How to Cover Unsightly Low Ceiling Pipes in a Basement

If you use your basement frequently, you probably don't want to constantly look at ugly exposed pipes near the ceiling. You could hire a builder to cover them with sheet rock, but you'll most likely pay quite a bit of money for the work. Alternatively, you can cover unsightly ceiling pipes in your basement with drapes or screens that you make yourself. The drapes or screens will cover the entire ceiling of the basement, which will hide ugly pipes.

Pipes in ceiling of industrial building
credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
Some industrial buildings have unattractive ceiling pipes as well.

Bamboo Shades

Step 1

Measure the length and width of your basement. Multiply these measurements to find the square footage. This will give you an idea of how much material you will need to cover the ceiling. For example, if the basement is 30 long by 30 feet wide, multiply 30 times 30 to get 900 square feet of space. This equals the surface area of your basement's ceiling.

Step 2

Measure the length and width of a bamboo shade that you wish to use to cover the ceiling. Multiply these measurements to find the surface area of the shade. For example, if the shade is 5 feet long and 3 feet wide, multiply 3 times 5 to get 15 square feet for the surface area.

Step 3

Divide the surface area of the ceiling by the surface area of one shade to determine approximately how many shades you'll need. In this example, you would divide 900 by 15 to get 60. This means that you would need at least 60 shades for the job. It's a good idea to purchase a few more than the minimum in case you make a mistake during the project.

Step 4

Paint the bamboo shade pieces if you need a certain color to match your basement.

Step 5

Climb a ladder and nail the shades to the beams in your basement's ceiling using U-shaped nails. Cover the pipes as you attach the shades to the beams. You may need to cut the shades to fit the spaces between the beams, which may require more shades than the minimum that you estimated earlier.

Draped Fabric

Step 6

Calculate the surface area of the basement's ceiling by multiplying the width times the length of the room. You will need about 25 percent more material than this calculation because the fabric will be draped rather than pulled tight. For instance, if the ceiling is 1,000 square feet, you will need approximately 1,250 square feet of fabric.

Step 7

Cut your fabric in strips that are about 25 percent longer than the length or width of the room. For instance, if the room is 30 feet wide, cut a 6-inch-wide strip that is approximately 37 feet long.

Step 8

Climb a ladder and staple one end of a strip of fabric onto a beam on one side of the basement. Use multiple staples so you secure the entire edge of the fabric.

Step 9

Extend the fabric to the next beam, but do not pull it tight. Leave enough loose fabric so the material drapes down gracefully between the two beams. Cover any pipes as you go. Staple the fabric to this beam.

Step 10

Continue extending the loose material and stapling it to each beam until you've covered the entire ceiling.