Here’s everything you need to know about false ceiling
If you find yourself on this page, then it is safe to assume that you are here for one of the following reasons:
- To know more about false ceilings, obviously.
- Contemplating the inclusion of a false ceiling, and hence, indulging in some first-hand research regarding the same.
- Answering an aesthetic calling which requires you to beautify your ceiling.
- Looking for the best way to conceal unattractive parts, wiring, pipelines, on display across your ceiling.
Well, whatever your concern may be, we at HomeLane have got you covered. For we have handpicked all the answers to all your false ceiling related questions, right here on this page.
1. What is a False Ceiling?
As suggested by its nomenclature, a false ceiling refers to a mock roofing feature that aims at enhancing the aesthetic appeal of an architectural structure. Simply put, in other words, a false ceiling is a secondary ceiling that is constructed below the original ceiling and is held into place by metal or wooden frames- a true fifth wall. Popular in Japan over the Muromachi Period (1337-1573), this feature has rapidly become an integral part of modern construction and finds incorporation in both residential as well as commercial buildings. Apart from being aesthetically appealing, a false ceiling aids in insulation, acoustics, soundproofing, lighting and casts an illusion of a lower ceiling height. False ceiling can further be referred to as a drop ceiling, suspended ceiling, grid ceiling, or T-bar ceiling.
2. False Ceiling Material:
False ceilings being a popular modern architectural feature encourages numerous variations in terms of materials used for construction which in turn are easily available in the market. One must be made familiar with each variant before one makes a choice.
|POP(plaster of Paris)||Low||Low||Yes||Yes||High|
|Gypsum/ Gypsum Board||Low||Low||Yes||Yes||High|
- Gypsum false ceilings: Gypsum, a hydrated sulphate form of calcium, is one of the most commonly used false ceiling materials. Gypsum false ceilings are pre-designed. Once the desired shape, size, and design of the false ceiling are decided upon, it can easily be installed. It sports a smooth, seamless finish and is known to absorb heat and noise. Being light-weight, it can easily be hung from an iron board from the original ceiling. A false gypsum ceiling would look best in your living room.
- Plaster of Paris false ceilings: After Gypsum, the next most desired false ceiling material is Plaster of Paris (POP). Essentially derived from Gypsum it comes in a powdered form. Gypsum is heated to form POP, which is then mixed with water to form a paste. Unlike a false gypsum ceiling, the POP false ceiling can be moulded into any shape, therefore, allowing immense versatility to POP false ceiling designs. It is important to note that it is far less expensive as compared to Gypsum.
However, building a POP false ceiling is a tedious process. First, the paste is formed, then, the design is created on a chicken mesh which can take weeks to dry.
- Wood false ceilings: Wood is a harmonious semblance of the traditional and the modern. A wooden false ceiling helps notch up the aesthetic appeal of any room since wood allows the incorporation of a wide range of patterns and designs. It also takes care of the acoustics. Purchase some fancy pendant lights to put on the ceiling, and one has a home setup that looks straight out of a movie. However, false wood ceilings are expensive and are not as durable as the gypsum or POP false ceiling.
- Fibre false ceilings: Fibre false ceilings appear in the form of tiles. They are made of natural and synthetic materials including wood, stone, tar, and other material. These false ceilings are strong, durable, budget-friendly, and resistant to both heat and noise.
Due to its ability to prevent heat and noise and low cost, false fibre ceilings are usually used in commercial places and buildings. However, these ceilings can be plain and boring. One can opt for a false fibre ceiling in one’s basement or storeroom.
- Metal false ceilings: Metal false ceilings are also very common in households. They comprise aluminium and galvanized iron due to their durability, strength, and ability to absorb noise. Metal false ceilings are also available in different designs and shapes and are easy to maintain. Along with this, it also has an antique appeal to it. One can get the ceiling painted as per preference. But, false metal ceilings are expensive in comparison to gypsum or POP false ceilings.
