False ceiling installation
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A quality false ceiling for office and home enhances the appearance of the property and potentially increases its value. A false ceiling (also called a suspended, dropped, or drop ceiling) can be seen today in many homes and business premises, and in public buildings such as theatres, shops, and restaurants.
You may think suspended ceilings are a new idea, but they date from several thousand years ago, when they’re introduced in Japan.
Drop ceilings have now evolved to redefine interior design. The modern suspended ceiling was created to conceal a building’s infrastructure, including wiring, pipes, and ductwork. However, it’s now a key tool for home and office designers because of its effectiveness in terms of aesthetic considerations.
The area between the original, structural ceiling and the suspended ceiling is known as the plenum space. It provides handy access for repair works or inspection of infrastructure, while typically housing heating and air-conditioning systems.
Dropped ceilings are also useful in hiding problems such as structural damage, and concealing constructional work that would otherwise spoil the look of a room.
Suspended ceilings cut energy costs in homes and offices by reducing the height of the room. In hot climates, the air-conditioning doesn’t have to work so hard and in cooler regions, less heating is needed.
A false ceiling can also be used to add texture to a room that pleases the eye, and it provides a setting for functional and decorative touches such as lighting and fans.
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Drop ceiling structure and materials
There’re mainly 2 forms of false ceiling:
- Grid systems (exposed or concealed) are primarily found in offices and other commercial properties. With the exposed-matrix blueprint, the grid into which panels can be set is visible. It’s typically finished in colours that contrast or harmonise with the panelling. Concealed grids use tiles to hide the grid system from view, to create a clean, smooth appearance.
- Plain (plaster) false ceilings are commonly installed in the home.
Wooden dropped ceilings used to be the norm. Today, you can choose from a range of materials, including gypsum board, plaster of paris, bamboo sheets, jute, plastic, aluminium panelling, plywood, fibreboard, and PVC.
Gypsum and PVC dropped ceilings are popular because they lend themselves to interesting and engaging adornment.
Gypsum boards are smooth, lightweight, thermally and sound insulated, and fire resistant. They allow for attractive ornamentation but tend to be less durable than other materials used in false ceilings. They’re also prone to discolour over time.
PVC ceilings are robust and low-maintenance, and last a long time (typically more than 10 years). Another option is Thermocol (stretch plastic), which can be a cost-effective solution.
In a home false ceiling or office ceiling project, when thinking about which type of ceiling you wish to install, important factors to consider include:
- Fire resistance
- Sound absorption
- Exposure to moisture
- Ease of alteration
- Life expectancy
- Statutory requirements regarding health and safety
Benefits of a false ceiling for home and office
An office ceiling or house ceiling suspended below the structural ceiling provides many benefits, as well as being an attractive feature of a home or business space. These advantages include:
- Extensive range of choice. Unlike the suspended ceilings of yesteryear, modern dropped ceilings come in a broad variety of materials and colours that can enhance the décor of any room.
- Easy installation of lighting. A false ceiling makes it easy to put in lighting systems and can also reduce the amount of illumination needed.
- Eco friendliness. Greater energy efficiency is achieved when you have a home false ceiling or dropped office ceiling. It lowers the height of the room, resulting in less energy output being needed for heating or cooling.
- Durability in humid environments. False ceilings can be fitted with tiles resistant to the effects of moisture in the atmosphere, decreasing the risk of the formation of mould, mildew, and bacteria.
- Fire safety. A professional contractor will use materials that ensure your suspended ceiling complies with or exceeds fireproofing requirements, to give you maximum protection.
Versatility and style
The versatility of false ceilings means they can be adapted to suit the requirements of an extensive range of homes and offices. As a design component, they can even be used to create eye-catching shapes and curves.
Dropped ceilings usually incorporate materials that reflect natural light, which results in reduced electricity bills.
They’re ideal for aesthetic use of lighting effects, including concealed illumination.
In business spaces such as conference rooms, they can be a major factor in soundproofing, to create a quiet and calm atmosphere.
A suspended office ceiling can also be employed in conjunction with partition walls to create smaller, separate work areas out of one large office. If business needs change, these office spaces are easy to dismantle so the work area can be reconfigured with a different floor plan.
Looking after your tiles
Drop ceiling tiles are easy to care for. Simply dusting the tiles will prevent an accumulation of dirt and the possibility of dust falling to the floor. Use a static duster to collect the dirt and then follow up with a quick vacuum. It’s advisable to wear eye protection and a safety mask.
Stains can be removed with a damp sponge with a little soap on it. Bear in mind that if you have porous drop ceiling tiles, using water on them will cause more staining. Another point to consider is that if you wish to paint your drop ceiling tiles, you must remove them first.
Don’t start what you can’t finish!
Fitting drop ceiling tiles may seem an opportunity for a spot of DIY. However, many of those who do attempt the task on their own soon find they have to call in a professional contractor to finish the job properly.
Common mistakes in a do-it-yourself ceiling tile installation include:
- Failure to plan the ceiling layout, ending up with a sloping ceiling;
- Damaging fragile tiles during installation; and
- Neglecting to carry out electrical work before fitting the tiles.
A reliable ceiling contractor can take the headache out of your entire home false ceiling or office ceiling project. When choosing a contractor, beware of falling into the trap of being guided by price alone; quality and experience are equally important.
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Why choose Kepha Design and Contracts
We take ownership of our actions by taking responsibility.
Kepha Design and Contracts in Singapore has a team of highly-skilled complete renovation services craftspeople and interior designers who will plan your home ceiling or office ceiling project to achieve maximum functionality and style.
Our ceiling construction specialists will carry out the installation with minimal disruption to your home life or business activities and will ensure the requirements of safety codes and regulations are met or surpassed.
Wherever possible, we’ll use environmentally-friendly materials and products.
Kepha can spare you from the aggravation and costly mistakes often associated with the DIY approach to the installation of a false ceiling. We can also steer you through the entire process, pointing out potential problems while helping you to make the right decisions that will guarantee you get a new ceiling to be proud of.
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