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Old 03-04-2010, 08:51 AM   #1
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I'm getting there, I know this shouldn't be this hard, but I just want to make sure that I do this right. Check out my little picture I made below. I just free handed it in paint, so be nice and just pretend that those are perfect 2 x 2 squares, and that the ceiling grid is balanced on both sides.

My question today has to do more with the overall process of the installation. Check out my picture and see if I've got it right.

Just main runners every 48 inches, then tees to connect those which make them into 2 x 4 holes, and then 2ft tees between those 48 inch tees to make it into 2 x 2 holes instead.

That right?

Thanks!
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Old 03-04-2010, 10:15 AM   #2
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Yes, that is right.

If you are using troffer lights, check the clearance above in case there are any pipes or braces where you want them.

Don't rivet anything until you are sure it is square. Put a few tiles in here and there; they will square it up for you (as long as you haven't locked it in already)

Also note that after you put two cross pieces on opposing sides of a main (making the shape of +) they are a bear to get apart should you need to. Unless there is a trick to doing so, which I obviously did not learn...

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Old 03-04-2010, 10:23 AM   #3
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I usually line up the grids & tiles to minimize cuts & use the most full tiles
If doing so leaves an almost full tile at one side I do that instead of putting (2) 1/2 tiles at either side
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Old 03-04-2010, 11:05 AM   #4
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Thank you for the information. About riveting, is that necessary? The guy at Menards said that he didn't think it would be necessary. Since I'm just putting this in my home, and not some commercial or public space where people might touch it, do you think it'd be ok to just skip the riveting? I mean, all it does is lock it in place right? Any other benefits to having it there? Once all the tiles are in place, it doesn't seem like the grid would really move anyway.

Thoughts?
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Personally, were I to do another drop ceiling, I'd skip the rivets. But since I spent $20 on the gun and a couple bucks on the rivets and had opened them to show my sons how they work, I felt compelled to put a few in on the first side of the basement.

On the other side I didn't bother and it works just the same.
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:43 PM   #6
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"I usually line up the grids & tiles to minimize cuts & use the most full tiles
If doing so leaves an almost full tile at one side I do that instead of putting (2) 1/2 tiles at either side" --- That's the first thing I thought of too, Dave. But if you hold a ruler between your eye and the monitor screen, you can see the 1/2 tiles on the left and the bigger than 1/2 by 3 or 4" inches on the right.

Looks good, markronz!

Be safe, Gary
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Old 03-04-2010, 12:54 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR in WA View Post
"I usually line up the grids & tiles to minimize cuts & use the most full tiles
If doing so leaves an almost full tile at one side I do that instead of putting (2) 1/2 tiles at either side" --- That's the first thing I thought of too, Dave. But if you hold a ruler between your eye and the monitor screen, you can see the 1/2 tiles on the left and the bigger than 1/2 by 3 or 4" inches on the right.

Looks good, markronz!

Be safe, Gary
Yes, all depends upon how it all measures out & lines up
--which is why I said an almost full tile
You definitely do not want a thin strip on one side & a full tile on the other
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Old 03-06-2010, 08:44 AM   #8
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Your installation procedure is correct. If you don't use rivets (and you should), you need to add tiles as you go to keep the ceiling square or your lay-in lights won't fit (if you're using any) and tiles will he harder to get in without breaking corners or having to trim. Even up your borders in the largest area of the room and let the smaller space fall where they may. Instead of a 6" border (for example) drop back another 2' and divide that space in half to end up with an 18" border on both sides. Keep your borders as wide as possible.
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Old 03-06-2010, 11:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
I usually line up the grids & tiles to minimize cuts & use the most full tiles
If doing so leaves an almost full tile at one side I do that instead of putting (2) 1/2 tiles at either side
But there is a 6" offset (from the start of the Main Runners.) where the slot for the Cross "T"s begins. There is a reason for that. That's for the trim on both ends, if you want to configure your ceiling that way. In the early jobs I used to cut it off. But then I realized that it's there for a reason.!
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Old 03-07-2010, 12:01 AM   #10
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This is an addendum to Post #10 by spark plug!
On the second point, about squaring the grid 100% before riveting any parts. That is very important. I had a few cases where the room was not entirely square. (meaning the the corners were slightly uneven.) Then I had to work a little extra hard to fit some tiles in their designated space.!
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Old 03-07-2010, 09:47 AM   #11
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I've worked on crews that used rivets --

And crews who did not.

When I'm running the show I do not use them except in rare odd ball pieces.--Mike---
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Old 03-07-2010, 03:11 PM   #12
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C'mon Mark,
You got the right info, any more thinking you're going to fry some brainwires. Put up your wallmold and go to it. Drop ceilings can actually be fun. Something I do to make things easier because I work by myself most of the time is to install screweye lags into the ceiling that would be right above the main runners, in aprox. 4' intervals. You can install them with any small drill. Just leave the chuck a loose fit over the flat end of the lag and drive it in. Then I put a piece of wire in each one so as I go to install the main, I can wire it up at the same time. This is especially important if one main doesn't span the distance and you have to piece a second one in. I connect the wire to form a loop that goes through a hole in the main and through the hole in the screweye lag. Twist the ends together four or five turns, then use a small screwdriver, nailset, or 16d nail to twist the loop to tighten it up. Just tighten it enough to hole the main in place. After you get some tiles in, you can go back and level it out. A ceiling the size of yours should be done before lunchtime.
Mike Hawkins

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