- Glass false ceilings: Owing to its transparency, false glass ceilings are enchanting. One can get beautiful floral designs carved on the glass or keep it completely transparent allowing an unrestricted view of the sky and surroundings. Also, the reflection of light on a false glass ceiling makes it more alluring. It is important to note, however, that glass is not as durable as other materials. It is brittle and can be risky.
- PVC false ceilings: Polyvinyl Chloride is a synthetic material that is used to manufacture different products for water and heat resistance and durability. PVC false ceilings are mostly installed in washrooms, kitchens, garages, and other places. They are light-weight, easy to maintain, and light on your pocket as well.
- Fabric and synthetic leather false ceilings: Fabric and Synthetic leather false ceiling generally use a cloth or leather. These can be moulded and designed with ease. However, they are not meant for long term use and are generally created for a specific occasion. They are prone to dust and damage.
3. Advantages and Disadvantages of False Ceilings:
Like any other construction feature, dropped ceilings too, come with their own advantages and disadvantages. It is only wise to be aware of them before one chooses to incorporate this feature.
Advantages of False ceilings:
- Insulation: Adding an extra layer of the ceiling that hangs below the true ceiling traps a layer of air between the two surfaces, which in turn helps regulate the room temperature. The lowering of the ceiling aids air conditioner efficiency since space is considerably reduced.
- Acoustics: Trapped air between the surfaces, or the plenum space, and materials used to construct the false ceiling, especially wood and fibre, helps in absorbing sound waves. Installation of false ceilings in living or gaming rooms improves acoustics, allowing a fuller experience.
- Illusion: Buildings with elevated ceilings often throws the furniture to room proportions off balance. To restore the semblance, more often than not, a false ceiling is installed, which casts an illusion of a lower ceiling, therefore, making the furniture appear larger and proportionate to the room.
- Wiring: A false ceiling, being a mock ceiling that hangs below the true ceiling, allows a large concealed area between the two surfaces which is effectively used for pipelines and wiring.
- Ease of modification: The panels used to construct the ceiling are easily removable, allowing easy access to the plenum space. Repair work, plumbing, and electrical wiring can be easily conducted, installed, modified, or replaced.
Disadvantages of False ceilings:
- Reduced head-room: The illusion of a lower ceiling can often turn out to be a disadvantage, limiting the scope of installation in buildings with space crunches or limited headroom.
- Drawbacks with respect to Materials used: Each material used for construction, has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. For example, materials like mineral fibre show their age quickly, sagging, delicate, staining easily and permanently. While others like metal, gypsum or POP, are comparatively far more durable.
- Concerns of concealment: Wiring, piping, and the actual ceiling is concealed when a false ceiling is put in place. This helps enhance the aesthetics of the room, but makes the detection of defaults or damage difficult to gauge.
4. False Ceiling Cost:
The cost of constructing a false ceiling depends on multiple factors. Here is a list of the ones of paramount importance, to ensure that you are well-armed when it comes to negotiating or reviewing the charges:
- The design: The cost of production is directly proportional to the complexity of the design. Complicated designs cost more since it is time-consuming, requires a lot of effort and precision.
- Availability: The cost is directly proportional to the availability of the required materials. Materials if easily available cut transportation, and logistic costs.
- Size: The cost is inversely proportional to the size or surface area of the ceiling to be covered. Larger the area, lower the price per square metre since the required materials can be bought in bulk at wholesale prices.
- Quality: The price of construction is directly proportional to the quality of materials used. Products of high quality have a higher return on investment (ROI) since the initial cost is higher but the materials are durable and save the cost of maintenance in the long run.
- Additional cost: Additional cost including variables like accent elements, surface finishes, fittings, lighting, gala cutting etc are added to the material and labour cost.
