Need a better basement ceiling solution

I'm aware of the two typical kinds of finished basement ceilings: a) the metal support and 2x4 drop-in ceiling tiles, and b) those 12x12 "pressed oatmeal" looking things. I don't have room (7 foot height) for the first type. But there must be something better than the second. It's in a rental property, and trying to replace fallen tiles has been a pain. No matter how long a staple I used, they pull through or the corners broke off when trying to staple them to the firring strips (strips about the thickness of paint stirrers). Maybe the original installed should have used thicker firring strips, but I had more of a problem with the tiles themselves. They also over time would vibrate loose or crack and fall just from the foot traffic on the first floor (again the staples pull through the tile). Even a thin plastic tile would be better, if they make such a thing. Anyone seen or have anything better??? M.B.
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Here are some ideas:
http://www.armstrong.com/resceilingsna/browse_form_select.jsp
--
Joseph E. Meehan

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I am not an expert in this area. After saying this, I want to mention that a 2x2 drop-ceiling tile takes less head room than a 2x4 drop-ceiling tile. If you are interested, I can measure the vertical space that I need for installing 2x2 ceiling tiles in my basement.
Small ceiling tiles (2x2) looks better in my small basement room anyway.
Jay Chan
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I have seen basement ceilings where the joists, wires. plumbing were all sprayed flat white.
Looked good, didn't "lower" the ceiling, and still allowed access to everything. Cheap solution too... unless you need sound deadening.
<rj>
wrote:

<rj>
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On Sun, 02 Nov 2003 14:54:25 -0500, M.Burns wrote:

Have you thought about the old standard drywall on the ceiling? Works everywhere else in the house, why not down in the basement too?
Carolyn
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In my case it would have required rewiring the whole house as you cannot bury a wiring connection behind the structure of a building. Also consider the work involved. Sure sheetrock is realitively cheap, but finishing takes some time, and is quite messy. A suspended ceiling can be hung in a few hours. Greg
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I used a system called Ceiling Max in a basement bathroom and hall area:
http://www.ceilingmax.com /
It lets you use regular suspended ceiling tile (I used 2 x 2) but they are mounted right against the bottom of the joists and can still be removed from below.
It won't work if you have anything likes pipes running below the joists, and is a little fussy to install because you have to shim the mounting strips to be even or the ceiling will look wavy. But I am happy with the result. In my area, both Home Depot and Lowes carry the standard pieces. I had to order a few special items direct.
HTH,
Paul Franklin
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I had a similar problem in my house and went with the 2X2 ceiling tiles. They require 3 1/2 inches below joists in order to facilitate removal.I ignored this suggestion and put it only two inches below and can easily remove tiles when the need arises. The rason you are having trouble with the staple 12X12 type is mositure. The moisture normally found in a basement raises havoc with those. Also try to find aluminum tracks for the suspended ceilings as the steel ones will rust in high moisture areas.
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