Basement Ceiling Options

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Midwest America
my basement is old. it was originally a cellar back before indoor plumbing was a thing. so it has lower ceilings than most (about 7 feet), and since most of the ceiling is criss-crossed with pipes and ductwork, standing upright is not an option for a 6'2" humanoid such as myself.
nonetheless, there is old lath slats and plaster that are (both) chipped away in some parts, and i would love to tear the whole lot of it out and insulate that ceiling, and put some sort of solid barrier or paneling up there. but every website or YouTube video i come across is all about "finishing" the basement. i am not interested in that, as it is a moisture-plenty "wetzone", with minor leaks in the side walls (which i will deal with in time), and a nice sized sump right in the center. this is no place for living quarters, and drywall would not stay "dry" for long in such an environment.
i also don't want to do a metal ceiling, as some have suggested, as i will be redoing much of the piping, and putting in NEW supply pipes to various parts of the house.
oh, and this is a fairly small area, at about 12' x 11.5'. not enough room to do much with, other than as a storage room for the water filtration, HVAC systems, and plumbing.
so what are my options? i meant, would just plywood boards be enough, or is there special ceiling options for wetter environments? i really don't know what is SUPPOSED to be used for "unfinished" basements, as they are not often discussed by DIYers...
any guidance is appreciated :)


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How about attaching (staples?) thick polyethylene sheet below any insulation as a vapor barrier. Remove, or even cut out, sections that you want to work on.

Take photos before applying the polyethylene sheet to help know what needs exposing to do the work.

More decorative would be FRP Wall Board. It would block moisture, but you would need to address the seams.
Hey, wait a minute.

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