Drop Ceiling Vs Drywall For Basement (Pros & Cons)

It’s not always easy to make the correct decision regarding the ceiling we choose for our basement. I had this issue a while back when we renovated our basement and turned it into a family game room. I had a few ideas on the ceiling type I wanted, but I narrowed the list to two options; drop ceiling vs. drywall for the basement.

Drop ceilings work well if your basement ceiling is high or you need a place to hide pipes, wiring, and light fixtures. Drywall works well if you have a low ceiling and don’t want to take away from the height. Drop ceilings are more complex to install than drywall, but drywall can’t handle moisture.

I wasn’t sure which one would suit my needs as the basement game room would have lots of traffic. We needed a basement ceiling that would work well with our color and style choice. I did a lot of research and wanted to share the pros and cons of drop and drywall ceilings in this post.

More About Drop Ceilings For Basements

Dropped ceilings are also called T-bar ceilings or suspended ceilings and have a flat, light surface that you anchor below the main ceiling by using hooks that are attached to the structure or framework. The structure or framework is usually made from metal to handle the added weight of the dropped ceiling panels.

Thus you must choose lightweight panels to reduce the pressure that the drop ceiling puts on the framework. These panels can be made from gypsum, plasterboard, wooden panels, thin metal sheeting, or plastic panels. 

Many people choose a drop ceiling because basements often have a lot of pipes and wiring, etc., that run through them. So, installing a drop ceiling means they can hide unsightly wires, plumbing, or light fixtures in the small space between the original ceiling and the drop ceiling. 

Pros Of Installing A Drop Ceiling In The Basement

drop ceiling

When choosing the ceiling that best suits your needs, you need to look at the pros of each ceiling. Let’s look at the pros of installing a drop ceiling in your basement:

It Hides Unsightly Wires And More

The main benefit of installing a drop ceiling in the basement is hiding wiring, plumbing, light fixtures, and even a sprinkler system in the space between the main and drop ceiling. Contractors suggest a drop ceiling in basements where you need to hide these unsightly features, and it leaves you with a stylish basement ceiling.

It Helps Control Noise

The second pro to using a drop ceiling in the basement is noise control. Contractors install drop ceilings in industrial spaces because they hide wires and act as noise dampeners. So if you are going to use your basement as a family or gaming room, you can ensure the noise will be less if you have people upstairs and you don’t want the noise to bother them.

The Style Choices

Drop ceilings now are a far cry from the dreary plain panels we used to know. There are a variety of designs, materials, colors, and styles that you can choose from, so you will definitely find panels to suit your style.

Cons of Installing Drop Ceilings In The Basement

drop ceiling

You must look at both the pros and cons of installing drop ceilings in the basement to make an informed decision. Here are a few cons to installing drop ceilings:

It Deteriorates Quickly

The first con to using drop ceilings is that it deteriorates quickly. Depending on the material you choose, the panels can easily stain if there is a leak. Also, the panels are not immune to gravity and will sag over time, and you will need to replace them. 

Reduces The Height

Drop ceilings reduce the height of the ceiling. It might not be a significant concern in the rest of the home, but if you have a lower ceiling in the basement, installing drop ceilings will reduce the height, and it may affect those who are tall and the overall look of the room. 

More Information On Drywall For Basements

Drywall or gypsum are large panels or boards that can be used on walls or ceilings. Drywall creates a smooth, stylish surface. You attach drywall panels directly to the timber framework of the roof. These boards are usually white or brown colored, making them easy to paint any color you want.

Pros Of Installing A Drywall Ceiling In The Basement

Before you choose this type of ceiling, you need to know more about the pros of installing a drywall ceiling in the basement:

The Cost

One of the key advantages of installing a drywall ceiling in the basement is the cost; drywall is one of the most affordable ceiling choices. If you are an avid DIYer, you can reduce the cost of the ceiling further by installing it yourself. 

The Style Choice

A significant advantage of drywall ceilings is that you have endless options regarding style and color, as drywalling leaves you with a blank canvas that you can paint any color or style you want.

The Installation

Installing a drywall ceiling is not very complex, and if you like DIY projects, you can install the drywall with ease. If you choose to hire contractors, installing it won’t take long. Either way, the ease of installation makes it a good choice.

The Height  

When it comes to installing drywalling in the basement, it will suit a low or high ceiling as it won’t take away any of the ceiling height, so you will have more headspace.

Cons of Installing Drywall Ceilings In The Basement

drywall tips

To ensure you make the best decision, you must look at the cons of installing a drywall ceiling. Here are some of the cons to installing drywall ceilings:

The Moisture Issue

The first con of using drywall as a basement ceiling is that drywall can’t handle moisture. If drywall gets wet, the gypsum will turn into a mushy substance, and you will have to replace it. 

Drywall Damage

Drywall can get easily get damaged if you are not careful. You can add a layer of plaster to get a more sturdy ceiling and to help prevent damage, but that requires more work and money. 

One of the main reasons many people get contractors to install the drywall is that it sometimes requires people with more skill to install; for example, the joints and studs become a problem if the drywall finishing is done incorrectly. 


If you are stuck between choosing drop or drywall ceilings, it comes down to personal preference. You must choose the ceiling that works best for your needs and won’t break the bank. Drop, and drywall ceilings have pros and cons that make choosing one of the two much easier.  

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.