Are suspended ceiling common in houses, rather then offices? If we to comparing with drywall ceiling:

  1. Are there more strict requirements for suspended ceiling?
  2. Are there more possible safety issues with suspended ceilings? (E.g. electrical wiring, vent grids, vents)
  3. Installation -- it looks to me that it is much easier to install suspended ceiling tiles by a single person, than installing/coating/taping heavy drywall sheets. But there might be some catches as well?
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    Downside: lower ceilings. Maybe worthwhile to hide exposed pipes in a basement. – Mattman944 May 30 at 16:54
  • The NEC prohibits the use of NM cables in drop ceiling in residential in other than 1 and 2 family dwellings, but some jurisdiction amend that chapter to prohibit NM in all drop ceilings. – NoSparksPlease May 30 at 19:36

In the US, it's often done in basements. You're right in that it's relatively simple and light weight construction techniques.

Typically builders finish the ceilings in the rest of the house. But finishing a basement with such material allows one potential future access to utility wires/pipes/ducts that would otherwise be exposed, and the ability to establish a ceiling height that takes into account any utilities that drop below the joists.

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  • Is it fair to say that in general suspended ceilings are cheaper then drywall? Tiles might be more costly, but on the other hand you don't have to spend money on coating, taping etc. – Mark Jun 20 at 21:09
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    The tiles themselves are cheap, but you also need the whole support system. More importantly, I suspect that getting a drop-ceiling right, when you only do 1 every 'n' years is a lot harder than doing drywall right, since drywall can be repeatedly patched/sanded/painted until you decide it is good enough. So for a homeowner DIY drywall works better. I think that combines with a perception of "office space" that leads builders to not do it, plus you lose ~ 1 foot of vertical space which is often more of a problem especially in basements compared to commercial construction (where it is – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jun 21 at 19:24
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    factored into the initial building process. On the other hand, I'm sitting in my basement here and while I am quite aware (but don't care so much) that the walls are unfinished (painted cinderblock for most of them), I hardly ever notice (until this prompted me to look up) that the ceiling is unfinished - it just doesn't matter. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Jun 21 at 19:25

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