Don’t Forget to Protect Your Upper Surfaces
As you develop your bathroom layout, it is very easy to overlook the ceiling in your washroom, yet your rooms overhead wall is an important element in your baths overall design. Most people forget that a bath ceiling must be resistant to moisture and humidity just like your walls and floors, so your choice of ceiling material and proper ventilation should seriously be taken into consideration to prevent mold or warping.
A typical bathroom ceiling is about eight feet in height. Depending upon the size of your bathing space, the ceiling can make your bath appear cozy, or you can add drama to the room by incorporating a high ceiling.
Sometimes this can be too much, and one way of fixing a ceiling that is too high is to either install a lower hanging false ceiling or by simply painting or tiling a border strip around your interior walls about the eight foot level to create the illusion of a lower ceiling area.
Adding Dynamic Dimension to the Room
Your bath ceiling can be flat, but a ceiling of varying heights can add an interesting variable and insert visual texture to a typically mundane design element. If done strategically the recess in your overhead space can also conceal light fixtures or track lighting for focused lighting, or you can set a mood with dimming lights.
Just don’t get too fancy because you will need adequate lighting for all your grooming tasks such as shaving or applying your makeup.
Another way of adding interest to your rooms overhead wall is to hang a false ceiling with slightly different tones of ceiling material to create a subtle checkerboard pattern. You can even incorporate translucent panels with lights behind them into your roofing grid.
But beware, this patterned look has a tendency of drawing the eye upwards and may even make your bath appear cramped which can be distracting, so keep any patterns at the top of your rooms enclosure to a bare minimum.
Using Color to Highlight or Diminish Overhead Space
In a smaller room, it’s usually best to have a partition above that is the same color as your other walls or even slightly lighter to help and help make the ceiling disappear.
Needless to say, most overhead walls will be painted. Make sure to use a high grade mold resistant paint to apply to your upper spaces. The typical bathroom ceiling has lights, an exhaust fan, and possible vent pipes to help ventilate the moisture ridden room.
An alternative to an overhead fan or exhaust fan is a ceiling heater which can also be used to keep your grooming space dry and toasty by aiding in your heating, lighting, ventilation and deodorization needs.
Low Maintenance Solutions
What most people forget is that your lavatory ceiling also has insulation in the attic above it. Typical yellow and pink fiberglass insulation is notorious for absorbing moisture which can harbor mold spores.
A better solution is to apply spray foam insulation to the rafter areas above your bathing area. Spray foam not only gets into every crevice forming a protective layer above your bath, but it is also mold and water resistant.
There are many different materials you can use to finish your washroom walls and ceilings, from PVC paneling, painted plaster, aluminum paneling, to wooden planks. If you do use wooden planks they must be re-varnished periodically to prevent warping and painted plaster ceilings will have to be repainted to hide water spots and eventual discoloration.
Alternative Waterproof PVC Panels
PVC paneling has become more popular in recent years because it is pretty much maintenance free, it comes in plain white, or you can even get PVC paneling with mock wood grain. This new decorative interior cladding can be used for walls and ceilings to maintain design consistency.
The important thing to remember is that your bath can generate quite a bit of moisture in the air so you should ensure the materials you choose can tolerate these conditions.
For example, wallpaper or tile would be a poor ceiling choice due to the wallpaper’s adhesive ungluing or the tile caulk cracking and the tiles falling off your washroom ceiling.
More Good Choices for a Moisture Saturated Environment
As long as your bathroom is vented to the outside with a fan, Armstrong ceilings with HumiGuard® Plus are a good choice with extra sag resistance for use in areas of high humidity and BioBlock® Treatment to inhibit the spread of mold and mildew.
When looking for a bathroom ceiling solution, take into consideration the overall cost and the life expectancy of the ceiling material you are applying.
While traditional plastered ceilings may be cheap initially, they will have to be repainted periodically over the lifespan of your washroom. PVC ceiling paneling is a new maintenance free alternative, but at an increased bath renovation cost.
The good part though is that it is waterproof, will not be affected by your bathroom’s humidity and will more than likely last the lifespan of your lavatory.