How to Install a Suspended Tile Ceiling

What You'll Need
Tape measure
"L"-shaped brackets
"T"-shaped brackets
Safety glasses
Metal cutters
Laser level
16-gauge wire
Metal ceiling screw eyelets
Ceiling tiles

Whether you're using it to cover up the ugly, original ceiling or just to change things up in your house, a suspended ceiling can give a whole new look to a room. Here's how to get it installed.

Step 1—Measure the Ceiling

Using your tape measure, find the length and width of your ceiling. This will allow you to calculate the area and tell you how many of your chosen ceiling tiles to buy. (Get a few extra, just in case.) If the area of your ceiling is not evenly divisible by the area of the tiles you'll be installing, you will have to cut some of the tiles to size. Use some graph paper to plan exactly how the tiles or half-tiles will fit before you begin your project.

Step 2—Measure the Drop

Start at the ceiling and measure about 4 inches down the wall. Using a laser level, mark this line on either side of each corner of your room.

Step 3—Install Corner Brackets

Take the "L"-shaped corner brackets and screw them in, using the lines you drew in the corners as a guide. Be sure to get them straight and even. If needed, you can use the metal cutters to make the bracket fit properly.

Step 4—Assemble and Install Metal Runners

Screw the eyelets into the ceiling rafters at about 4-foot intervals. Then, screw the "T"-shaped brackets up to the "L"-shaped ones in the corners of the room. Hook the 16-gauge–wire connectors into the eyelets.

Once you have done that, you can put the metal runners together. It’s best to do this on the floor. Once the runners are screwed together, go ahead and attach them to make the grid in which your ceiling tiles will sit.

Step 5—Finish Installing the Brackets

Begin in one corner and go towards the opposite corner. Depending on the size of the room, you may have to cut one of the brackets smaller to accommodate it. If so, use the metal cutter and cut it to the size you need.

Step 6—Install Tiles

Next, take the tiles and insert them into the squares you made with the runners and brackets. Each tile should fit snugly into the space, leaving no open areas. You have now installed your suspended ceiling.