Home & Living

What is a suspended ceiling? What are the pros and cons? How much does a suspended ceiling cost per m2 in Australia?

When renovating your home or property there are so many different options and criteria to consider. What kind of flooring are you going for? Which colours will look the best, and what sort of window coverings will you need? 

One of the essential questions is whether or not you need a suspended ceiling or if you might want one. But just what is a suspended ceiling and is installing one the right move for you? Read on to discover all you need to know about suspended ceilings to help you get started…

What is a suspended ceiling?

A suspended ceiling is an artificial ceiling built below the ‘real’ ceiling. Which is to say, it is a secondary ceiling built under the structural ceiling. Generally constructed using a metal framework and then a variety of ceiling tiles or similar, it is also known as a dropped ceiling or false ceiling.

People get suspended ceilings for many reasons, predominantly to hide unsightly elements such as electrical or plumbing works or similar. The suspended ceiling is usually installed with a gap of 3-8 inches between it and the structural ceiling.

What are the pros of suspended ceilings?

When you are building your home or carrying out any work, it is important to consider the pros of installing a suspended ceiling. Hiding unsightly pipes and electrical cables is just one of the many reasons why you may choose to opt for a suspended ceiling in your home. Other pros include:

  • Moisture resistance – the right suspended ceilings can withstand more moisture and temperature fluctuations, keeping the structural ceiling free from worries of warping and so on.
  • Acoustics – suspended ceilings also help to muffle any loud noises, absorbing sound waves and decreasing the general levels of noise in the room. They can also block out external noises, leaving your room more quiet and more peaceful than before.
  • Insulation – is particularly important in today’s world where energy efficiency is a key concern and people are looking for ways to save on their energy bills, suspended ceilings provide this. They can help to trap warm air, reducing the amount that is lost and keeping your room toastier for longer without having to keep cranking up the heating.
  • Improved cleanliness – many suspended ceilings are made of materials that are easier to clean. You can therefore maintain the best hygienic practices more easily.
  • Aesthetics – you can customise your suspended ceiling however you wish, using different designs and styles to brighten up a room or as a statement. Suspended ceilings can actually really brighten up a room when done the right way, and some people use them to showcase lights, fans and more as well.

Suspended ceilings are also cheaper to install than traditional plasterboard ceilings. With all these pros and more, it is easy to see why so many properties now have suspended ceilings. Whether you are considering installing one for the aesthetics, design reasons, to protect the environment or save on your own bills, each of these is an excellent reason to install a suspended ceiling today.

What are the cons of suspended ceilings?

While there are a great many benefits to installing a suspended ceiling, there are several downsides that should also be taken into account. The major ones include:

  • The loss of headroom – a suspended ceiling sits below the structural ceiling, meaning that you are losing as much as 8 inches or more of height in your room. Depending on how tall the space was to begin with, these may be inches that you really don’t want to lose.
  • A feeling of claustrophobia – along with the loss of height can also come with a feeling of being enclosed, of the walls closing in or there not being enough air. 
  • Aesthetics – along with feeling more cramped and small, your room could also end up looking that way. Poor-quality suspended ceilings can also start to sag or show discolourations and stains after a while. (Picture the ceilings at school or a shabby office building)
  • A hiding place for problems – if you move into a building with suspended ceilings, the suspended ceiling may be masking any issues that it has. However, you should always thoroughly check a house before you buy it for everything from wiring problems to pests.

As you can see, there are indeed downsides to installing a suspended ceiling, but it really is up to you to overcome many of them. You have to judge for yourself if you can afford to give up a few inches of headroom, if you are likely to feel cramped or claustrophobic. You can also elect to install the best suspended ceilings so they will look fantastic rather than discoloured or otherwise shabby.

How much does a suspended ceiling cost per m2 in Australia?

The exact amount that you could spend on a suspended ceiling in Australia will vary hugely depending on the kind of ceiling you want, the materials you use, the installation costs and so much more. In general, suspended ceilings are remarkably inexpensive for the finished product that you get as long as you choose the right company to install it for you.

In Australia, you can expect to pay between $30-55AU per m2 on average. You can pay $60+ if you want to get really a really high-end suspended ceiling, and could end up paying more or less. It really is up to you to seek out the best company to help you get the perfect dropped ceiling for you and at the best possible price.

Final thoughts

Suspended ceilings can be a beautiful and useful addition to any home. They can increase your energy efficiency by providing increased insulation, help to muffle household noises and can look wonderful as well. They can also look terrible, last only a short while and mask serious issues in the house.

When considering a suspended ceiling in your home, make sure that you settle on a design that suits you, using the correct materials, and find the right company to help you install it for you right away.


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