Wood Suspended Ceiling System

By Robert Robillard on Interior Repairs

Wood Suspended Ceiling SystemWoodTrac Ceiling System

Many homeowners are faced with a difficult choice when finishing basements or other rooms with important utilities located in the ceilings.

Typical ceiling options are:

1) Finish the ceiling with drywall to make the room feel more “normal”

2) Install a dropped ceiling to maintain easy access to important utilities

Advantages to Suspended Ceiling

Each option has its obvious advantages but each also comes with a serious drawback. Finishing a ceiling with drywall locks away utilities’ components (power, water, HVAC).

Servicing any of these utilities requires either the installation of access panels or homeowners/contractors must cut out sections of drywall when doing utility repairs. Even with access panels it’s difficult to foresee where a pipe will leak, or where an air duct will collapse. The strenuous labor involved with installing and finishing drywall may also be a deterrent to any DIY installers.

For those forward thinking individuals who decide losing access to utilities is not worth the enhanced look, installing a suspended ceiling is the logical choice.

Wood Suspended Ceiling System

Unfortunately most affordable suspended ceiling panel options end up giving a room a commercial feel because due to their low cost, mineral fiber panels are common in commercial spaces. Also, panels are only half of the equation; many homeowners are not thrilled to have a metal track still exposed on their ceiling. These tracks can discolor or even rust over time.

Ceiling Tile Options

There are several options to install more decorative tiles in a suspended ceiling. Vinyl tiles can mimic metals like tin and three dimensional vinyl and mineral fiber panels can create a more unique look. These options are a good deal more expensive than the cheapest mineral fiber panels and can require additional finishing steps such as painting.

One new ceiling option is the WoodTrac ceiling system by Sauder.  By fitting over standard suspended ceiling track WoodTrac allows homeowners to maintain access to utilities.  Moldings, which cover ceiling track, add depth and work with most other ceiling panels for those who want to keep existing panels or get creative with other decorative panels.  Combining WoodTrac moldings and panels gives rooms a custom-crafted three dimensional wood ceiling look for an affordable price.

Wood Suspended Ceiling System

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor

Rob Robillard is “The Concord Carpenter” Rob is a builder, general contractor, carpenter, woodworker, and editor of Concord Carpenter and ToolBoxBuzz As a General Contractor and carpenter, Rob owns and operates Concord Carpenter LLC. A full-service remodeling and construction company. Rob is a recognized leader in home building best practices and a source for how-to information for building professionals. On this website, Rob covers all aspects of home construction, building science, home improvement, woodworking, remodeling, and some of the best product and tool reviews. Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review series - Concord Carpenter Videos where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob approaches remodeling and building construction with a pragmatic and problem-solving approach. He enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the construction and remodeling industry. He's a strong advocate for "raising the bar" in the construction trades and promoting the trades to youth. #BeAMentor #Green2Great Craftsmanship, quality, and pride guide his journey on this channel The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob

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