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Suspended ceiling
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 1131



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:06 pm    Post subject: Suspended ceiling Reply with quote


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I'm removing the old t-grid in the basement of my new home. I'm looking to replace it with a new t-grid (ws thinking armstrong) that won't warp under load. There seems to be a ton of choices but it's difficult to discern what the better options are. The room is 20 x 12 and I'd like the following attributes:

1) consistent structural integrity (no flimsy materials)
2) resitant to moisture
3) black color
4) easy to install

I'm trying to figure out all of the materials I'll need to install the system. It looks like I'd need main beams, cross beams, cables and the perimeter mounting track. Is there any other materials required? Any tips to make installation easier (besides using a laser level)?

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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I there any reason you're not considering just putting up drywall, Justin? I don't know that any drop ceiling is going to make you happy. They're all going to rattle, they don't look very modern, and the good stuff is all pretty expensive on a per-sqft basis.

Even if you hire somebody to do it, it'll like be cheaper than the drop ceiling, it's easily paintable (black), it's much better from an isolation standpoint, and it's more modern. A couple of drywall guys can usually knock it out in a couple of hours one day to hang it, a couple of hours another day to mud and tape it, and a couple of hours to finish it a third day.

The one single benefit of a drop ceiling is that you can access the space to pull cables and such, but if you simply plan ahead, you shouldn't have to worry about it.

SC
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 1131



PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
I there any reason you're not considering just putting up drywall, Justin? I don't know that any drop ceiling is going to make you happy. They're all going to rattle, they don't look very modern, and the good stuff is all pretty expensive on a per-sqft basis.

Even if you hire somebody to do it, it'll like be cheaper than the drop ceiling, it's easily paintable (black), it's much better from an isolation standpoint, and it's more modern. A couple of drywall guys can usually knock it out in a couple of hours one day to hang it, a couple of hours another day to mud and tape it, and a couple of hours to finish it a third day.

The one single benefit of a drop ceiling is that you can access the space to pull cables and such, but if you simply plan ahead, you shouldn't have to worry about it.

SC


Well now that you mention it I have my carpenter installing drywall over the plaster walls tomorrow....

I initially ruled it out because:

1) I wanted to make sure I have access to the cables.

2) I think that basic black ceiling tiles and black painted drywall are a little too spartan for my tastes. I do agree from the isolation stand point and finishing in drywall will cost less than the grid and tiles. However, I plan to add some wood columns on the side walls and trim work on the screen wall so I want something that will accent those features without going overboard. I was thinking of installing a black coffered panel via a grid to create a more distinct look that would also improve the perceived contrast of the image and be far more cost effective than a full on beam/box constructed coffer.

I'm still undecided so convince me I should do a drywall ceiling
Wink

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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Tue Jul 19, 2016 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My biggest concern with a drop ceiling in a home theater is that it's going to rattle like crazy every time the subs rumble, and there's just no way to fix that. Worse, you'll paying more for that privilege. Wink

If you're really after something more interesting architecturally, then I think a drop ceiling is a little contrived anyway. A drop ceiling kind of looks like a drop ceiling no matter what you do to it to not make it look like a drop ceiling.

If I were you, I'd put up a gyp celling, then use a system of sleeper 1x material to give the impression of a coffered ceiling. Poplar is dirt cheap, and you can even get it primed. It's literally an easy Saturday to lay it out and hang it, and probably less than a couple hundred bucks.


Pretty easy to hang it...





To me, this looks way better than a drop ceiling...



Look at that photo... Another benefit is you don't end up with the goofy spacing you normally do when you try a force a 2x2 grid into a room that's never an even multiple of 2x2.

Then, hose the ceiling and poplar down black or a muted warm dark gray or whatever you want, then go back and add some antiquing or other detail (or not).

As for access, it's just a safety blanket. It's unnecessary. Plan. Put all the cables in you'll need, add conduit if you're not sure, then close it up. No biggie.

