Drop ceiling grid planning

Ask your questions pertaining to the interior that don't fit in the above categories
Post Reply
Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Mon May 27, 2019 6:08 pm

Hi Shannon,

I am trying to plan out a drop ceiling for about 1400 sq ft of my basement. I am trying to figure out how to space my main T's in one of the rooms. The room is 16' 4" wide. If I space my main T's four feet across, that would leave only two inches around the edges of the room.

If I space the main T's at 44" intervals (instead of 48"), leaving 10" around the edges of the east and west walls, that means I also have to cut the 4' T's to 22" intervals, therefore losing the tabs that allows them to "lock into" the main T's, right? Am I able to cut the 4' T's without compromising the integrity of the ceiling? How would you recommend I proceed?

I'm going to try to attach an image of the current layout and plan that I have drafted where the main T's would be at using the plan above where they're 44" apart.

Image

User avatar
A. Spruce
Posts: 6314
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by A. Spruce » Mon May 27, 2019 7:27 pm

Ideally, you have equal sized pieces around the perimeter, which is what I'd work towards. It will take a little more planning and effort to do, but the finished product will be so much more appealing.

Basically, I'd put a strong half panel along the wall and layout from there, by the time you get to the other side you should have the same size panel remaining. You're basically 4" over width, correct? So, add half of that to your half panel width, that is your start panel, (half of 48"=24+2"=26") or (half of 24"=12+2=14") depending on the direction of your panels.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Mon May 27, 2019 7:58 pm

I might have been working at planning this too long tonight but I'm not sure if I understand what you mean.:\ I am trying to do equal size panels around the perimeter, it's just the planning part that has me in a planning quandary.

I should add I will be using 24"x24" panels. After watching Shannon's video on drop ceilings I was under the impression you want to find the center of the room and work outwards from there, leaving no smaller than a 6" panel around the perimeter (or bigger if possible depending on room dimensions. Basically, a main T should cut the room in half, then work outward from there, right? Or did I interpret things incorrectly?

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Mon May 27, 2019 8:24 pm

Hold on a sec.. I think I had a "Eureka!" moment. So using the 14" perimeter tile like you suggested, there would be a 24"x24" panel centered on the exact center line of the room (8'2" in this case). Is that correct?

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Mon May 27, 2019 8:29 pm

Hmm.. here's a twist. If I do the 14" perimeter panel like you mentioned, that would leave only a 2" perimeter panel on the "jut out" wall near the tip of my pencil in the picture below. I could do a 12" perimeter on the west wall (far left wall) and a 16" perimeter on the east wall (far right wall), but would that look tacky and unprofessional? Thoughts?

edit: Also, now that leaves an even number of main T's. The perimeter panel on one side of the room will be supported by a main T whereas the perimeter panel on the other side of the room will be supported by the 2' T. Does that matter?

Image

User avatar
A. Spruce
Posts: 6314
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by A. Spruce » Mon May 27, 2019 9:27 pm

You'll have to balance what you have with how you lay it out. because you've got a jut out and not a square or rectangular room, your widest widths will have equal size panels while the narrowed section is going to have a sliver of some sort, ideally, not less than 3" or 4" wide.

You have to look at your focal points of the room, where will the sliver be the least obtrusive? If the main focal point of the room is the end your pen is pointing at, then you'll balance your panel widths here and it's companion wall and let the sliver be at the butt end of the pen.

Another idea would be to build a soffit for the drop ceiling to butt into, the soffet could balance the room widths so that the tiles are all symmetrical.
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Tue May 28, 2019 7:27 am

I would lean towards shifting the grid direction so that there is no sliver at all at the jog. line up a row of the 2' ts to the wall angle coming along that jog.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Tue May 28, 2019 7:28 am

Thank you for your input on this project!

I think this will be my last question. The layout that you recommended leaves an even number of main T's. The perimeter panel on one side of the room will be supported by a main T whereas the perimeter panel on the other side of the room will be supported by the 2' T. That doesn't matter, right?

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Tue May 28, 2019 7:29 am

Shannon wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:27 am
I would lean towards shifting the grid direction so that there is no sliver at all at the jog. line up a row of the 2' ts to the wall angle coming along that jog.
So if I understand, that would leave me with a 12" perimeter panel along the left side of my diagram and a 16" perimeter panel on the right side of the diagram, right?

