Start in an area away from the most obstacles if there are any, this will give you the chance to practice on the easier tiles first. Don’t start with a corner tile if you don’t have all of the tiles around it still in place, the surrounding tiles need to be in place to help keep the grid square.
- Remove the first old tile gently since you may not be able to see obstacles that could be damaged or cause personal injury. Use a mask if the ceiling is old, because a high level of dust can often accrue over the ceiling and the dust can easily get in your eyes.
- Always use an adequately sharp cutting tool, a fresh knife blade always cuts and trim tiles neater than an old one. When cutting a tile, securely site it on an old surface or workstation so that any knife damage from the cutting doesn’t hard a new surface. Mark the tile size using a tape and a pencil and then cut the tile down using a straight edge and sharp knife. Gloves are also a good idea when using a sharp knife.
- When facing clearance problems it is sometimes possible to remove a few cross-tee’s place the tiles above the grid, re-insert the cross-tee’s and then drop the tiles in to place. Where this isn’t possible it may be necessary to cut a tile in half, place it through the grid and then either butt the two pieces together or place a new cross-tee in between them – whichever looks neater.
- Few tile suppliers will supply single tiles, due to the difficulty in posting such an item in single form without it getting damaged as such you will have to buy them by the box, which can mean you have a few more than you need. If you’re a DIY’er and looking to change your own tiles, these few extra tiles can be a life line! There’s nothing worse than breaking a tile, or two, and then being “just” one tile short.
Suspended ceilings incorporate a grid consisting of metal components that support the ceiling tiles. The grid consists of; L-shaped metal strips called wall trim, interconnecting the wall trim are the main support sections, called Main Tees that are an inverted T-shape and come in 3.6 metre lengths. Main tees hang by wire attached to joists or an existing support above the ceiling and sit on the wall trim. Cross Tees also sit on the wall trim and provide support to allow the individual tiles to sit in place. There are both 600mm and 1200mm cross tees, giving you the option of either a 1200×600 or 600×600 grid patterns (with 600×600 being slightly more common).
Since the tile is wider than the grid opening, due to it needing to sit on the grid, you must tilt the ceiling tiles at an up-angle to get it through and above the grid opening and allow it to drop onto the grid. For that reason suspended ceilings require a clearance of between 17.5cm and 20cm, between the grid and the lowest hanging obstacle.