Should You Use Drywall or Acoustic Drop Ceiling Tiles for Your Basement Remodel?

The biggest consideration when deciding whether to install a drywall ceiling or an acoustic drop ceiling is preference.

One of our major design goals is to make your lower level feel like the rest of your home.  You want a natural transition to the lower level so that it doesn’t feel like a different space.

Which is more expensive, drywall or acoustic ceiling tiles?

Basement Remodeling St. Charles MODrywall is a third of the price of acoustic drop ceilings, and approximately 95% of our customers select this less expensive option.  Why is an acoustic ceiling so much more expensive?  There are two main reasons:

  • Material costs are higher.
  • Labor costs are higher as it is more labor intensive.  Cutting holes for light fixtures and hanging the grid system take more time than people normally think.

How Can I Access Pipes and Wiring?

Often times, clients are concerned about accessing the floor joist area after their basement finishing project has been completed.  “But what if there’s something we have to get up in there for?” is a question we hear from time to time. These sentiments are well intentioned, but are usually not an issue for two main reasons.


For starters, local building codes require that we install access panels wherever there’s a water or gas valve (shutoff) or junction box. So these areas can always be accessed, regardless of whether you install drywall or acoustic ceiling tiles.

Second, consider your existing home.  If you have a 2 story house, what happens if your bathroom starts leaking on second floor?  You have to tear out drywall.  You have pipes and electricity running in your walls throughout your existing home, so it’s really the same thing as the pipes and electricity running through your basement walls and ceiling.

Cutting a hole, making the necessary repairs and then patching the drywall back to its original state is a minor expense and a quick fix.  You likely will never have to do this, but if you do it will be a very minor setback.  Certainly not one that should prohibit you from choosing the ceiling finish that is most to your liking.

How Difficult is it to Run Wires After My Basement Has Been Finished?

If you are concerned about running wires for future electronics or audio/video equipment, there is an easy way to address that as well.  We can work with you in the design stage to determine where these wires might need to be run at some point in the future.  Then we can run conduit in your walls, for future wiring of a/v, communications, etc.  that you will always have easy access to. Drywall is also more flexible aesthetically.  You can change colors, do different textures, etc.  It is also much easier to repaint, when you decide to freshen things up a few years down the road.

For all of these reasons, we recommend drywall in almost every situation.  At the end of the day, it boils down to cost and aesthetics.

We are specialists in St. Louis, Jefferson County, Warren County and St. Charles basement finishing.  Please contact John for a free consultation, custom design and estimate for you basement!

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