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7 Drop Ceiling Alternatives

A photo collage of different types of drop ceiling alternatives.

A drop ceiling, also known as a suspended ceiling, is a type of ceiling that’s added below an actual ceiling or roof structure. It’s usually made from the metal grid and acoustic tiles and is popular in many residential and commercial spaces.

While it helps conceal ductwork, pipes, and wires and provides soundproofing, drop ceilings reduce room space or the height of a room. They also tend to deteriorate after just a few years and can be very unstable.

So if you’re thinking of replacing your current ceiling or planning on a remodeling project and looking for alternatives to drop ceilings, check out our list below.

1. Ceiling Tiles

A woman is pictured gluing tiles on the ceiling.

Incredibly attractive and can be customized with various stamped designs. If you can’t find the design that you want in a store, then you can often hire a company to stamp custom tiles for you for a small charge. They are made of a nonporous material that will not soak up any stains.

Ceiling tiles are eye-catching and will draw attention to your ceiling. Some ceiling tiles can be painted so that you can change their appearance as your tastes change. They are incredibly durable and won’t need to be replaced soon after installing them.

Because they are nonporous, you don’t need to worry about mold or rust. A regular light dusting will keep them looking great for years and is all of the maintenance that this ceiling option requires. Ceiling tiles can withstand both fires and floods without being damaged or losing their beauty.

2. Drywall

A construction worker is assembling a suspended ceiling with drywall. He is also fixing the drywall to the ceiling metal frame with screwdriver.

Drywall provides a smooth and finished surface that will improve the appearance of any room in your home or your basement. Since drywall is a material that most contractors work with on a regular basis, you don’t have to worry about how difficult it will be to find someone to complete this installation for you.

It’s easy to install any type of light in your ceiling as you can attach them to your drywall or drill holes to install flush lighting options. You will not lose a lot of ceiling height when you install drywall. You can paint your drywall any color that you want and you can easily repaint it later if you change your mind and want to update your space.

Drywall can align evenly with any surface, even if it is curved, which is a great way to hide imperfections in your home without a lot of hassle. This material provides excellent soundproofing, which is great if you are worried about noise traveling between the floors in your home. Your space will look very finished and cared for when you install drywall on the ceiling.

3. Beadboard

This is an outdoor covered patio with stone fireplace, a beadboard ceiling with skylight, rattan armchairs, sofa and ottomans overlooking the expansive backyard.

Beadboard is a great option for your ceiling if you want a beautiful surface. You can choose beadboard in a variety of colors and finishes, which makes it easy to create a custom ceiling for your space that will stand out from any other rooms in your home.

Beadboard is incredibly cost-effective, which makes it a great option if you are going to be finishing your ceiling, but are on a tight budget. Buying a DIY beadboard kit is a great way to install this material on your ceiling without having to rely on professional help, which can be expensive, but only if you have a working knowledge of carpentry.

Rather than removing your existing ceiling, you can easily install a beadboard over it and improve the way that it looks in a fraction of the time. This creates a very rustic look in your home that may help enhance your décor choices. Beadboards are also great for hiding imperfections in your ceiling.

4. Wooden Planks

This is a beautiful house interior with wooden plank trim and fireplace. The comfortable couch, soft fur rug and ottoman create a romantic atmosphere.

Wooden planks will create a unique and custom look in your home. They can be stained to any color that you want so that they can mimic the wooden floors in your home or act as a contrast to other design choices that you made.

Depending on the length and width of the wooden planks that you choose, you can create the illusion of a very long or wide room, without actually changing the dimensions of your space. Smaller wooden planks are light enough that you can install them by yourself.

Depending on the kind of wood that you choose for your ceiling, you may be able to complete this work while staying under a smaller budget. Wood planks will create a rustic feel in your home, which is great if you live in a cabin or in the woods and want to draw attention to your décor choices. When finished correctly, you won’t have to worry about water damage, as long as there is not a lot of water that has pooled in the ceiling.

5. Plywood

This is a wood framing interior work in progress with wood walls and ceiling and plywood sheathing on a new construction building.

Plywood is a great choice if you want an inexpensive material for your ceiling and aren’t worried about choosing a fancy option. You can paint and stain plywood to be various colors and shades. Plywood is great if you are going to be hanging heavy lights from your ceiling and need the support of a durable material.

If you are worried about having easy access to plumbing or electrical work in your ceiling, then plywood is a great choice. The pieces can be easily removed from the ceiling when you are in a hurry and replaced without a lot of frustration. This material can easily be cut to fit the perfect size and shape of your room, which is a great way to hide any imperfections.

6. Stained glass

This is a round stained glass on the ceiling that is used as a drop ceiling alternative.

Multi-panel stained glass can serve as a drop ceiling alternative. Paned stained glass is best for play areas or basements that are primarily used for recreation and socializing. Stained glass also goes well with traditional tables and floor lamps found in rooms that are used for relaxation.

7. Corrugated metal

This is a kind of corrugated metal roofing found in a carpark.

Corrugated metal ceilings are popping up across the country thanks to the growing popularity of green buildings and the interest in Latin American and Southwestern European cultures.

In the U.S., they are installed for aesthetics, to achieve an Old World look from places that have used and still use corrugated metal roofs, to protect dwelling inhabitants from the elements, and on green building projects. It is an inexpensive, easy, and effective style of roofing in many growing nations as well as developed nations.