Basic hand tools
4 foot level
Resilient metal channels
1. Install the track. Using a water level, mark the desired elevation where you want the drywall to go, (remember that the drywall will be 1/2 to 5/8 inch below the suspension system, and that most building codes require at least 90 inches of headroom in normal living spaces.) Now mark the line where you will install the track which will support the ceiling framing. Install the track – either channel molding (which is C-shaped) or wall angle (which is L-shaped) – into the studs at the top of the wall using sheet-metal screws.
2. Install the main tees or bars. Main bars generally come in 10 or 12 foot lengths, make this the dimensions across which you will place the main tees. Otherwise, you will have to cut the main tees to fit a shorter dimension or splice two of them together (using hanger wire or specially made splicing clips available where you buy the tees) to fit longer dimensions. Place the main tees on the track every 2 feet. Check the bars for level, and then attach the hanger wires from the main tees to the existing ceiling joists, to provide additional support for the ceiling.
3. Install the cross tees. Install the cross bars perpendicular to the main tees every 16 or 24 inches on center. (Cross tees are manufactured in 2 foot lengths to fit in between the main tees.) This will provide a level surface and sufficient support for drywalling.
Simple Ceilings. Metal suspended ceiling systems require no special equipment to install. Lightweight steel is screwed into a track and tied to existing joists with hanger wire. Suspension systems are usually compatible with acoustical tiles, lighting panels, and drywall.
Curved Soffits. Create curved soffits with metal suspensions systems. Just use the curved main tees spaced 48 in on center, and space the regular cross bars tighter(9 inch on center). Curved cross bars are also available for making S-shape boxes. Just follow the recommendation for installing drywall on curved walls.
Advances in both suspension systems and flexible drywall have permitted designers to be much more adventurous in their use of curves – not just in walls, but in multilevel ceilings and serpentine soffit boxes. It’s something that is most effective when used minimally, but a room can be given a great deal of flair at minimal expense – without having a frame of fancy curves in wood – with the addition of an undulating corner or recessed ceiling panel. Think of them as partial dropped ceilings. Special curved main tees and trim are available, so any shape can be dropped down from the main joistsl circles, serpentine boxes, any kind of shape you can image.