False ceilings are cool, only when the right material is chosen

published On Jan 14 2017

false ceilings are cool

False ceilings are one of the best inventions in the era of architecture. They make the room look stylish and spacious if designed well. The most important thing to be considered about false ceiling is choosing the right material. This choice is essential for the false ceiling’s durability and quality.

false ceilings

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Some commonly used false ceiling boards

Besides giving an elegant look to the buildings, false ceilings also keep you off the excess heat and noise from outside. Now before getting to know how these boards are able to do all this work let me first tell you what they are made up of. The commonly used false ceiling materials are thermocol, gypsum, aerolite, pvc and wood.


Thermocol boards

Thermocol boards are made up of poly-styrene. Styrene is an unsaturated liquid hydrocarbon obtained as a petroleum by-product. It is polymerized to form a compound called polystyrene which is blended with CO 2 to form foam (Styrofoam). Styrofoam eventually solidifies to form thermocol. The voids with trapped air filled in results in low thermal conductivity.

Pros & cons

Thermocole boards are less expensive but they have the disadvantage of releasing poisonous gases into the environment on disintegration. Lest you use thermocole plates when the food is hot, it’s deadly.

thermocole boards

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Gypsym boards

Gypsym is hydrated calcium sulphate. Plasters are mostly used for interior decoration of buildings. The similar ones used for exteriors are called renders. Plasters are made up of lime, cement, gypsum etc. The plaster made up of gypsym is called plaster of Paris (POP).

Pros & cons

Despite possessing properties like thermal insulation, sound insulation and fire resistance, gypsum boards suffer from their likeliness to easy damage.


thermal insulation

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PVC boards

PVC stands for poly vinyl chloride. It is a synthetic polymer. Polymer is a huge molecule made up of a number of small molecules. PVC is made up of carbon, hydrogen and chlorine molecules. It is the world’s third most produced synthetic polymer. The first two are polyethylene and poly-propylene. PVC is available in both rigid and flexible forms.

Pros & cons

PVC in spite of being thermal resistant and water proof, it contains carcinogens that cause liver cancer and releases a toxic substance called dioxin when burnt.


pvc thermal resistant

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Wooden boards

Wooden boards are manufactured by binding the wooden chips with appropriate adhesives. Wooden boards are available in a variety of forms such as strong, light, stiff and flexible. This variety in forms lead to variety in applications.

Pros & cons

Wood is organic so one need not worry about toxins and chemical disintegration. But the major disadvantage of wooden boards is that they are vulnerable to the attack of termites and they are expensive.


wood organic

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Aerolite Boards

Aerolite (do not be confused with the aerolite adhesive made up of urea formaldehyde) is lightweight calcium silicate. Aerolite boards are the best false ceiling material as they adopt to a lot of environments when compared to the other materials. They are available in the market in form of tiles.

Pros & cons

It is 100% humidity resistant, non-combustible, fire resistant, sound absorbent, light reflecting and durable. It is made up of inorganic materials that are immune to termite attack.

fire resistant


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What do false ceilings do to your home?

Besides bringing a classic look to the buildings, false ceilings provide a decent number of benefits like thermal insulation, acoustic absorption, room height reduction, platform provision to mount LEDs and cctv cameras, concealing the duct wiring etc.

Acoustic Proofing

The bumps and dents seen in the false ceiling boards are completely responsible for the acoustic proofing property of the false ceiling boards. The sound waves bouncing into the rooms create some acoustic vibrations that are absorbed by the uneven surface of the false ceilings. This is the reason why the surface of false ceilings are porous rather than being even.


Acoustic proofing

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Thermal insulation

Thermal insulation is provided by the air-voids between the layers of the false ceiling boards that absorb the excess heat, thus making the room cooler and helping us reduce the usage of air conditioners.


thermal insulation

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Resistance to fungus

Another big advantage of the inorganic (not obtained from a living organism) boards is microbial resistance that prevents the ugly fungal molds growing on the ceilings. Certain species like the aspergillus niger grow on the wooden boards are a serious threat to health as their molds get into our respiratory track through the air we breathe. They grow inside the lungs spreading their toxic enzymes in the blood stream that can cause cancer. So it is very important to be cautious when choosing the false ceiling boards.


How to select the right material?

All the materials discussed above are good only up to a limited extent as the pros and cons balance each other so well. The selection of material depends on a number of factors such as the climatic condition, the ambience, affordability and the tastes of the owner. The climatic conditions are one of the important factors to be considered when choosing the material of false ceiling boards.

Wooden boards are good for dry areas but in humid regions aerolite boards and pvc are the right choice. Comparatively aerolite boards seem to be the best choice for most of the applications despite the high cost. The safety, strength and durability make the boards worth their price. False ceilings are cool, only when chosen and designed properly as they say “good work is a result of good planning”.



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