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Types of Ceilings speaks to why ceiling tiles, what are ceiling tiles and how to install ceiling tiles and the many ceilings which are available for use in buildings.
Exposed Structural and Mechanical Components
In many buildings, it makes sense to omit finished ceiling surfaces altogether ans simply expose the structural and mechanical components of the floor or roof above.
In industrial and agricultural buildings, where appearance is not of prime importance, this approach offers the advantages of economy and ease of access for maintenance. Many types of floor and roof structures are inherently attractive if left exposed, such as heavy timber beams and decking, concrete waffle slabs and steel trusses.
Other types of structures such as concrete flat plates and precast concrete planks, have little visual interest but their undersurfaces can be painted and left exposed as finished ceilings in apartment buildings and hotels, which have little need for mechanical services at the ceiling. This saves money and reduces the overall height.
In some buildings the mechanical and structural elements at the ceiling, if carefully designed, installed and painted can create a powerful aesthetic of their own.
Exposing structural and mechanical components rather than covering them with a finished ceiling does not always save money. Mechanical and structural work is not normally done in a precise, attractive fashion because it is not usually expected to be visual and it is less expensive for workers to take only as much care in installation as is required for satisfactory functional performance.
To achieve perfectly straight, neatly sealed ductwork that is free of dents, steel decks without rust and weld spatter, square, well organized runs of electrical conduit and plumbing, the drawings and specifications for the project must tell exactly the results that are expected and a higher labour cost must be anticipated.
Tightly Attached Ceilings
Ceilings of any material may be attached tightly to wood joists, wood rafters, steel joists or concrete slabs.
Special finishing arrangements must be worked out for any beams and girders that protrude through the plain of the ceiling and for ducts, conduits, pipes and sprinkler heads that fall below the ceiling.