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How to get the perfect false ceiling

  • Home Renovation
Sep 27, 2017

Architect and interior designer, Jyotsna Bhagat sheds light on the details involved in installing a false ceiling

Give your home or office an upgrade by adding a stylish false ceiling design. False ceiling designs are the perfect way to make a room look bigger and brighter. Whether you’re looking for something sleek and modern or classic and timeless, there is a false ceiling design out there for everyone! False ceilings can be designed to suit any space, with materials ranging from wood, gypsum boards, PVCs, metals, and more. There are also a variety of shapes to choose from that can add depth and dimension to your space. Plus, with false ceilings you get the added benefit of improved insulation and soundproofing.


False ceilings are a great way to add an interesting focal point to a space but they are quite an undertaking. Says Mumbai based Jyotsna Bhagat of The Blue Ceiling, “Always freeze on a layout before beginning work, and unless there’s a technical snag, do not change designs while construction is in progress. Also, they can be messy and cumbersome while getting installed, try getting it done before you move into your new house.” The most important tip she feels is to research and hire professionals who know what they are doing and will carry out the job quickly.


Should You Go In for a False Ceiling Design?

There are many styles, visual effects, textures, shapes, sizes, colours and materials to work with when it comes to drop ceilings and you are likely to find something that works well with your tastes and the space. There are also other advantages to consider. “False ceilings provide ample choice for housing different types of light fittings to achieve varied kinds of mood and ambient light effects,” says Jyotsna. “It also helps with temperature control, and concealing electrical and other networking cables.”


False ceilings help with absorbing noise from the upper floor and can partially conceal sprinkler systems without hindering their functionality. “They are quite energy efficient as the air-filled gap between the two layers controls temperature within a room. This is especially true for spaces which are directly below building terraces. Also, they help in better optimisation of air conditioning as they reduce the overall volume of a space, hence cooling required is lesser.”


With its many advantages, keep in mind that a suspended ceiling can close-up a space, so smaller rooms or those with relatively low ceilings may not benefit from having one. They can also become a breeding ground for pests and insects hence regular pest control is required. Proper waterproofing is a must as water damage, mildew and fungus can sprout over time and you may end up needing to replace the entire false ceiling after a few years.



Checklist for False Ceiling Design

  • Height: One of the most important considerations is the height. Jyotsna suggests a minimum of 9-feet from false ceiling to floor to avoid a sense of claustrophobia. “For safety, one must ensure that if you raise your hand, there should be sufficient space between the ceiling and the hand, so you don’t accidentally knock off chandeliers or any hanging curios. Special care should be taken to ensure fans are placed at spots where the hand doesn’t accidentally encounter it.”
  • Wiring: Plan your wiring layout beforehand as in some cases, this will end up determining the shape and design of the false ceiling especially if you only want a partial one or a border.
  • Ceiling Fans: “Ceiling fans are heavy and require a hook to be installed on the main ceiling slab prior to false ceiling work. This holds specially true in case of gypsum or any other light weight ceilings,” recommends Jyotsna.
  • Lighting: While cove lighting enhances the ceiling, concealed down lighters enhance the elegance of a space. In all cases planning wiring beforehand is key. “Recessed lights can be planned in advance, so that when you cut the false ceiling to house these lights, there should be no framework at the same spot as the light to be installed.” Pendants and chandeliers require hooks to be installed on the main ceiling beforehand.
  • Hanging Features: “In case of hanging a heavy item like swing, one needs to install a sturdy hook in the ceiling slab before creating the false ceiling to take the weight,” suggests Jyotsna.
  • Small Rooms: Jyotsna recommends minimal designs with clean lines and without fancy mouldings. “Try to maximise the space between the slab and false ceiling by concealing all electrical wires, AC ducts, copper piping etc. within them.”
  • Large Rooms: “Choose from double layered ceilings to unusual shapes, textures and finishes to create drama if the space is large,” she suggests. You can also mix and match materials, textures, colours, and finishes to create an impact. Check out false ceiling designs for living rooms.
  • Border: As a border along the walls, you still get the full height of the ceiling but you now have a framework within which you can hide wiring and place ambient lighting.



