Are you thinking of bringing a beautiful and luxurious feel to your living room and wondering what to do with the plain ceiling?
Well, worry no more because a gypsum ceiling is just what you need.
Made from gypsum mineral, gypsum boards allow you to experiment with different decor designs for the ceiling and walls. besides, they have several advantages, says Mr Martin Mwangi, CEO of Interior Place Kenya.
“Gypsum ceilings are fireproof, which makes them a great choice for ceilings in different rooms in h house, including the kitchen,” he says.
“They are also soundproof,” he adds, saying this guarantees you peace and privacy by minimizing noise from the roof or the house above you if you live in an apartment.
There are many ways of using gypsum boards, thanks to their malleability.
“Given the board’s softness, it is very easy to shape your ceiling or wall into different designs,” says Mr Mwangi. “Often, a client comes with an idea of what they want their space to look like and we work with that to give them exactly what they want. Patterns and carvings can be made on the gypsum ceiling to give it an artistic edge.”
But perhaps one of the greatest advantages of having a gypsum ceiling is the possibility of personalizing it through mood lighting, thanks to LED (light-emitting diode) strip lights.
“You can have LED strip lights with up to seven colors lined up along the ceiling or walls. This enables you can switch the color of lighting, depending on your mood. So today you could have sparkling red lighting, and tomorrow have pink,” says Mr. Mwangi.
He adds that you can also have dimmer switches to control the lights.
Another benefit of having a gypsum ceiling is its relative affordability.
“Not only is a gypsum ceiling affordable, but it offers dimensional stability and durability. The prices of the gypsum boards range from Ksh 3,000 to Ksh 4,000 per square foot. The rest of the charges will fall under labor and how much decor you want in terms of finishes and lighting,” Mr Mwangi offers.
After the gypsum has been set and sandpapered, ceiling filler paint is applied to give a finish similar to that of concrete.
“This gives a feeling of authenticity as opposed to the PVC (polyvinyl chloride) ceilings that can easily be identified as plastic,” says Mr Mwangi. “Decorative painting can be done on the ceiling after the LED strip lights have been fixed.
He suggests that you limit the colors to avoid having too much color in the same space.
Another way of personalizing your ceiling and walls is by stenciling images on the boards.
“When done with your ceiling, you can have a very high resolution image stenciled to personalize it,” suggests Mr Mwangi.
An alternative to having stenciled images is using wallpaper, which is cheaper.
Should you want to take the decoration a step further, cornices, which are decorative wooden or plastic moldings around the wall just below the ceiling, can be used.
“Cornices can be used to decorate the edges of the ceiling as they are an old-school method of decoration. However, since most cornices are plastic, they are affected by temperature and thus expand on hot days and contract when it is cold. This eventually ends up creating a gap between the ceiling and the cornices,” Mr Mwangi notes.
He, however, adds that new decorative methods have made it possible to have the gypsum finishing going all the way to the wall.
As with most other ceiling types, the main enemy of gypsum ceilings is water, which wears them out with time.
“Water from a leaking roof or pipe can damage the ceiling,” says Mr Mwangi. However, he assures that most of the gypsum boards being manufactured nowadays are waterproof, making them more ideal for ceilings.
Lastly, to ensure your ceilings makes a statement, it is important to know how high or low the ceiling is for proper design and decor.
“If you have a high ceiling, it is easier to decorate it because there is a lot of space to drop your ceiling,” says Mr Mwangi, adding: “You can have up to five layers of a suspended gypsum ceiling but with a low ceiling, the decor methods are a bit limited. Your ceiling will make a stronger statement if it’s high.”