Guide to Conventional Ceilings

There are many different types of ceilings to choose from today. However, the most popular choice for many homeowners is still conventional ceilings. These ceilings are also referred to as standard ceilings. They are made from materials like drywall, plaster, or suspended panels. Understanding the various types of conventional ceilings, their features, and how they are installed is important when it comes to making informed decisions about building design, repairs, or remodeling.

If you are thinking of having a conventional ceiling installed in your home but want to learn more about it, we are here to help you. In this article, we are going to provide you with a guide to conventional ceilings, which includes the different types, their installation processes, what benefits and drawbacks each of them has, and more. This way, you will have a better understanding of conventional ceilings and be able to make the right decisions.

Different Types of Conventional Ceilings

home with conventional ceiling

Conventional ceilings have three main types, which are drywall, suspended, and plaster. Each of these has its own unique features, installation process, and pros and cons. Read on below to learn more about them.

Drywall Ceilings

Drywall ceilings are also referred to as gypsum board ceilings. They are made using sheets of gypsum board, which are nailed or screwed onto the joists of the ceiling. Drywall ceilings are popular because they are affordable and easy to install.

To install a drywall ceiling, you first need to measure and cut the gypsum board to fit ceiling dimensions. After that, use drywall screws or nails to secure it to the ceiling joists. Then, cover the seams and fasteners using compound and tape. Lastly, sand, prime, and paint the ceiling.

The best things about drywall ceilings are that they are affordable, easy to install, durable, and can be painted any color or texture. However, note that they are not soundproof, prone to cracking or sagging if not installed correctly, and vulnerable to moisture damage.

Suspended Ceilings

A suspended ceiling is also called a drop ceiling. It is one of the popular choices for basements and commercial buildings because of its versatility and ability to hide unsightly wires, pipes, and ductwork. However, compared to drywall ceilings, suspended ceilings are more challenging to install.

To install a suspended ceiling, you first need to install a ceiling grid through the use of hanger wires. After that, insert the ceiling tiles into the grid. Then, make cutouts for lights, vents, and other fixtures as needed.

The good thing about suspended ceilings is they are versatile and can hide wires, pipes, and ductwork. They can also provide acoustic insulation, which is great to make a room or space more comfortable. However, when you install a suspended ceiling, it will lower the height of your ceiling. It also has limited design options and is susceptible to moisture damage.

Plaster Ceilings

Plaster ceilings were a popular choice in older homes and buildings due to their ornate designs and durability. It is a plain cement plastering that is used as a base for ceiling finishing. Centuries ago, plastering was used by cathedrals for their interior finishing. But over the years, it has evolved. Today, there are various techniques to make a plaster ceiling look more interesting:

Sand Plaster: Cement and coarse sand is applied, which results in a plaster finish that has a sandy look and feel.

Roughcast Plaster: A mix of sand and gravel splattered on wet cement plaster, which gives a rustic feel to a conventional ceiling.

Pebble Dash Plaster: Similar to roughcast, but utilizes 6mm pebbles instead of gravel.

To install a plaster ceiling, you first need to install metal or wire lath on ceiling joists. Then, mix plaster and apply it to the lath. After that, you need to use trowels to smooth the plaster and create the design that you want. Lastly, sand, prime, and paint the ceiling.

Plaster ceilings are durable and can be painted or left unpainted. They also have good soundproofing capabilities. However, note that plaster ceilings are difficult and time-consuming to install. They are also vulnerable to moisture damage and are more expensive compared to other conventional ceilings.

Things to Consider When Choosing Conventional Ceilings

men installing a ceiling

When choosing to install a conventional ceiling in your home, there are different factors that you need to consider, such as the ones below:


The cost of a conventional ceiling depends on the materials used, the size of the room, and the complexity of the installation process. Drywall ceilings are usually the most affordable among the different types of conventional ceilings. Plaster, on the other hand, is more expensive as it includes intricate designs, which makes the time required for installation longer.

Aesthetic Appeal

Keep in mind that the ceiling can play a big role in the overall look and feel of a room. Therefore, when you opt for a conventional ceiling, you also need to consider its color, texture, and design to ensure that it complements the rest of the decorations in the room.


All types of ceilings need regular maintenance in order to stay in good condition. Each type of conventional ceiling has different ways to be maintained, which you also need to consider. If you do not have much time to spare in cleaning and maintaining your ceiling, you need to choose a conventional ceiling that does not need a lot of maintenance.


If you need to reduce noise levels in a room, you need to pick a conventional ceiling with good soundproofing capabilities. Plaster ceilings and suspended ceilings are both great options when it comes to this.


The insulation of a room can also be affected by the type of ceiling that you have. For instance, if you live in a place with extreme temperatures, it is better to choose a conventional ceiling with good insulation capabilities, such as drywall ceilings with insulation or suspended ceilings.

Fire Resistance

It is also great if you can find a conventional ceiling with good fire resistance capabilities, particularly if you are installing it in a high-rise or commercial building. Drywall ceilings and suspended ceilings have fire-resistant materials, which can provide good protection against fires.

Moisture Resistance

Areas with high moisture levels, such as the bathroom and the kitchen, require a ceiling with good moisture resistance capabilities. Therefore, when installing a conventional ceiling in these rooms, ensure that it is made of moisture-resistant materials to avoid problems in the long run.

Conventional Ceiling Maintenance and Repair

woman cleaning the ceiling

Like any other part of a home or building, conventional ceilings also need maintenance and occasional repairs in order to keep them in good shape. Below are some of the tips that you can follow to maintain and repair conventional ceilings.

Conventional Ceiling Maintenance

  • Dust the ceiling regularly to prevent the buildup of dust and improve air quality in the room.
  • Always keep the ceiling dry to prevent moisture damage. Fix any leaks in the roof or plumbing to avoid water damage to the ceiling.
  • Inspect the ceiling for cracks, stains, or sagging, and address all issues immediately before they become worse.
  • Check the joints and seams of a drywall ceiling for gaps or cracks and repair them using joint compound and tape as needed.
  • For suspended ceilings, check the integrity of the ceiling grid and replace any damaged or missing ceiling tiles.

Conventional Ceiling Repairs

  • For drywall ceilings, patch any holes or cracks using joint compound and tape. After that, sand the area and repaint it to match the rest of the ceiling.
  • If a part of a suspended ceiling is damaged, remove and replace the affected tiles.
  • For plaster ceilings, repair any cracks or holes using plaster or joint compound.
  • For severe ceiling damages, such as sagging or structural damage, it is better to seek the help of a professional.

Keeping your conventional ceiling clean is one of the best ways to maintain its beauty. However, if you suspect any issues with your ceiling’s integrity, such as cracking or water damage, it is best to call a professional to have it fixed to avoid further damage.


Conventional ceilings indeed offer a wide range of options for homeowners who are looking to add functionality and aesthetic appeal to their indoor spaces. While they are the simplest type of ceiling, there are still different materials and designs you can choose from to meet your needs and budget. We hope this article helps you in making an informed decision on the type of conventional ceiling that best suits your needs.