Whoever said remodeling a room was a simple matter of deciding what you want? This may be true, but there is nothing simple about it! For instance, it may seem merely a matter of preference when deciding on installing drywall over ceiling tiles for most of us, but this is just another example of where really thinking about something before you actually begin the project really pays off.
Things such as adding overhead plumbing pipes, wiring, or cabling can become major issues if you have added drywall. Obviously, with ceiling tiles these things can be put in without having to cut out holes in your new ceiling. With ceiling tiles or panels, you simply lift them up and out temporarily, install your wiring or plumbing, then put the tiles back in.
Drywall Looks Better
One of the main reasons people most often cite for installing drywall over ceiling tiles lies with aesthetics: Drywall ceilings make a room look more permanent as well as giving a cleaner more neater appearance overall. These same advocates of installing drywall as opposed to ceiling tiles also claim that installing ceiling tiles actually make the project, and thus the room, look like something has simply been covered up.
Drywall fans report that there are solutions to the no-easy-access problem, but you have to be willing to put in a little extra thought along with a little extra work.
If you decide on installing drywall over ceiling tiles, make sure you plan ahead for the possibility of future plumbing and wiring additions.
Make enough access panels in your drywall ceiling to be able to easily get up and into the area to add any extras. Put them in strategic locations and above all, make them symmetrical and neat. Avoid making any panels larger than absolutely necessary and use hinges facing inward for easy opening and closing.
But Tiles Make Access Easier
Although installing drywall over ceiling tiles does, to most, make a room look more like a room and not part of a temporary building, others claim otherwise. One proponent of ceiling tiles suggests to avoid the temporary look of most dropped ceilings is to use commercial-grade tiles. These tiles usually run about 15 to 20 percent higher in price than those you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot, but they also look better and hold up longer.
Making the decision about installing drywall over ceiling tiles is a big one that anyone who has ever had to finish out a ceiling has gone through. You will inevitably get a lot of opinions on what looks better and which is more practical, but ultimately, the decision lies, as always, with you. But as a final solution to the problem, one do-it-yourselfer may have found the perfect answer that combines both: Install a coffered ceiling with beams, and use drywall as the panels.