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Drop Ceiling Tile: Installation Tips

What do you see when you look up? For many people, the answer is "pipes and wires." Others might report water damage or other ceiling issues.

If you have a similar answer, it's probably time to give your ceiling a makeover.

One solution is to install drop ceiling tile. Drop ceiling tiles sit a few inches below your room's natural ceiling, covering up any features you'd rather not see while allowing space for maintenance.

Drop ceilings are a simple, effective way to revamp your ceiling, and they're perfect for commercial and residential buildings.  Keep reading to learn some important tips for installing a drop ceiling of your own.

Choose Your Tiles

Before you even think about installing drop ceiling tiles, you need to decide on the kinds of tiles you want. There are many types of ceiling tiles available, so take some time to find ones that appeal to you.

The first thing you need to consider is the quality of the materials. Don't settle for anything less than the best drop ceiling tiles--if you buy cheap tiles, they'll quickly degrade and you'll have to pay to replace them.

It's important to know the answers to a few common tile questions. That way, you can truly make an informed decision about the quality of tiles you're purchasing.

Once you've ensured that you're getting quality tiles, you have to choose a style. Drop ceiling tiles come in a variety of looks, so you could keep it simple and install flat tiles or look for a shape and pattern that appeals to you.

Assemble the Right Tools

After buying drop ceiling tiles, you need to gather the tools you'll need for a flawless ceiling installation. The list is a bit longer than you might realize--you'll need more than the basics to handle this job.

First, you'll need a measuring tape and a level. These will help you get your drop ceiling installed in the right spot. You'll also need some string and chalk, which serve a similar purpose.

Next, you'll need the parts of your ceiling's grid. Items like wall angles, main and cross tees, and hanger wires will make up the grid that you'll suspend your drop ceiling tiles on.

You'll also need a hammer and nails to install your grid, along with tin snips for cutting. Then use a miter box and hacksaw for cutting your wall angles and a ladder to get you to the proper height.

Finally, don't forget eye protection and anything else you need to stay safe during this renovation project.

Measure Carefully

You've heard the adage, "Measure twice, cut once." It's as applicable here as anywhere else; if you mess up your measurements now, your drop ceiling won't hang properly and you'll have to start all over.

First, you need to know the size of your drop ceiling tiles. Don't just Google "drop ceiling tiles near me" and use the measurements of the first result--make sure you know the exact size of the tile you're working with.

Calculate the square footage of your room and compare it to the size of your tiles to determine how many tiles you'll need to order.

Once you've got the right amount of drop ceiling tiles, there's one more important measurement to make: the height of wall angles. Measure six inches down from your ceiling and mark the wall in several spots.

Connect those spots with a chalk line and check that your line is level.

Prepare Your Room

You've got your tiles; you've gathered your tools; you've even marked the proper spot to install wall angles--six inches below your old ceiling. There's still a bit of room prep to do before you start the installation.

Depending on the room you're working on, you might want to clear out your furniture before starting drop ceiling tile installation. An empty room is easier to work in than a cluttered one.

You may also want to cover your floor. This isn't usually a messy process, but it's better to be safe than sorry! This is particularly important if you need to clear debris from your ceiling before installing your grid.

Mark the center of your ceiling. You can find your center by stretching string diagonally across your room from corner to corner. Find and mark your ceiling joists, too.

Install Your Grid

Before installing your grid, lay the whole thing out on graph paper. Having an accurate sketch will help you plan out your grid and keep track of the materials you need.

Setting up your grid is the most labor-intensive part of the process. Start by placing your wall angles along the line you marked earlier, six inches below your ceiling. Hammer them in securely and miter edges as needed.

Run a string between your wall angles perpendicular to your ceiling joists, then attach your main tee hanger wires to the joists. Look at where your hangers meet the string and then bend the hangers ninety degrees at that point.

Attach your main tees to the wall angles on either side of the room. Thread the hangers through the holes in the main tees. Once those are done, you can install cross tees at the appropriate intervals for your tiles.  Verify that the cross tees are perpendicular to the main tees.  If not, the tiles will not sit properly.

Place Your Tiles

Now that your tees are set up, your grid should be ready! All that's left to do is to install your drop ceiling tiles. Doing so is simple--you just have to place each tile in the appropriate spot in the grid.

If you placed your tees correctly, each tile should fit snugly into its spot on the grid. If you need to adjust your perimeter tiles, you can use tin snips to cut them down to size if necessary.

Drop Ceiling Tile Installation Made Easy

Drop ceiling tile may be just what your building needs. Drop ceiling tile installation is simple, affordable, and provides several benefits to any home or office; there's no easier way to improve the look of your ceiling.

Don't wait a moment longer--take the first step toward a brand-new ceiling today. Browse our collection of unique, high-quality ceiling tiles and find the perfect fit for your new drop ceiling!

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