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Jim McC 08-22-2013 10:31 PM

Using fabric/cloth on basement ceiling
Has anyone used some sort of fabric/cloth on their basement ceiling? If so, what did you use and how did you hang it? My daughter is considering doing this to cover the ceiling joists, etc. of her basement ceiling. Thanks.

user1007 08-23-2013 07:06 AM

Sagging could be an issue but it is worth a shot. Stretch it as you go. I would use some sort of canvas, sailcloth or parachute fabric and furring strips or lath to hold it to joists. Use tacks or long staples to go through everything. Paint the lathe first so it blends. Fabric too thin would be prone to tearing. It may be hard to keep clean in a basement.

Or if defining a space you could paint the underside of the floors and joists, twist fabric from several directions and gather it at the middle and not try to cover everything.

Do be mindful of fire hazards and buy fabric treated or treat with a fire retardant if putting any sort of light source behind the fabric. Keep a rated fire extinguisher and active smoke alarm in the basement anyhow.

I have seen some fun fabric ceiling treatments with firefly LED lights hidden above the fabric. The approach is used in the theater set world so could work for you.

Live_Oak 08-23-2013 09:48 AM

If the basement is habitable, that won't pass fire code without a layer of drywall underneath. With the drywall up, you can adhere it with liquid starch, just like you can on a wall. It's just kinda shocking to see that idea come around again full circle. In the 70's fabric or carpet on the ceiling was all the rage. Like The King's basement game room.


Jim McC 08-23-2013 01:06 PM

Thanks guys. Painting the ceiling joists, etc. is the other choice. The problem is the walls are already finished and floor is carpeted. So if we used fire retardant fabric, we would still need to put up drywall first to meet code?

Live_Oak 08-23-2013 08:56 PM

Your dilemma is why suspended ceilings are so popular. They provide the necessary fire resistant material and yet you are able to easily move them aside for access to the utilities. It's not that difficult a job to do either. Perhaps you should consider checking out Armstrong's ceiling tile collection? There are other manufacturers as well but Armstrong is readily available at most box stores for DIYers.

Fix'n it 08-24-2013 08:21 AM


Originally Posted by Jim McC (Post 1232998)
Has anyone used some sort of fabric/cloth on their basement ceiling?

yeah, i did, years ago.

basic black fabric and tacs. piece of cake and it looked nice for what it was.

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