Types of Ceilings Finishes for the Office

The ceiling is an interesting part of the office. While you’re rarely looking upwards (unless when thinking deeply) and won’t notice it as much, it still has a very important role in how the whole office looks, feels and sounds. With the right ceiling finish, you can have a beautiful and quiet office at home or at work. 

The finish of your ceiling can refer to its texture or other added materials that cover the wall. You can have from a flat or smooth ceiling to a textured one all the way to a wooden one or one with tiles. Other types of ceiling finishes include acoustic ceilings, skip trowel ceilings and timber ceilings. 

For this exercise, we focused on both looks and performance. This means we assessed ceiling finishes based on how they look and how they perform in terms of heat and sound regulation in the office. Aspects such as the echo, light, heat and general looks were the focus. 

Best Types of Ceilings Finishes for Office

The best ceilings finishes to grace your office are as follows:

1. Acoustic Ceilings

Acoustic ceilings are the best for shared offices given their ability to absorb sound. They’re made with Sound Transmission Class (STC) for sound blocking and Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) for sound absorption. 

You can have acoustic ceilings in various colors, designs and sizes all focused on controlling sound in the office space. The type of acoustic ceiling you’ll go for will depend on factors such as the size of the office, the number of people in the office and the type of work to be done. 

2. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) Ceilings

Today, most offices and homes use PVC ceilings thanks to their many benefits. The advantages of PVC ceilings include being easy to install, user friendly, affordable, hygienic and doesn’t require further finishing. 

For most offices, the best type of PVC ceiling to use is the heavily plasticized type as it’s safe for long term use. 

3. Gypsum Ceilings

Gypsum (Calcium Sulphate Dihydrate) is a soft sulphate material used in construction and decoration. It’s of two types:

  1. Natural Gypsum

This is the gypsum found in sedimentary rock formations and is mined then crushed into a fine white powder. It’s the best quality of gypsum given its consistency in structure. Even with its high quality, it’s still quite affordable. 

  • Flu-Gas Desulfurization (FDG) Gypsum

When flue gas from fossil-fueled power plants is desulfurized, the emissions captured from the smoke stacks are purified and manufactured into gypsum. While a manufactured product, FDG and natural gypsum have the same composition. 

Both types of gypsum are used in the construction of ceilings and walls in the form of plaster. The advantages of using gypsum for your ceiling include being cost-effective, having no odor, being fireproof, and adding a comfortable ambiance to a building. Gypsum is fireproof because it has crystal water which protects the material from burning. For example, a gypsum plaster board at 15mm of thickness has 3 liters of crystal water on average. 

4. Timber Ceilings

Timber ceilings give your office space a grand look and will last for ages. You have to choose the right type of timber for your ceiling with locally available materials being preferred as the wood would be suited to the local conditions. It thus won’t break apart easily. 

The factors determining the type of timber to use for your ceiling include the cost, the suitability of the wood and the sustainability (maintenance). Timber ceilings are also called plank ceilings given their use of planks of wood. 

5. Wall Paper and Paint Ceilings

You can have your ceiling painted or covered with a wall paper to give it the look you desire. It can be a wall paper or painting of objects or a series of colors to your needs. 

Wall papers and paint don’t have much value in terms of heat and sound control within the office space however. 

6. Conventional Ceilings

Most homes aren’t built to be offices and this is where you’ll find conventional ceilings. These are plain and flat ceilings between 8 to 9 feet high. Conventional ceilings are a bit low for some people although they can be decorated with ease given their flat and low nature. 

Conventional ceilings can be raised to add value to the building and open up the space under them. However, before raising the ceiling of any building, learn of the consequences of doing so and if it’s legal to do so. 

