Whether it's for a home renovation or a new industrial unit, there are a few things you will want to consider when choosing a suspended ceiling. From ease of installation to having your new ceiling match your existing décor, it's all about getting the details right so the finished project will leave you feeling satisfied. You also want to look toward the long-term when making this decision, as the choice of a ceiling might last a lifetime.
Ease of Installation
Frustration can make or break a project for any DIY enthusiast. Know you own skills and be honest with the hardware-store sales staff. If the suspended ceiling is your main project for the year, opt for a product that has as few steps as possible when it comes to installing the support grid and ceiling tiles.
The sales staff would rather you leave with the right product the first time rather than seeing you return something that was more than you could handle. Installing a suspended ceiling that’s within your skill level also increases the chances of you being happy with the finished product.
Some suspended ceilings will require more headroom than others. Most rooms have a ceiling height of eight feet, although basement ceilings can be as low as seven feet. Use a thin sheet of plywood to get an idea of where you want the ceiling to be. Mark the height on the wall and measure how much room you have between your ceiling height and the overhead joists. Be prepared to give or take a couple inches on ceiling height to accommodate your installation needs, but make sure the height of your new ceiling will be suitable.
It may not seem important, but tile size is something to consider when choosing a suspended ceiling. Different people have different preferences; some prefer large rectangles, others small squares. Check out a few different options to find out which you like best before making a final purchase.
Another factor to consider is which tile size will fit best into the square footage you need to fill. Remember, the smaller the ceiling tile size, the more support tracking you will need to hang.
Color and Paint-Ability
Although there are more and more colors available on the market, most suspended ceilings come in industrial white. A white ceiling gives a crisp, clean look to any room, but, depending on what the room is being used for, it can also get dirty very quickly.
After a few years, you may also find that you want to change the style of a room’s décor. If you think you might make modifications later, make sure you'll be able to find a variety of colored tiles to fit your grid or that you'll be able to paint the tiles you install.
How easy will it be to install other fixtures in your suspended ceiling? Are the tiles easy to cut? Will the support tracking be strong enough to hold more than just ceiling tiles? These are questions you need to ask yourself if you are considering installing lighting fixtures or other accessories in your suspended ceiling.
Because there may come a time when you need to repair your suspended ceiling, consider future repairs in addition to immediate installation. Find out how easy it is to get replacement tiles and tracking. Also, will you be able to replace one tile without taking the whole ceiling apart?