suggestions for workshop ceiling in basement


I want to finish the ceiling in my basement workshop. At the moment the ceiling is exposed. There is insulation in the joist bays above along with the usual assortment of plumbing matters.
I am hesitant about sheetrocking the ceiling because of the potential need to access utilities in the ceiling. T1-11 has the same problems. One option would be to keep the ceiling open, which would not be a huge deal but I would like to cover the exposed insulation.
Any ideas here? I am not looking for any fancy solutions, just something to cover the insulation and yet provide access should it be needed.
Thanks, mh
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Do you have room for a suspended ceiling? Tom
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Here's betting that, barring a plumbing cleanout, you'll never have to. However, it's not your house if you have insurance, so check your local codes. You may have no choice but to put sheetrock in. Of course you can make it in 4x4 or 2x4 for handling, and "T" molding it up in a suspended-type imitation for access. By the time you get there, you may appreciate the plastic-faced fiberglass type that comes 4x2 a bit more, and pay the difference. Sheds dust pretty well, meets codes for ceilings.
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I left mine open without insulation and have no heat or air in basement in the Northeast and have steady temperature year round. I do use a dehumidifer in summer.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

Your choices are sheetrock, plywood, or suspended.
Sheetrock is your least expensive and best look. Painted it will help with lighting. Plywood is expensive and a hassle. Suspended gives you the access but is very expensive.
Do the math on sheetrock vs suspended. you could re sheetrock your entire ceiling many times over for the cost of suspended. Do sheetrock, put in access panels where you have shutoffs, junction boxes , etc. Run any wires now. If you Do need to tear out a section and replace it down the road you will still be ahead of the game.
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First, contact your local building department or inspections organization. You may have to put in drywall, for fire protection reasons. It might even be a good idea to do so, or maybe work on other fire suppression techniques, such as sprinklers. On the other hand, the problem with losing access to wires and in particular junction boxes and valves in the ceiling is massive.
We had the same issue with our basement, and in particular the basement shop: open floor joists, with fiberglas insulation stuffed in it. Big problems include that the ceiling continuously spews dust; fiberglas dust is at least very annoying, and perhaps even carcinogenic. Also, the dark ceiling makes the room look untidy and dark.
We finished our basement with full building permits and inspections. We did not need to put up drywall, because the basement already has full fire sprinklers and a full set of hard-wired smoke detectors. The building inspector suggested drywall, but was willing to relent on that, as long as we have something dust-tight to enclose the glas fiber insulation.
We ended up buying Tyvek (the white paper-like foil). One option was housewrap, but that stuff is ugly, with printed manufacturers logos. We instead special-ordered a roll of all white Tyvek. It was stapled to the underside of the joists. For valves, you simply cut a square hole in it, and close the hole by laying a slightly larger piece of Tyvek on top. As the Tyvek is not permanent (it is easy to cut holes in it), there is no need to make all electrical boxes immediately accessible. Instead, we just wrote down where they are, and if we ever need to access them, we can easily cut hols in the Tyvek.
Note that Tyvek is flammable (but treated to be fire retardant), so check with your local fire codes. In our area, it was OK, because fire sprinklers are mandatory anyhow.
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wrote:

Good advice. A foil backed paper may also work providing local codes permit it.
Dave
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

I have a basement shop with a low ceiling, so a suspended or dropped ceiling was out of the question for me. It is about 81" from the floor to the bottom of the floor joists above.
Five years ago, I rebuilt my house and insulated the floor over the crawl space, however I left the full basement area with the floor above un-insulated. I chose to not put any insulation between the first floor joists over my shop area. Also, since the shop is unheated, I removed the insulation on the heating pipes that pass through my shop. It provide enough heat for me to work there in the winter, although I add a small electric heater if I'm gluing or finishing in the very coldest weather.
One never has enough storage space and I really like being able to store between the joists. Many long boards, pipe clamps, etc. live there. Some jigs and fixtures too. I also have 10 florescent light fixtures that nestle quite nicely between the joists.
This has all worked well for me. I have one additional feature that has enhanced this setup. Some time ago, they were replacing a lot of ceiling tiles where I work. They are the white porous kind that, as a kid, we always referred to as Celotex. Anyway, the workman here would cut a 24"x48" tile to 24"x26" and throw the cutoff away. I took all the cutoffs home. I cut them to fit between the joists and screwed them to the subfloor above my shop. The white color helps brighten the shop and the Celotex material helps to deaden the shop noise to the house above. (Well, at least I like to think so.)
Having the exposed joists has also helped with the routing of my dust collecting system and additional shop electric. I have, in fact, installed a few 20A outlets on the joists overhead in the center of work areas in the shop. Many times I can use hand held power tools without the need for extension cords.
OK: bottom line. I haven't offered you any good info on what ceiling to install in your workshop, however perhaps you may consider lthe advantages of leaving the joists exposed.
Bill Leonhardt
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