7. Coffered Ceilings

Also called recessed panels, coffered ceilings are a costlier and more luxurious variant of the conventional ceiling. They’re made up of a grid of inverted panels and often found in lounges, conference rooms and other large areas. Coffered ceilings are only installed by experts as they require some intricate work  

8. Coved Ceiling

Coved ceilings are dome-like ceilings often found in conference rooms, theaters and churches. Coved ceilings make the room appear much gentler and can be used to separate sections of rooms or whole rooms from each other. This type of ceiling is quite costly to make and requires to be made right from the time of constructing the building. 

9. Shed Ceilings

A shed ceiling, also called a single-slope ceiling, is a roof which slants from one end of the room to the other. Such a ceiling is often found on the loft of attic of the top story of a building although it can be made on any room one desires. 

For design aspects, shed ceilings are among the best as they offer many different ways of structuring them. For a commercial office, they can be made into a lobby or other section that can make use of lots of natural light. 

10. Suspended Ceilings

Also called dropped ceilings, suspended ceilings are a section of the ceiling hanging from a metal grid below the main ceiling. They’re great for use with acoustic materials since they offer a good surface to attach the acoustic materials. You can also use it to hide away some fixtures such as the ones for lighting, plumbing, electricity and others. 

Suspended ceilings are used in retail space, commercial buildings and offices with large spaces to spare. The installation of suspended ceilings requires an expert and may cost a tidy sum. 

11. Tray Ceilings

Often called panned ceilings, tray ceilings are ceilings with several levels which each level being lower than the previous one. The result is a tray-like shape with the outward parts being lower than the middle parts. For the best results with tray ceilings, only use them with ceilings that are at least 8 feet tall. 

12. Beam Ceilings

Beam ceilings are made of a combination of Douglas fir and hardwoods and are found in corridors and hallways where they give the space a contemporary look. They entail a rustic look that’s classic as they’re made of panels of wood accentuated with extended sections that are lower than the rest of the ceiling. 

13. Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles usually measure 12” x 12” or 16” x 16” and are often made of tin or other lighter materials. They give the ceiling a flat and complete profile when in the right color and size. 

14. Drywall Ceilings

Drywall ceilings are a collective name for textured, painted and other ceiling types such as the wooden types. They can be mixed and matched up as desired by the business to create a unique look. 

15. Smooth or Flat Ceilings

Flat or smooth ceilings are the most basic are they only have paint over the underlying materials. Most houses will have a flat ceiling right after construction and it’s usually the point to start with if you don’t have much to spend on a ceiling. 

16. Knockdown Ceilings

These are ceilings meant to conceal any imperfections on the roof and are created by spraying the ceiling with a watered-down compound of your choice. In the drying process, the compound drips and makes small stalactites. These are scraped away to leave a stuccoed texture. The knockdown ceiling is great for when you need to add some depth to the room. 

17. Swirled Ceiling

Swirled ceilings are made by swirling a tool through the ceiling compound before it sets. The result is a series of circles or half circles with a fanned pattern on the ceiling. It’s a minimalist way of adding art to the ceiling in the office. 

18. Skip Trowel Ceilings

These types of ceilings share many traits with knockdown ceilings such as the texture and look. However, skip trowel ceilings are made by mixing a joint compound with coarse sand then using a trowel to spread the compound and come up with the texture. 

19. Orange Peel Ceilings

Orange peel ceilings have a similar look to orange peels and are made by spraying a drywall compound onto the ceiling. It’s both rough and smooth such that you enjoy a textured ceiling that’s very easy to clean when the need arises. The same texture can be used on drywalls to match the look. 

20. Popcorn Ceilings

Also called cottage cheese ceilings, popcorn ceilings get their name from the look of popcorns crowded together. While they give the office or home a great look, they’re quite hard to clean and are being phased out slowly. They, however, have great capabilities in muffling and absorbing sound waves hence part of the acoustic ceilings. 

Why Choose a Textured Finish for the Ceiling?

A textured adds value to the building by making it look better. Beyond that, it makes the room professional especially with the simple designs. The other finishes also add the same qualities to the room with some even adding soundproofing capabilities and even regulating the temperature. 

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