Ceilings are interior structures in an enclosed space such as rooms and hall that cover the upper limit of the room. They cannot be classified as structural elements of a building but they serve more of a purpose to hide the underside floor or the roof structure above. They serve the basic need to make an interior space look more presentable with no unsightly piping or wiring the might be running overhead. They also give the room a complete feel as a room with no ceiling cannot be classified as a room. Ceilings can also be decorated with different styles, paintings, tiles and other surface treatments according to a person’s preference to give the room a certain type of look. For example, the ceiling in a church or chapel would be very high and decorated with mosaic, painted glasses to suit the look of the church.
Not only decorated to suit the interior of a room, a ceiling can also be constructed to support the function of a room. For example a ceiling may be concave to enhance the acoustical value of the indoor space if being used for places that have indoor applications of audio. This is common in churches to enhance the audio inside the church. Ceilings can also be constructed to be fire resistant. There are several different types of ceilings used in the construction of structures and they can be classified according to their appearance, construction method and their application.
Also known as the false or suspended ceiling, dropped ceiling is a secondary type of ceiling that is hung down a few inches from the main structural ceiling, leaving a space between itself and the structural ceiling for concealing various structural elements such as piping, wiring and ductwork. Commonly used for commercial structure as they would have many wiring, piping and air conditioning lines that need to run through the entire building structure but at the same time be concealed to not give the building such an unsightly look. These ceilings are made up of a grid work of metal channels that are in the shape of an upside-down “T” and are suspended down from the main overhead ceiling. The metal channels are arranged in such a way that later they can house “tiles” that would be dropped into the grid structure. These tiles can be made from a variety of materials such as wood, plastic, metal or mineral fibers. As they can be easily placed or removed, it makes for easy access to the wiring or pipelines that are hidden behind them incase repair works need to be done. These tiles can also come in a variety of colours to add décor to the interior of the room. Segments of the tiles can also be cut away for lighting and air-conditioning channels to be installed in them and allow lighting and air-conditioning of the room.
Although it is not typically used in many structures today, popcorn ceiling, which can also be known as acoustic ceiling, was much more popular in the 1950s to 1980s. It was vastly used in homes and residential hallways as it had properties such as noise reduction. They were a type of spray-on or paint-on ceiling treatment with some being created using paper or Styrofoam based products to create the texture. These ceilings often contained asbestos and lost their popularity when asbestos was banned. However, there are places where one would be able to find structures still using this form of ceiling but without the presence of asbestos. As they were created with paper, they can be easily taken out by dampening the paper with water and using a scraping trowel to scrap it off.
There are several other types of ceilings as well present in the world today that serve different roles in the contribution of the aesthetics of the structure.