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Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

Posted by bella72 (My Page) on
Mon, Jan 9, 06 at 10:14

Hi All,
Our DIY basement project continues..We have put new vinyl flooring and made "sliding doors" with Ikea panel curtains infront of the laundry room and furnace room, which do the job and look good,too. Now, it is time for finishing the ceiling and we are wondering whether we can simply cover it with some white fabric? Any suggestions for the fabric or any safety issues we should be aware of?, please let me know. We are finishing the basement as a playroom and safety is our first concern. Thank you.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

It could be a fire hazard, and may not be allowed by code. Ask your local building authority.

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?


Did you ever find a fabric/clarify code? I'm thinking there must be a fire resistant petroleum-based product. Others have suggested Tyvek, but I haven't been able to find any without the obnoxious dupont logo.

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

I agree that it'd be a fire hazard, why not just paint the underside? Hire an airless sprayer, or buy a Wagner Paint Crew.

You can always finish the ceiling properly later, you know if my ceiling wasn't already finished, I'd go for a suspended ceiling, not that I like the look of them, but I'd love to have access to all of the underside of the upper floor for wiring and plumbing purposes....

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

Look, almost everything in your house will burn. You've got wood cabinets, doors, trim, furniture; fabric drapes and cushins- I mean come on!!! The unfinished basement ceiling was wood-joists and plywood, right???

I'm with you. We installed purlins under our floor joists so our ceiling would clear all the plumbing/ low voltage/ everything else installed in the 30+ years of remodeling in this house's existence, then stapled up nonwoven landscape fabric to "black-out" the ceiling. We then installed woven reedcane fence (stapled as well). It is BEAUTIFUL!!! It is disticntive and different, has a neat, finshed look, and we have the added benefit of being able to access our houseworks without having to look at (really ugly) drop ceiling!
I say "GO FOR IT!!!"

***disclaimer*** I am not responsible if your house burns down. A lot more sensible people than I warned you against this.

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

Yes, your house is made of burnables, but look at the ratings. Sometimes they are rated by minutes to combustion or something like that. Acceptable ratings by code is like 15 minutes, enough time for you to escape. Also, wood does not flare, nor does wall board. They also do not ignite when you hold a match to them, at least not right away. Fabric does. It would take no time to ignite and even less time to burn up. I would reconsider this idea very seriously. Take a look for panels of formica or WislonArt. They make them in flame retardent varieties.

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

If your concern is safety, and kids are involved, I'd run a mile from a fabric ceiling. As Wianno said, the flash point of fabric is nothing. Kids being kids, they'll want to play with matches. Where are they gonna do it? Somewhere out of the way, like downstairs in the basement.

This is probably why people go for suspended ceilings (I wish previous owners of my house had, then I'd have access to plumbing and wiring)

DO NOT do the ceiling in fabric. Heat/flame rises, which is why this is a doubly bad idea. Your insurance might not even be valid if you do this.

How are you heating that area? Another concern. Hire an airless sprayer, paint the underside of the floor white. It looks funky.

RE: Covering basement ceiling with fabric?

Has anyone tried something like this with a basement wall? I was thinking it might be cheaper than drywall and might look cool too?

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