Suspended ceilings are used in residential and commercial buildings to create a decorative ceiling below a structural floor.
A suspended ceiling utilizes a metal grid system that is installed to the ceiling substrate or joists and hangs down from the substrate,
creating a cavity void which is commonly between 4" and 12". This grid hosts acoustical and tin ceiling panels which drop into
the grid squares. Suspended ceilings are commonly used where access to plumbing, electrical or other mechanical maintenance is required periodically.
Suspended ceilings are also used for noise reduction as the cavity acts as a natural sound barrier. Insulation can be inserted into the
cavity to enhance sound absorbtion. A suspended ceiling grid is leveled during installation, therefore the existing substrate or joists
need not be level or straight.
With a suspended system you can install ceiling lights by simply removing a panel and replacing it with a special drop-in fluorescent fixture.
The standard panel size for dropin ceilings are 24" x 24", but 24" x 48" is also common. A 24" x 48" grid can
easily be converted to a 24" x 24" by installing crossbars.
12" vs 24"
12" and 6" embossment patterns gennerally have shallow profile depths. Tin ceiling panels with shallow profile depths, usually
under 1/4", can be installed wall to wall with the final perimeter panels cut to fit flush against the wall. Crown molding is then
installed directly over the tin panels, hiding the cut edge. If the panel does not reach the wall, the remaining gap can be hidden by the
crown molding, assuming the projection of the crown is sufficient to cover the gap. This is the most common installation scenario and is the easiest.
Most 24" patterns have significant profile depths, sometimes exceeding a 1/2". Installing crown molding over a panel with such a
deep profile will result in a noticeable gap. This gap is unacceptable by most standards, therefore 24" patterns require an alternate
installation method. The embossed panels are installed uncut, then the remaining area around the perimeter is finished with a filler tin ceiling
panel, opposed to cropping the 24" embossed panel flush against the wall. The seam where the embossed panel meets the filler panel is commonly
covered with a flat molding to produce a more pleasing aesthetic transition.