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There was a time when flooring and walls used to get all the attention and ceilings were left plain, for installing fans and lights. However, with changing times, ceilings have also become an important design element in modern homes. Home owners now actively seek the latest false ceiling designs to experiment with and make it the focal point of their home. Also known as drop ceilings or suspended ceilings, false ceilings now go beyond the plain white paint. In fact, different types of materials are being used to make the most of the ceiling space. Here is a detailed account of false ceilings and the varieties you can opt for.
What is a false ceiling?
The secondary ceiling that hangs below the main ceiling, with the help of suspension cords or struts, is called a false ceiling. It acts as a second layer of roof suspended from the main roof, to insulate the space from heat, cold, noise, etc. Such ceilings provide a neat, uniform look to interior spaces and also reduce the electricity bill, as the air trapped between the actual ceiling and false ceiling creates an insulating effect, thereby, reducing heat in summers and cold in winters.
Types of false ceilings
1. Gypsum false ceiling
Made using sulphate of calcium, this is one of the most popular false ceilings materials, because of its thermal and noise insulation properties. Apart from this, gypsum false ceilings have fire-resistance properties and are comparatively lightweight than other materials. Available in multiple shades, including brown, white, red, yellow and grey, these boards can be easily laminated and painted to get the desired look.
2. POP false ceiling
This is another popular false ceiling material used in contemporary homes. It has a smooth finish and can be moulded to suit any type of design requirement. Ideal for living rooms and bedrooms, such ceilings are perfect for installing cove and recessed lights. Plaster-of-Paris (POP) false ceilings look good with a combination of wood and glass.
3. Metal false ceiling
Metal false ceiling tiles are commonly used in commercial spaces. Usually, aluminium and galvanised iron is used for such requirements. Both of these metals are hard and durable and can be installed easily and need little maintenance. Another benefit of choosing such a ceiling is that it can be easily removed and reinstalled. This is the why these materials are also used for house water pipes, air-conditioning ducts and electric wires.
4. PVC false ceiling
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) is another commonly used false ceiling type. It is majorly used in garages, basements, toilets and bathrooms. Since these are very cost-effective, lightweight and resistant to moisture, it is preferred by home owners who have a very modest budget. PVC false ceilings are not affected by UV lights, as well.
See also: Designer bathroom false ceiling ideas
5. Wooden false ceiling
This is among the most expensive materials for false ceilings. While these are easier to install, it is costly to source the wood, which are in the form of hollow blocks or panels. Usually, hill station properties have wooden ceilings. Although these are durable, they are prone to termite attack. Wooden ceilings are expensive to maintain but if one’s budget is not restricted, such ceiling panels add the most sophisticated look to the space.
6. Glass false ceiling
Glass false ceilings are rarely used in residential spaces, as it is brittle and difficult to maintain. Glass ceilings are excellent for improving the overall aesthetic of the space. The transparency helps in making small rooms look bigger. Usually used in libraries, book stores and jewellery shops, glass ceilings offer good heat insulation.
7. Fibre false ceiling
Such false ceilings add sound-proofing properties to the room. When mixed with natural and synthetic materials, they can also be used for heat insulation. They are highly suitable for commercial applications, especially in noisy spaces. Available at inexpensive rates, these are not used in residential spaces, because of its simple look and lack of appealing designs.
See also: Design ideas for dining room false ceilings
Where to use what type of false ceiling
|Type of ceiling||Ideal space|
|POP false ceiling||Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms|
|Gypsum false ceiling||Living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms|
|Glass false ceiling||Restaurants, libraries, bookstores|
|Wooden false ceiling||Houses in hilly areas|
|PVC false ceiling||Bathrooms, balconies|
|Fibre false ceiling||Commercial, noisy spaces|
Factors that affect the cost of false ceilings
Following are some of the points that impact the overall cost of false ceilings:
- Design of the false ceiling.
- Availability and pricing of the ceiling material in the local market/city.
- Quality of the materials used.
- Total area to be covered.
- Additional costs like electrical work, light fixtures and surface finish.
See also: 7 elegant ceiling design ideas
Cost of false ceilings
Here is an approximate cost for installing a false ceiling in the top cities:
|City||Gypsum/POP price per sq ft|
|Mumbai||Rs 75 onwards|
|Pune||Rs 125 onwards|
|NCR||Rs 85 onwards|
|Ahmedabad||Rs 50 onwards|
|Kolkata||Rs 50 onwards|
|Chennai||Rs 50 onwards|
|Bengaluru||Rs 55 onwards|
|Hyderabad||Rs 50 onwards|
Why is it called a false ceiling?
It is called a false ceiling, because it is not the actual ceiling, but a secondary ceiling hung below the main roof.
What is a false ceiling also called?
False ceiling is also known as a drop ceiling or a suspended ceiling.
Which material is best for false ceiling?
Gypsum and POP are the most common types of materials used for false ceilings.