Plain, boring ceilings are passé. If you’re doing up your home interior, it isn’t quite complete unless you have a beautifully designed false ceiling in place! Not only do false ceilings elevate the aesthetics of your home, but they also help to conceal unsightly electrical wiring and AC ducting, and insulate against noise. Two of the most popular material choices for false ceilings are Plaster of Paris (POP) and Gypsum. Read on to understand the pros and cons of each!
Gypsum boards, also known as Plasterboards, are factory manufactured boards of hydrated Calcium Sulphate that are used for false ceilings. Available in thicknesses of 9, 12 and 15 mm, these boards are usually manufactured in sizes of 4 x 6 feet, 4 x 8 feet and 4 x 10 feet. Easy to install, they are cut to the sizes required and fitted on a metal framework that is suspended from the ceiling. Gypsum boards are used for false ceilings and also as partition walls in office interiors.
Plaster of Paris: What it is, and how it’s used
Plaster of Paris, commonly known as POP, is basically dehydrated gypsum, or Calcium Sulphate, available in powdered form. When the dry powder is mixed with water, it rehydrates and sets in the shape of the mould into hard gypsum again. The paste starts to set in around ten minutes and hardens in the form of interlocking crystals to attain strength and hardness. To make a POP false ceiling, the paste is applied on a chicken mesh which is moulded to the desired shape and then dried till it achieves maximum hardness. POP ceilings are seamless and mouldable and can fit awkward corners perfectly.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of each, for your easy perusal and understanding:
|Gypsum False Ceiling||POP False Ceiling|
|Cost||More expensive than POP||Typically 25% cheaper than Gypsum board|
|Wastage||Gypsum boards come in specified sizes and there can be a lot of wastage depending on the dimensions of the room.||Minimal wastage as you can mix only the right amount of powder needed|
|Mouldability||Cannot be moulded as the board is flat. Any cornices have to be made of POP.||Can be moulded for cornices, shaped and curved as required|
|Durability||Lasts for years||Lasts for years|
|Cracks||The flat surface does not crack easily||Can crack depending on the workmanship and mix of the POP|
|Finishing||Has joints that need to be finished using POP slurry||Joints are seamless|
|Time for installation||Very quick, as boards are manufactured in the factory and are assembled and finished at site||As POP ceilings are installed in situ, the process is laborious, takes time and is messy|
|Labour||Semi-skilled labour can do this work||Skilled craftsmen are needed to make sure that the mix is in the perfect ratio and is applied correctly|
|Design and aesthetics||Flowing curved ceilings are a little difficult to execute, though not impossible. Has to be done with a mixture of Gypsum and POP.||Ceilings can take any form and shape. Intricate designs are easily executed.|
|Repairs||It is not easy to accommodate repairs. As the boards are fixed on a metal framework, the entire board has to be reinstalled in case of repairs.||Repairs are very easy and just a small portion of the ceiling can be cut into and redone, as required.|
|Thermal properties||Fire retardant and heat insulating||Fire retardant and heat insulating|
If you are planning a dropped ceiling that follows a straight-line design, and if you are short on time (and don’t mind paying a little extra), then a Gypsum ceiling is the better option for you. However, if you would like to get a unique ceiling design that incorporates flowing lines and curves, and don’t mind spending some extra time on achieving the look you want, then opt for a POP ceiling. Keep in mind that even with a ceiling that is largely made of gypsum board, by incorporating sections of POP, you can get the best of both styles!
Looking for expert guidance to install a false ceiling in your home? The HomeLane team is always happy to step in!