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How To Install A Suspended Ceiling - Section 3

Continued from: Installing A Suspended Ceiling Section 2

Measuring and cutting main <q>T</q> for the suspended ceiling
Figure 1 - Measuring and cutting main T for the suspended ceiling
Cutting main <q>T</q> for shorter than full length measurements
Figure 2 - Cutting main T for shorter than full length measurements
Splicing the main <q>T</q> for a suspended ceiling
Figure 3 - Splicing the main T for a suspended ceiling
locking suspended ceiling home improvement remodel
Figure 4 - Inserting cross T into Main T of a suspended ceiling

Installing Main T:

  • Most main T are 12' long and have cross T slots punched every 12 inches beginning 6 inches from each end.
  • Refer to your layout sheet to determine the distance from the wall to the first cross T. Now measure this distance along the top flange of the main T and locate the slot just beyond this point, as shown in Figure 1.
  • From this slot, measure back the same distance, subtract 1/8 inch and saw the main T at that point. The 1/8inch subtraction is for the thickness of the wall angle.
  • If the wall angles are not square, position the cross T slots accordingly.
  • When main T are installed in rooms less than 12 feet across, cut the main T to the exact measurement of the room, allowing 1/8 inch for the thickness of the wall angle, as shown in Figure 2.
  • Remember that if the distance is less than a full main T length, you do not want the mating flange to remain.
  • For rooms wider than 12 feet, the main T can be spliced, as shown in Figure 3. Be sure to align the splice so that the suspension wires are correctly positioned. Splice carefully, or all the main T will be thrown off.
  • Install the main T so that they are all level with the wall angle already mounted. Use a long level or a laser level to perform this task.

Installing Cross T

  • Install the cross T by inserting the ends of the cross T into the slots in the main T, as shown in Figure 4. Use the manufacturer's instructions for fitting the cross T into position.
  • Determine the location of the cross T by the pattern you selected-either 2' × 2' or 2' × 4'.
  • Be sure the lock tab on the cross T is on the outside of the slot. This attachment is slightly different in some types of T.
  • You can remove most cross T by depressing the lock tab with a screwdriver.
Completed suspended ceiling grid.
Figure 5 - Completed suspended ceiling grid.
Installing ceiling tiles into suspended ceiling grid.
Figure 6 - Installing ceiling tiles into suspended ceiling grid.
  • Border cross T are installed between the wall angle and the last main T.
  • Measure from the last T to the wall angle, allowing 1/8 inch for the thickness of the wall angle. Cut the cross T and install them by inserting the connector in the main T and resting the cut edge on the wall angle.
  • Your final main and cross T arrangement will look similar to Figure 5. The top part of the drawing shows an arrangement of a 2' × 4' layout, while the lower half shows main and cross T arranged for a 2' × 2' layout.

Installing Ceiling Panels:

  • Drop the ceiling panels into position by tilting them slightly (Figure 6), lifting them above the framework and letting them fall into place.
  • Make sure that your hands are clean, after setting each tile!

  • If it is necessary to cut a ceiling tile to width and/or length it is best if you score the surface with a razor blade or utility knife before cutting. This will ensure that you do not have pieces of the ceiling tiles breakaway when cutting.

Section 1

Section 2

Section 3