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Old 10-06-2018, 02:27 PM   #1
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Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Working in the basement to reframe a utility room wall to replace a double sliding door with a normal single door. Also, will be bumping out the laundry room walls on the opposite end of the basement as the next project. The hardest and most frustrating issue so far is removing the surface mount drop ceiling tiles. Being surface mount, there's no room to lift an edge and pull the tile out at an angle. This means having to pull the snap in track pieces out, but they keep breaking or I end up gouging the soft tiles trying to get the track out.

Given the tile condition and what seems to be poor installation, I'm tempted to just rip it all down and go the route of painting the joists. Here's what it looks like. You can see the many gaps and crude "fixes" down by PO. There are also a bunch of "yellowed" track pieces mixed in with the white.

Talk me in or out of removing the drop ceiling and going the painted route!



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Old 10-06-2018, 02:42 PM   #2
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


I would drywall it the drop for the heat ducts would be finished about 2 1/2" lower than the ducts.
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:57 PM   #3
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Not sure I follow. Don't plan to cover main HVAC duct. Either going to leave current drop ceiling or remove it and paint joists.

Not a fan of drywall because I like having access to electrical/plumbing with upcoming renovations.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:12 PM   #4
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


It would annoy me endlessly to have a T-bar ceiling that isn't dropped to allow
access. I'd rip it out.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:36 PM   #5
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


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Either going to leave current drop ceiling or remove it and paint joists.
If you pull the ceiling, the room is going to get much darker. Even painted white, the joists are still going to have less light reflectivity than the flat panels.

Aside from your current remodeling project, it shouldn't be very often that you need to access the area above the ceiling. For that infrequent need, the loss of light and dust control is not really worth it.
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Old 10-06-2018, 03:38 PM   #6
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


I won't attempt to do either. The choice is yours. But,


Most prospective home buyers would rather have a a crappy dropped ceiling than painted joists / cavities.


Sometimes because of access considerations it is more important to have a dropped ceiling than a drywall ceiling.
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Old 10-06-2018, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


I would consider painting the ceiling joists. The old picture is worth a thousand words works here.

You gain an inch or two by eliminating the grid and the perception of extra height is a real plus.

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Old 10-06-2018, 04:46 PM   #8
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


I agree with Colbyt this time not because he said that I might get lynched for some of my views on supply lines but because I actually think the he is right.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:00 PM   #9
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


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Given the tile condition and what seems to be poor installation, I'm tempted to just rip it all down and go the route of painting the joists.

It looks bad, and I can appreciate your preference to have access to the services. If you are OK with painted joists, you have no need to impress me. But, IMHO, painted joists look poor. You need a better plan for after ripping out the ceiling tiles.
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:14 AM   #10
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


As said earlier ...dust control will be a forever problem with painted floors joists/floor deck. . I would remove the tattered dropped ceiling, then do my reno. Then install back, one of the many newer styles "shadow line" AC systems. JMO
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Old 10-07-2018, 07:47 AM   #11
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Given the well known wrestling match associated with getting some drop panels out of a basement ceiling I went searching for "low drop easy to remove basement ceilings" and found "direct-mount ceiling". I've never encountered them but they do seem like a good alternative. I didn't add a link as they should be an easy search but the grid is attached directly to the joists above instead of being suspended and the tiles can be removed if needed.

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Old 10-07-2018, 10:19 AM   #12
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Thanks for all of the comments everyone.

Talked about this with the gf for the better part of yesterday. We had previously talked about refinishing the basement given the t1-11 wall panels with no insulation behind them. Looking to get a bit warmer, nicely finished space. Add insulation and drywall for all of the walls. With the ceiling situation, we decided this would be a good time to rip everything out - including the drop ceiling - and start from scratch. When the walls and insulation are done, we'll leave the basement with no ceiling for the time being until the bathrooms and associated plumbing for the upstairs is complete. This should give enough time to evaluate noise and dust concerns between the main floor and basement and we can then decide to either paint the joists, put in a new drop ceiling, or maybe even drywall.

To address a couple other points, our current drop ceiling is a surface mount t-track system already. 2x4 strapping runs perpendicular to all of the ceiling joists and then the t-track drop ceiling is directly mounted to those. So removing the drop ceiling + 2x4 strapping would give around a 3" height increase from 79" currently to 82" for bottom of joists.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:32 AM   #13
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Quote:
Originally Posted by dtbingle View Post
Thanks for all of the comments everyone.

Talked about this with the gf for the better part of yesterday. We had previously talked about refinishing the basement given the t1-11 wall panels with no insulation behind them. Looking to get a bit warmer, nicely finished space. Add insulation and drywall for all of the walls. With the ceiling situation, we decided this would be a good time to rip everything out - including the drop ceiling - and start from scratch. When the walls and insulation are done, we'll leave the basement with no ceiling for the time being until the bathrooms and associated plumbing for the upstairs is complete. This should give enough time to evaluate noise and dust concerns between the main floor and basement and we can then decide to either paint the joists, put in a new drop ceiling, or maybe even drywall.

To address a couple other points, our current drop ceiling is a surface mount t-track system already. 2x4 strapping runs perpendicular to all of the ceiling joists and then the t-track drop ceiling is directly mounted to those. So removing the drop ceiling + 2x4 strapping would give around a 3" height increase from 79" currently to 82" for bottom of joists.
Min. height is 80, so you beam and ducts are well below that.


You could spend a lot of money to do it up right, I guess you know that.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:59 PM   #14
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Agreed, it would be nice to have those flush at 80"+, but would be way too expensive to even consider. Moving would be more cost effective than that haha.

Bottom of ducts and metal I-beam covering are at 72". Guess people weren't taller than 6 ft back when it was designed in the 1950's.
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Old 10-07-2018, 01:07 PM   #15
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Re: Talk me in or out of removing basement drop ceiling


Just to mention, I'm looking forward to removing my old ducts and installing a mini-split system. I'm on oil heat and no ac so with improved insulation a heat pump system will fit nice, and my basement will appreciate it.

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