Suspended ceilings

Summary: How to choose and install a suspended ceiling including a guide to fitting ceiling tiles. Advice on choosing DIY Suspended ceiling kits,and methods of installing them.

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Fitting a suspended ceiling can create many benefits in a room. The usual thinking is that suspended ceilings are for commercial use only but with more and more refurbishment and renovation happening in the UK (as home owners try to improve rather than move) suspended ceilings are becoming more and more popular in the home.

There are many companies offering DIY suspended ceiling kits and our advice is to have a look round at these kits. It is possible to make your own suspended, or false ceiling, but unless you are used to working with metal, timber is your best option.

Timber ceilings are a little cumbersome and actually more difficult to create than a metal DIY ceiling kit. They take much longer to install, weigh much more, have many, many more fixings and the tiles are not so easily changed.

Suspended ceilings make lighting so much easier. Cables can be run above the tiles and floor boards do not have to be pulled up to install attractive lighting systems. The void between the old and the false ceiling keeps the cables cool and maintenance is easy.

A suspended, or false ceiling, removes the need for ceiling decoration.

Lowering the ceiling in a room keeps it warmer and, by using ceiling fans, the warmth can be circulated round the room easily.

Ceiling tiles come in very attractive designs and, when a DIY Ceiling kit is used, they are very easy to place.

A suspended ceiling comprises the long, main struts (usually called Tees) which are fitted, or hung, from the old ceiling, at right angles to the existing joist direction. In between these Main Tees, Cross Tees are fitted at distances to suit the size of tile chosen. An angle bracket is fixed to the wall round the perimeter of the room to take the edges of the perimeter tiles. Method of Installation:

Method of installing a suspended ceiling:

Firstly, mark the height of your intended ceiling on the wall. Then transfer this level around the room with a spirit level and fix the angle bead to your line.

Fit suspension wire brackets to each existing joist at 600mm centres and 150mm in from each wall.

Suspend the main Tees from the existing ceiling at right angles to the existing joints. The distance between the main Tees can be be the same as the width of your chosen ceiling tiles. It is possible, using longer cross Tees, to increase the distance between main Tees. Refer to the instructions on the kit you have chosen.

Cut the cross Tees with a hacksaw and drop them into the main Tees. Space them out so they are the same distance apart as the width of the ceiling tiles. You will need to cut any tiles which do not fit at the edges. Tiles can be easily cut with a hobby knife.

A suspended ceiling kit can be successfully installed in a day for an averaged sized room.

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