If you haven't already, check out Houzz. It's an amazing resource to figure out exactly what you like. Type in "theater" or "coffered ceiling" and sit and browse and find exactly what you like, then copy it.

http://www.houzz.com/photos/query/coffered-ceiling

Wish I was just down the street so I could drop in and give you a hand. Wink

SC
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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
Posts: 5634
Location: Comedy Central


PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Steve and I discussed this a couple of years ago.

I agree totally with Steve's suggestion on this. That second picture looks really good for a ceiling.

Armstrong has a system, but I think yours would not require their system. It should be pretty straight forward depending on how much isolation you want.
http://www.armstrong.com/commceilingsna/products/drywall-grid-systems/_/N-l#
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 1131



PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Steve,

Funny you should post that photo of the ceiling because we are doing that on our dining room walls:


Our carpenter has to come back and get the spacing correct on the trim pieces (has to add two more on main wall) and I'll tell you this is not a DIY job for the layman. Took him 3 days to do this room and that included removal of old baseboard and crown moldings. Aside from having the right tools to get the job done it's a tremendous amount of work.

You guys convinced me to go with a drywall ceiling. An ancillary advantage is that I'll gain a few inches in height from the suspended track and that means I can mount my screen higher (It's a Stewart 4-way electrimask and the the top and bottom borders take up 20" of vertical space on the wall). My carpenter told me he needs to start with the ceiling first which is a bit of an issue since I don't have my PJ mounted yet. I've asked him to leave an opening so I can secure my Chief lift to the ceiling joist.

I haven't mounted the PJ because the screen hasn't been mounted yet. The screen hasn't been mounted becuase we can't install the false wall (to hang the screen) until the carpenter drywalls a small area we framed in at the front of the room. There was a large closet which was right up against the wall which needed to have the doors removed and 18" of framing installed. Lots of moving parts and everything is related..

On a side note there's wood paneling that runs around the perimeter of the room which is about 3' from the ground. The drywall for the walls will run about 4.5' from the paneling to the ceiling. Eventually, I'm going to install some modern decorative paneling over the older stuff.

I was thinking to run small diameter pvc pipeing through the ceiling to allow for routing of cables to the PJ and for rear speakers. Only other thing to consider is lighting; not sure if it's best to do recessed lighting in the ceiling or set up wiring for lamps for the sidewalls. I want to install some columns on the sidewalls for both decorative purposes and functional (speaker concealment and now possibly lighting). I wasn't prepared to deal with planning these things out right now because the suspended ceiling would have made it easier to deal with these specifics later. Once I go drywall there's no going back so is there anything else I should be thinking of?

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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm with Steve in the drywalled ceiling too. Pull some extra speaker wires if you think you may go 7.1, 11.1, or something else in the future and put up some wall plates (that's what I did) then run a conduit to the projector. Drywall work is also cheap/easy if you ever need to make other future changes.

Kal

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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used drywall for the ceilings in my entire basement, HT included. I was stunned how a group of five guys knocked out the walls and ceiling in 4 hours. I have some regret, though, regarding placing some canned lighting in the HT. My HSu knows just what to do to make the trim pieces rattle at the wrong time (ever there ever a right time?).
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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you looking for sound isolation as well?
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
Posts: 1131



PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spanky Ham wrote:
Are you looking for sound isolation as well?


Depends on the cost. Nice to have but not a necessity. What are you suggesting?

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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since the dry wall will be screwed into the ceiiling joist; how have you guys run cables without having to do extensive modificatons to the joist? I was thinking to use a PVC pipe but drilling holes through several joist doesn't seem like the best idea.
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kal
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Drywall screws into ceiling strapping which is typically about half an inch thick or so which gives you enough room for speaker wires. I did punch holes through my joists for a conduit however for the hdmi cable.

Picture of my ceiling with strapping before drywall:



More in my basement build thread (see my sig)

Kal

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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kal wrote:
Drywall screws into ceiling strapping which is typically about half an inch thick or so which gives you enough room for speaker wires. I did punch holes through my joists for a conduit however for the hdmi cable.

