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   Articles | How-Tos | Ask the Expert   

How to Install a CeilingMAX Zero-Clearance Ceiling

Recommended tools:
—String or chalk line
—Drill with Phillips tip
—Tape measure
—Tin Snips
—Quantity of 1" drywall screws

Step 1: Attaching the Wall Bracket

The Wall Bracket is 8' long and is installed around perimeter of room.

Using screws, install the Wall Brackets around the perimeter of the room, directly beneath the joists or finished ceiling. Drywall screws can be used to secure the brackets to the ceiling, joists or wall, and should be spaced 16" to 24" apart.

Step 2: Establishing Alignment

To ensure professional looking results, the room layout should be balanced—equal size border panels used on opposite sides of the room, as shown here.

Example:
Measure room in one direction 17' 6" Round down to closest even amount of feet 16' Subtract those numbers 18" Divide by 2 to get border tile size 9" (See Installation Tips #3, #5 & #6)

Establish your string or chalk line at this measurement. Repeat these same steps for the other direction.

Top Hangers will be installed either perpendicular to exposed joists or across the longest dimension. Using string or chalk line, establish the drylines as determined above. The first row of Top Hangers & Cross Tees will be centered over these drylines. NOTE: Be sure the intersection of drylines is square.

Measure and cut your first Top Hanger so the notch is aligned over the Cross Tee dryline, with the cut end resting in the Wall Bracket.

NOTE: If your measurement from the chalk line to wall is less that 12", use the first notch on the Top Hanger to measure from. If greater than 12", measure from the second notch to make your cut. Repeat this step for as many rows as needed and set aside for Step 4.

Step 3: Fastening Top Hangers

The Top Hanger is 8' long and is fastened to joists or existing ceiling. Using a drill with Phillips tip, attach the first row of Top Hangers to the joist or current ceiling with screws, placing one screw in each joist, alternating sides as shown. If joists are not exposed, screws should be no more than 16"- 24" apart.

To install additional Top Hangers in line, cut a 6" section of Runner and use it as a temporary splice to connect the installed Top Hanger to the one to be hung. When the first row is complete, cut the last Top Hanger in the row so it fits into the Wall Bracket.

Step 4: Installing Top Hangers & Cross Tees

The Cross Tee is 23" and is installed perpendicular to the Top Hanger to create grid support.

Using the pre-cut Top Hangers from Step 2, align the first notch with the Cross Tee dryline. Using an uncut Cross Tee as a spacer, place one end in the notch of the previously installed Top Hanger. Place the other end in the matching notch of the next Top Hanger. Make certain that both ends of the Cross Tee fit snugly into the notches, then attach the Top Hanger using screws. Continue to install uncut Cross Tees parallel to the previous row. Cut the last Top Hanger to fit into the Wall Bracket. Continue installation of rows. When all the rows are installed, measure, cut and install the first and last row of Cross Tees, resting the cut ends in the wall bracket. Do not install the last Cross Tee in the border rows until Step 5.

Step 5: Cutting & Placing Border Ceiling Tiles

Beginning where the first Top Hanger was installed, cut ceiling tiles to fit each location and slide into the Wall Bracket. Rock the Cross Tee slightly as you insert the tile. When the end ceiling tile is correctly cut to size and in place, install the final Cross Tee.

Step 6: Locking in the Runner

The Runner is 8' long and snaps into the Top Hanger, locking the grid system and ceiling tiles.

Install full ceiling tiles in the remaining rows by rocking the Cross Tee and resting each tile in the grid system. As each row of ceiling tiles is put into place, finish the installation by snapping the Runners into the Top Hangers as shown below. Cut the last row of Runners as required.

Installation Tips:
1. Before you begin, box in any ducts, piping or window openings as shown at right.
2. Light fixtures can be installed or adjusted to align with the CeilingMax grid system. Make sure to provide adequate space (1/4" preferred) between the outer dimensions of the fixture and the ceiling tile. This is especially important when lighting is recessed incandescent. Note: If you plan to use lighting designed for use with suspended ceiling systems, be certain the fixture is supported by the joists, not the CeilingMAX grid system.
3. If using 2'x2' tile and in Step 2 you calculated a border tile size of exactly 24", make borders 12" instead.
4. To accommodate ½" conduit or water pipe, notch the vertical portion of the Cross Tee or Runner.
5. If using 2'x2' tile and Step 4 calculates a border tile size of less than 6", add 12" to the border size calculated in Step 4.
6. If using 2'x4' tile, round the 4' tile side of the room measurement down to the nearest number divisible by 4' in Step 2. In addition, if 4' tile side of room border tile size calculated in Step 4 is less than 6", add 24" to the border tile size.


The Wall Bracket.


Install the Wall Brackets around the perimeter of the room.


The room layout should be balanced


Measure and cut your first top Hanger so the notch is aligned over the Cross Tee dryline.


Fastening the Top Hanger to joists or existing ceiling.


Drive screw on left side of top hanger. Drive the next screw on the right side. Continue to alternate on successive joists.


The Cross Tee.



The Runner.





Before you begin, box in any ducts, piping or window openings.



 


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