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First post! Ceiling options, need suggestions


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#1 of 16 BonnerK

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Posted October 24 2005 - 07:04 AM

Hello HTF'ers!

This is my first post, so please be gentle! Posted Image

I have a fairly blank slate right now on my *very* basic HT. It's in part of a large room in the basement of my home. Floor is carpet over concrete. Walls are brick 1/2 way up, then beadboard (3/4" knotty pine) over furring strips. The ceiling *was* a very poorly-done dropped ceiling with 2x4 tiles that rattled nicely when the Tempest got going. I have since taken the dropped ceiling down...and am left with bare floor joists (10"). I'd like to add lighting, and hopefully some insulation. The room will never be partitioned off, so I won't go to extreme lengths to control the sound transmission. Just not worth it at this point.

Question is: Do I mount up a solid surface (drywall), or go with some sort of floating panel system? By that, I mean something that will still give me access to the wiring and HVAC that runs between joists. I'm thinking foam-backed Lauan panels cut to 4x4 feet, then attached to the floor joists by velcro. That way, if I need to get access, all I have to do is pull off a panel or two.

Has anyone done something like this? I also need to think about lighting...and this could make or break my "floating panel" design. Any ideas how to do this?

Thanks for your help! Oh, I should mention...VERY tight budget at this point. Cheap but effective measures are my friends!

BK

#2 of 16 Jack Ferry

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Posted October 24 2005 - 11:44 AM

I don't have much of an opinion on the type of ceiling (in my case I just painted the existing 12"x12" tiles black), but I've got a few lighting opinions.

Incandescent lighting rather than fluorescent will help give the warm feel you want, plus you can add dimming which is (IMO) critical.

I'd also recommend setting up at least some of the lighting in a manner that does not shine directly on the screen. Maybe a bank of lights on each side that are aimed at the side walls. You can then also have separately controlled center ceiling lights or wall sconces.

#3 of 16 Jay Mitchosky

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Posted October 24 2005 - 02:08 PM

Quote:
plus you can add dimming which is (IMO) critical.

Agreed - you need this functionality. Fluorescent in a theater will look nasty and make a hell of a lot of noise. For dimmers get really good quality ones so the lights don't hum when they're down (dimmers just vary the on/off cycle of the light and cause the filament to vibrate and hum).
"The computer had attained consciousness, only to reject it, claiming it was too unstable an operating system."

#4 of 16 BonnerK

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Posted October 25 2005 - 07:52 AM

Thanks, and I agree about the lighting. I think I'm going to try my 4x4 foot panel idea. Basically, once I fill the floor-joist cavities with insulation, I'm hoping to pop in some lighting, and create an array of foam-backed panels that will somehow attach the the exposed parts of the joists. That's going to be the hardest part of this, I think. My initial thought was velcro, but now I think something like speaker-grille fasteners might work...depending on how heavy each panel ends up.

Thanks again.

#5 of 16 Jack Ferry

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Posted October 25 2005 - 09:59 AM

Your ceiling plan sounds tough. Why not put in a drop ceiling using black panels and supports?

#6 of 16 BonnerK

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Posted October 26 2005 - 01:52 AM

That's interesting...I figured a drop ceiling would be tougher! Plus...messing with those tiles is such a pain in the butt. I always end up breaking them, and getting crap in my eyes. :b

Plus, the foam-backed panels wouldn't rattle like my old drop ceiling did...

#7 of 16 Jack Ferry

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Posted October 26 2005 - 03:13 AM

Not sure I understand what you are proposing, but velcro doesn't sound stable enough to neatly hold the panels in place. What would you use to cover the joints between the panels?

#8 of 16 joseph westcott

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Posted October 26 2005 - 03:21 AM

I would give a little more thought to how you are going to address all the brick.

This is an acoustical no no and should probably be covered with sheetrock if cost is an issue. A false wall may even be easier and would really give you a great sound.

#9 of 16 BonnerK

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Posted October 26 2005 - 03:41 AM

Hmm...I guess I never thought of the brick as an acoustical no-no. I suppose it could be covered easily enough, but I don't want to go through the trouble.

The room dimensions are about 18' wide, 14' deep (fully open space...no back partition), and it's about 8' to the bottom of the floor joists above.

About the joints between panels...not sure yet. I could do nothing, and just have a 1/2" gap between.

Are there really no other options for removeable-panel ceilings? Hmm...

#10 of 16 chuckg

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Posted October 26 2005 - 08:08 AM

I don't think the brick will be that big a problem, unless it has been painted. If the brick is nice and rough it might even help to absorb/disperse sound. Placing a few big puffy chairs or some rug wallhangings here and there will tame the brick monster.

The ceiling panels might fall off if held only by velcro. I would just use drywall screws! Maybe put a bit of foam tape on the joists to cut down on vibration, and screw the ceiling panels up snug. You can screw most of the ceiling in permanently, and just leave a few "access hatches" where you need them. The acceess areas could be held with a few screws, and plenty of screws in the permanent panels.

quarter-inch plywood and paint is cheap and easy. you could glue fabric on the panels if you like.
--ignore the man behind the curtain

#11 of 16 BonnerK

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Posted October 26 2005 - 09:07 AM

Thanks for the ideas chuck!

#12 of 16 Mark McGill

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Posted October 27 2005 - 04:09 AM

What's wrong with drywall? In my opinion it looks much better than a drop ceiling and is also rattle free. I've have never understood the need to have access to wiring and hvac. Access for what? If there ever was a remote problem, drywall can be easily patched.

From what I see the drop ceiling is mostly a mid-west, east coast thing. Out here on the left coast the drop is rarely done.

#13 of 16 David Noll

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Posted October 27 2005 - 06:32 AM

I agree with Mark, drywall or even other more permanent ceilings are the way to go. I put up a Armstrong Tin-Look ceiling:
http://www.hometheat....g2_itemId=1119

http://www.hometheat....g2_itemId=1096

If everything up in the ceiling is done properly, no need to get back up in there.

David

#14 of 16 Jack Ferry

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Posted October 27 2005 - 08:54 AM

The one spot in my theater that looks bad is where two of the cheapo staple ceiling tiles are sagging behind the projector. I probably should have gone with drywall also.

#15 of 16 joseph westcott

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Posted October 27 2005 - 09:31 AM

Drywall can be very effective in curbing resonances below 80Hz.

#16 of 16 BonnerK

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Posted October 27 2005 - 12:01 PM

All good responses, thank you. I'm now considering drywall. At first, I thought it would be too expensive, and working upside down with that stuff is a pain. It would look the best though...




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