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-   -   Suspended Ceiling - measure up or down? (http://www.diychatroom.com/f15/suspended-ceiling-measure-up-down-38982/)

 Woodcutter 02-23-2009 09:12 AM

Suspended Ceiling - measure up or down?

I am finishing my basement and will install a suspended ceiling in the back half where all the mechanicals and pipes are run. I have 9' ceilings in the basement, so this still leaves me with an 8' ceiling.

My question is, when I am ready to strike the line to put up the edge angles, do I measure from the floor up, or from the floor joists above down? While the concrete floor seems to be level, I do not believe it is perfectly level, and I think if I measure from the floor up, I could have a celing that is not level. Since the floor above the basement is level, I thought that once I determine my optimum height, I could make a template to measure down from the joists for the wall angles and the wires supporting the grid.

Any suggestions? I have seen basement dropped ceilings that look like they are doing the 'wave' - all over the place. I do not want that.

Thanks! :)

 Bob Mariani 02-23-2009 09:50 AM

use a rotating laser. Mark a level line along the laser mark and measure up from this. Or use a water level to do the same.

 Termite 02-23-2009 11:45 AM

To clarify, a water level is a clear plastic flexible hose (3/8" or 1/2") with a certain quantity of water in it. Hold both ends above the ceiling and the water will find perfect level. Make marks on the wall and snap a line around the perimeter and you have something level to measure off of.

A laser sure does make it easy!

 buletbob 02-23-2009 12:23 PM

Yes A roto Laser level would be your best bet as mentioned above.this way you could set your wall angles with the laser. then you can stretch a line from wall angle to wall angle to wire your main runners Wave free. BOB

 bjbatlanta 02-23-2009 06:00 PM

Laser is the best if you can borrow one. Water level is good. Measure down from the joists should work fine. I usually do that in smaller areas. And pull a string line as Bob said. Move your line as you go to level the mains. Home Depot has the very thin leveling line in the ceiling grid dept. that you can pull very tight and there's not a lot of sag.

 Brik 02-27-2009 05:16 PM

Measure down so you have enough room to install the panels make a single mark. Use level laser line off of that.

Black and decker has a relatively cheap, self leveling laser lever. I used it for mine. Works great in basements and is OK in sunlight for short throws.
Check it out at
http://astore.amazon.com/handyguys-20/detail/B0002TG1DE
only \$49
Also, I did a series of podcasts on basement finishing at http://www.handyguyspodcast.com/tag/...nishing-series you may find helpful.

 wrangler 02-27-2009 05:39 PM

Definitely use a laser level. and I would not be surprised if you could not rent one fairly cheaply from Home Depot. If they do not rent them, try calling around to your local rental centers. 1/4" difference in one section will show up when you are done if you don't have a perfectly straight line, and by measuring either up or down could leave you with that much variance or more.

 bjbatlanta 02-27-2009 08:07 PM

 buletbob 02-28-2009 05:53 AM

Listen to BJB its great advice, in fact the correct advice. here its code in all commercial buildings to pop rivet ALL tee,s to the runners. You will thank your self later. :thumbsup: BOB

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