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Old 02-25-2012, 01:19 PM   #1
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


I want to attach a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling (in a basement). I have a choice of what the partition wall might be, but I was thinking of something inexpensive (this is key) like 2x2's or 2x3's with paneling or sheetrock. I really only need to support the partition wall at the top and bottoms. I have some ideas for the bottom, but not for the top. The span that I am covering with the wall is a good 20' or so, so I can't just let the top of the wall be without support. I would prefer some kind of clip that attaches to the ceiling gridwork and then screws into the top plate. Does anyone know of anything like this? I cannot seem to find anything.

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Old 02-25-2012, 01:33 PM   #2
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


Because there is nothing that will do that.
That wall needs to be attathed directly to the floor with pressure treated 2 X 4's and to the bottom of the floor joist, The ceiling would have to come down in the area where the wall goes and once it's up and finished the ceiling can be reinstalled aroud the walls.
2 X 2's would not even be close to the size needed to do this.

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Old 02-25-2012, 02:00 PM   #3
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


you can fasten bottom plate with tap-cons or powder gun. go all around your ceiling, making sure wall angles are tight. and all main grids and cross tees are pop riveted to angles. lift ceiling panels and screw your top plate to grid. if hanging any heavy doors in your wall? angle brace both sides of door header to joists above!
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Old 02-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


for this application your going to need to use steed stud. its much lighter which wont cause the ceiling to sag and you only need 5/8 tech screws to fasten the track to the cross t's
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #5
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


Maybe something like this

get a threaded bolt (like 6'' or longer) and two nuts

Once you have your wall up and plumb(tight to the tbar) drill a hole through the ceiling tile, and drill a slightly smaller hole into the top plate of the wall. (may be different way of doing it with steel studs, i'm assuming wood)


fill the hole with glue, and tap the bolt in gently (maybe use a block of wood to prevent smashing the end of the bolt) it should be a snug fit so that the bolt can't come out easily.

Now get some steel studs (heavier gauge), kind of hard to explain but drill a hole in the end of each, and have them opposing each other, anchored to the joists above at 45 degree angles to the wall, so they are bracing it, not relying on the ceiling at all, but the structure above. the holes in the steel studs will go between the two nuts, which you tighten. This is all above the ceiling. You would have to clip the sides of the steel stud a few inches back on each end, so the top and bottom can be fastened level.

Kind of hard to explain and maybe an easier way to do some of it, but we would do something similar to this when installing moveable partition walls in offices.

Last edited by chrisBC; 02-25-2012 at 05:05 PM.
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:25 PM   #6
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


i agree with woodworkbykirk
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:36 PM   #7
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


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Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
for this application your going to need to use steed stud. its much lighter which wont cause the ceiling to sag and you only need 5/8 tech screws to fasten the track to the cross t's
Kirk - how would the wall cause the ceiling to sag?
I love steel studs and it is a good way to go.

We have done it often with 2x4's build the bottom as suggested come in under the ceiling with your double top plate, use a 16' and a 4' then alternate with the double top plate a 4' and a 16' so your joints are 12' apart.

That probably will not be stiff enough. At a location near the center where you can hide it in the ceiling run a couple of 2x4 blocks up from the top plate to the floor joists above. Or run a stud all the way up in this location and butt the top plates into it. You will have to cut the tile around the blocks or the stud. Finish the top edge of the drywall with a drywall J trim or some cove /crown moulding.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:34 AM   #8
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


coupe is correct on how to install partition walls but i prefer metal track to grid easier to fasten then if you want to use wood studs instead of steel just slide studs into track and screw to sides also to finish top of wall you can use j bead,tear away bead, or what i kike to use is mud on wall angle so it looks like regular wall angle when finished

here is a link of what i am talking about
http://www.trim-tex.com/product_cata...product&id=164
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:42 AM   #9
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


Kinda seeing 2 ways of doing it.
1 - fasten it to the grid
2 - do not fasten to grid, have it just below.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:24 AM   #10
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


Another vote for steel
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Old 02-26-2012, 12:09 PM   #11
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


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Kirk - how would the wall cause the ceiling to sag?
I love steel studs and it is a good way to go.

We have done it often with 2x4's build the bottom as suggested come in under the ceiling with your double top plate, use a 16' and a 4' then alternate with the double top plate a 4' and a 16' so your joints are 12' apart.

That probably will not be stiff enough. At a location near the center where you can hide it in the ceiling run a couple of 2x4 blocks up from the top plate to the floor joists above. Or run a stud all the way up in this location and butt the top plates into it. You will have to cut the tile around the blocks or the stud. Finish the top edge of the drywall with a drywall J trim or some cove /crown moulding.

it can sag even let go if the eye bolts that are shot into the flying slab above arent properly set or the concrete was compromised. when this happens the eyebolt will pull out and the ceiling drops.. i had to repair a ceiling like this not to long ago. the steel stud framing crew didnt check their work there was a 12' section of ceiling that wasnt anchored to the slab above
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:35 AM   #12
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


For us the drop ceiling is in no way attached to the wall. If the ceiling drops it is because it was not properly attached and has no relation to the wall. If the wall comes un=attached with the double top plate with offset joints it may move a little but that is about all. Well I guess if you really tried you could get it to fall.
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Old 02-27-2012, 04:15 PM   #13
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


we always used metal track with rubber gasket between track and ceiling members. only fastening track to the cross t's never the mains. used metal studs as bracing above ceiling, longest angle as possible. once wall is set, just resting braces on ceiling grid, no weight at all. placing 3 screws at far ends of braces, 2 at end of brace+2 as close to bottom of joist as possible.

if ever needed to move/remove walls? simply remove screws, replacing a few cross t's, no big deal. no need to even buy new ceiling tile! need to shim between braces and cross t's being screwed to, or wait and screw to metal j-bead.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:52 PM   #14
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


Thanks much to everyone for their posts. A lot of good advice.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:35 PM   #15
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attaching a partition wall to an existing suspended ceiling


I've framed thousands of feet of "lease walls" with metal studs fastened to the grid. They're called lease walls because they go in buildings with empty floor space to be divided into individual leases. The ceilings are framed already and walls are erected to divide up the space. Actually 3/8" framing screws are used to attach the top track to the grid and the bottom track is shot down to the concrete floor with a "powder actuated tool"....

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