How to Install Your ArmstrongSuspended Ceiling SAFETY TIPS: Safety glasses and gloves are recommended to be worn during installation. Metal grid components can be sharp. When working overhead, make sure your work area is clear of obstructions and that your ladder is stable.IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Store and install panels in areas with temperature and humidity ranges that meet specific product warranty requirements. Remove panels from the cartons 24 hours before installation and allow them to adjust to normal interior conditions of the areawhere installation will take place. Never install ceiling panels below an existing ceiling that contains embedded radiant-heat coils. Do not apply loose fill or batt insulation so that it rests directly on the panels. Keep hands clean to avoid smudges on the finished ceiling. Always cut mineral fiber or fiberglass ceiling panels face up with a sharp utility knife. Main beams should be installed perpendicular to the joists. Main beams are typically installed on 4' centers. If your room configuration is unusual, you may require additional components. To allow for ceiling tile installation and accessibility, the minimum drop is 3" with traditional hanger wire or 2.5" withQuickHang grid hooks. (QuickHang instructions are notated by a gray background)NOTE: QuickHang hooks and brackets are available through select retailers. Visit ceilings.com/stores for where to buy. Installations with light fixtures will likely require additional clearance and support. Consult the light manufacturer’s instructionsfor details. When installing below an existing drywall ceiling, a minimum 4" drop is required to install panels. Joists will need to be locatedand marked.NOTE: QuickHang hardware cannot be used below drywall ceilings.TOOLS NEEDED TO INSTALL YOUR CEILINGLOCATE HIDDEN JOISTS TO INSTALL WIRE FASTENERSUse either a stud finder or locate hidden joists by tapping on the ceiling untilyou hear a solid thud. Drive a nail in here. Repeat this to locate other joistsand determine their direction. Mark the joist locations with chalk lines. Find joists (A). Drive nails to find exact center line of joists. Snap chalk line for each joist (B).LA294998-1219Sample Room10' 6"AJoist usually16" on centerBSnapped chalk linesin center of joistsJoist directionPLANNING YOUR ARMSTRONG CEILINGMain beams typically run perpendicular to the joists. If you have an existingdrywall ceiling you will need to locate and identify the joist direction.9'
How to Install Your ArmstrongSuspended CeilingSAMPLE PANEL LAYOUTDetermine panel layoutFor best appearance, border panels should be the same size on the oppositesides of the room and as large as possible. Use your room dimensions andfollow the formula in the worksheets below. 10' 6"1' 3"1' 3"9'2'6"2'6"Sample worksheets using 2' x 4' panels in a 9' x 10' 6" roomMain beams4' apartCross tees 2' apartDetermine length of border panels9' 4'*(2) 4' panels 1 foot remainder1' 4'*5'5' 22' 6"Width ofborder panelLength ofborderpanelDetermine width of border panelsRoom lengthPanel lengthTiles across roomRemainderPanel lengthTile borders (both sides)10' 6" 2'(5) 2' panels 6 inches remainder6" 2'2' 6"2' 6" 21' 3"Number of panelsBorder panel lengthRoom widthPanel widthTiles across roomRemainderPanel widthTile borders (both sides)Number of panelsBorder panel width* Use 4-ft for 2-ft x 4-ft panel, 2-ft for 2-ft x 2-ft panelSTEP INSTALL WALL MOLDING Mark the desired height of your new ceiling on the wall (A). Add the height of the Wall Molding above the desired ceiling height and mark a level line around 3 walls (B). Use a string line to mark the 4th wall. Fasten wall molding to the wall studs with appropriate fastener. (C). If nailing molding directly to wall is not possible (for example, a solid concrete or stone wall), hang a section of mainbeam next to the wall as a substitute for regular wall molding using hanger wire (D) or the QuickHang hardware (E).Joist1OutsidecornerBAInsidecornerCLevel lineMark desiredceiling heightfrom floorCUse Main Beaminstead of WallMoldingPlacegrid hooks inround holesEDUsing Hanger WireINSTALL HANGER WIRE OR QUICKHANG GRID HOOKSSTEP IMPORTANT: The first row of main beams in a 2' x 4' panelinstallation should be the border panel size from the wall.In a 2' x 2' panel installation, the first main beam can be theborder panel size or the border panel 24" from the wall. EXAMPLE: See Sample Room Hanger Layout – 2' 6" from thewall for a 2' x 4' panel. QuickHang brackets should not bespaced more than 4' apart in any direction.2LA294998-1219Main beamUsing QuickHang Grid HooksSample Hanger Layout for 2'x 4' Ceilings10'6" 4' 4' 2'6"Hanger location4' Joists4' 4' 9'2'6"