Here is a comparative city-wise study of the approximate cost of constructing a false ceiling utilizing the most popular materials:
|City||Gypsum/POP Rate Per Square Feet (in Rs.)||Wooden Rate Per Square Feet (in Rs.)||Acrylic Rate per Square Feet (in Rs)|
|Pune||125-170||85 (faux wood)-550||50-150|
5. False Ceiling Designs:
- Single-layered: As suggested by the name, this type of false ceiling comes in a single layer that is laid evenly beneath the actual ceiling. It is foolproof, and minimalistic in appeal. You can choose to leave it white or add colours, textures, or patterns to this type of false ceiling designs. Ideal for smaller spaces where decore is kept minimal, such ceiling designs help add an interesting element to the room aesthetics.
- Double layered: A double-layered false ceiling helps break the monotony in the roofing surface, therefore, adding an element of drama to the room aesthetics. This type of design is extremely versatile and can be incorporated almost anywhere. They further allow ample opportunity to experiment with colour, texture, patterns, and lighting.
- Plus-Minus: Heavily on the ornamental side, the plus-minus false ceiling design requires the assistance of experts. A viable design and space available needs to be taken into consideration before the installation of the false ceiling. As suggested by the name, this type of ceilings sports multi-dimensional elements, where a semblance of protruding and tucked-in features are maintained.
- Coffered: Coffers scream drama. They come in square or boxy panels that are subsequently fixed to the ceiling. With proper lighting, especially back-lit ceiling panels, this type of ceiling design can add an extremely attractive vibe to the room. They help in creating an illusion of higher head-space while adding a multi-dimensional aesthetic to the area concerned.
6. False Ceiling Lights:
- LED recessed lights: The most commonly used form of false ceiling light, the LED lights are both easily available and cost-effective. These lights can easily be aligned with the desired design.
- Cove Lights: Most often used to enhance architectural elements, the cove lights are ideal for casting an expensive and luxurious feel to any room aesthetics. They come in concealed crown mouldings, that aid in muting the harshness of light, allowing even distribution of light along the walls.
- Gimbal recessed lights: An attractive alternative to your mundane bulb, the Gimbal recessed lights are flexible and highly efficient. They are most often used as spotlights, or to highlight points of attraction in a room, however, if the intensity of light is regulated, they can serve as effective mood lights.
- Flush Mount lights: Custom curated for spaces with limited head-space, flush lights are excellent alternatives to hanging lights. They are cost-effective and can cover a large area seamlessly, making them the perfect pick for ambient lighting.
- Back-lit ceiling panels: The closest to natural lighting, back-lit ceiling panels are extremely versatile. They are easy to install, made to measure, and compact, making them extremely cost-effective and immensely attractive.
7. False Ceiling for Rooms:
- Bedroom False Ceiling: When looking for the ideal false ceiling design for your bedroom, or any other room in general, one needs to remember the exact purpose served by the room concerned. A bedroom is where you retire post a long day, and hence, the ideal ambience should have a calming effect. Warm lights, simple yet interesting false ceiling designs, are the best options. Sound absorbing materials like wood, gypsum, POP are advised, in order to maintain peace and calmness.
- Kitchen False Ceiling: Adequate lighting is key since cooking and serving involves dealing with a lot of hazardous elements including fire, sharp and fragile objects. A false ceiling installed in the kitchen should foremost be functional.
- Kids Bedroom Ceilings: Kids are perpetually curious, and installing an interesting false ceiling can keep them hooked, and spark their imaginations. Depending on what your kid’s interests are, a theme-based false ceiling can be installed. A false ceiling sporting Glow-inthe0dark elements are extremely effective and popular as well.
- Living Room False Ceiling: This is the room that is designed to awe your guests and leave a lasting impression. Unlike bedrooms, a living room is far less private, and hence, can accommodate lavish and ornamental false ceiling designs. You totally go all out with lights and fancy designs, if that is what you are looking for. Or keep it minimal and at par with the rest of the home interior, the choice always rests with you.
- Home office false Ceiling: We are talking business here- is the vibe that your home-office should ideally give out. However, that does not necessarily mean sombre. You can choose whatever design that suits you the best, improving your concentration and productivity. Proper lighting, here too, is key.
