How to Reinforce a Ceiling Fan Box
The ceiling fan box is the part that holds the actual fan to the ceiling. The weight of the ceiling fan is enough reason to make sure that the ceiling fan box is reinforced. However, the revolutions of the blades can cause a lot of stress on the attachment point. This means that the ceiling fan box should be reinforced enough so it will not come loose, or fail while the fan is in operation. Here are some steps to take in order to make sure the box is strong enough.
Step 1 - Choose Location for Ceiling Fan Box
The ceiling fan box is going to hold the electrical connections as well as the weight of the fan. The location should be chosen with great care. Before mounting the ceiling fan, you should make sure the box is mounted to a sturdy beam or cross braces. If the fan is being mounted onto a sloped ceiling, you will need to make sure the box is secure on a beam on not on the ceiling material such as wood or drywall.
Step 2 - Cut Hole in Ceiling
If you are installing the ceiling fan box in an area that is already finished you will need to cut a hole in the ceiling cover. A jigsaw is the perfect tool for this type of job. Cut a hole the size of the ceiling box fan so that there is a good fit when the fan it attached.
Step 3 - Cut Wood to Fit Location
There are times when the position of the fan is not going to coincide with a ceiling joist, or a beam. When this happens you will need to use some cross bracing to make sure it is reinforced adequately. You will be using 2x4 lumber for this project and will also be small enough to fit through the hole in the ceiling. Cut two pieces of lumber to fit in between the joists.
Step 4 - Install Wood Brace
Apply some construction adhesive to the edges of the 2x4 braces and set them between the joists. The adhesive will make sure that the wood sticks to the sheathing while you can hammer in the sides. If you need to remove more material, you can do so, but it will have to be patched when completed. Hammer the wood braces into place.
Step 5 - Install Ceiling Fan Box
Set the ceiling fan box on top of the wood braces. Use two-inch wood screws and attach it to the wood braces with a drill. In the event you are attaching to a sloped ceiling, you want to keep the box flush with the side of the wood instead of trying to angle it flat. An extension bar will be used to hang the ceiling fan.
Step 6 - Use Metal Bracket
There are some adjustable metal brackets that can also be used in place of wood bracing. They can be adjusted to any length needed to ensure a perfect fit. They screw into the sides of the joists and the ceiling fan box is then attached to the metal with small bolts. This is an easy to use alternative to 2x4 bracing.