Suspended Ceilings 8 - Runners and New Reference Lines

A light fixture in a suspended ceiling.

Now that you've put reference strings up in part 7, the runners are ready to be installed. The most important thing to remember here is that the runners have to be cut and installed in such a way that the cross-tee slots occur exactly where each cross tee is planned to intersect the runners.

Cut Runners

The cross tees occur at line AB and then every 24 inches from line AB. Cut the runners so a slot appears exactly along line AB. The slots will then automatically be aligned every 24 inches from there, since they are so spaced on the runners. Do not use the first runner for a pattern for the rest, but measure each runner.

Run String

Now, hold the cut runner at the level of the strings and next to string CD. Locate the wire support hole (one of the holes on top of the runners that the hanging wires are attached to) that is farthest from the short wall you started at and closest to the first wire hanger from this wall. Circle this hole on the runner.

Carry this runner to the long side wall and rest it on the wall molding with the cut-end butt against the short-end wall. Mark the wall with a felt-tip pen or dark pencil through the circled hole. Remove the main runner and drive a nail at this mark. Repeat this procedure on the opposite wall and then stretch a string from nail to nail.

This string is used as a guide to bend your hanger wires at the proper place. Note that it runs aligned with the support holes for the hangers, not necessarily the hanger wires themselves.

Hook Up Hanger Wires

Align each of the hanger wires to intersect with the string and make a 90-degree bend in the wire where it intersects the string. Usually, this will mean the wires are at somewhat of an angle when in their final position, but that the runners will be hung perfectly level with the surrounding wall molding. Once the wires are up, you can continue to part 9 and install the grid.