Wood Furring Strips 1 - Introduction

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The ceiling's impact on the general feel or mood of a house is often underestimated. It and the floor are the two largest surfaces in the room. The height of the ceiling, the materials from which it's made, its slope, and the angles it forms all affect the way a room feels.

Ceilings are used not only to beautify a room but also to cover up some of its utilitarian features. They hide the framing of the floor or roof above, plumbing pipes, ductwork, electrical wire, insulation, and so on.

Suspended ceilings (those that are hung a set distance from the ceiling joists) work very well for this, because they create a cavity that allows access to wiring or ductwok in case they require repairs. Here is how to install a suspended ceiling or make minor repairs to the one you already have.

Before You Begin - Safety

Always understand, develop, and adhere to proper safety practices. These include wearing the appropriate safety gear, such as a dust mask and safety glasses. When you're using power tools, keep the blade sharp and the cord out of the way to avoid accidents.

Never get on a stepladder unless the legs are fully open and the spread bars are locked in place. Once you are on it, don't climb higher than the second step from the top. When bracing an extension ladder against the wall, a safe distance between the feet and the wall is one quarter the height of the ladder. Do not use an aluminum ladder when working near electrical wires. Consider using scaffolding instead.

Useful Terms

  • Acoustic Ceiling: A ceiling that improves the quality of sound within a room.
  • Ceiling Joists: Overhead framing members of a room.
  • Ceiling Tiles: 12-inch squares cemented or stapled to an old ceiling.
  • Cross Tees: Gridwork that connects at right angles to runners.
  • Furring Strips: Strips of metal or wood attached directly to an old ceiling (perpendicular to ceiling joists) onto which ceiling tiles are clipped or stapled.
  • Runners: Main support grid for suspended ceilings, installed perpendicular to joists.
  • Suspended Ceiling: A grid lowered from the original ceiling or framework by wires, into and out of which ceiling tiles can be moved with relative ease. Often used to hide exposed joists, rafters, ductwork, etc.
  • Tegular Panels: Two-level panels, the faces of which hang below the flanges, which rest on the grid.