Suspended Ceiling? - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
mraub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 1,109
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked: 66
Suspended Ceiling?

My HT has been in the same configuration for a few years now and I'm itching to make some changes. The current ceiling is drywall with a knock-down finish. Over the years I have had various things mounted to the ceiling and though I have tried to patch holes when things have changed, the ceiling looks really bad. A recent minor water leak has inflicted more damage and it really needs replaced.

While browsing in a big box store I noticed you can get a suspended ceilings in a flat, black finish, including the metal support frame. This is appealing since rather that trying to patch holes I could just replace ceiling panels. Before going any further down this path I though I'd post here for any comments from anyone who has tried this. This is an example of what I am looking at:

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Armstrong-C...Tiles/50246699

A couple of initial concerns. Like most basements in my locale, my finished ceiling is a bit shorter than 8'. Now I wish I'd forked up the extra $7,000 for an extra foot of excavation, but that ship has sailed. As I understand it, I will have to give up a couple of additional inches in ceiling height with a suspended ceiling, since you have to allow enough clearance to install the tiles. However, in my proposed new configuration I won't have any seats on risers so I don't think a slightly lower ceiling will bother me much. It looked like the fiber ceiling tiles I saw in store would probably support fairly lightweight ceiling speakers (for Atmos) but I didn't want to put too much stress on the sample tiles in the store.

I'd appreciate comments from anyone who either done this or given it consideration. It may well be a less good idea than I now think. Thanks.

MIKE

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
--H. L. Mencken
mraub is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 12:52 PM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 33,070
Mentioned: 482 Post(s)
Tagged: 5 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6335 Post(s)
Liked: 6096
Suspended ceilings will not help with sound isolation if that is a goal. As for suspending speakers you can always glue a full tile sized backer board to the ceiling panels to beef it up and still preserve the look. I have read of reports of ceiling tiles "rattling" in response to sub-woofer frequencies.

Last edited by BIGmouthinDC; 03-24-2020 at 12:56 PM.
BIGmouthinDC is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 04:10 PM
Advanced Member
 
pkinneb's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Zimmerman MN
Posts: 823
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 311 Post(s)
Liked: 1102
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
I have read of reports of ceiling tiles "rattling" in response to sub-woofer frequencies.
I would be worried about this. I used them in the rest of my basement but not the theater for this exact reason.

FWIW you will need to hang the grid down almost 4" to be able to get the tiles in.

My Theater Build - Full Circle Cinema

Left over Supplies for Sale - For Sale
pkinneb is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 04:17 PM
Member
 
AltaHomeTheatre's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 195
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 30 Post(s)
Liked: 31
I purchased expensive heavy black ceiling tiles that were specifically made for sound isolation. I eventually replaced them because they did not provide much (if any) sound isolation and they rattled during heavy bass scenes.
AltaHomeTheatre is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 04:36 PM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 33,070
Mentioned: 482 Post(s)
Tagged: 5 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6335 Post(s)
Liked: 6096
They do make flush mount ceiling grid systems, no idea if they come in black.
BIGmouthinDC is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 03-24-2020, 09:28 PM
Senior Member
 
JamesVG81's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Winston Salem NC
Posts: 443
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 121 Post(s)
Liked: 71
I had that ceiling.. I wouldn't spend the money on the black. If your going to do it get white and wrap them in velvet.. Looks so much better, attached picture where you can see the difference. You could also use 2x2 sheet rock squares.. They are heavy enough not to vibrate. Also wrapping them in velvet helps.I hung my atmos speakers with eye hooks in all 4 corners worked well. They are in the picture also.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG-0268.jpg
Views:	47
Size:	980.6 KB
ID:	2701466  
JamesVG81 is offline  
post #7 of 10 Old 03-25-2020, 06:58 AM
Newbie
 
Bluestrike2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 0
Quote:
Originally Posted by mraub View Post
My HT has been in the same configuration for a few years now and I'm itching to make some changes. The current ceiling is drywall with a knock-down finish. Over the years I have had various things mounted to the ceiling and though I have tried to patch holes when things have changed, the ceiling looks really bad. A recent minor water leak has inflicted more damage and it really needs replaced.
I'm guessing that the patch jobs are noticeable because of texture differences in the knockdown, they're mudded a bit thicker than the surrounding area/not feathered out far enough, or a combination of both. Maybe some slight color differences as well, depending on how they were painted.

