Installing Your Own Suspended Ceiling

How to hang suspended ceilings yourself? Installing suspended ceilings on your own can take quite a bit of time. Installing either a tile or suspended ceiling in a 9 'by 12' room will require approximately 16 hours of work, longer if some unusual situations occur. As a result, the job is best undertaken by at least two people who are somewhat experienced in doing technical jobs around the house. However, one does not really need any specific expertise to do the job, as the tools and techniques that are in the process used are pretty basic. Using mostly household tools, a suspended ceiling is well within the capabilities of most homeowners.

You usually do not need a permit to work on your suspended ceilings, but it is always a good idea to check the regulations at your local building department, just in case. Better safe than sorry.

Suspended ceilings are supposed to be hung from the ceiling joists with a metal grid. This creates the opening between both the joists and the ceiling where wires, pipes, and ductwork can be installed and worked on. A tile ceiling is either glued directly to an existing ceiling or onto so-called "furring strips" that are glued or nailed to the existing ceiling. This type of ceiling works very well both in covering over any older existing ceilings or where a lack of height is a consideration and a suspended ceiling would drop a bit too low for comfort. All you need for a suspended ceiling is sufficient head space. Requirements vary, but most codes insist that you need a minimum 7 1 / 2- feet ceiling height for a new construction.

The key to installing your own suspended ceilings is using the right tools. Fortunately, a suspended ceiling is not that difficult to install and requires no expensive equipment. However, since you are most likely covering a medium-size to large room, the metal grid would require at least two people to install it. Many of the tools needed for either suspended or tile ceilings are the same, including 20'-25 'metal tape, putty knife, straightedge, nails, a handsaw, a ladder, safety goggles and face mask, a pencil, chalkline, a drywall pan, a miter box, a screwdriver, tiles, ganer wire, cross tees and a coping saw.

Suspended ceilings need not just look great in your house, they also hold many great advantages. They muffle sounds, cover up wires and cables, support lighting systems and often have fireproof characteristics. An acoustical ceiling with tiny noise-trapping holes is the ceiling of choice for noisy rooms like kitchens. Ceilings made of mineral fiber on the other hand are a good option for rooms with a possible fire hazard. But for most other purposes, a classic suspended ceiling is the best choice, as they are light-weight and easy to install.