Our basement walls were poured to allow a ceiling height of roughly 9 feet. We have 3 structural wood beams that are made up of 2 2x10s. The bottom of those beams are 8ft from the ground. Initially my thoughts when framing was to go all the way up to the upper floor joists for drywall and give just under 9ft clearance. However, looking at the joists I find that all of the HVAC and some of the plumbing are under the joists but not below the beams. To make it more interesting the low voltage (cable & ethernet) was all run below the joists. I was thinking that maybe the simplest thing would be to make the ceiling 8ft so that we don't have to frame around all items that are below the joists.

So I guess the question is, What is the best way to frame so that we can hang drywall at 8ft, which is roughly 9 1/2" lower than the floor joists?

My initial thoughts would be to frame the outside walls that are parallel to the structural beams all the way up to the floor joists and then tie a 2x4 in from the structural beam to the outside wall with cripple studs in between. Does this sound right or am I making this too complicated?

Thank you in advance.

2 Answers 2


I'd probably go with a hat track system.

The approximately 1 3/4" thick hat track with sound isolation clips would be install perpendicular to the joist layout. I'd use 2x4 pieces to bring the hat track to just below the bottom surface of the beams. The drywall would then attach to the hat track and span across the beams with a small gap between them. This will give you sound isolation in addition to having your ceiling flat.

You could just do hat track and skip the sound isolation clips - I used genie clips - and you'd still get sound isolation benefits.


You could do a T-track tile ceiling, there less less effort needed to install than continuous drywall as all the parts are pre-finished (so no taping, stopping, sanding, or painting and also you retain easy access to any services that are installed under the floor above.

  • This. The drywall finished basement ceiling is a nightmare when you need to do any work on electrical, plumbing, network etc...
    – Ecnerwal
    Nov 12, 2022 at 15:12

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