False ceilings, also known as suspended ceilings, differ from standard ceilings as they hang closer to the ground beneath the original ceiling structure. There is usually a hollow space between the original ceiling and the false ceiling, which can be useful for sound proofing apartments in the same building.
False ceilings are usually constructed from steel tiles and suspended from the framing joists in roofs. Because there is a gap between the ceiling of one apartment and the floor of another, noise is significantly dampened as it needs to travel through the gap in the ceilings. Some false ceilings are made from acoustical tiles, which restrict sound transmission further by absorbing sounds that pass through them.
The false ceiling structure is hung from resilient metal wires below the original ceiling. A false ceiling usually hangs a few inches from the roof but some lie as much as a foot below the original ceiling structure. The steel tile structure of suspended ceilings is usually supported by a grid of metal frames that run across the breadth of the room. Molding is then connected to the wall across the same room space. The rest of the grid is supported by hanging wires, which gain additional support from the molding on the walls.
Suspended ceilings can be removed as easily as they were first fitted. The ceiling panels simply need to be slid away to reveal the grid that holds the false ceiling in place. This can now be disconnected and the false ceiling removed from the original roof.
In addition to sound proofing benefits, false ceilings are also useful for hiding messy wiring, insulation materials and pipes. Major companies often use false ceilings to install HVAC systems that support purify air flow. Although wiring and air flow systems won't be visible, they can easily be accessed by sliding away ceiling panels and replacing them once the work is done. False ceiling structures are relatively cheap and quick to install, especially when compared to traditional roof installations.
Although cheap and relatively efficient, suspended ceilings also have a number of disadvantages. Acoustical tiles can be prone to decay over time, resulting in an unattractive yellow coloring that can ruin the decor of a room. Suspended ceilings also need to be replaced every few years as they are not as resilient as traditionally installed ceilings. False ceilings are also more prone to water stains and damage due to excess moisture in the atmosphere. An obvious drawback of suspended ceilings is that they reduce the overall size of a room. Although this may be of little importance in buildings with high ceilings, it can create a cramped and claustrophobic feel in more standard-sized rooms.