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Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       11-24-2014, 5:51 AM Reply   
I had our new house's basement gutted due to a mold issue ... we're now rebuilding and not sure what do to with the ceiling.

We were able to salvage the drop ceiling from before but I plan on re-studding all of the exterior walls which will screw up the drop ceiling ... so, it might be easier to just scrap it.

From there we have 3 options:

1. New drop ceiling - I like it to be able access plumbing / electrical / HVAC if needed, wife hates it because "its ugly"

2. Drywall the ceiling - I don't like it because it hides everything and if we need to access any of our mechanical systems its a huge PITA, wife likes it because its pretty

3. Paint the Joists / everything black - I like it because it keeps everything open and gives head room, wife likes the "industrial" look so she isn't against it.

.... so I guess my question is, Are there any glaring downsides to painting the joists, ductwork, plumbing, etc etc all black or white in the basement like the photo(s) below?






The "east half" of the gutted basement:

Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       11-24-2014, 9:51 AM Reply   
I agree that T-Bar is always nice for future access but doesn't look the best in a house. The top picture with everything painted black actually looks really good. The only downside to a black ceiling would be that it could make the ceiling look even lower than it is and won't give you as much reflection for the lighting. This is why most ceilings are always white.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       11-24-2014, 10:48 AM Reply   
Quote:
nd won't give you as much reflection for the lighting.
The basement (this main area) will be used as a theater with a small wetbar in the corner... so less light isn't a bad thing.

I would think as long as I tape off any plumbing valves (so I don't paint them in place), electrical outlet (to protect from overspray), and HVAC openings I'll be okay.

Pros - Cheap, wife approves, can still access all utilities in an emergency
Cons - ? ... worst case is we cover it with a drop ceiling if it looks like **** and I'm out the cost of paint.
Old    Brett (bmcgee)      Join Date: Nov 2007       11-24-2014, 3:34 PM Reply   
I like the idea of going with the painted-exposed ceiling look. As you mentioned above, going with a dark paint color will help camouflage all of the overhead MEPs. Here's a couple of things I could think of that you might want to consider though:

- Not sure if lighting was in your budget but I'd recommend replacing/upgrading your lights from the current 2x4 lay-ins. Just make sure whatever new fixtures you go with have housings/trims that can be painted to match the ceiling color.
- Similar to your current acoustical ceiling set-up an exposed ceiling will make for easy/flexible install of speakers/projectors as opposed to a hard lid ceiling.
- You can go ahead and paint your HVAC openings (diffusers/registers/grilles/etc..) to match the ceiling. It's best to remove them and paint them on the ground though.
- You might consider using a Dryfall type paint. I'm not sure how common it is in residential construction but it is very prevalent in commercial.
Old    GD (diamonddad)      Join Date: Mar 2010       11-24-2014, 4:36 PM Reply   
Definitely loose the drop ceiling. It's just awful. Cover what is unsightly. Paint everything else black. That would be my vote.
Old    Fat-B (lugwrench)      Join Date: Jul 2002       11-25-2014, 8:28 AM Reply   
The only downside I found in just paint is that there is no insulation of the theater to the upstairs. I originally tried it but found when I was watching a movie at decent volume it was just too loud upstairs. I ended up going with the gridmax system where instead of dropping the ceiling the frame screws directly to the joists and saves ceiling height. I wedged some 1" black acoustic tiles and it made a huge difference. I left the grid white and with the black tiles I thought it made a pretty cool theater look. I'll have to dig up pictures (old house) but below is what mine ended up looking like.
Attached Images
 
Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       11-26-2014, 2:20 PM Reply   
I like both of your top two pictures. I had to look twice at those pictures to see that they showed exposed, painted joists. Both pictures are of tastefully decorated rooms, and to me, that also makes the transition to understanding that the joists are exposed as being just another (tasteful) design choice of the homeowner. (It's just my preference, but I like the while a little better.)

If sound insulation is an issue, maybe you can adjust that with carpeting on the floor above.
Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       11-26-2014, 2:33 PM Reply   
Your question was, "Are there any glaring downsides to painting the joists, ductwork, plumbing, etc etc all black or white in the basement like the photo(s) below?"

I can't see how there could be. My parents house was built in 1972. My mom's parents house in ... whew ... the teens? My dad's parents house in the 1880's (although razed in about 1995).

All have/had basements with the joists and everything left bare (and unpainted). It is my belief that doing so has had no impact on shortening the lifespan of any utility. I believe that painting such things would only add the chore of dusting and/or cleaning.