Depending on how "bad" your ceiling is (pics, please ), it might be less expensive to hire an experienced drywall finisher to fix it rather than rip it out and install a drop ceiling. That's true even if you have to cut out a large water damaged segment and replace it.

The knockdown finish can be skim coated over for a smooth surface. Unless you're dealing with framing problems (crooked, uneven, or bowed floor joists, etc.), a professional should give you a *very* smooth, seamless surface. At minimum, you're looking at surface prep (especially sanding down the old patch jobs), three skim coats and any final sanding, and then painting with a coat of drywall primer and your topcoats. It'll look like an entirely new ceiling. And since the entire ceiling would be refinished, it'd be an excellent time to run any new wiring for additional Atmos speakers, a voice of god channel for DTS:X, etc. even if you don't think you'll use them. Any holes you make can be patched prior to the skim coating.

I think there are really main two benefits to a drop ceiling in a home theater: ease of access, and the ability to hide acoustic treatments (ceiling cloud, diffusers, etc.) inside the ceiling grid so that they're flush on the outside. You can use pieces of OC 703 wrapped in fabric as tiles in specific areas or buy ones already made, and the same goes for diffusers. You can also the area above the ceiling for some massive bass traps, with polyester tiles in front, at the expense of sound isolation (though you're already losing that just by having a drop ceiling).

The home theater in my parents' house has a drop ceiling. They made the choice years ago when I was a kid, mainly because of (1) a gas line running underneath the joists in the back, and (2) to preserve easier access to the breaker box that's located in the room behind a panel. A drop ceiling was easier, and to be fair, made recent remodeling/equipment updates I've been helping them with lately a *lot* easier. But the loss of sound isolation is definitely noticeable and really needs to be emphasized. I wish I'd been able to convince them to rip it out during the remodeling and install drywall, but that got a definite no. As if it'd take that much more time... .
Bluestrike2 is offline  
post #8 of 10 Old 03-25-2020, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
AVS Forum Special Member
 
mraub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Champaign, IL
Posts: 1,109
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 184 Post(s)
Liked: 66
Thanks for the comments. I had not thought of the rattling issue. I have a substantial subwoofer system and rattles from anything loose is already a problem. I do know a good drywall guy so it sounds like repairs and a skim coat might be better options. I'll probably forego the knock-down finish and just do it flat and paint it dark grey. I can usually do OK in regular drywall repairs, but any sort of finish on the drywall seems beyond my skill level.

MIKE

For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong.
--H. L. Mencken
mraub is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 03-25-2020, 10:00 AM
HOME THEATER CONTRACTOR
 
BIGmouthinDC's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 33,070
Mentioned: 482 Post(s)
Tagged: 5 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6335 Post(s)
Liked: 6096
another approach is to skip the skin coat and just screw up another layer of 1/2 drywall directly over what you have, tape and mud and leave a smooth finish for your painting. I had a house many years ago with the knock down and I hated it, too hard to do a patch job and get it to look right.

Last edited by BIGmouthinDC; 03-26-2020 at 06:46 PM.
BIGmouthinDC is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 03-26-2020, 06:42 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
tonybradley's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Where the Internet stinks
Posts: 4,412
Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 549 Post(s)
Liked: 231
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
another approach is to skip the skin coat and just screw up another layer of 1/2 drywall directly over what you have, tape and mud and leave a smooth finish for your painting. I had a house many years ago with the knock down and I hated it, too hard to do patch job and get it to look right.
They make nice Drywall Ceiling tiles with textured Vinyl. I have them throughout my entire basement. Easy to paint black too for the HT room. I have black rails in the HT. YOu have to use the heavy gauge wire when installing the rails due to the weight of the Drywall. 12G. I have no rattle issues in my 13x19 room. I also have the joists full of insulation. That does not prevent the bass from going upstairs, but just sounds like distant thunder when in the room right above and can't hear in the bedrooms down the hall at all.
tonybradley is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply Dedicated Theater Design & Construction

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off