Options for Basement Ceilings, Lighting Styles and Costs

Basement ceilings and lighting are an important consideration in your basement remodeling project. With overhead pipes, wiring, ductwork and floor joists, doing something to cover them in an attractive manner is important. You will also probably be dealing with less natural light and in most basements, lighting is crucial.

This remodeling guide will give you remodeling ideas and help you find the right solutions for your project. Our guide will also offer trends, and styles as well as an idea of your remodeling costs for this part of the project.

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Options for Basement Ceilings

The two most common options are suspended ceilings, also called drop ceilings, and drywall ceilings. Drop ceilings can be very attractive and offer easier access to pipes and wiring. Drywall ceilings provide a more finished look though can be extra work when you have to box in ducts and other obstacles. There are other options, including wood paneling or planking for an upgraded basement remodeling finish. Stretch ceilings use a single membrane to finish the ceiling. They are available in a variety of colors that don’t require painting or maintenance and they are moisture-resistant.

Basement Lighting Styles

For overhead lighting, recessed basement lighting is most common due to the diminished head room. fluorescent fixtures work well to give general illumination. A drop fixture over a billiard table or game table will work well. Pendant lights, canister lights, track lighting are also commonly used in basements as task lighting or as accent lighting. Where space allows, wall lighting can also provide good general illumination for specific zones of the basement. If the basement remodeling includes adding a bathroom, vanity lighting as well as overhead lighting is a very good idea.

Basement Ceilings and Lighting Costs

Both drywall and drop ceilings can be installed for less than $4-6 per square foot, less if you do the work yourself. Be sure to get estimates from several remodeling contractors to better understand your options and your complete remodeling costs. Figure lighting to account for 5%-9% of your total basement remodeling budget. You may want to explore LED basement lighting options also. The fixtures will cost more but will use significantly less energy helping to keep electric bills lower.

Conclusion, If you plan to add a home theater or new bathroom to your basement in the future, a drop ceiling might be a better choice for running wiring and plumbing. If your budget allows, and it’s a look you want, paneling and planking such as knotty pine adds warmth and value but drywall will work just fine, in most cases and can also save on the cost of the project. Once you choose your ceiling material, you can make your basement lighting selections to complete that element of your basement remodeling.