Choosing the right ceiling product for your home

Choosing the right ceiling product for your home

Private Property South Africa
Sarah-Jane Meyer

Construction and renovations can be very costly, so it makes sense to shop around for the most cost-effective and efficient building products before committing to buy.

According to the latest SANS legislation, all newly built homes must have ceilings installed. And all materials for homes, including the ceilings, must have a fire rating, which is measured as the R-value. The higher the R-value of an insulation product, the better its ability to restrict heat flow.


The following products are popular choices for homes in South Africa:

RhinoBoard is a plasterboard consisting of an aerated or foamed gypsum core encased in and firmly bonded to special paper liners. RhinoBoard is non-combustible and is frequently used as a lining in fire-rated ceiling and drywall systems.

PVC ceilings are manufactured from PVC resins and auxiliary materials and are made in sizes of 3.6m, 4.7m, and 6m in length and are 250mm wide. This versatile ceiling system can be applied in almost any indoor environment requiring a fixed, non-porous, non-fibrous and non-absorbent ceiling.

The lightweight panels are easy to install, requiring minimal labour, and the hollow core structure makes them very efficient insulators. Interlocking PVC panels achieve a smooth surface, and boards come in a variety of colours as well as gloss and matt finishes, so there is no need to screed or paint.

PVC ceilings also have antifungal properties, are corrosion-resistant, fire retardant (B/B1/B2 SANS 428), termite-proof, waterproof and easy to clean. No further maintenance is needed after installation.

Isoboard ceilings are classified as thermal ceilings as they have excellent thermal properties. The product is available in thickness dimensions from 25mm to 80mm. The thicker the board, the higher the R-value.

This ceiling product is ideal for all homes with limited ceiling volume space to achieve the correct R-value. The average home can have ceilings installed in two to three days, and no painting is required. In addition, the application is almost dust-free as the installation doesn’t require skimming. Unfortunately, these ceilings don’t reduce noise, so if this is a requirement, you would need to fit additional roof insulation with a high noise reduction coefficient (NRC).

Acoustic ceiling tiles are laid into a suspended or dropped ceiling grid and are used to improve acoustics in a room. These tiles can be made of various acoustical materials like fibreglass, foam, wood, polyester and other substrates.

Extruded polystyrene boards are made from closed cell polystyrene rigid foam, with high compressive strength and excellent long-term thermal resistance performance, due to their inherent resistance to moisture transfer. In South Africa, it is manufactured in a single density range, suitable for most local applications.

Polystyrene boards are available in various lengths - from 1800mm to 8m - and thickness dimensions between 30mm to 80mm. Polystyrene is compatible with water-based adhesives and paints but will dissolve in solvents and deteriorates if continually exposed to ultraviolet radiation.

Having a quality ceiling in your home increases the resale value. There are many ceiling options on the market, so do some research before selecting the one that will enhance the look and feel of your home.

Writer : Sarah-Jane Meyer


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