Picture of my ceiling with strapping before drywall:



More in my basement build thread (see my sig)

Kal


Great post. That puts my mind at ease. Just need to start getting the cables installed.

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Spanky Ham



Joined: 22 Mar 2006
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 20, 2016 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is a guy over on AVS, who is using the Kinetics Wavehangers.
http://www.kineticsnoise.com/arch/isolated_ceilings.html
http://www.avsforum.com/forum/86-ultra-hi-end-ht-gear-20-000/2329073-60-000-dedicated-home-theater-build-requesting-advice-35.html#post45088298
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found an easy solution for the HDMI cable (actually my carpenter did). I'm going to run the PVC pipe parallel with the joist near the PJ through to the unfinished section of my basement. I'll route the cables from the equipment closet to the pipe. Much easier than having to cut holes in joists.

My carpenter plans to screw the drywall right to the joist and wasn't intending to use the strapping but said he would if I wanted it. Tonight I'm running the speaker cables for the the side and rear speakers. If I use the same logic as with the hdmi cable it should be a bit easier than I expected (hopefully)

I have an electrician coming by to clean up the shoddy work done previously and get a sense of where I want to place my wall lamps.

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Spanky Ham



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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess it depends on how much sound isolation you care about. If it isn't that big of a deal, then go ahead and screw the drywall to the joist.
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I pulled out all of the tiles, routed all speaker/hdmi cables, had electrican locate the sconce lighting, removed carpeting and tomorrow the drywall work begins.

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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking good, Justin!

Thumbs Up

Are you going to insulate the joist bays for a little isolation, or no?

SC
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jbmeyer13



Joined: 03 Dec 2010
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
Looking good, Justin!

Thumbs Up

Are you going to insulate the joist bays for a little isolation, or no?

SC


Yeah I am. I wasn't going to initially but since it's relatively cheap I then decided I might as well. The unfinished portion of the basement (i.e. workshop/storage) is divided by the right theater wall and is not insulated. Not sure how much sound will travel through there and then up through the rest of the house. I guess if it's a problem I can deal with it later.

So Nash and I were talking last night and I think I figured out how I'm going to install the electric Chief lift/ceiling mount. To get enough headroom clearance I need to cut about 5" out of one of the floor joist so that it can be mounted up in the ceiling. I'm going to drill holes in the joist and put a one foot piece of 1/2" steel pipe through and connect to another of the same size. I'll put some eyelets with threaded rod to connect to the lift. Kind of like a uni-strut but I think it will take up less overall space and that's the main issue I'm dealing with. The projector will have just over 6' of clearance from the ground to the PJ case at it's lowest point.

We'll see how the drywall work progresses over the next couple of days. I might build the false wall on Sunday depending on whether the mud has thoroughly dried on the side walls. Once that wall is up I'll mount the screen and the begin working on getting the PJ installed. I'm hoping to have a rough install by the end of next weekend but not counting on it as these things always seem to take longer than expected Confused

There's always complications- I'm not sure what they will be but know they're out there waiting to give me a headache Rolling Eyes

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ecrabb
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PostLink    Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good call on the insulation. Some of the AVS zealots consider the room's acoustics like an aquarium, i.e. it either leaks or it doesn't. But, some isolation is much better than no isolation - especially with a little one in the house.

If you're going to cut half the chord of a joist away, you should just cut the whole thing and box it in to transfer the load to the nearest joists. That's the correct way to do it (structurally), and as a side benefit, it might also give you a little more head room.





There are always complications and headaches. But, it'll all be worth it when you have a cold brew and you're sitting there watching movies!

Regardless, I'm jealous. You're going to have a theater soon. It's still going to be awhile before I can get started on my basement finish. Buying the BMW and a few other expenses really delayed things a lot more than I had hoped. First world problems.

SC
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