Typically, basement ceilings are full of plumbing pipes, wires and other structural parts that make the room unwelcoming. Hiding all of those pipes with a clean, solid finish material will give your basement an immediate upgrade and transform it into an appealing functional space. However, completing your ceiling doesn't come without its compromises. With all the ductwork and plumbing pipes in the way, it's nearly impossible to have a nice, smooth ceiling. But there's a few ways you can get around that. Here's a few different ways you can finish your CT basement ceiling.
Installing Drop Ceilings
A drop ceiling, also known as a suspended ceiling, covers pipes and ductwork. It's a metal grid that hangs on wires attatched to the joists. Acoustical panels slide into the grid to create a continuous ceiling surface. If you're worried about presentation, you can find mineral or acrylic panes that look like frame-and-panel wood or decorative pressed metal, which add to your home's overall aesthetic and complement other areas. The panels also have other advantages such as absorbing sound, and easy install and removal.
Mask Everything With Paint
One of the easiest way to finish a basement ceiling is to paint everything. Monochromatic ceilings disguise all pipes and duckwork, which is a techinique used in coffee houses and shops. Using a paint sprayer is ideal as it's easy to coat all the various features from different angles. Rent a sprayer for about $100 per day, including paint, or you can have a professional do it for $300 more. If you decide to do it yourself, make sure to use darker paint with a flat sheen, and clean off the cobwebs and dirt before you spray.
Masking overhead pipes and ducts with fabric is another quick and effective solution. Staple the fabric to the joists and let it hang down slightly so it hides the overhead stuff. It's not the cleanest look (your CT basement might look like a tent), but it's certainly better than leaving the pipes and cobwebs exposed.
If there's no obstructions hanging below, you can finish your CT basement ceiling using 4-by-8-foot sheets of decorative grooved wall paneling. It's easy to install, but there's seams at the end of the panels. If that's not a big deal, then you're all set. However, for the pessimistic homeowner, molding across the room for a textured look should do the trick. Installing drywall is a multiple-person task as the paneling overhead towards your CT ceiling can be awkward.