- Bathroom false ceiling: If you judge a person by their shoes, a home is judged by the bathroom. A well-lit bathroom is extremely appealing, the false ceiling design can both be elaborate or minimalist, however, the available space and head-space should be kept in mind.
8. False Ceiling maintenance and durability
One of the primary reasons for its popularity is hassle-free maintenance. Dust accumulation and moisture is the main foe when it comes to false ceilings.
Regular dusting is key, and moisture control should be implemented since moisture ruins the surface finish and reduces the longevity of the false ceiling materials.
When it comes to durability, one needs to consider the materials used to construct the false ceiling, since different materials have different compositions and hence, different longevity.
Given favourable conditions, a well-installed good quality false ceiling can last up to twenty years. However, maintenance is key.
9. False Ceiling Cleaning Tips
Maintenance when it comes to false ceilings is rather easy. Gypsum board false ceiling, like any other plastered surface, requires no special maintenance. For any dust accumulation, it can be dusted with a regular broom or a smooth rug, similar to the rest of the house. The only thing that one needs to be conscious of is- water. Gypsum plasterboard and water do not get well. Water can damage the finish and durability of false ceilings in general, irrespective of the materials used. It is, therefore, wise to use a final coat of water-resistant paint. False ceilings with oil paint or lustre paint can be cleaned using a dam cloth.
Maintenance when it comes to false ceilings is rather easy. Gypsum board false ceiling, like any other plastered surface, requires no special maintenance. For any dust accumulation, it can be dusted with a regular broom or a smooth rug, similar to the rest of the house.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to the most frequently asked question here.Does my house need a false ceiling?Which is the best type of false ceiling?How long does a false ceiling last?How to maintain a false ceiling?Does a false ceiling absorb heat?Which false ceiling is the cheapest?Is Gypsum harmful to humans?Is a false ceiling healthy?How is an sq ft area calculated for a false ceiling?Does my kitchen need a false ceiling?
It is important to always remember that the power of decision making lies with you. You can choose whether or not to install a false ceiling. However, it is also wise to acknowledge that, apart from being aesthetically appealing, false ceilings are functional features. They can be custom curated to suit the requirements of your home, they come in moisture resistant, and fire-proof designs. False ceilings help in heat and noise absorption, along with concealing ugly wiring, parts or features of your ceiling.
We sincerely hope that we have been able to provide you with answers to all your false ceiling related questions. If you seek to know more, here are a few blogs that might be of interest to you.
False ceilings are not only aesthetically appealing but are effective noise and heat absorbents as well. They are functional features that enhance both the attractiveness and ambience of your home. The air (being bad conductors of heat) trapped between the main ceiling and the false ceiling helps in maintaining the room temperature. False ceiling materials like gypsum, POP, fibre, wood, plywood aid in thermal insulation as well.
Each type of false ceiling comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. But keeping in mind the cost, availability, durability and maintenance aspects, Gypsum or POP false ceilings are the best available options. They are light, easy to install, absorbs noise and heat, allows freedom of design, and can easily be modified or repaired.
There are no long term adverse medical effects from ingestion of gypsum. If ingested, wash out the mouth and drink plenty of water. Plaster powders/dust potentially may irritate eyes or sensitive skin or irritate the respiratory system. Any effects should be short term.
Synthetic gypsum wallboard products by American Gypsum, for example, are just as safe as natural gypsum and are certified as low-VOC products by the GREENGUARD Environmental Institute.
One should simply needs to follow these steps to calculate the area of false ceiling:
One should simply needs to follow these steps to calculate the area of false ceiling:
False ceilings are a great way to conceal unsightly concrete, exposed pipes, wiring, and AC regulators. More often than not, kitchen ceilings are left bare, but the difference made by the accommodation of appropriate false ceilings is incredible.
Apart from being aesthetically appealing they can be custom curated to suit the requirements of your home, they come in moisture resistant, and fire-proof designs.
False ceilings help in heat and noise absorption, along with concealing ugly wiring, parts or features of your ceiling.