drywall alternative for ceiling?


Hi, folks. I could use some advice about finishing my laundry room.
First, I live in a really old house, which was renovated in the late 90s. The did a terrible job on the utility room. There are a number of issues that I'm resolving this summer, but the one that I fear the most is fixing the ceiling.
Here's what they did. First, it looks like they tore down the old plaster ceiling, but left the lath and all the crap that comes with it. Then, they hung air ducts all over the place. finally, they put up a drywall ceiling *around* the ducts. The ceiling is still above the ducts, but the area above them is exposed lath. The problem with this is that 120 years worth of dust and crap constantly sifts through when the people upstairs walk around. So, our laundry room is always dusty.
I was wondering if anyone had any clever ideas about how to remedy this situation. I would prefer NOT to remove any duct work. I thought about using partial sheets of drywall to slide above the ducts, but it would be almost impossible to screw them into anything that might support the weight. I also thought about installing a drop ceiling or enclosing the ducts in drywall, but access to the joists is limited.
Short of hanging a tarp, any thoughts?
Thanks! Joseph
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How high is the ceiling? If it is an old house with 10" ceiling you can always put a second drywall across the bottom of the ducts. Just run 2 x 4 for rafters.
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On Mon, 21 Jul 2008 19:49:53 -0700 (PDT), "Joseph O'Brien"

I'd figure out a way to put drywall on the ceiling (lowest cost), then second choice is the drop ceiling which can be supported using wires fastened to the joists. The drop ceiling has an advantage that everything above it is accessible.
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On Tue, 22 Jul 2008 08:29:29 -0400, Phisherman wrote:

I'll second this one. Laundry rooms / Utility rooms are workrooms. There are many attractive acoustic tiles these days. Another benefit to acoustic tiles is their sound deadening qualities.
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Whatever you do, the dust will continue to land even on a suspended ceiling. I'd get up in the attic and lay/staple some Tyvek above the open ducts to help stop the dust there first (dont use plastic). Obviously there was no wiggle room between the duct tops and the old ceiling otherwise they would have jammed the drywall above the ducts in the first place. Can you loosen up the duct strapping and pull the ducts down 1/2 inch to put another layer of drywall across the whole room? You can usually slide duct connections out a little then re- screw them without a problem, the drywall guys probably just said "it's not my job man to drop the ducts", so they did it half assed..
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"Joseph O'Brien" wrote

You dont say just how far down the ducts hang. I'd be looking again at a 'dropped ceiling' with the lighter tiles and a frame just bolted to the drywall. Some of these units are very light in weight. If you can get at the other side of the drywall, you can use those little fasteners that open out to spread the load.
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