I am fairly certain that the majority of people reading this have seen a drop ceiling in the past.
There is also the possibility that you have even seen them before and not recognized what you were looking at was a drop ceiling.
Drop ceilings (or ‘acoustical ceilings’ or ‘suspended ceilings’ as they are often also referred to) are usually utilized to provide a ceiling below the “main” ceiling, while at the same time providing relatively easy access to the piping, wires, etc. (what we in the trades often reference as ‘mechanicals’) behind it.
Sometimes though drop ceilings are hung simply to lower the overall ceiling height for energy efficiency purposes
(with the idea that there would now be less space to heat or keep cool).
On some occasions, drop ceilings are hung simply to hide a not-so-cosmetically-appealing main ceiling.
Drop ceilings are found in people’s homes and in commercial buildings as well.
Perhaps you may even have one in your own home!
In the week leading up to me writing this piece, we worked on drop ceilings in someone’s home and a commercial one.
In the home version, we were hired to remove the existing drop ceiling, frame below the “mechanicals”, and install a new “regular” ceiling in its place.
In the commercial version, we removed an existing drop ceiling for the Omni Hotel in Providence, RI, allowed for the installation of a new air conditioning unit, and then replaced it with a new drop ceiling below it.
There is nothing that necessarily says that someone “has to” have a drop ceiling (or a “regular” ceiling for that matter) in their home or business.
Drop ceilings are often convenient, particularly when there is a lot of piping or wiring attached to the main ceiling that is not that pleasant to look at.
A drop ceiling can potentially be much more pleasing to the eye than having to stare at a bunch of piping or wiring, while at the same time allowing you to access the piping and/or wiring if you ever needed to in an emergency or just to rework these areas.
Whatever the reasoning is to have a drop ceiling, having one installed by a professional might be the best way to go – although doing it yourself can absolutely be done!!