How to Finish a Low Basement Ceiling

Lead Image
What You'll Need
White spray paint, latex (for metal)
Primer spray paint
Drywall tape
Drywall screws
Power screwdriver
Drop cloth
Furring strips
Construction adhesive
Drywall hanger
Utility knife
Measuring tape

A basement ceiling often consists of nothing more than the floor joists from the room above. If you want to finish your basement, then you need to finish the basement ceiling.

Install vapor barriers, insulation, and drywall to create a professional quality basement ceiling. This is a job that is not as complicated as it sounds. When you have a low hanging basement ceiling, you will find some trouble with the job. The article below will explain how to finish a low hanging basement ceiling.

Step 1 - Local Codes

Pipes, wires, and ducts may all be present when finishing a basement ceiling. Before finishing the basement ceiling, call your local zoning office to inquire as to the building codes and required permits. Hiring a contractor may be a good solution. They will be able to cover any and all zoning issues and stick within the parameters set forth by the office.

Step 2 - Paint the Metal

The metal in the basement is susceptible to rust and discoloration. It can not only be unsightly, but can lead to other problems in the future. Once the basement ceiling is finished, you will either cover the pipes or leave them exposed.

Painting will not only make them look better, but will also prevent them from deteriorating. Place a drop cloth on the floor to protect it from paint. Start by spraying the ducts and pipes with a primer paint. Once the primer is dry, you can paint the pipes with a white, latex-based paint. Apply a second layer when the first is dry.

Step 3 - Furring Strips

These strips, which are typically made from wood, are used to allow you to affix panels to the basement ceiling. Place a furring strip every 2-feet, running them perpendicular to the joists. If the joists are made out of wood, use nails to install the furring strips. If the joists are metal, use construction adhesive.

Use the level make sure each furring strip is even and straight. As a house settles, it can change slightly. If you need to adjust heights, use shims to do so until the furring strips are identical.

Step 4 - Hang Drywall

Apply construction adhesive to the furring strips. Place the drywall on a drywall hanger and lift the it to the furring strips. Apply pressure to set the drywall. Attach the drywall sheet to the furring strips using drywall screws.

Continue until all of the panels are in place. You may need to trim the drywall. Measure the section you need to cut and transfer the measurement to the drywall. Score the paper side, then gently snap the drywall. For smaller cuts, use a drywall knife. When you are finished, tape the drywall seams.