Materials and Maintenance for False Ceiling Design

Whether you opt for an exposed grid system or a concealed grid system there are quite a few false ceiling materials to choose from.

  • Gypsum or Plaster of Paris: The most commonly used materials, gypsum or POP sheets are less expensive, light weight and easy to install. Explains Jyotsna, “They can be easily shaped into any design, painted or covered with wallpaper. For safety, it is recommended to install a piece of plywood right above the sheet for providing strength.” Low on maintenance, they need to be dusted and cleaned occasionally with a sponge. Regular painting or covering with wallpaper every 3-4 years is recommended.
  • Acrylic, Fibre or Glass: Easy to install, these sheets are placed over a wood or metal framework. These are a great way to introduce ambient lighting and require little upkeep.
  • Wood: Wood naturally adds charm to a space but these ceilings are more expensive, heavier and look bulkier hence best suited for large rooms. “Wooden ceilings look richer and are sturdy. Hanging heavy pendant lights etc. is relatively easy as they tend to support more weight,” says Jyotsna. These require regular polishing once installed.
  • Metal: Polished metal false ceilings can inject drama to a space and tend to last. Aluminium and galvanised iron are the most commonly used metals.
  • Modular/ Grid: “These comprise prefabricated and pre-finished ready-to-install panels, which sit directly on a framework. They are lightweight, easy to install, come in an array of finishes and looks,” says Jyotsna.


Cost Estimate for False Ceiling Design

The false ceiling cost depends on many factors like material used, design, site conditions, added effects and installations, etc. Jyotsna estimates the following:

  • Gypsum: upwards of Rs. 80/sqft
  • Acrylic or fibre: upwards of Rs. 125/sqft
  • Wood: upwards of Rs. 250/sqft
  • Modular ceilings: upwards to Rs. 200/sqft


FAQs for Getting a Perfect False Ceiling


1. Which material is best for False Ceiling Design?

False ceilings are one of the most popular interior design trends out there. But choosing the right material for your false ceiling design can make or break the look and feel of your home. Sure, plasterboard is a great option for those who need a low-maintenance false ceiling design, but if you're looking to up the aesthetics in your space, then consider other materials like wood, metal, or even fabric! Depending on your style preference and budget, each material brings something unique to the table.


2. Is False Ceiling Design in trend?

False ceiling design is not just in trend, it's the must-have home decor item of the season! False ceilings are great for sprucing up any room with their modern style. Whether you're looking for something minimalistic or a bit more intricate, false ceilings can offer unique options to give your space that extra touch of elegance without breaking the bank. You can even customize the design to match your personal taste.


3. Can I have a False Ceiling Design in the kitchen?

Absolutely! False ceilings can be used in any room, even the kitchen. A false ceiling design is a great way to give your kitchen an entirely new look. It can help define different areas of the kitchen, reduce noise reverberation and enhance the overall ambience of the area. With so many options available for false ceiling designs, you're sure to find something that will fit the look and feel of your kitchen.

Simple designs with clean lines – Beautiful Homes
Simple designs with clean lines work best for small rooms; avoid intricate patterns and mouldings.
Plan the wiring layout before starting construction of the false ceiling - Beautiful Homes
Plan the wiring layout before starting construction of your false ceiling; special attention should be paid to features like ceiling fans, swings, chandeliers, pendant lights, etc as rods and hooks need to be fitted on to the main ceiling slab.
How To Get The Perfect False Ceiling - Home Remodeling & House Renovation Ideas By Beautiful Homes
Large rooms can take double layered and unusually shaped drop ceilings - Beautiful Homes
Large rooms can take double layered and unusually shaped drop ceilings which are a great canvas for mixing textures, materials, shapes and colours.
Shapes, designs, colour, texture, patterns, materials, lights and hanging accessories with suspended ceilings - Beautiful Homes
You can play around with shapes, designs, colour, texture, patterns, materials, lights and hanging accessories with suspended ceilings.

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