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Suspended ceilings: not just hanging around

Posted by Marianne
November 28, 2014 in Features

Suspended ceilings are a practical, cost-effective and sophisticated alternative to a traditional ceiling installation. Known to many as a dropped ceiling, understanding the basics is simple, as the answer is in the name.

It is a ceiling that is lower than the original ceiling of a building, typically comprising a metal grid system upon which tiles are placed

Where are suspended ceilings most effective?

Commercial or industrial premises are often the target areas for suspended ceilings, though other premises are not averse to their benefits. Schools and many offices use them, for example. Hospitals are another working environment in which they can often be seen, particularly in older buildings, where using traditional plasterboard is expensive and does not provide the additional benefits suspended ceilings can offer.

What are the benefits?

There are many plus points to installing a suspended ceiling. It is easy to install lighting options within their construction, for example, while they are great at conserving heat, reducing noise, improving infection control, hiding unsightly areas, and introducing a useful cavity for building operations.

Heat and infection control

In hospitals, this is again a major reason for their use, with warm and consistent temperatures being far easier to moderate and control than cooler, draft vulnerable temperatures. They also offer superior bacteria and infection control through the use of anti-microbial and humidity-resistant tiles.

Disguise and display

One of the main reasons for their use in industrial settings is to cover up all the innards of a building – the essential pipeworks, cabling and ductwork. In older buildings, they can quickly cover up the older, perhaps less trendy or less aesthetically pleasing elements.

They can also be far more flexible than plasterboards, with coloured tiles, mirrored tiles, lit tiles and all manner of other designs able to be included. Excellent office renovations and office fit-outs can be quickly and cost-effectively achieved, for example.

Safe and sound

Another great benefit is the sound insulation properties which are offered. Again, in a hospital or school this can be a huge plus point. The choice of tiles used in this regard is essential, with certain options offering far greater noise insulation than others.

The cavity that is created between a storey and the one above also slashes the amount of noise that filters back and forth. Where quiet is needed, for recovery or work, such a benefit can make notable differences to results.

Extra space and light

The cavity created from a dropped ceiling can also be extremely useful in regard to later installation work. For example, heating, ventilation and air conditioning (or HVAC) systems can be retrospectively put in and hidden, much as with hiding existing pipe and framework.

Lighting installations too can be introduced, with this cabling easily covered up. Suspended ceilings are ideal in modern office developments, where a more minimal and on-trend approach is demanded.

Managers of companies in any sector can benefit greatly from the installation of suspended ceilings – it’s just a matter of choosing the right materials and styles.

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