Home Interior: False Ceiling Types!

The trend of flat and simple ceilings has fallen apart. Many Individuals these days, are looking for products to make the typical flat ceiling look appealing, but at minimal cost. With the recent fall in the cost of false ceiling materials, the ceiling of any space, commercial or residential, can be easily adorned.

False ceilings are often known as drop ceilings as they are literally dropped or hung from the main ceiling. Matthew Welch,  curator of Japanese and Korean Art Museum, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, said in an interview that the first use of dropped ceilings and ceiling tiles was seen in Japan for the aesthetic reasons as early as the Muromachi period (between 14th & 16th century).

Types of False Ceilings - Drop Ceilings

Different types of false ceilings you often see in homes, offices, shopping complexes, restaurants, theatres, etc. are generally the second ceiling hung below the main structural ceiling. The area above the drop ceiling or false ceiling is called the plenum space, as it is sometimes used for HVAC air return.

Drop ceilings help to cool the room when the height of the room is more by reducing the space for the air-conditioner. Covering the upper area also has the multiple advantages of getting space for air-conditioner ducts and concealed wiring, fixing light frames, security cameras, fire sprinklers and other fixtures. It adds beauty to the ceiling and provides the base for all kind of decorative lights and fans.

The false or drop ceiling is a good illustration of contemporary architecture architecture and construction in both residential as well as commercial applications. Different spaces and preferences would entail the use of different false ceiling materials.

Types of False Ceilings  

There are numerous types of false ceiling used for home interior. False ceilings can be differentiated in several ways according to their applications, materials utilized, appearance and visibility. However, most common classification is based on materials used and there are 8 major types of false ceilings.

  • Plaster of Paris (POP) False Ceilings
  • Wooden False Ceilings or Plywood False Ceilings
  • Gypsum False Ceilings
  • Metal False Ceilings
  • PVC False Ceilings
  • Fabric or Cloth False Ceilings
  • Mineral Fibre False Ceilings
  • Glass False Ceilings

Let us have a brief look into each type of false ceiling.

01. Plaster of Paris (POP) False Ceilings

Plaster of Paris (POP) False Ceilings

Plaster of Paris (POP) is the most commonly used false ceiling. Gypsum when heated, softens, gives out water and forms POP! POP hardens instantly on addition of water. It is applied on a fiberboard or a wood base, which is then suspended to form the false ceiling. POP false ceiling looks attractive and has a long lifespan. They are excellent thermal insulators.

This kind of drop ceilings not only hides the hideous members of construction, ventilation ducts and conduits but also gives a smooth finish to your ceiling.

Pros of POP False Ceilings:

  • It gives a smooth, uniform finish and is mouldable in any shape as per design.
  • The surface can be painted depending on your interior style.
  • They are light weight and durable false ceilings.
  • The most important feature of this false ceiling’s beauty is an indirect form of artificial light.

Cons of POP False Ceilings

  • The process of mixing the content of POP on site is a messy and long procedure that requires a lot of cleaning.
  • A lot of POP mixture is wasted in the application process.
  • The POP false ceiling has comparatively higher risk of cracking.
Also Read: Plaster of Paris (POP) False Ceilings for Your Home Interior!

02. Wooden False Ceilings or Plywood False Ceilings   

Wooden False Ceiling or Plywood False Ceilings

Some homeowners fancy   natural beauty and serenity in their homes through interiors. The best way to achieve the rustic look in their ceilings is by offering wooden beams. One can arrange wooden panels to create several patterns of modern appeal on ceiling which have pleasant impact on viewer’s eyes.

Nowadays, the wooden false ceilings are used very commonly owing to its natural textures and design. The wood ceiling is sometimes given different finishes to make it more attractive.

Wooden false ceilings can be made either with hollow wooden blocks, wooden panels, wooden boards or plywood. Wooden blocks can be easily installed using nails and screws. They are generally used in cold climate regions.

Also Read: What is the Size and Cost of Plywood?

Pros of Wooden False Ceilings:

  • They are strong and attractive.
  • They can be given the various finishes, or painted to get the desired look.
  • They can be treated to increase their lifespan.

Cons of Wooden False Ceilings:  

  • Wood ceiling are difficult to maintain, since they are prone to termite attacks.
  • The room has to be thermally controlled to reduce the humidity in the air.
  • Wood is also prone to warping and other physical changes, with time.
  • Wooden false ceiling is costly; so least desirable for malls, hospitals, etc, but may be installed in residential buildings.

03. Gypsum False Ceilings  

Gypsum False Ceilings - Gypsum Boards Ceilings - Gypsum Ceiling Tiles

Gypsum false ceilings can be either made of gypsum boards or sheets or ceiling tiles. The only difference is gypsum boards are available in larger boards/sheets when compared to ceiling tiles. Gypsum false ceilings are tough, versatile and economical. It is a sterile sulphate of calcium, light weighted and easy to install. It is fire-resistant, as well as soundproof; therefore, it is most preferred material for drop ceiling.

Generally, gypsum ceiling tiles are available in 600 mm × 600 mm.  They are placed in the form of square planks with the support of the metal frame. In case of Gypsum board ceilings, finishing can be done on the boards with paints, laminates, or wallpapers to enhance the appearance of your interior.

Pros of Gypsum False Ceilings:

Gypsum board is quite flexible. It allows various shapes & designs such as plain, stepped, curved, coffered, pelmet, drop design, etc.

  • Glass fibre-reinforced gypsum board makes excellent insulation material.
  • When exposed to fire, gypsum gives out water, which is converted to steam & helps to combat the fire. This makes the ceiling fireproof.

