Conceal the ‘ugly' to achieve the aesthetic look

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False ceiling is used to conceal varied service lines such as structural features, open pipes and wiring, and air-conditioning ducts

Advantageous:The secondary ceiling which is created below the primary one is called false ceiling.
Advantageous:The secondary ceiling which is created below the primary one is called false ceiling.

Your tastefully done-up interiors can take a beating if there are wires running along to have your audio and video interests going on. Even your lights and fans that have not been fixed well and have wires spilling out would rob the place of the overall look. This is where the idea of conceal is necessary and a ‘false' ceiling comes in.

The secondary ceiling which is created below the primary ceiling, that is, the main roof, is called false ceiling.

According to architect R. Vivekanandan, “It's used to conceal varied service lines — structural features, open pipes and wiring, and air-conditioning ducts. It gives more options to use special lighting systems such as cove lighting, wall washers, and floating effects. And false ceiling is also for providing thermal insulation for a given space; and is audio-effective in auditoriums, cinema halls or recording studios.”

Vivekanandan explains that the wall-to-wall ceiling type is the commonly used one.

It comes in plane, curved, domed or angular shaped forms connecting all the four walls. POP, gypsum board, thermocol, extruded aluminium, plywood, wooden panelling and ceiling tiles are some of the materials that can be used.


“Modular ceiling comes in fixed sizes of panels thus accommodating the lighting system. The advantage in the modular system is the flexibility it offers in terms of change in the lighting system. This also offers flexibility to service ducts and pipes that run below the primary ceiling without damaging the false ceiling.”

Detached ceiling is a “part ceiling” with or without covering the primary ceiling. This type is mainly used to play with the levels of the false ceiling, to provide cove lighting, wall washers and floating effects on the ceiling. Most of the false ceiling materials are suitable for this type of system.

It is creatively used, especially at the exhibition galleries and showrooms using very unusual materials like fabrics and other similar kind of materials.

Enter gypsum

False ceiling is relatively easier to maintain if the right materials are used. “Avoid using the textured or porous materials especially in the non-air conditioned space. This will accumulate dust in the longer run, so one should select the ceiling materials where it can be painted too at a later stage,” says Vivekanandan. Gypsum board is another sought-after false ceiling material. It is lightweight, flexible and fire- and moisture-resistant. Gypsum board panels are tough and economical, and are fast replacing other ceiling materials such as Plaster of Paris (POP) as they are used for renovating old ceilings too.

Says Venkat Subramanian, MD, Saint Gobain Gyproc, “Though having a false ceiling may appear as a slightly expensive proposition at first, it has distinct functional as well as aesthetic advantages which make it worth the money.

It is no surprise that false ceilings are slowly forming an integral part of any interior design for new and old constructions. Both gypsum plasterboards and Plaster of Paris (POP) boards have been used in the construction of false ceilings in India.” He explains that the insulation against heat due to the air gap between the two ceiling layers is what helps the room remain relatively cool. “Also due to a smaller air volume, your power bills due to air-conditioning will be reduced significantly,” he says.

Gyproc plasterboard ceilings are lightweight that help in better levels of performance in terms of strength, fire rating, acoustics and thermal insulation than PoP, says Venkat. “Since gypsum boards have been in use across the globe, the market today has international players, while Saint-Gobain Gyproc offers certified ceiling solutions in India.”




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