drywall access door. I've bought the drywall access doors and got my ceiling tiles and grid from the same company. My grid was just the regular grid though.

Here is a link that might be useful: Grid Tight

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 10:48AM
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Is the armstrong product a suspended ceiling? If so, you suspended it only an inch I guess?

    Bookmark   November 7, 2007 at 2:50PM
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The wall angles, main and cross tees are regular suspended ceiling gridwork. You can work with low clearance below floor (or if you prefer, ceiling) joists because the tile panel will flex if necessary. The panel is a plastic film over somewhat rigid insulation-type fiberglass. My ceiling is suspended about an inch below the floor joists. The main tees are hung from nails driven into the face (not the edge) of the floor joists.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2007 at 11:43PM
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If installed correctly, the 1x1 tiles on firring strips looks beautiful. A nice monolithic look with no tracks. You find these in office buildings.

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 7:38AM
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I am planning to use what I call a T bar system that only requires a max of 2 inches of headroom. For the tiles, check out this link:


These tiles are very thin and light weight. They have a lot of different patterns and now offer colors. I think you can order samples to check out the quality.

I really like the tiles with patterns. That's a way to make a drop ceiling go from typical blah to something that really pops (and also masks the hangers a bit). The only thing you have to think through is the lighting. Some of the ornate patterns would not work well with a recessed light trims.

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 7:19AM
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I have many restrictions with the recessed lights...is a drop ceiling may be not practical? I have some joist bays that are covered with sheet metal that are duct returns. How do you match up the drop ceiling panels correctly so the light gets into the middle?

    Bookmark   November 21, 2007 at 2:55PM
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