Installing a drop ceiling requires patience at the beginning because it is important that all of the rows of framework be level and even. The spacing of the framework is critical for the tiles to fit properly into place. A good job looks nice and lasts for years.
Image via Wikipedia
An inferior job reminds you every time that you see it of its poor quality. Since there are few ways to hide your mistakes when installing a drop ceiling, take your time and do it right. By following a few rules, the job should be done in a few hours and look great, too.
Measure the length and width of the room.
Because you will be buying the framework for the ceiling tiles to rest in and the tiles themselves, you need to know how much material is needed. Depending on the size of the tiles, you will need enough long rails to cross the room once for each row of tiles plus one more for the final run. The same is true for the cross tracks. The rows of the framing start on the wall and end on the opposite wall. Get tracks designed for the walls and those for the rest of the room in the proper quantity. Buy a few more tiles than the size of the room requires to allow for cutting and potential waste. You will also need the eyelets for attaching the suspension wires to the old ceiling and wire.
Start by attaching the the track to the walls all of the way around the room.
This process is started by measuring the amount that the ceiling is to be dropped and marking a level line around the perimeter of the room. Use this line for a guide as you attach these tracks permanently to the walls. Measure out the proper spacing for the gridwork and install the eyelets that will hold the suspension wires into the old ceiling. Thread the wire through each eyelet and let enough wire hang free to reach the level of the new ceiling plus several inches to allow you to tie off the grid as it is put into place.
Run the grid work.
Row by row, run the long tracks across the room and secure each section with enough wires to make it solid. Install the cross grid next following the same routine until the entire grid is in place. You should have tile sized openings throughout the room with partial tile sized openings along the walls and in the corners.
Install lighting where it is needed.
Most of the time existing wiring for the previous lighting in the room can be utilized for installing the new lighting fixtures to go above the drop ceiling. Run the wires to the fixtures and set the fixture into the grid. If it does not have its own opaque lens, install a tile sized lens beneath it in the grid opening. Test the lights before continuing the installation.
Start in the middle of the room and put the tiles into place.
By starting in the center of the room, you will have installed all of the whole tiles before you have to begin making the cuts near the walls. Carefully measure the size of the tiles needing cut and cut them to fit the opening. Make sure that all of the tiles are sitting properly in place. When the last tile is fitted, the job is completed.
Published in: Home Improvement