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Dear PoPville – Basement Ceilings and Radiator Pipes

by Prince Of Petworth September 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm 15 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user caroline.angelo

“Dear PoPville,

Like many rowhomes in the area, I have a basement with a low ceiling. Currently, the ceiling is exposed (i.e. can see the rafters and plumbing and electrical work). I’m looking for ideas on how to finish it off, without compromising height and maintaining some sort of access to the plumbing and electrical. Because of this, drop ceilings and drywall are out. Other suggestions I’ve heard are paint (either white or black), beadboard with access panels, burlap (yes, burlap), or just leaving it alone. Has anyone tried these options? Are you happy with them? Any other suggestions? Digging out the floor is not an option – I’m not looking to convert the basement into a money pit, just a semi-finished space for a rec room. I’m leaning toward painting it white, but am concerned about whether over time this will just serve to highlight dust on the exposed pipes.”

and somewhat related:

Photo by PoPville flickr user JosephLeonardo

“Dear PoPville,

I am in the process of finishing the basement in my Petworth rowhouse, and I haven’t yet installed a ceiling. Like most old D.C. basements, large, old radiator pipes (about 2″ diameter) hang about 8 inches below the joists in several spots. Instead of ultimately leaving the pipes hanging below the ceiling or enclosing them in awkward soffits, I would like to raise them in between the joists if possible. A friend told me that they could be replaced with much smaller copper pipes that could be hidden underneath the drywall ceiling. Anyone have experience doing this? About how much did it cost? Any recommendations for someone who does this type of work?”


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