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Old 09-19-2011, 11:52 PM   #1
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Looking for basement rafter ideas...


I removed the "drop" ceiling from my basement and found the rafters and subfloor are actually in pretty good shape. The subfloor is actually made up of planks of wood instead of sheets of plywood:



The former owners of the house nailed ceiling tiles directly into the rafters. I've been filling the holes left by the nails with wood putty.

Originally, I was going to keep the ceiling (which is why I painted the walls, figuring most of the work was done). After attempting some touch-up work, though, it was obvious the ceiling needed to go. I should've worked on the ceiling first, but live and learn.



Most of the rafters and subfloor is in great cosmetic shape. Currently, I'm sanding the surfaces of the rafters in order to dress them up a little bit.



I'm hoping to find a creative way to hide the joists. I don't think drywalling all the way up between the joists is an appropriate solution; I think it would look pretty messy.

I've seen a few ceilings that feature "overhangs" (for lack of a better explanation). The best explanation I can come up with is a plank of wood laid along the rafters and flush against the drywall, sort of like crown molding, but flat against the rafters instead of at an angle between the wall and ceiling.

Ideally, it would hide the joists and give me an opportunity to put in some lighting. I like the idea of recessed eyeball lighting for highlighting pictures on the wall or some sort of lighting to illuminate the ceiling.

I'm also trying to figure out how to finish the ceiling. I'll probably end up playing with various color swatches with Photoshop.

And, as always, please toss some ideas my way!
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Old 09-20-2011, 12:57 AM   #2
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Do like they do in some restaurants, paint the ceiling black to hide the floor joists and pipes. By the way, there are no rafters in a basement.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:06 AM   #3
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I thought about that. However, I feel like I'd be wasting the great condition of the wood if I painted it black. Also, there isn't a lot of ductwork and piping visible in the finished section of the basement.

If they're not called rafters, what are they called? Beams? That didn't sound right, so I kept referring to them as rafters.
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Old 09-20-2011, 09:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffreybomb View Post
I thought about that. However, I feel like I'd be wasting the great condition of the wood if I painted it black. Also, there isn't a lot of ductwork and piping visible in the finished section of the basement.

If they're not called rafters, what are they called? Beams? That didn't sound right, so I kept referring to them as rafters.
Jeffrey they are called floor joists, rafters are part of the roof structure. (not trying to be a smart butt)

In some of the antique homes I worked in they wanted to exaggerate instead of hide so they painted the ceilings in the basement with the exposed joists white, although some of the joist were actually small trees.

Just an idea, you could install T&G between the floor joists against the subfloor and dress it up a little if you wished at least it would hide the subfloor. The folks who painted their ceilings didn't try to hide the subfloor they just painted them and it did look good as it was antique.
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Old 09-20-2011, 08:08 PM   #5
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Jeffrey they are called floor joists, rafters are part of the roof structure. (not trying to be a smart butt)
Noooo... I didn't think you were. I joined this forum to learn more about my house, and that's exactly what's going on now. :D

In some of the antique homes I worked in they wanted to exaggerate instead of hide so they painted the ceilings in the basement with the exposed joists white, although some of the joist were actually small trees.

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Just an idea, you could install T&G between the floor joists against the subfloor and dress it up a little if you wished at least it would hide the subfloor. The folks who painted their ceilings didn't try to hide the subfloor they just painted them and it did look good as it was antique.
What's T&G? As it stands now, I like how the subfloor looks. So much so that I may add some lighting to illuminate the ceiling. I'm planning on making it a basement bar and game room.

Difficult to describe, but that's why I've got Photoshop. When I get the chance, I'm going to play around with some pictures and try to show what I mean.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:10 PM   #6
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T&G is tongue and groove, you can get it in 1X4, 1X6 and 1X8, here is a few examples
http://images.search.yahoo.com/searc...groove+ceiling
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:20 PM   #7
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How about shooting some stain on the bare wood and then a clear coat......I think that wood looks good enough to keep exposed....

But I would get rid of the shiners first....
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:04 PM   #8
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T&G is tongue and groove, you can get it in 1X4, 1X6 and 1X8, ...
Aah, yes. I think I'm going to leave it the way it is for now. Thanks for the suggestion, though!

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How about shooting some stain on the bare wood and then a clear coat......I think that wood looks good enough to keep exposed....
I thought so, too. I'm thinking about making the joists a darker color than the subfloor in order to hide a lot of the imperfections (hammer marks and such).

I definitely like the idea of staining. It's going to be a lot of work, that's for damn sure! I'm about 1/3 done sanding the joists. I'm not looking for a completely smooth finish, just enough sanding to make the wood look fresh. Fortunately, it's not taking much to remove the surface discoloration on what I've sanded so far.

If I find a particularly stubborn section, I'll be sure to get some before and after photos!
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:34 PM   #9
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Be sure to get a building permit for the basement finishing project. I doubt you will be allowed to leave the wood joists exposed due to fire codes (required drywall or other covering; 1/4" plywood, etc.), check with your local AHJ.

Gary
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Old 09-21-2011, 09:58 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
Be sure to get a building permit for the basement finishing project. I doubt you will be allowed to leave the wood joists exposed due to fire codes (required drywall or other covering; 1/4" plywood, etc.), check with your local AHJ.

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I seem to have a block about fire codes and I was even a fireman at one time years ago, you have to watch me Gary.
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Old 09-23-2011, 04:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
I doubt you will be allowed to leave the wood joists exposed due to fire codes (required drywall or other covering; 1/4" plywood, etc.), check with your local AHJ.
Why wouldn't I be allowed to leave the joists exposed? The basement was originally unfinished. Parts of the basement are going to remain unfinished for a while even after I finish the main area.
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Old 11-21-2011, 01:03 AM   #12
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In response to exposed "rafters" I have a 1946 bungalo with a really low ceiling and am thinking about doing something similar, as my subfloor and beams are beautiful. Did you finish your project? How did it turn out? Paint or Spar Varnish?
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Old 11-22-2011, 11:37 PM   #13
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Perhaps he checked locally and found Code requires light-frame (as opposed to log homes) buildings to be covered with a fire barrier= drywall or other approved material.

Gary
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