Suspended Drywall Ceiling

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Hi,
I have an idea for my basement ceiling and was wondering if anyone has done something similar. I want access to the wires, pipes etc in the basement ceiling and do not want to use the typical t-bar ceiling.
I was thinking about making ten I-Beams about 4 or 5 inches in height out of wood and installing then to my floor joists. They would be spaced about 24" apart. I then plan to rest a piece of drywall (about 26" wide) on the top edge of the bottom plate of each I-Beam. The drywall would be suspended and easily removable. The bottom plate of the I-Beam is then stained to match the fireplace mantle, wet bar, and built in book shelfs. I will need about ten I-Beams at 12 feet in length (think of these as Main-T's) and I will then place shorter wooden I-Beams as cross T's.
Anyone see an issue with this method? My only concern is the sagging of the drywall. If it is spaced no more than 24" apart, do you think it will sag?
So...wooden I-beams like below with drywall resting on the lower plate of each I-Beam. That's it. __ __ _|_ _______________ _|_ drywall
Thanks,
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If you are worried about sagging (I would be) you could put some 1 x 2 furring strips, standing on edge, on the back of the drywall to keep it rigid.
Another concern is how easily drywall chips and gouges, I would be concerned that it would be easily damaged as you remove/insert it. I realize that you won't be doing it very often, but once you chip a corner, you might have trouble repairing it and hiding the repair.
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Good idea to add the furring strips. As you noted, the edges are a concern. The pieces of drywall will not be removed often (hopefully). I thought about adding some type of tape (Tuck Tape maybe) to the cut edges to prevent any gypsum from falling. Of course, the tuck tape will be covered by the edge of the I-Beam.
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RickWeb wrote: ...

WTH is "Tuck" tape???
Seems like lot of work for not a lot of gain over the traditional way. Is there really any need for access other than along a few plumbing runs?
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Ever install foam board, vapor barrier or tyvek? Tuck tape is used as a sealant here in Canada. It creates a water and air tight seal between materials.
As for access, all my wires for sound and video projection run along the ceiling also.
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RickWeb wrote:

Oh, ok, that's a north-of-the-border one...it's usually "Tyvek tape" here even for 3M or somebody else's variety...

I don't know, I can't get excited over slab sheetrock in lieu of other panels as being any step forward but suit yourself...it'll be a pita when it does come time to get to whatever it is that needs access methinks.
You could build the frame like you've outlined (but a lot less stout, to boot) and use standard ceiling panels that are a whole lot lighter, better sound isolation and less likely to break and/or chip and shed sheetrock dust all over if you're goal is simply not have the t-bar.
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dpb wrote: ...

...
OBTW, what were/are you planning for lighting?
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RickWeb wrote:

Hmmm, Never saw a suspended drywall ceiling. All my cables are in a trough blending well with finished basement wall and ceiling(9 feet high). If major access is needed for some reason, that'll be after my life. When I retired I had this house custom built to my spec. future proof wired house.
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As for the plumbing runs, make sure the cold water pipes are insulated so that they don't sweat and drip on the back of the drywall.
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Sheetrock is easy to repair. Just install it and if you ever need access cut a hole. Replacing an entire ceiling is inexpensive.
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re: Replacing an entire ceiling is inexpensive
Material wise, perhaps, but labor has a price - even if you are doing it yourself.
Free DIY labor has other costs, such as time away from family and friends or activities you enjoy. It's a quality of life issue.
It could even have monetary costs if you could be making money during the time you're replacing the ceiling.
I like doing it myself, but when I stayed home to remodel the bathroom while the rest of the family went skiing, there was indeed a cost - a cost that has no payback period.
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RickWeb wrote:

Rather than using drywall, have you considered using plywood and staining it a contrasting color to the exposed I-beams? Might add an interesting effect to your ceiling at only a slight increase in cost IMHO
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rmorton wrote:

you know, I just got a great idea. I have an old drop ceiling in my basement and I wish someone had brought this up before I bought a whole package of replacement tiles. I should have bought some plywood instead and stained and varnished them for a nicer effect. plywood cut to size of standard ceiling tile. I think it might make a nice effect.
I have also seen drop in tiles that look like an old pressed tin ceiling, the only difference is you still use the standard T-bar grid. That's another option, although I expect those to be expensive.
nate
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24" wide pieces will definitely sag. When USG indicates an allowable span of 24" that is with a fully attached piece of drywall, attached to more than two joists, and run perpendicularly to the joists.
If you have a few runs that need accessibility, can't you just install faux beams to cover them? That sounds like the look you're going for and would be simpler. If it is at all possible, you should have the wiring running in one or two chases across the ceiling.
R
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One of my acquaintances at work did pretty much what you are talking about. He used the wood beams but hung 2x8 ft acoustical panels. The panels were a cloth covered cellulose material. The one thing I didnt like about it was he made the rails that the panels set on too thick. I think he used 1/2 plywood and this looks a little bulky to me 1/4 would have looked a lot better. Probably could think of some others that would look even better still.
Jimmie
Jimmie
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The thing that would worry me is if the drywall (or other relatively heavy material) is just resting on the ledges you have created, there is a chance you could bump it with something and it comes falling down. A 2x4' ceiling tile is one thing to fall on your head, a big piece of drywall is quite another.
Ken
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RickWeb wrote:

In the basement of my last house I made T-bar out of oak then used ceiling tiles. Looked very good. I'm sure my ex wife appreciates all the work I did.
I wouldn't use drywall in place of tiles, looks cheap. You can buy a 1/2" low sag drywall made for ceilings if you insist. I used that stuff in my new house, it works.
As for the guy that said he wouldn't worry about access to the ceiling, I used to love the looks on peoples faces when I told them the drywall ceiling's gotta go. I don't know what people are thinking. There is know way of knowing what the future is hiding. Sooner or later someone is going to want access into the ceiling.
LdB
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re: Sooner or later someone is going to want access into the ceiling.
I had the same thought when I added a bathroom in my basement. It is the only section where the ceiling is drywalled. Other than pipes and wires, the only 2 items that might require access are the gas shutoff and the water pressure reducer.
When I drywalled the ceiling I made the conscious decision to put in a small access panel for the gas valve, but buried the PRV. "If I need to get to it, I'll deal with it then."
10 years later, when I had to replace the PRV, I cut a hole, replaced the part and added an access panel in case I ever have to replace it again. It was the exact same amount of work as if I have installed the access panel when I built the bathroom, but I didn't want to take the time to do it based on the *chance* that I would need to replace the PRV.
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RickWeb wrote:

If you really want to do that you'll need something stiffer than drywall. Furniture-grade plywood maybe?
nate
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Don't use drywall...It WILL sag and take on a permanent rounded appearance...It will also bleed dust and look very cheap....use plywood or ceiling tiles....
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