There are different kinds of suspended ceilings. These are usually in residential buildings or in commercial establishments. They are made of a metal grid and these are usually suspended under the ceiling or the roof deck. The suspension is done using wires. The grid is then filled with ceiling tiles which mainly are made of blends of mineral fiber. These ceilings are easy to access in case of maintenance. These ceilings also have different styles.
The types of these suspended ceilings are:
Exposed grid – where the metal strips are interconnected with shorter pieces of metal called tees. Along with the mains these tees form squares of 2 feet or rectangles of 2 by 4 feet. The grids are filled with acoustic tiles. Generally, the metal frames are 15/16” but narrower or wider versions are available too.
Concealed grid systems hide the grid and give the ceiling a very smooth and clean look. This usually has a small groove which is built into the perimeter. This is then slid over the tees and the mains and covers them. These are more expensive and more difficult when maintenance is required for those areas which are above the ceiling.
Bandraster systems: These are very versatile and they have metal tees of different lengths. These form various patterns and are used when a certain look is needed to be created. These can also be arranged in different ways. They however use specially sized tiles which fit with the unique grid pattern.
Suspended drywall ceilings: Do not use metal grids but use wires and hangers which are used to suspend sheets of drywall from the ceiling. These are easier than having extensive frames and hat channels which are used for drywall arches to be created. In these cases, sheets of these can also be hung below the ceiling so that aesthetic and acoustic benefits are provided.
Gypsum board ceilings: which are fixed to light gauge steel channels. There are special framing components developed which allow cylindrical vaults, deep coffers and even undulating surfaces to be suspended. These plaster ceilings can even be richly sculpted.
Suspended fire resistance ceilings: These are made of gypsum board or lay panel or plaster and are designed so that they resist fire. For these ceilings, even the light fixtures should have fire resistive material.
There are various benefits for installing suspended ceilings:
- These are easy to install and can be done as a do-it-yourself project.
- They come in different styles, colors and textures
- Ducts, wiring, plumbing, TV cables, networking cables, mechanical systems and more can be hidden and yet it is still accessible for maintenance and repairs.
- It absorbs sounds and offers superior acoustic properties
- These are resistant to mildew, mold, sagging and bacteria. They can be used in areas of high humidity like bathrooms too.
- These are fire retardant.
- The help with insulation, optimize reflection of light and reduce additional lighting needs and so they decrease the cost of heating and air conditioning bills.
- It helps the owner reduce their carbon footprint as it is usually made of recycled products.
- It is more economical than having renovations done which are extremely expensive.
- These are available in different materials such as plastic, fiber, wood and other kinds of materials as well.
However, there are certain disadvantages with these suspended ceilings:
- They decrease the room space.
- They are not very long lasting and tend to show discoloration.
- They are not as durable as traditional ceilings.