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Hanging sheet metal on basement ceiling

Hello. Craig, here, from the Apron Blog.


We wrote recently about some clever ways to use corrugated sheet metal as a decor element. Reader Rebekka has a question about using sheet metal in her basement:


"Was wanting to use sheet metal in my basement to cover the ceiling. Do I need to do anything special to it or just hang it directly to the floor runners? Also should I put insulation up first and cover with plastic or not worry about that? We are putting a spare room down there and I want it to be comfortable but was a little concerned about noise reduction."


What do the experts say? 

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Posted 2012-06-12T14:24:32+0000  by HomeDepotCraig HomeDepotCraig

Hello Craig.


I have a couple of ideas on this one...


First, I would use Kraft faced fiberglass insulation to cut noise levels and provide the easiest installation.  Humidity levels in the basement are often higher than the 1st floor, but since temps should be similar I don't expect a big condensation issue.  The use of faced insulation just makes it easier to tack up, will offer a vapor barrier and a small additional noise reduction.  No plastic should be necessary.


Second, you can just screw the metal sheeting to the ceiling joists.  Nothing fancy here.  Pre-drill the holes in the sheet metal and use coarse threaded screws for holding power in the wood.  Whether you use drywall screws, wood screws or metal screws, just make sure they have coarse threads.


Third, keep in mind that any electrical boxes in the ceiling have to remain accessible.  While shears and metal cut-off blades have been mentioned as good ways to make holes in sheet metal, there are also bi-metal hole saws for drills and metal jig saw blades that also can come in handy.


Last but not least is painting.  If you use galvanized sheet metal and want to paint it you will need to use a primer that can tenaciously adhere to the zinc coating.  Many oil based primers will work well but one easy to use water based primer I've personally had success with would be Zinsser Bulls Eye 1-2-3.  Paint will stick to the primer but will not directly stick to galvanized metal.


I hope this helps,




Posted 2012-06-12T16:51:03+0000  by Chris_HD_CHI
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