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Drop Ceiling or Drywall Ceiling: Which one should you choose?

Whether you’re remodeling your home or building a new property, the decision on what ceiling type to install can be rather confusing. Drop ceilings, also known as suspended ceilings, can transform the look and feel of your home by adding a unique decorative feature.

Installing a Drywall vs. Drop Ceiling

Drywall ceilings require extensive labour during installation. The drywall sheets are usually very heavy and need adequate manpower during installation to ensure they are attached properly to the ceiling beams. The job doesn’t end once the drywall is attached. There’s still a lot of finishing work that will need to be done such as covering the screw heads on the drywall, painting, sanding and cleaning up the work.

Drop ceiling, on the other hand, is simpler to install. This is a project that can easily be turned into a DIY because of the simplicity of handling suspended ceilings.  The suspended ceiling is not only easy to install but doesn’t create a mess that requires lots of clean up work. It’s a task any handy homeowner can complete over the weekend.  The best part is, you get access to multiple installation information and videos that will guide you on how to get the job done with ease.

Decorating with Drywall vs. Suspended Ceilings

If you’re looking for a unique decorative ceiling, drywall will leave you yearning for more. Drop ceilings, on the other hand, offer diversity when it comes to decorative styles. You can choose from a wide range of unique styles and get something that complements the rest of your home design.  Whether you want to add texture and depth in your home, a drop ceiling is the best addition if you’re tired of the old and traditional look. The tiles used in suspended ceilings come in so many different colors so it’s easy to get something that blends perfectly with your walls and floors.


One other major difference between drywall and drop ceilings is that the latter offers easy access to plumbing, wiring, and ductwork that may be covered by the ceiling. Whenever some maintenance is required, these areas can be easily accessed if you have a drop ceiling. You can simply remove a tile, fix the issue and then put it back. Even if damage occurs to one of the tiles on your suspended ceiling, you can remove it and get a replacement. It doesn’t have to affect the entire ceiling system. This is why drop ceilings are considered more practical than drywall ceilings.

What happens during damage or plumbing leaks?

A simple leak on your basement can damage the drywall completely and require costly replacement. If you had a suspended ceiling, the affected panels can be easily replaced. The plumbing leak from above doesn’t result in replacing the entire ceiling. This saves you money and time in case such an incident occurs.

Think about the acoustic properties of your basement?

If you’re planning on installing a TV with surround speakers in your basement, think about the acoustics. Drop ceilings are often made of sound-absorbing materials to minimize the effect of echo in the room. It makes a huge difference when you have a drop ceiling. You’ll obviously need to run wires on the floor above. With a drop ceiling, you’re sure to get a straightforward and clean finish.

To make the basement more soundproof with drywall, you can get special sheets that are designed to minimize sound deflection. However, these are likely to come at an additional cost. Suspended ceilings are already built with soundproofing features so this would be the best choice if soundproofing were that critical to your environment.

In rare situations, you may need more than one type of ceiling system. The trick is to ensure that you assess all practical reasons prior to making a decision and don’t consider the looks alone. Think of what’s easy to work with even in the long term when choosing between a suspended and drywall ceiling.

Suspend Ceilings vs. Drywall for the Basement

Choosing a ceiling for your basement? Drywall and drop ceilings are two options worth considering. You need to assess your basement to determine which route to go. One important thing to look at is how much headroom you have in your basement. How much headroom are you comfortable losing? With a drywall ceiling, the installation can be done directly to the joists. This means that you don’t lose so much headroom. However, suspended ceilings require a little more headroom. You can lose about 3 to 5 inches of headroom with a suspended ceiling.

Is it a New or Older Home?

New homes are now built with basements that have adequate headroom and ceiling height. Therefore, installing a suspended ceiling is usually not an issue. However, if you have an older home, the room height is probably going to be a concern when choosing a ceiling. This is because, in older homes, the basements were considered a utility area and not a living space. You’ll have to maximize the headroom by installing a drywall ceiling.

Before you decide to install drywall in the basement, think of the pros and cons. For starters, if you have electrical junction boxes in between the joists, keep in mind that it will be difficult to access this once the drywall is installed. Covering these components permanently with drywall has its disadvantages. It’s also unsafe and against the building code. If you really have to install drywall in this case, consider having these components moved. This will require having your wiring updated which only adds to the renovation budget.

In many older homes, the piping and ductwork are attached to the bottom of the joists. If you hang drywall directly on the ceiling, you don’t get to access all these electrical and plumbing components. Perhaps that’s why modern homeowners have chosen to look the other way. More and more people are installing suspended systems because they offer access convenience.