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Tue May 28, 2019 7:32 am

No that does not matter at all. You will have main Ts spaced 4' apart and 2' Ts placed between the 4" ts to split all the sections.
You will have an un even boarder but over all I think the layout will look better without that narrow row by the jog. Most people will not even notice the 4" difference.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
A. Spruce
Posts: 6314
Joined: Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:23 pm
Location: California, USA

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by A. Spruce » Tue May 28, 2019 9:54 am

Shannon wrote:
Tue May 28, 2019 7:32 am
You will have an un even boarder but over all I think the layout will look better without that narrow row by the jog. Most people will not even notice the 4" difference.
This is true. 8-)
If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Wed May 29, 2019 10:34 am

Thank you both for your help! I will definitely be watching this forum for more posts and videos about projects I'll be doing. Thank you!! :)

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Wed May 29, 2019 8:16 pm

One more question about this project, if I may. The stairway downstairs is finished with drywall, then the lower level is going to have a drop ceiling. How do I transition that gap between the drywall to the drop ceiling?

Image

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Thu May 30, 2019 5:17 am

build a small bulk head there and drywall it or you may be able to simply attach a piece of 3/4" MDF vertically off that framing straight down.I can't really tell from that picture angle.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Fri Jun 21, 2019 8:47 pm

Thank you for all of your help with this project! Another question for the pros: I have these can lights that I'm unsure how to plan around. I don't think they can be adjusted to "drop down" any lower than they already are. What would you recommend?

Image

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:01 am

Those cans are designed for use with drywall ceilings not drop ceilings. Also they are not as efficient as LED. I would remove them and use LED slim lights.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=LED+slim+ligh ... _sb_noss_2
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:36 pm

Shannon wrote:
Sat Jun 22, 2019 10:01 am
Those cans are designed for use with drywall ceilings not drop ceilings. Also they are not as efficient as LED. I would remove them and use LED slim lights.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=LED+slim+ligh ... _sb_noss_2

Philips 2 LED Downlight Value Pack 65W Equivalent Soft White 5 or 6 Inch (2 Pack) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01GAV00FW/re ... dDb226QW4M

Would something like these work with the existing lights? My thought is then I don't have to fuss with rewiring, just thread them into the existing cans and be done.

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Sun Jun 23, 2019 2:42 pm

The problem is that the new ceiling height will be likely at lease 4" lower then that existing fixture and these fixtures are designed to be mounted to wood support. You may be able to rig something up to drop these down and use these fixture but it will be as much time as unwiring the old and rewiring the new units IMO.
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

User avatar
Aaron
Posts: 3524
Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2015 4:03 pm
Location: St. Paul, MN

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Aaron » Mon Jun 24, 2019 1:44 am

I agree with Shannon, you're best off using lights designed for drop ceilings. If you like the cans then you can get slim LED lights where you just cut a hole in a ceiling tile, wire the light, and it has clamps that attaches to the tile itself. (The lights are very lightweight.)

Otherwise there are lights that fit in the square or rectangular space of a ceiling tile itself, they are called "troffer" lights. These are less desirable in homes because it tends to look too commercial, like an office space. But they're very practical and relatively easy to install.

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Mon Jun 24, 2019 7:33 pm

Thank you all again for the help! I am going to order the slim lights and replace the existing cans with those.

Two more questions. First, is there anything special I should know about the drop ceiling and duct work or vents coming through the ceiling?

Second, I'm not sure if I'm measuring the main runners correctly. Please see the image below. The support wires from the joists don't line up straight with the holes in the main runner.

Image

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Mon Jun 24, 2019 10:47 pm

Generally main trunk duct work is lower then what you want for the entire ceiling so bulkheads would be built around them from framing and drywall and then the suspended ceilings would run between/around them.
For vents I prefer to remove the rectangular metal boots and add round duct and use round vents.

Your holes in the main grid and joists may not line up perfectly every ceiling, intact not often at all .
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:18 pm

How would you recommend addressing the holes not lining up with the joists? Is it okay as pictured, or would you recommend drilling a small hole in the runner so the wire runs vertically?

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Tue Jun 25, 2019 9:09 pm

No that is really no big deal,I would not make new holes.
I would likely double up that wire and make sure you have a good wrap on both ends. That wires pretty tiny and the top is not wrapped well enough IMO
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

Brkenarrow
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon May 27, 2019 5:45 pm

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Brkenarrow » Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:59 am

Thank you for that advice, I'll rewatch your video on YouTube to make sure I'm wrapping the wires well enough. The kit I bought from the hardware store has 18ga wire in it - what gauge wire would you recommend?

How do you handle fixtures like smoke detectors with the drop ceiling?

User avatar
Shannon
Posts: 13226
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:58 pm
Location: Canada
Contact:

Re: Drop ceiling grid planning

Post by Shannon » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:24 pm

ya that 18 gauge is pretty small that's why i mentioned doubling it up. Not sue on gauge I use but its about 1/8" across I would guess?
I install a junction box above on top of tile. They would be screwed to a short piece of 2x2 on two sides and once the smoke is installed to box it is basically clamped in place
If you've found our videos or website information helpful, please considering making a donation using PayPal or pledging us on Patreon

Post Reply