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Old 04-23-2020, 12:26 PM   #1
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Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


Thanks in advance for any ideas!

(Sorry--2 of my pics are posting here wrong-side-up for some reason.)

I have an interesting ceiling area in my new-ish house that needs attention. There is unsightly ductwork that needs to be covered in a finished basement area (ground floor of a split-level ranch).

The previous owners had covered the area with some homemade "tiles" consisting of wood frames covered with fabric (like a painter's canvas). It was hideous so I have thrown them out and am looking for a better replacement as I update the entire room. (Yeah, that floral border is GOING!)

The fabric was lightly water-stained and, when using the A/C in the summer, the fabric would show suction, so my guess is that light condensation can drip from the ductwork and a vented or perforated tile would be a good choice to cover this area to cut down on suction and also allow for good air circulation (should be removable if ducts need to be accessed).

The area is 3 feet wide and just over 13 feet long. 3-foot rigid tiles of perforated, slatted or even egg crate plastic or metal would sit in the area nicely, but most tile seems to be 2x4 foot or 1x1 foot. There's a wood lip on either side that the tiles could rest on.

I use it for a gym/casual area, so it doesn't have to be gorgeous or even completely hide the duct. Anyone know of 3-foot wide tile options, or anything that can be cut to that? Or even any DIY ideas appreciated! (I have intermediate carpentry skills.) Thanks much.
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Last edited by DIYinfo; 04-23-2020 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 04-23-2020, 12:45 PM   #2
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


sealed your accessible returns and there won't be "suction"

you can wrap the supply trunk in insulation to prevent condensation.
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Old 04-23-2020, 02:19 PM   #3
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


I’d fix the sweating problem before I worried about covering the duct.
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Old 04-23-2020, 03:51 PM   #4
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


yes - may have low airflow or abnormally high humidity in the basement. wrapping/insulating duct can never hurt though.
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Old 04-24-2020, 11:32 AM   #5
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


I think once you get your HVAC performing well, there is little reason to leave the ductwork accessible, especially if there is a seating area there. A troffer louver or some sort of perforated grid would be strange to look up through with all the adjacent finished ceilings.
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Old 04-24-2020, 04:57 PM   #6
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


If you have about 2 inch clearance from the bottom of the duct to the top of the lip use the main runners for acoustical tile spaced 12 inch OC than cut drywall to fit.
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Old 04-24-2020, 05:31 PM   #7
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


I'd panel it with PVC "wood" and make it look like an oversized doorway opening kinda thing:



Maybe even put a knee-wall with a column on either end about a foot or two off the wall if visually splitting up the space was doable.


...Maybe do 2 faux ceiling beams with a flat pvc board and some LED can lights in-between.

...Perhaps window/picture frame a PVC board there then add some track lights to illuminate hanging stained glass or similar "transparent" art.
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Old 04-24-2020, 06:06 PM   #8
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Re: Ceiling tile / ceiling treatment suggestions, please


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