We had a lovely client the other day who had a tight budget for a residential ceiling. The client wanted the final finish to be functional, rather than aesthetical, affordable and moderately durable. We were up for the task and went around looking for local suppliers. Here’s what we found:
1. Plywood ceiling
The ceiling work well if you don’t mind the visible joints. Choose a minimum sheet thickness of 6mm. Any lower and warping will be your constant roommate.
The final plywood can be stained and painted or embossed in future. Be sure to get in touch with us! Don’t install this alone.
My grandma warned me about these ceilings. She said they catch fire easily and can raze an entire community. The good news is that they can be treated for fire resistance. It’s also a good idea to ensure that the roof pitch is elevated and water proofing material is used. They can last up to 25years if installed correctly.
3. PVC Ceiling
Source these from reputable importers (like us). There are many fakes in the market. The difference between a fake and a real PVC Ceiling is the amount of PVC Content in a tile. Some brands sell tiles with PVC Content of below 40% and do not brand their products to avoid detection.
The advantage of of these tiles is that they are Fireproof, Heat Insulation, Moisture-Proof, Mould-Proof, Sound-Absorbing, Waterproof and can be affordable.
4. Chipboard/MDF and related boards
Go for a minimum of 9mm and you will enjoy added sound proofing. If you have installed coated mabati roofing, you’ll really need this chipboard especially when it’s raining and you can’t hear your own voice ( due to the rain pounding on the roof).
5. Reclaimed wood
Source easily from the roadside vendors, your neighbor with a demolition, shipping pallet planks etc. We have successfully completed a ceiling in pallet wood planks. We stained each plank to the client’s specification. This is by far the most labor intensive option.
The key to cost efficiency is ultimately in planning. Ensure all materials are on site, plan work schedules, manage your team and expect the unexpected.