Suspended, or grid, ceilings and MF Plasterboard, or drywall, ceilings are the two most common types of commercial ceilings we install. A question we’re often asked is: which is better?
The correct answer to that question varies by project. So, we’ve put together a quick comparison to help you decide.
When to choose suspended ceilings
A suspended ceiling is generally quicker to install, saving you labour time on your build. It’s also a great choice if you’re looking to cover large spans of space and could save you money compared to a plasterboard ceiling in these instances. That’s one of the reasons it’s remained so popular as a commercial ceiling choice.
If you have services running in the void, suspended ceilings allow easy access to said services – important for maintenance and, in some cases, building regs.
If there’s any risk of water ingress, well, we recommend you fix it first! But if there’s still a risk, a suspended ceiling is a good idea. A single water marked tile can be easily replaced.
Is acoustic integrity, or sound blocking, a priority? If you want to avoid noises from downstairs disturbing those upstairs, for example where offices site above a factory, a suspended ceiling on the lower level tends to be a better bet. Whilst there are some options to add sound blocking layers to plasterboard, this can increase the cost of your project.
When to choose MF plasterboard ceilings
Plasterboard ceilings give your ceiling a nice smooth appearance which, in some people’s opinion, is worth every extra penny you may need to spend in terms of labour to get there. If you want to achieve sweeping curves or seamless slopes, again, plasterboard is likely to be your best option. The modern, minimal look can be a vital ingredient in achieving the overall impression you want to achieve.
Why not combine the two?
We’ve worked on plenty of commercial projects where we’ve combined suspended ceilings and plasterboard ceilings in different areas of the building, to great effect. What’s an important consideration in the reception area, for example, can be very different to the priorities in a busy production floor.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that, where aesthetic appeal is your priority, but some of the properties of a suspended ceiling appeal, there are plenty of more unusual ceiling tile choices to choose from. Alternatively, combining plasterboard ceilings with special acoustic rafts and baffles can help combine the looks of a plasterboard ceiling with more practical consideration to great effect.
If you’re still not sure, our experienced team is happy to offer advice, based on your individual circumstances. If cost is the deciding factor, we can prepare an estimate based on the two different choices for comparison purposes. Based in Norfolk, we’re happy to work on projects in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire and into London – get in touch!