How to Install Your ArmstrongSuspended Ceiling Traditional Hanger Wire Snap Chalk Line for Main Beams 4' Apart (A). Screw in Wire Fasteners 4' Apart (B). Wrap hanger wire securely around itself 3 times (C).NOTE: Additional hanger wires may be needed to support light fixtures. Measure up 7/8" from the bottom of the molding. Drive nail into wall justabove molding. Do the same on other side of room. Stretch a string from nailto nail along a row of wires (D). Swing hanger wires over to string and bend each one at 90 where theytouch the string (E). Stretch additional strings to pre-bend other hanger wires, to help levelentire ceiling. Remove Leveling String(s) after pre-bending wires.ABCDLevelingE stringQuickHang Hardware FOR RESIDENTIAL USE ONLY: NOTE: The QuickHang hardware is designed to work with solid wood and engineered wood joists in residential ceilingapplications. QuickHang hardware allows for ceiling drops from 2.5" to 6" with 6" grid hook kits or 2.5" to 12"with 12" grid hook kits, below the bottom of the joists. QuickHang hardware is not for use on finished drywall ceilings.SAFETY TIPS Do not cut QuickHang hooks. If the hook needs to be shortened due to an obstruction, the top portion can be bentby hand or with pliers. TIPS: Measure and mark your joists prior to installation. Use a string line or chalk line to align marks perpendicular1" long1" longto joists across the kof bracketof bracket How to Install the QuickHang Hooks and Bracketswith verticalwith verticalJoistJoistmarkmark Hang your string line or snap your chalk line to position your main beams 4' apart.BracketBracket Make a 1" long vertical mark up the side of each joist where a bracket will be located (A).1" long Use the center hole in the bracketsto line the brackets up with Alignyour marks (B).verticalcentermarkof bracket Hammer in the 2 tabs for a temporaryhold (C).with verticalJoistmarklong Nail the bracket to the joist through the two 1"openingsabovethehammer tabs withAlign the nails included in the kit (D).verticalcenterHammermarkHammer the center holeBracketa single #5 Wood Screwof bracket – OPTIONAL: You can also secure the bracket to the joist withthroughtabswithtabsverticalJoistmark(screws not included in kit hardware.) With the bracket securely attached to the joist, insert the grid hook using thediamond-shaped holes in the brackets.BracketThread the small end of the hook, from the back, through the lower hole (E). Push the hook up and rotate to threadthrough the upper hole, squeezing the spring tabs to allow the wire to go through (F). IMPORTANT: Do not cut QuickHang hooks. If the hook needs to be shortened due to an obstruction, the top portion can beHammerbent by hand or with pliers.tabs1" long 1" longAlignBC AlignHammervertical verticalcentermarkof bracketwith rof bracketwith verticalmarkInsertgrid hookDEInsertgrid hookF Turn all hooks in the same direction, parallel to the joists. Set the hooks at about the same height; the bottom of the hooks should align with theMaintopbeamof theInsert tomolding.Mainwallbeamthe RIGHT side Insert toexistingtee the RIGHT side To adjust the height of the hook, squeeze the upper and lower spring tabs while lifting or lowering ofthehook.of existing teeNOTE: You will do final leveling once all of the grid is installed.ExistingExistingcross teeHammertabsLA294998-1219HammertabsInsertgrid hookcross tee
How to Install Your ArmstrongSuspended Ceiling 1" longverticalmarkINSTALL GRIDSTEPPrepare and Hang Main Beams To prepare the first main beam, trim the end of themain beam so that a cross tee slot on the main beamis the border panel distance from the wall (B).(This creates the proper border tile opening.) TIP: Cut the top of the grid first with tin snips and thenbend the grid open and cut the face of the grid (A). Place the cut end of the first main beam on the wallmolding and using the round holes in the grid, hangmain beams on the hanger wire or hook perpendicularto joists. For installations using traditional hanger wire,after inserting the wire through the round hole, bend itup and wrap the wire around wrap the hanger wirearound itself three times. Do this same step with thenext main beam running parallel 4' away along the wall.31" longverticalmarkPlacegrid hooks orhanger wirein roundholesWall moldingJoistJoistCross tee slotBracketBBorder panel distanceHammertabsHammertabsA–Step 1Border teescut andclipped tomolding somain alignswith stringPrepare and Cut Border Cross Tees