A suspended or drop ceiling is a popular choice for many offices and commercial outlets and are becoming increasingly popular in homes. And with a range of suspended ceiling kits you can buy, they are relatively easy to install. If you are thinking of adding a drop ceiling or already have one in your home, we have the essentials on what you need to know when installing or repairing a suspended ceiling.
Installing a suspended ceiling
A drop ceiling is not only a home improvement that can conceal obstructions but can also improve sound proofing and heat conservation. And many companies now offer suspended ceiling kits which, with some DIY skills, you can install yourself. If you are considering installing a dropped ceiling, here are the essentials you need to know:
- When installing a suspended ceiling, you need to take into account a loss of ceiling height which some rooms and homes are not able to accommodate. So always check and measure before you decide.
- Always choose the best suspended ceiling kit for your room size and preference. The most common sizes available as kits are 2ft x 2ft square and 2ft x 4ft rectangular shaped ceiling tiles.
- Make sure you have all the right tools before you start the installation. For an accurate and secure suspended ceiling, you will need: a level, a tape measure, a utility knife with plenty of spare blades, tin snips for cutting the cross tees and trims, a drill and a screwdriver. A pencil for marking out your grid before starting is also an essential.
- For the perfect installation results, ensure you get the measurements right before you start. As well as the height – which should be a minimum of 2.1m, floor to ceiling – you also need to measure the ceiling’s length and width. Now transfer these measurements on to a piece of graph paper so you can plot out the layout, including the location of doors and windows as well as the direction of the ceiling joists. You now have a map for your suspended ceiling installation.
- With the right tools, the right sized tiles and accessories as well as the correct measurements and layout map, you are now ready to follow the kit’s full instructions and install a suspended ceiling to be proud of.
Repairing a suspended ceiling
Your drop ceiling may droop over time, or part of the suspension may come loose, which is not a good look. However, repairing a suspended ceiling can easily be done if you have some DIY know-how. Here’s our quick step-by-step guide:
- Clear the affected area by removing the remaining ceiling tiles before checking the wall rails are not bent or loose and that they are still aligned.
- If some of the wire hangers have failed, use more hanging wire pushed through a nearby rail hole and twist it around the existing suspended wire to keep it all tight. Add a wood screw into the joist above and wrap the hanger wire around the screw to lift the rail back up so it’s straight.
- Cut away the excess wire and repeat for any other weak points until the drooping ceiling level and is back in its correctly suspended place.
- Return the ceiling tiles, replacing any that may be damaged, so your dropped ceiling is complete.
If you are in anyway unsure how to install a new suspended ceiling or repair an existing one, always consult with your ceiling kit manufacturer or call out a professional tradesman to do the installation or repairs.