Apprentice Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎04-22-2010

Ceiling material for a basement shop

Looking for advice: My basement shop ceiling is homasote, about 60 years old, that is sagging, broken, holed, etc. Want to replace it.


One possibility is drywall, about the cheapest way to go, but a lot of work to finish. And it's a mess to open up the ceiling to modify/replace wiring or plumbing (steam heat system).


Don't want a dropped ceiling -- have 8-foot clearance, and don't want to lose any of it.


I am thinking of using the "barn board" 1/2-inch plywood sheathing, primed and painted. One thought is to cut the 4x8 sheets into 16-inch wide planks and screw them into the furring strips, so that if I need to work above the ceiling I have easy access. And the narrower pieces would be easier to install, and to cut around the various protrusions I have to deal with. Cost would be under $1 a sq.ft.


Any thoughts? Alternative materials I should consider?

Honored Advisor
Posts: 4,129
Registered: ‎11-07-2009

Re: Ceiling material for a basement shop

I'd use 7/16" O.S.B. and I'd put it up in full 4 X 8 sheets. I think it would just look better in full sheets than it would cut up into 16" strips.

Rick Mathison
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Esteemed Advisor
Posts: 3,518
Registered: ‎10-23-2009

Re: Ceiling material for a basement shop

I chose drywall and finished it for one major reason.


If you would ever think of changing your shop to living area, you would have a major remodeling task completed.


Drywall is cheaper, and finishing it is really not that difficult.  Painting it white would really enhance the lighting.



Larry.. East Central Iowa

Good enough.. Isn't.
Senior Contributor
Posts: 290
Registered: ‎12-26-2009

Re: Ceiling material for a basement shop

Another option would be to nail 1x2's to the bottom of the joists so 1/2" protrudes on each side and then cut your ceiling material to fit between the joists so it rests on top of the 1x2. that way you don't lose any ceiling height & you still have access above it so you can make changes/repairs if necessary.

Sheboygan, WI

Measure once cut twice!
Honored Advisor
Posts: 2,997
Registered: ‎10-28-2009

Re: Ceiling material for a basement shop

If losing clearance is your only issue with the suspended ceiling you can still use the tiles with a snap together system. It looks just like a suspended ceiling but only takes about an inch of space. I am kind of in the middle of putting a new ceiling in my shop and it will be metal. A little more expensive than drywal but once it's up it's done.


Steve K


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