Learn how to finish an insulated basement ceiling. Get tips on installing insulation between the floor joists, and learn about stylish drop ceiling options for when you finish your insulated basement ceiling.
LESLIE: Next up, we’ve got Bernard in Pennsylvania. What’s happening at your money pit?
BERNARD: When I moved into the house, the basement was not used and what the previous owner did is up on the rafters he put the strips of insulation ; you know, to keep the cold air from coming up into the house. I’ve since finished the basement  – right? –and what I have left is to cover up the ceiling and what I want to do is just put just simple wood planking just to cover up the ceiling. And my question is do I need to remove that insulation  before I cover up the ceiling or can I just cover up the ceiling with the insulation in place?
TOM: When you say insulation strips, is like a foam board across it or is it fiberglass?
BERNARD: Yeah, it’s fiberglass; fiberglass pink strips.
LESLIE: So it’s like a batting .
TOM: OK, so it’s batts.
BERNARD: Yeah, in the rafters. Yeah, exactly.
TOM: In between the floor joists. Well, there’s no reason to remove it. Generally you don’t insulate the space between the basement and the first floor, but I will tell you it probably makes the first floor a lot warmer having done that. So I don’t see a good reason for you to remove it. I think that you could put the ceiling finish right on top of that. One thing you might want to consider though, for a ceiling finish option though, is a drop ceiling because that will allow you to remain – that area to remain accessible, which is important …
BERNARD: I see.
LESLIE: And Bernard, the drop ceilings today aren’t just those foam panels that are lacking in a ton of character. This railing system itself, the supports; really easy to put up. All you need is a laser level so you know everything is straight and easy to go. And the foam panels that pop in; they can look like vaulted ceilings, coffered ceilings, they can look like pressed tin . I mean there’s a ton of different patterns and items available.
BERNARD: (overlapping voices) Oh, OK. Yeah, I was not aware of that. I thought it was – yeah, that’s what I was trying to keep away from; you know the old, simple, white kind of dull-looking one. But you’re saying they have different options.
TOM: Totally different today. It can look like an old-fashioned tin ceiling, it can look textured; a lot of cool options, so take a look at that.
Bernard, thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT.