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Need advice for ceiling

328 Views 6 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  carmbruster
The room that I will be converting for my HT currently is in the basement and has a dropped ceiling. On the left half of the room, the height is at 7'.

The right half of the room is lower at 6'6" due to ductwork. I would like to have a uniform ceiling height across the room. I figure I have 3 different options:

1) Lower the left half of the room to 6'6". Replace all existing tile.

2) Remove and re-run existing ductwork. Utilize dropped ceiling at 7'

all existing tile would be replaced.

3) Remove and re-run existing ductwork. Install drywall ceiling. Joists are at 7'5".

I'm afraid that 6'6" might be a little low for the ceiling so am leaning toward options 2 or 3.

The existing ductwork has 2 runs entering the middle of the room moving transversely under the joists with runs off these running parallel to the joists. I figure I could move the transverse runs to the front of the room and build a soffit that will be hidden behind the proscenium and stage. Then run the rest of the ducting between the joists. It adds a little more length to some runs and a little less to others. I don't really see it adding any additional turns either. Does this sound reasonable? I can post pictures later too if that would help.

I'm not sure whether I want to install tile or drywall. I'm not concerned with sound isolation. It would be nice, but not a requirement.

I think drywall would probably look a lot nicer, but it is easier to make changes with tile. Any recommendations?
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I'm in a similar position to you.

I say go for the height! I'm going to run the ductwork down the side and hid it in a soffit. The other side has dropped plumbing suppling hot water for heating - I'll hid it in the soffit on the other side.

You don't mention the dimensions of your room. Mine's long enough for a second row and I want them on a platform so I need every inch of height I can get.
I would go with option 3. Definitely not option 1...6' 6" is too short for an entire ceiling (probably wouldn't meet code either). I would keep it the way it is before doing that. How much work do you think it will be to move the ductwork?
I think some pictures would help. 6'6" is way to low IMO. I like option #3 the best if it doesn't screw up your HVAC.

There is a dropped ceiling system (I believe it's called Ceilingmax) that surface mounts to the joists -- you only give up 1" -- so you may consider that product for #2. I used it in my last theater and it was easier to put up then a typical dropped ceiling. Uses standard 2X2 ceiling tiles. Loved how much vertical height it saved.
Mike, my room is not square. It is 15'3" at widest point and 11' at narrowest point. Seating will be at the 11' wide point. I plan on having 2 rows with the second row on a 6" riser. The room is 27' long, but I plan on putting a wall up at about 18'. Exact location has not been determined yet.

I've never done ductwork before, but I don't think it will be too terribly hard to reroute what is currently there.

carmbruster, I will try to get some pictures posted later. I am leaning toward option 3 as well. The only other minor issue is that there is a gas supply line for our fireplace that runs across just below the joists. I would either need to move the gas line if I attached directly to the joists or drop the ceiling a little bit further. It shouldn't be too big of a problem either way I would imagine.
#3 is a no brainer.

To cut the height to 6'6" is criminal (and will cost you resale value).
Gas Line (since it's not your main) should be pretty simple to re-route. I had to move a bunch of plumbing, including a pressure tank and a water heater, but it was worth it -- when guests are in my theater, I don't like them to be reminded that their in the basement.
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