Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A ceiling is the lower surface of a horizontal slab covering a room or internal space. A ceiling is generally not structural but is a shell concealing the details of the structure above. However, the ceiling might be holding up building material such as heat or sound insulation. The join between a ceiling and a wall is often covered by a molding, which serves to disguise and decorate the join.
Ceilings have frequently been decorated with paintings or other effects. While hard to execute (at least in situ) a decorated ceiling has the advantage that it is largely protected from damage by fingers. In the past, however, this was more than compensated for by the damage from smoke (from candles and cigarettes). Many historic buildings have celebrated ceilings. Perhaps the most famous in the world is that of the Sistine Chapel by Michaelangelo. Popular depictions show Michaelangelo working on his back on the top of a scaffold, but it was more likely that he stood on top of a platform.
In modern buildings, electric lights are commonly attached to ceilings. Sometimes elaborate lighting schemes are used, such as with chandeliers. Other times, recessed lighting is used to reduce the partially hide lights in the ceiling.
Many offices and some homes may implement a drop ceiling where a grid is hung from a ceiling, and panels are placed in the grid. This is useful for allowing wiring to be changed relatively easily, whether electrical or for other technologies like computer networks. An inverse of this would be a raised floor .
see also Chilled ceiling
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