Drop Ceiling Question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by drobbins, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    I am in the process of putting a theater in my new basement with 9' walls. On the left hand side there is a HVAC duct that is about 10" in height and the entrance way into the theater. To the right of the HVAC duct, is the main seating for the theater. The I understand how to install a drop ceiling, but I would like this one to be 2 different heights. Under the duct to the door will be 8', but to the right of the duct, I would like it as close to the 9' as possible. This will allow for the screen to be mounted higher. The question is: how to do the vertical side of the HVAC duct between the different heights? I don't want to build a small wall hanging down because it would be too thick. I was thinking of using plywood, but would it warp and how would the bottom look? Anyone else run into this?

    Dave
     
  2. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Most of the time the Duct just gets framed around with 2x2's and sheet rocked (drywalled) then butt the drop ceiling to the drywall.
     
  3. chuckg

    chuckg Supporting Actor

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    Run a piece of t-rail for the drop ceiling so that the low part under the duct has tiles fitting into the rail. the other side of the rail hides the bottom edge of a vertical plywood panel. The plywood panel is attached to something structural up out of sight, and has an L-shaped rail screwed to it to hold one edge of the tiles for the higher part of the ceiling. Paint the plywood just like the walls. the plywood could be just some 1/2" interior grade AC, with the A side facing the room of course.

    I have seen small vertical sections done with ceiing tile, just the same way that the ceiling is done - rails and cross bars. I'm not sure how they keep the tiles from slipping off, though. there may be some kind of clips on the back/top of the rails.
     
  4. king

    king Stunt Coordinator

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    I had much worse problems! There were two ducts on the right side (heat and air return) which would have meant lowering the ceiling in the whole room. But I wasn't going to live with that! I took off one duct and moved it to the other side of the room and along the back wall. This allowed me to make a lower ceiling all around the room and build a raised center.

    I tried using 2x2 lumber to build a frame but it was just too weak and not solid at all. So I took it all apart and built it again with 2x4's instead. To get the maximum room height possible, I used the 2x4's sideways along the bottom of the ducts (see pics) and vertically along the inside. This was so solid, I could hang off the frame and it wouldn't move!

    This may not be the answer you're looking for but I'm just giving you my 2 cents with the experience I had! Dry wall the sides and put in pot lights all around, Put a suspended ceiling in the center with black ceiling tile and those fancy fiberoptic stars and it will look better than ceiling tile everywhere horizontally and vertically...[​IMG] Here's my theater under construction...


    [​IMG]

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    [​IMG]
     
  5. drobbins

    drobbins Screenwriter

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    King, It looks like boxing yours in will help add some personality to your theater. One on each side is nicely balanced.
    chuckg, That is close to what I was thinking with the plywood. I have also seen the vertical ceiling tiles and wondered how it is done.

    I did some layout with tape over the weekend. If I put the ceiling at one level (8') I can center my screen with the seating.
    If I raise the middle section, I will have a 9" wide box on the right side covering a sewer pipe, and a 3.5' wide box on the left side covering the HVAC. This allows the screen to be raised 10", but puts it off center making it look crowded on the right side.

    I am leaning toward the centered screen and shortening the curtains above the screen.
     

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