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Standard Basement Ceiling Height

Last modified: 2022-10-11 | Approximate reading time 2 mins

Cynthia Pigeon

Are you planning on renovating or building a basement, and have some questions about ceiling heights? Keep reading to get just the information you are looking for!

Basement Ceiling Height

chambre au sous-sol_Soumission Rénovation

First off, note that there is no maximum ceiling height requirement for basements. As for the minimum heights established by current standards, these vary from one room to another.

In the kitchen, hallways, laundry room, and bathroom, the ceiling height should be at least 2.10 m. The same applies to the bedrooms, main living room and dining room (if the basement is converted into living space).

However, as we mentioned in a previous article on the standard ceiling heights in a house, some parts of the basement can have a minimum height of 2 m. The following rooms are included in this standard:

  • Hallways;
  • Secondary entryway;
  • Entire basement if it is unfinished;
  • Secondary living room;
  • Secondary dining/kitchen area.

Are you looking to transform your basement into living quarters? Check out our article Creating a Basement Apartment: What to Know!

Can you deviate from standard heights?

In order to comply with Quebec's Construction Code, the standards in effect must be respected as they were established to ensure both the comfort and safety of the residents of the house.

Height Alterations: Stretch or Suspended Ceiling?

salon au sous-sol_Soumission Rénovation

The impulse to lower ceiling heights can be desirable for a number of reasons. In fact, some people appreciate the feeling of a more enclosed space.

If that is the look and feel you are going for, you may want to install a stretch ceiling (PVC ceiling fabric). However, should you choose this route, note that this type of fabric should be installed according to a specific procedure: Stretch the fabric with a heat gun. Soundproofing panels (such as SONOpan) can be installed over the fabric for added soundproofing and/or thermal insulation. Note that this is an expensive option, and repairs will need to be made if the fabric tears. Nevertheless, it is easily removed and available in a variety of finishes, making it a worthwhile option.

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It is also possible to opt for a suspended ceiling (drop ceiling). This type of ceiling has the advantage of being relatively easy and quick to install. Drop ceiling tiles are rather inexpensive and can be easily removed and replaced, allowing quick access to any plumbing or electrical systems hidden therein.

Unfortunately, the variety of tile models currently on the market does not allow for original design choices as is possible with PVC. Besides, a suspended ceiling will limit the available height much more than a stretched ceiling would.

As a matter of fact, it is not recommended to install a suspended ceiling within 4 inches from a drywall ceiling, 3 inches from the joists, and  2.5 inches below the joists, if you are using QuickHang hooks. Usually, the height between the ceiling and the fabric is 2.5 cm. 

Brief Mention About Sloped Ceilings

While sloped ceilings are not as common, the standard height to be met could come in handy. This means that if one room has a sloped ceiling, it must be 7 feet across 50% of the space. 

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