For the vast majority of residential basement ceilings, gypsum board attached directly to overhead joists is the ceiling finishing method of choice. This creates a clean, easily painted surface. Gypsum board ceiling covering is middle-of-the-road in terms of price. The method does have one major disadvantage though: any repairs or maintenance work done overhead requires destroying and replacing part of the ceiling. While not a common occurrence in most homes, the mess, inconvenience, and cost are things to consider when choosing this ceiling covering method.
At the top in terms of installation cost, the professional appearance of a suspended ceiling is difficult to surpass. The same ceiling cover found in most offices, suspended ceilings allow easy access for maintenance and repairs. Also, the individual tiles can be replaced inexpensively and easily in comparison to other ceiling covering methods. There are two disadvantages with suspended ceilings: they waste space and the suspension grids are somewhat fragile, so they might not be the best choice in a space with low clearance or that will be used for rambunctious activity.
Coffered ceilings, on the other hand, are very similar in technical terms to suspended ceilings, but differ from them in being decorated with ornate recessed panels, offering a more corporate appearance, ideal for those who plan to turn their basement into a home office or formal study. The drawback of plain old suspended ceilings, on the other hand, lies in the industrial look they tend to give a room, which can be great if you're into Manhattan-style architecture and not-so-great if your house has been designed to look like a Tuscan villa. For practical purposes, they're great, as one can quickly access any wires pipes they conceal by snapping away segments of the ceiling. Most building codes require at least 90 inches of headroom for a finished basement, so in the event that your basement has a low ceiling, you have two options - either dig up the floor, or go for drywall.
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