7 Types of Ceiling Finishes for Your Building Design

While decorating a space, we tend to focus on the four walls that encompass a room. But we often overlook the fifth wall that can make or break the interiors – the ceiling. A plain ceiling is minimal whereas a false ceiling adds a fancy touch while also being functional. 

7 Types of ceiling finishes in building design

A false ceiling is a secondary ceiling that is suspended from the structural ceiling. Depending on the material that it is made of, it provides a range of benefits and aesthetics. 

7 Types of Ceiling Finishes Based on Material

  1. Wooden
  2. Plaster of Paris
  3. Glass
  4. Fabric
  5. PVC
  6. Gypsum
  7. Metal

1. Wooden Ceiling Finish

They are commonly used as false ceiling materials in the form of plywood, blocks or panels.

Advantages of Wooden Ceiling

  • Easy to install
  • Available in many colors and grain patterns
  • Durable
  • Sound absorbing

Disadvantages of Wooden Ceiling

  • Prone to water and termite damage
  • High maintenance
  • Not fire-resistant

Uses

Used in residential and commercial buildings for a rustic vibe.

Gateway building in Trinity College, Melbourne by McIldowie Partners

Wooden Ceiling Finish at Gateway building in Trinity College
Wooden Ceiling Finish at Gateway building in Trinity College

This building uses a wood finish for its ceiling to give it a rustic vibe while also being functional.

2. Plaster of Paris as a Ceiling Finish

This type of ceiling is made by applying plaster of paris paste on wooden or metal boards. 

Advantages of POP as a Ceiling Finish

  • Smooth finish
  • Can be molded
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Fire resistant
  • Is a good thermal insulator

Disadvantages of POP as a Ceiling Finish

  • Not water resistant
  • Difficult application
  • Not easy to repair and is labor intensive

Uses

Used in highly decorative interiors

Decorative plaster of Paris false ceiling by Dede Studios 

Decorative plaster of Paris false ceiling by Dede Studios
Decorative plaster of Paris false ceiling by Dede Studios

This house, located in Saint Petersburg, has a modern ceiling design using plaster of Paris. The material gives a highly smooth and elegant finish.

3. Glass

It is a transparent or translucent false ceiling material.

Advantages of Glass as a Ceiling Finish

  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Available in many colors and finishes
  • Makes the room appear bigger

Disadvantages of Glass as a Ceiling Finish

  • Expensive
  • Dust collected is easily seen
  • Delicate material needs to be handled with care

Uses

Used in restaurants, libraries, jewelry shops

Glass false ceiling by Design Scope Studios

Glass false ceiling by Design Scope Studios
Glass false ceiling by Design Scope Studios

This residence in Gujarat has a multi-colored glass false ceiling, adding some aesthetics to the minimally designed space.

4. Fabric

This material is used in false ceilings purely for aesthetic purposes.

Advantages of Fabric as a Ceiling Finish

  • Cheap
  • Easy installation
  • Good for temporary structures

Disadvantages of Fabric as a Ceiling Finish

  • Low light transferring capacity
  • Stains easily

Uses

Used in exhibition halls, and restaurants for decoration

Fabric ceiling by Bentel and Bentel Architects

Fabric ceiling by Bentel and Bentel Architects
Fabric ceiling by Bentel and Bentel Architects

This iconic fabric false ceiling is in the Medi restaurant, New York. The ceiling design was made to match the decor and vibe of the space.

5. PVC

Polyvinyl chloride is a commonly used false ceiling material, to incorporate functions like lighting and air vents. 

Advantages of PVC as a Ceiling Finish

  • Cost-effective
  • Easy installation and maintenance
  • Durable and waterproof
  • Available in different colors and finishes

Disadvantages of PVC as a Ceiling Finish

  • Not heat resistant

Uses

The finishes do not look elegant 

Used in bathrooms, toilets, and basements.

PVC ceiling by Seferin Arquitetura

PVC ceiling by Seferin Arquitetura
PVC ceiling by Seferin Arquitetura

This false ceiling in Brazil is made of PVC, while also adding in a wooden texture.  

6. Gypsum

They are used in the form of prefabricated boards, panels or ceiling tiles

Advantages of Gypsum as a Ceiling Finish

  • Lightweight
  • Customisable color and texture
  • Fire resistant
  • Thermal and acoustic insulation

Disadvantages of Gypsum as a Ceiling

  • Not water resistant
  • Difficult to remove or repair
  • They are used in combinations with air conditioning systems.

Gypsum ceiling by DeDe Studios

Gypsum ceiling by DeDe Studios
Gypsum ceiling by DeDe Studios

This gypsum false ceiling design in a boutique hotel in Moscow gives a modern and sleek look for the space.

7. Metal

They are widely used for false ceiling due to their shiny appearance 

Advantages of Metal as a Ceiling Finish

  • Easy to install and maintain
  • Lightweight
  • Fire resistant
  • Easy to remove and attach
  • Available in many textures

Disadvantages of Metal as a Ceiling Finish

  • Need to be protected from corrosion 
  • Costly

Uses

They are used in homes, offices, industries, etc

Metal ceiling by Bloco Arquitetos

Metal ceiling by Bloco Arquitetos
Metal ceiling by Bloco Arquitetos

The false ceiling design in the Authorial restaurant in Brazil was done using metals, adding to the aesthetics of the space.

Depending on the material, the false ceilings dictate the aesthetics of the room while adding many benefits.

Also Read:

10 Innovative Sustainable Materials in Architecture

7 Sustainable Roofing Materials for Your Roof Design

12 Types of Wall Paneling For Your Interior Design

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