How to Install a suspended Ceiling
You don't have to be a ceiling fixer to replace a suspended
PLANNING A SUSPENDED CEILING SYSTEM
- First, get the measurements of the room where the suspended ceiling will be
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
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
- 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
- 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.