Ceiling suggestions for an uneven ceiling

by Christel
My basement ceiling is not equal heights to the floor. It's too short to put in a dropped ceiling and I really do not want to do drywall. Any suggestions?
  18 answers
  • Cindy Lashuay Cindy Lashuay on Jan 10, 2016
    Paint or drape with fabric
  • Rosie Walsh Rosie Walsh on Jan 10, 2016
    I can't answer your question, but want to add to the discussion. I have an uneven wall/ceiling junction in my attic playroom. Pulled a chalk line when I repainted the room and now have an irregular area about 5' long showing the previous paint. Help someone?
    • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 10, 2016
      @Rosie Walsh Decorate it! Paint the entire wall the same color to avoid drawing attention to the problem. Then make some square, round, diamond and off kilter shaped shadow boxes to attach at a random pattern...not in a straight line. Depending on what the room is going to be used for as to what color to paint the box shelves and what to put in them. A little girl's room? Put small dolls or fairies in them...in the odd shaped boxes suspend them with string! A guest room? Back the box shelves with beautiful flower art! Pick a theme and go with it. (A photo would help a lot in getting answers...mine may be way off!)
  • Pam Walker Pam Walker on Jan 10, 2016
    Turn your basement into a family room & look up Fathead murals & order one long enough to extend to all 4 walls including the highest height. As your putting it up, you trim off the excess as you go where it meets the ceiling. By the time it's up, you won't be able to tell it's uneven because it'll be so pretty that people won't notice. GOOD LUCK! :)
  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 10, 2016
    I assume you have exposed subfloor and rafters exposed from above. A 'drop' ceiling can be done with only using up one inch of space. You conceivably could stagger the drop if it is dramatic enough and it would look fine. Otherwise you have to live with the exposed sub- structures. If so, paint it all the exact same white white white (flat or satin). it will blend and live with the bit of uneveness you likely will not then notice. I would not put decoration on it as it will keep drawing your attention up unless it is so 'busy' it disguises all flaws, but that can get very boring and will not enhance the value of the home as it will be too 'personal'. A light fixture might also help keep you from 'looking into the floor above'.
  • Hope Williams Hope Williams on Jan 10, 2016
    Hi Christel. You have several options. First is Luan. It's thin, paintable, and very easy to put up. It's about $13 for a 4X8 sheet. Second is bead board. The 4X8 sheets. Price depends on painting or staining. Now lastly: you can level up the ceiling by attaching shims to the rafters prior to putting up your material. We had this issue in our basement. I did not want drywall either. I wanted emergency access just in case. It's my workroom and a separate laundry room that needed to be done. It has worked wonders and looks sooooo much better. Let us know how you make out.
  • Kathy Kathy on Jan 10, 2016
    I feel your pain. I've learned to live with it. In some places, my walls have a 1/4" difference from the top to the bottom. I'm thinking about putting crown molding in some of my rooms to help with the unevenness.. Where there is a gap, it can be caulked. Good luck!
  • Leslie Leslie on Jan 10, 2016
    You do not say if this is a finished ceiling or if the floor beams are exposed. Wish you added some photos.
    • See 1 previous
    • Leslie Leslie on Jan 12, 2016
      @Christel If I am understanding your problem correctly, it may not be that your ceiling is uneven but the basement floor drops making it look like the ceiling is not even. When they poured the concrete floor in your basement they may not have leveled it. I could be wrong and if it is an older home made when there were fewer building codes, you never know. If the floors in your house are not plumb you WOULD feel the unevenness when you were upstairs and the tilt was that drastic. The foundation may have settled in an odd way. That being said. your only recourse would be to insulate between the rafters and do what Hope Williams suggested with the luan and bead board. Also there is what Sherry Fram suggested, but you can get faux tin look for the ceiling. HD and Lowes should carry the sheets. You also have to consider if pipes are running through the floor joists. Do you want to cover them in case of emergency. Elizabeth Roy suggested Painting. If you are not refinishing your basement and just want it to look clean that may be your best option. Go into HD and/or Lowes and talk to someone there, they may also be able to shed some light. Good Luck
  • Rosie Walsh Rosie Walsh on Jan 10, 2016
    Jeanette S, what a fun idea. I love danglie things! See you're in ATLANTA. Me too, far north metro, Gwinnett County, City of Sugar Hill. Thanks much for the fool the eye suggestion. Wish I could do the same with my wrinkles!
  • Sherry Fram Sherry Fram on Jan 10, 2016
    Maybe look at a tin ceiling. Google search it for manufacturers.
  • Elizabeth Roy Elizabeth Roy on Jan 10, 2016
    Bead board panels are thin as well. Or just go for painting the floor joists and wood white and go for a rustic look.
  • Robin Robin on Jan 10, 2016
    I once had a home where the previous owners stapled burlap to the ceiling in a basement they had refinished in knotty pine. Sounds weird, but really worked well. Looked rustic and was easy to take down when we had a problem (access to plumbing, etc) and put back up. It helped they did a nice job and it was good quality burlap. They used furring strips in certain places for extra stability. Good luck!
  • 117135 117135 on Jan 10, 2016
    Beadboard. I am working on doing this for a water damaged plaster ceiling. We did not want to tear out the plaster so we used 2-inch wood planks to level the ceiling and are attaching the 4 x 8 beadboards to the wood. My house is old and I had a 2 inch difference from one end to the other.
  • Pat Pat on Jan 10, 2016
    My DSL stapled newspapers on the ceiling of her basement bedroom which was eventually turned into a play room. Looked really cute.....she used only the black and white sheets and it lasted quite awhile. I have seen ceilings with egg crate dividers stapled up also and they can be painted.....not sure they make them any more.
  • LD LD on Jan 10, 2016
    Here's a link to how to fix your ceiling by skim coating the ceiling. http://www.ehow.com/how_8594191_level-uneven-ceiling.html
  • David Ogden David Ogden on Jan 10, 2016
    They make his pvc sheathing you can buy at H.D. Its like paper but much stronger comes in white 4x8 sheets real light weight. Check it out .
  • Cag Cag on Jan 11, 2016
    Beadboard okay remedy, but really accentuates any height deviation flaws. See tin panels. see here:
  • Liliana Wells Liliana Wells on Jan 31, 2016
    Ceiling tiles.