Stretch a string line from one end of the room to theother below the wall molding and along the edgeFirst mainbeamfurthest from the wall of the main beams (A). (illus. A) Install your first cross tee in the main beam cross teeSecondmain beamslot that is your border panel distance from the wall. Hold the end of your border cross tee against the wall(B). (illus. A) Mark and cut the cross tee where it crossesthe string line. Insert the uncut end of the cross tee into the main beam through therectangular hole and rest the cut end of the tee on the wall molding. Cut the second border cross tee to length and insert it. Temporarily fasten the cross tees to the wall molding with a clamp ortape so they do not move.A–Step 2BGuide stringAillus. AInsertgrid hookInsertgrid hookSquaring the Grid To achieve the best end results, it is important to make sure your grid is squareat this point in the installation. This will allow you to adjust if changes are required. NOTE: When connecting two cross tees in the same rectangular hole of a mainbeam, insert the second tee into the slot by passing on the right side of thealready installed cross tee. TIP: Installing cross tees is easier if the tee is inserted into the rectangularslot at a downward angle from above the grid plane. Listen for an audibleclick to ensure a good connection. Install two 4' cross tees between the two main beams in line with the firsttwo border tees (C). (illus. B)LA294998-1219Aligncenterof Bracketbracketwith verticalmarkSet trimmed end of mainbeam on wall moldingMain beamMain beamExistingcross teeInsert crossInsert to tee herethe RIGHT sideof existing teeInsert tothe RIGHT sideof existing teeExistingcross teeInsert at adownward angleAligncenterof bracketwith verticamark
How to Install Your ArmstrongSuspended Ceiling To check that your grid is square, measure acrossthe diagonals of the 2' x 4' opening. The measurementswill be the same if the grid is square. If themeasurements are not the same, trim one of themains further until the diagonals are equal.(illus. B)1" longvertical Final Leveling Start by attaching a magnetic level to the bottom of a main beamlocated in a corner of the room. Note: Main beam should rest onwall molding. Systems installed with traditional hanger wire should be level already.If additional leveling is needed, untwist the hanger wires, raise or lowerthe grid slightly, re-bend and twist the wires.Insert Systems using QuickHang hardware, hold the maingrid beam,hook squeezethe spring tabs on the QuickHang bracket to allow the hook to slide upor down (F). Releasing the tab will lock the hook in place. Working from the corner of your room, check and level cross tees andmain beams until the system is level.TIP: For additional guidance, see our video online at ceilings.com/installation.Main beamExistingcross teeAligncenterof bracketwith verticalmarkJoistBracketHammertabsCFull 4'cross teesInstalling Remaining Grid & Leveling the markSystem Complete the first two rows of main beams byJoisthanging main beams from the hooks and joining theirends together. Listen for an audible click to ensure a goodconnection. (illus. C and illus. D). At the far end of eachof these first two rows, you’ll need to cut both main beamsto rest on the wall molding. TIP: Use the left-over ends of the cut main beams to startadditional rows of main beams. Cut additional border cross tees between the wall and firstrow of main beams. If you have additional rows of main beams to install, stretch aHammersecond string from one side of the room to the otheraligning ittabswith the first 4' cross tee as shown (D). (illus. B) This second string will be your guide for cutting the remainingrows of main beams. Just measure from the end wall to thestring to determine the distance for the first rectangular crosstee slot you will use.NOTE: You must line up cross tee slots for the grid to be square! Install all remaining main beams and 4' cross tees. Measure and cut border cross tees along the last wall. Now that your grid is installed, it's time to check or do final leveling.LA294998-12191" longverticalmarkInsertgrid hookCheck diagonalmeasurementsAligncenterof bracketwith verticalMain beamtomark Insertthe RIGHT sideSecond stringDof existing teeillus. BExistingBracket cross teeJoistillus. CTraditional Wire Hangerillus. DQuickHang Grid HooksJoistFInsert tothe RIGHT sideof existing tee
How to Install Your ArmstrongSuspended Ceiling AINSTALL CEILING PANELSSTEPInstalling Panels Lift panel at angle up through the grid; drop into place (A). TIP: If there’s an obstruction in the area where you are