How to Install a suspended Ceiling

You don't have to be a ceiling fixer to replace a suspended ceiling.

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PLANNING A SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM

  • First, get the measurements of the room where the suspended ceiling will be installed.
  • Draw the dimensions to scale on graph paper.
  • You can choose from either a 600x600 or a 600x1200 configuration. The configuration you pick will determine the material requirements for your ceiling.
  • You can now sketch the layout onto graph paper. Regardless of which configuration you select, draw the main tees 1200mm apart. Position the tees so that the perimeter cuts are equal on both sides and are as large as possible.
  • It is important to space the cross tees so the border tiles at the ends of the room are equal and as large as possible. If you are using a 600x1200 configuration, space the 1200mm cross tees 600mm apart. For a 600x600 configuration, add 600mm cross tees between the midpoints of the 1200mm cross tees.
  • If the ceiling lights are to be recessed, decide where and clearly identify them on the drawing.

INSTALLING PERIMETER TRIM

  • Determine the height at which the suspended ceiling will be installed. Allow a minimum of 100mm clearance between the old ceiling and the new ceiling. Additional clearance will be required if you are using recessed lighting.
  • After locating the position for the suspended ceiling, use a level to draw a line completely around the room indicating where the perimeter trim will be fixed.
  • Fasten the perimeter trim securely to the wall at all points using masonry nails for block walls or drywall screws stud walls.
  • Position the perimeter trim to your level line.
  • Overlap the perimeter trim on inside corners, and mitre the perimeter trim on outside corners.

POSITIONING SUSPENSION WIRES FOR MAIN TEES

  • For recessed lighting, you can use 600x600 or 600x1200 drop-in lighting fixtures, which are specially designed for this purpose.
  • Refer to your drawing of the room for the location of all main tees. Main tees should always run at right angles to the joists.
  • Measure and mark out the position of each main tee along the perimeter trim.
  • Now, cut the suspension wires to the required length. The wires should be 300mm longer than necessary.
  • Fix the first suspension wire for each main tee at 400mm from the perimeter trim. Check your original sketch to determine this location.
  • Be sure the suspension wires are securely fastened. Apply them to the ceiling with screw eyes, screw hooks, nails, or drilling.
  • Attach a suspension wire every 1200mm along the line of the main runner, Stretch the wire to remove any kinks.

INSTALLING MAIN TEES

  • Most main tees are 3600mm long and have cross tee slots punched every 100mm beginning 50mm from each end.
  • Refer to your drawing to determine the distance from the wall to the first cross tee. Now measure this distance along the top flange of the main tee and locate the slot just beyond this point.
  • From this slot measure back the perimeter tile size and cut the main tee at that point.
  • When main tees are installed in rooms less than 3600mm across, cut the main tee to the measurement of the room.
  • For rooms wider than 3600mm, the main tee can be joined.
  • Install the main tees so that they're all level with the perimeter trim already mounted, to do this stretch a line from wall trim to wall trim at 90 degrees.

INSTALLING CROSS TEES AND BORDER CROSS TEES

  • Install the cross tees by inserting the ends of the cross tees into the slots in the main tees.
  • Determine the location of the cross tees by the configuration you selected-either 600x600 or 600x1200.
  • Border cross tees are installed between the perimeter trim and the last main tee.
  • Measure from the last tee to the perimeter trim, allowing 2mm. Cut the cross tees and install them by inserting the connector in the main tee and resting the cut edge on the perimeter trim.

INSTALLING CEILING TILES

  • Starting from the centre of the room, drop the ceiling tiles into position by tilting them slightly, lifting them above the framework and letting them fall into place.
  • To cut the perimeter tiles, measure the required size and mark the face of the tile, using a straight edge cut the tile with a Stanley knife.
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