Add class to your ceiling with gypsum

Thursday May 11 2017

The boards are malleable and can be moulded

The boards are malleable and can be moulded into different shapes or accentuated with coloured lights. PHOTO| FILE| NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Are you thinking of bringing a beautiful and luxurious feel to your living room and wondering what to do with the plain ceiling?

Well, worry no more because a gypsum ceiling is just what you need.

Made from gypsum mineral, gypsum boards allow you  to experiment with different décor designs for the ceiling and walls. besides, they have several advantages, says Mr Martin Mwangi, CEO of Interior Place Kenya.

“Gypsum ceilings are fireproof, which makes them a great choice for ceilings in different rooms in h house, including the kitchen,” he says.

“They are also soundproof,” he adds, saying this guarantees you  peace and privacy by minimising noise from the roof or the house above you if you live in an apartment.

There are many ways of using gypsum boards, thanks to their malleability.

“Given the board’s softness, it is very easy to shape your ceiling or wall into different designs,” says Mr Mwangi. “Often, a client comes with an idea of what they want their space to look like and we work with that to give them exactly what they want. Patterns and carvings can be made on the gypsum ceiling to give it an artistic edge.”

But perhaps one of the greatest advantages of having a gypsum ceiling is the possibility of personalising it through mood lighting, thanks to LED (light-emitting diode) strip lights.

“You can have LED strip lights with up to seven colours lined up along the ceiling or walls. This enables you can switch the colour of lighting, depending on your mood. So today you could have sparkling red lighting, and tomorrow have pink,” says Mr. Mwangi.


He adds that you can also have dimmer switches to control the lights. 

Another benefit of having a gypsum ceiling is its relative affordability.  

“Not only is a gypsum ceiling affordable, but it offers dimensional stability and durability. The prices of the gypsum boards range from Sh3,000 to Sh4,000 per square foot. The rest of the charges will fall under labour and how much décor you want in terms of finishes and lighting,” Mr Mwangi offers.

After the gypsum has been set and sandpapered, ceiling filler paint is applied to give a finish similar to that of concrete.

“This gives a feeling of authenticity as opposed to the PVC (polyvinyl chloride) ceilings that can easily be identified as plastic,” says Mr Mwangi. “Decorative painting can be done on the ceiling after the LED strip lights have been fixed.

He suggests that you limit the colours to avoid having too much colour in the same space.

Another way of personalising your ceiling and walls is by stencilling images on the boards.

“When done with your ceiling, you can have a very high resolution image  stencilled to personalise it,” suggests Mr Mwangi.

An alternative to having stencilled images is using wallpaper, which is cheaper.


Should you want to take the decoration a step further, cornices, which are decorative wooden or plastic moldings around the wall just below the ceiling, can be used.

“Cornices can be used to decorate the edges of the ceiling as they are an old-school method of decoration.  However, since most cornices are plastic, they are affected by temperature and thus expand on hot days and contract when it is cold. This eventually ends up creating a gap between the ceiling and the cornices,” Mr Mwangi notes.

He, however, adds that new decorative methods have made it possible to have the gypsum finishing going all the way to the wall.

As with most other ceiling types, the main enemy of gypsum ceilings is water, which wears them out with time. 

“Water from a leaking roof or pipe can damage the ceiling,” says Mr Mwangi. However, he assures that most of the gypsum boards being manufactured nowadays are waterproof, making them more ideal for ceilings.

Lastly, to ensure your ceilingsmakes a statement, it is important to know how high or low the ceiling is for proper design and décor.

“If you have a high ceiling, it is easier to decorate it because there is a lot of space to drop your ceiling,” says Mr Mwangi, adding: “You can have up to five layers of a suspended gypsum ceiling but with a low ceiling, the décor methods are a bit limited. Your ceiling will make a stronger statement if it’s high.”