Different Types of Ceilings

Ceiling Buying Guide: How to Shop Ceilings

Ceiling Buying Guide: How to Shop Ceilings

Whether you're on a budget or the sky's the limit, the buying process for different types of ceilings can be overwhelming. There are a ton of options on the market, so don't get bogged down with all the choices.

Before you start shopping, it's helpful to know which application, features, and styles are most important to you as you plan for your new ceiling. These are a few things to consider before you hop in the car and head to your local home improvement store.

Drop/Suspended Ceilings

Drop ceilings allow access to utilities above them and will require at least 3 inches of drop when installed correctly. BONUS: Wood look surface mount options can be installed over an old 15/16” drop ceiling grid if access isn’t a concern. Learn more about covering an old ceiling grid here.

1) Installation Method

You'll need to decide if you can attach your new ceiling directly to the existing surface or you need one that drops before moving onto the fun stuff - all those amazing design choices.

Surface Mount Ceilings

If your ceiling is low or if you don’t need access to pipes, ductwork, or electrical above, surface mount ceiling options are a way to maximize headroom and are more design-friendly to fit your decor.


2) Styles

There are different types of ceilings that fit just about every budget and style you can imagine. Whether you love the popular modern farmhouse style or the old-world charm of metal, we have a ceiling that's ideal for your space. Learn about our ceiling styles here.

Drop Ceiling style Consideration

With a drop ceiling, you can choose between square edges (visible grid) and tegular/stepped edge tiles (minimizes the grid look, but with more complicated tile cutting) sp you can find a tile that matches your style and skill set.

3) Ceiling Features

If you’re having noise issues, you can conveniently add a sound absorbing ceiling to your space that dampens the sound within a room and helps block sound between rooms with a suspended/drop ceiling. In addition to acoustics, eliminate the worries of staining and sagging with these ceiling options and gain moisture performing benefits that are ideal for a basement.

It's important to remember that different types of ceilings offer a variety of functionality. It's never been more important to make choices that simplify our lives, especially when it comes to the task of cleaning. Selecting easy-to-clean, time-saving materials for your new ceiling is possible with our wide selection of wood, coffered or metal products that are ideal for kitchens or half baths where cleanup is easier than ever.


4) DIY vs. Hiring a Pro

If you're a DIYer, you'll be happy to know that all of our ceilings are considered DIY-friendly with varying levels of skill - easy, intermediate and advanced. Since some ceilings are easier to install than others, we can help you determine if your ceiling project is within your skill level.

Although intermediate projects require more time planning, measuring, and completing, they are still do-able by a DIYer. QUICKHANG Installation Kits include all of the grid components you'll need for your new METALLAIRE tiles, or coffered panels.

Easy projects are those where you're comfortable using tools like a tape measure, hammer, and a saw. There's a great selection of different types of ceilings that meet this skill level, especially when using adhesive or the EASY UP track and clip system. Installation over a popcorn ceiling or an old, unappealing existing drop ceiling is a breeze with this system.

Advanced projects require more technical DIY skills, more measuring and planning, and more tools. Installing drop ceilings without QUICKHANG installation kits and nail up METALLAIRE surface mount tiles fall into the advanced DIY category. There are more finishing options like adding drywall perimeter borders or special details with advanced projects.

You may want to consider hiring a professional when your DIY skills need help, you don't have the time, when building codes are involved, or you have an unusually-shaped or sloped ceiling.

To further help you estimate your project cost and drop ceiling layout, be sure to check out our ceiling material estimator resources in our extensive library. You may need to allow for some lead time to receive materials. You'll want to chat with someone at your local home improvement store about specific item availability and order times.

Most importantly, no matter which style you love, be sure to have fun with your project!