Cons of Gypsum False Ceilings:

  • It cannot be used in damp situations.
  • It cannot be moulded.
  •  Recycling gypsum false ceiling is difficult and it mostly ends up in land-fill.
Also Read: Types of Gypsum Board | All You Need to Know

04. Metal False Ceilings  

Metal False Ceilings

Metal is a  durable and lustrous material.  which adds beauty to the  interior. Metal false ceilings are available in a form of ceiling tiles, planks and panels. The most common metals used for drop ceilings are  galvanized iron and aluminum.

Metal ceiling tiles of different sizes & thickness are available for the purpose of internal false ceiling. The metal ceiling tiles or panels can be laid on a visible steel grid with T-sections or cross-sections that are suspended from the ceiling by rods. According to ‘Armstrong World Industries’ (Armstrong World Industries, Inc. (AWI) is a global leader in the design and manufacture of innovative commercial and residential ceiling, wall and suspension system solutions) these tiles are available in many designs and has ability to create a historic look along with a contemporary touch!

Metal Ceiling Tiles - Historic Look
Metal Ceiling Tiles - Silver

Fixing and installation of the metal sheets is quite easy and consumes very less labour. The hidden members of the structure are easily accessed as the metal ceiling tiles or panels are easily removable & reattached. Therefore, the construction cost becomes less as the installation, fixing and maintenance is low.

Pros of Metal False Ceilings: 

  • They are ideal for workspaces which require clean environments and maintenance such as the machinery rooms, Air Handling Units, etc.
  • Fire resistance is a huge advantage of metal false ceilings, for the people who are concerned about safety!
  • They do not crack or warp with time and retain their shape. So, it Peeling is unheard, which means that you will have a ceiling that requires almost zero maintenance and repair.

Cons of Metal False Ceilings:

  • Metal tiles do not have many cons, except for the cost of genuine metal materials. The investment can be substantial plus the cost of a protective coating to prevent corrosion over a time!

05. PVC False Ceilings

PVC False Ceiling or PVC Ceiling Tiles

PVC ceilings are lightweight, moisture resistant and prevents the dripping of water from the ceiling.

PVC ceiling tiles usually solve the problem of unhygienic ceilings since they are easy to clean. By providing a bright, durable and hygienic surface, they are effortlessly maintained. These easy to install tiles are lightweight, waterproof, termite-proof, and maintenance free. Being non-porous and non-absorbent, they can incorporate flush fitting, lighting, access hatches, air vents and sprinklers. They are available in various colours and can be painted and polished.

Pros of PVC False Ceilings:

  • PVC ceilings are inexpensive to make and install.
  • They are mass  produced i.e. they are available through a wide variety of distributors and in nearly every colour possible.
  • PVC ceilings are durable and sturdy. They last for a very long time and require very little maintenance.

Cons of PVC False Ceilings:

  • One of the biggest urge against PVC as a material is that it makes use of chlorine, which is a dangerous and toxic gas in its natural state!
  • PVC is less attractive compared to other types of false ceilings.
Also Read: False Ceiling Cleaning Tips!

06. Fabric or Cloth False Ceilings  

Fabric & Cloth False Ceilings

Fabric is economical and draped across the ceilings mostly for temporary purposes in churches, yoga rooms, restaurants, function halls, etc. They are not highly recommended as they collect dust. The light diffused through fabrics provides a comfortable intensity. This kind of false ceiling is not as functional as other false ceilings but greatly adds to the aesthetics of the place.

Pros of Fabric False Ceilings:

  • Installation is quick, easy and does not require a highly skilled professional.
  • Very few ceiling coverings on the aesthetic qualities can come close to the high quality fabric!

Cons of Fabric False Ceilings:        

  • Cloth easier to smear the surface, it absorbs odours and settles the dust!
  • It cannot be used as permanent feature.

07. Mineral Fibre False Ceilings

Mineral Fibre Ceilings

Mineral fiber ceiling tiles are developed by natural or synthetic minerals. Mineral tiles are ceramics, reinforced with natural stone, wood, vegetable fiber, bitumen and tars. This process increases the insulation capacity of the product. Therefore, they are perfect for heat and sound insulation. These mineral fiber ceiling tiles are available in various sizes, shapes and patterns. They are economical and quick in installation!

Pros of Mineral fiber False Ceilings:

  • They have high insulation against sound and fire.
  • The fiber increases the hardness and toughness of the material.

Cons of Mineral fiber False Ceilings:

  • Cannot be used for residential areas, as they are appealing for home interior.

08. Glass False Ceilings

Glass False Ceilings

Glass is a non-crystalline, brittle and transparent material. Because of its transparency it makes the space look bigger. Therefore, it can be used for false ceilings in restaurants, libraries, etc. Glass is a good heat insulator and glass false ceilings look remarkable.

To overcome the problems of lack of privacy due to transparency of glass, it can be made non- brittle and opaque, by the use of certain admixtures.

Pros of Glass False Ceiling:

  • It allows the eyes to travel and explore the space without obstruction.
  • And of course, glass can be coloured, patterned or laminated and can provide an interesting focal point to your room’s ceiling!

Cons of Glass False Ceilings:

  • Obviously, the most common issue with glass is the lack of privacy.

In a nut shell, false ceiling increases the aesthetic appeal of your interiors, hides all the ugly members of the real ceiling and imparts a smooth finish to your ceiling.  It is quite common to see false ceilings in malls, hospitals, theatres and residential buildings these days.

It is not mandatory that only one material can be used for making a false ceiling design. Two or more than two materials can also be used. For instance, the combination of wood and POP is quite common. You can also go for many other combinations to Explore!

Also Read:

9 Secrets of Perfect Interiors for Your Home!
WPC Board (Wood Plastic Composite) – Things You Need To know!!!
Plywood Buying Guide: Choose the Good Quality Plywood

Image Courtesy – Image 2, Image 3, Image 5, Image 8Image 11


Richa Parmar





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