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Old 02-03-2009, 10:56 PM   #1
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Does anyone have any recommendations for dropped ceiling brands/styles? I don't want to loose the height, but I have too much stuff to access, so I have to loose some. I've seen the tiles that have the t-bars that attach directly to the joist as apposed to hanging the 3" inches or so. Those work? Also, do any of them help absorb sound (mild soundproofing as well as helping the room sound better)? I supposed functionality is more important than soundproofing. I mean, I can live with hearing a little noise from the basement. Just wanted to know if "normal priced" items are out there that work better at acoustics.

Also, brands & prices or websites would help a lot! Thank you!!!

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Old 02-04-2009, 02:22 AM   #2
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Look at the top of this page for links. Or a simple search on one of the,"search" engines will do the trick.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:34 AM   #3
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


I have done a few ceilings with the vinyl channels that screw directly to the joists, can't recall the name(available at big box). They work well, do allow access and are relatively inexpensive. You can use any 2x2 or 2x4 tile, so furring strips are usually needed for proper spacing. They do have to be installed carefully, maintaining proper spacing. I use a laser to keep things straight, but a TIGHT string will also work. And you can shim as you go to keep things flat.
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Old 02-04-2009, 06:45 AM   #4
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Ceiling tiles do have different sound attenuation ratings. Here is a link to Armstrong's ceiling web site that will give you some performance data http://www.armstrong.com/commceiling...ticle7901.html

Here is one for their residential ceiling products.
http://www.armstrong.com/resclgam/na...a-product.html

Here is one for USG ceilings
http://www.usg.com/navigate.do?resou...s_Products.htm

What you want to pay attention to is the noise reduction coefficiency number for the tile. A tile with an NRC number of 40 for example will absorb 40% of sound that strikes it while reflecting 60% back into the space. A high number will leave you with a noisy room, but let less noise escape to adjacent areas.
There are loads of grid designs that could be used in a low clearance situation. Be sure to allow clearance to remove tiles for access to plumbing, wiring, etc.
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Old 02-04-2009, 07:35 AM   #5
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


think LONG AND HARD about whether you want a tile that has a "reveal" or not. The reveal tile looks great (adds depth to the ceiling) but man oh man it like TRIPLES the time required to install them. Because every single perimeter tile that needs to be cut you need to do a 2nd cut to trim back 1/4 inch of the tile to recreate the reveal. It was murder. Not to mention the dust it creates. i had 3 rooms and about 70 perimeter tiles that needed to be shaved and after the 20th one i was regretting that i chose a revealed tile edge.

so i would strongly recomend that after you have your grid up. (i used Ceiling Max) you buy 3 revealed tiles and then 3 plain flat tiles and see how much the difference bothers you.

I cannot stress what a pain in the @ss cutting revealed tiles was. God what a mess.
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Old 02-05-2009, 07:01 AM   #6
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


I found that the easiest way to cut reveals was to make a jig to guide my utility knife. They make a tool to cut them, but the jig is easier in my opinion. Cut them in seconds.
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:25 AM   #7
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


They're harder to cut, but they sure look better. Cut the border tile about 1/4"-3/8" wider than the opening at the wall. Place the tile in the hole it goes in (cut edge to the wall) holding it down from above. Lightly score along the edge of the wall angle to get the cut on the tile exact (makes up for out of square / bowed walls). Remove the tile and score again to the depth of the reveal. Cut along the edge to remove the "reveal". Not really that hard. Depends on the tile too, some cuts better than others. Tile that has been sitting around in a humid enviornment will absorb moisture and be more difficult to cut. (Don't buy it 'til you're ready to use it.) Make sure your blade is SHARP. Tile will dull a blade quickly (a carton or so of tile). You CAN sharpen a utility knife blade. Or get plenty of spares......
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Old 02-05-2009, 09:20 AM   #8
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Atlanta has it right.. to get it right first time you score the line you want, it solves the old "well i'm 14 3/8 here but at the end i'm 14 1/4". HOWEVER, your way means 2X you are putting the tile in the grid (1 to score and 2nd for final). So pick your poison, 2X overhead or 2X doing the reveal for non-square grids.

Now how about cutting the holes for those pot lights? i havent even put the trim on my lights yet because i'm in denial that my trim will cover the holes i cut because some of them were a little bigger than i wanted because i suck at measuring for holes. If you screw up thats $3 a tile down the drain, its not like sheetrock you can fix it with spackle.
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Old 02-05-2009, 12:58 PM   #9
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Yeah, there's not much room for error with a 1/2" trim ring. Always measure from the lip of the grid and from the "reveal" of the tile. Get your center and use a drywall "circle cutter" to mark your hole, then saw with a keyhole saw. You can always cut the hole a little small and trim after a test fit. Your cans should be supported on the grid by "rails" (for lack of a better term) so you should have adjustment at least one direction. Something that might help as far as measuring........put a bulb in the fixture and lower the adjustment so it's flush with the bottom of the can. Most bulbs have a little circle with a logo dead in the center of the bulb. Might make it easier to get your measurement within tolerance that just trying to eyeball the center of a 6" hole. And there are larger trims if you haven't already bought them.
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Old 02-05-2009, 01:57 PM   #10
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Cooper - I was looking at doing the same thing and have read my eyes croosed about these things. You may also want to do a search for CeilingLink on the net. I believe it is strictly an online retailer, but as compared to what you would get at the big box joints, you might be surprised at the price difference.
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Old 02-09-2009, 08:31 AM   #11
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Dropped ceiling tiles?


Hey Atlanta.. can you check my trim kit question in the electrical forum? thanks for you time..

choosing right bulb and trim kit combo for recessed

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