Suspended Ceiling Reimagined Part 1

The Suspended Ceiling Reimagined

Are you tired of the look of your suspended ceiling? I know I was, as a result I am sharing the process I used to transform every ceiling in our basement with a one of kind beadboard coffered ceiling, the Suspended Ceiling Reimagined.

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Reinforce Suspended Ceiling Grid

Remove the existing ceiling tiles first, wear safety glasses because they will have dust and bugs on them. Leave the air filter grille and lights for now.

  • Begin by reinforcing the strength of your existing suspended ceiling grid by adding additional 12 gauge wires through the grid and into the joist above.
  • Locate your main tee or tees of the grid. To determine which are the main tees look for the existing wires and you will see they run in the same direction as your joists above.

Drill a pilot hole into the joist above, I used a 1/4 drill bit.

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Next insert a lag screw into the hole.

You can purchase a kit from The Home Depot that includes hanger wire, drill bit, lag screws. The kit has a whole host of things you may not need therefore consider buying them individually.

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Once the lag screw is securely imbedded into the joist, feed 12 gauge wire through eye of lag screw.

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Feed the other end of the wire through a hole in the main tee.

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Trim off any excess wire.

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Twist wire around itself on both ends.

suspended ceiling reimaginedOne down, eight more to go. Use common sense when deciding how many additional wires are necessary based on the size of your ceiling and the materials you plan to use.

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Step Two: Add 2×4’s to the suspended ceiling grid to use as studs

If your ceiling had drywall, you would locate the 2×4 studs and attach the beadboard directly to it. Since there aren’t studs in a suspended ceiling grid I am adding them myself! As a result of building five new ceilings, I found that the 2×4’s can shift due to the force of the nail gun when attaching the appearance boards.

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  • Count how many squares are in your grid and depending on your pattern you can estimate how many 2×4’s you will need. If you purchase 2x4x8 studs and cut it to 23 3/4″ as a result you will get 4 pieces from each board. You will place them in the grid and I secured them using 2″ nails in my 16 gauge nail gun.

Be sure you are wearing safety glasses.

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Step Three: Create coffered look adding 2×4’s to suspended ceiling

To create the coffered ceiling look we need the 1×6 appearance boards to be lower than the beadboard. The way I did it was to attach another, longer 2×4 to the 2×4’s that are within the grid. You can drill pilot holes in the 2×4 first while on the ground and not on a ladder.

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  • Attach the longer 2×4 with 2 1/2″ screws. It’s easier to use a clamp to hold the boards together while driving in the screw.

On a side note, I did not own an impact drill while building this ceiling. It is cringeworthy seeing how much extra work it was without one. I definitely recommend making the investment. Here is a non-affiliate link to the one I have and it is so worth the $99.00 Ryobi Impact Driver

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Finally, you will continue this process around the perimeter of your room. Be sure to subscribe to be notified when Part II is ready.

For you visual learners, this is Part I of my video series.




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