If the grime cakes up beyond what you like, you can always hide it with tile after that.
Old    Jason Callen (westsidarider)      Join Date: Feb 2003       11-26-2014, 5:40 PM Reply   
What about a dynamat sound barrier or something of that nature for the sound transfer upstairs?
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       12-05-2014, 9:50 AM Reply   
I think the biggest argument I would have is that your concern about enclosing the ceiling just isnt' really valid.. All of the HVAC/Elec/Etc within your house is closed off. As long as you have things done right - there should be no reason you ever need "access" to a HVAC run. Yes, there is always the bigger chance for "what it" - but if you have a "what if" scenario (water, etc) - the ceiling is coming out anyways.. I understand the concern - but it's just not really substantied. Now, if you just want an open ceiling, so be it.. But If you're only doing it for "what it" scenarios - then it's easy enough and clean to just rock it.. Your house, your bucks - just saying that the disaster scnenario is rare and will require tearing **** out anyways..

Good luck!
Old    Hate N Pain (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-05-2014, 10:03 AM Reply   
Do your HVAC air runs hang lower than the floor joists? If so then they'll have to be boxed out before you rock them. Imnguessing yes since someone put in that gawd awful drop ceiling. I concur that you shouldn't worry about rocking it. By your same logic you may as well not have sheet rock anywhere in the house in case you have a problem. Personally, I'd finish it out but painting it and seeing if you can live with it is cheap and you can always rock it after the fact.
Old    Mark V (mark197)      Join Date: Dec 2009       12-05-2014, 12:17 PM Reply   
That really depends on what you want to accomplish. When I built my bar / man cave in the basement I was not looking for a nice finished room. I really like the look of it but it doesn't do anything for sound. I had really low ceilings and if anything it helped the room feel taller.

Old    Jonathan Bay (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       12-05-2014, 3:53 PM Reply   
"All of the HVAC/Elec/Etc within your house is closed off. As long as you have things done right - there should be no reason you ever need "access" to a HVAC run."

Generally that's right ... until ... given enough time, you'll be upgrading or doing something to or with your utilities. Leaving yourself access is not bad, and, maybe good. In my parents 40 years in the same home, they have:--

-replaced the two heater units which meant reworking of existing ductwork where they connect
(albeit, in some homes this would only affect a utility closet), and long before that (which was done just this year)
- added humidifiers, which meant T-taps into copper water lines,
- run an extra 220 V circuit,
- ran various other changes in the 110 V wiring,
- added a wet bar in one place and then just a sink in another, which meant re-doing copper plumbing,
- added cable lines for cable TV,

and so on. In the 40 years, it's been only once every 2, 3 4 or 5 years that my dad or some contractor has been working in the joist space. But I'm sure it was easier for them to do their planning because it was easier to see the whole network from the underside ... since it was left bare.

I like Mark's man cave too.
Old     (Jed)      Join Date: Aug 2013       12-19-2014, 10:17 AM Reply   
In the unlikely case of a basement fire. Having a sheetrock ceiling will make a huge difference on damage and total dollars lost......
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       12-19-2014, 1:51 PM Reply   
I really like the painted black in the first picture. And since the wife likes the look, and it accomplishes your goals, then GO FOR IT. the drop ceiling looks like a cheap conference room in a run down hotel. Please make it go away.
Old    Nick Tomsyck (sidekicknicholas)      Join Date: Mar 2007       12-19-2014, 2:27 PM Reply   
We are in the demo process currently.

Studs going up over the next few days, then the electrical is going in, once that is in along with my home theater wiring, I'll be starting the painting.

I think we're going to go for this look "blue glow" ..... through the use of lighting covers (like they did) and LED strips around the edges. I think it will help with both the bar and theater vibe too.

Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       12-19-2014, 2:52 PM Reply   
Totally love it.

I put blue led's above my kitchen cabinets so that they glow blue onto the ceiling. it's really subtle and you barely even notice it when the lights are on. But at night it's really cool.

You can see the blue glow here sort of. but this pic is before we got the backsplash done, so I like the next pic better.


You can't see the blue glow as good here, but I like this picture a lot better because it showcases our stainless checkered backsplash which I love.


And just for kicks, here's the same kitchen before we transformed it. (painted cabinets white, added brushed pulls, replaced counters with Silestone quartz, new composite bottom mount sink with new faucet, painted trim around window black, new barstools.) Night and day difference.

Last edited by trayson; 12-19-2014 at 2:54 PM.
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       12-19-2014, 4:45 PM Reply   
Trayson: I don't think that is his basement, just an idea of how he wants his ceiling to look when done. Wasn't sure if you caught that?

PS, HarmAn's are better than HarmOn's. lol.......cause I'm a Harman.
Old    Trayson Harmon (trayson)      Join Date: May 2013       12-19-2014, 4:47 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcrider View Post
Trayson: I don't think that is his basement, just an idea of how he wants his ceiling to look when done. Wasn't sure if you caught that?

PS, HarmAn's are better than HarmOn's. lol.......cause I'm a Harman.
Yeah, I caught it. But I thought that his vision for what he wanted it to look like was dead on ballz...



So you're Harman Kardon speakers and I'm a Harmony remote control. LOL

I guess way back in the day, my last name used to be the very Irish "O'Harmon". but along the way they dropped the "O".

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