Reasons for installing a suspended ceiling can range from aesthetics to safety. The following indicates some of the advantages:
Essential services such as pipes and electrical cabling can be hidden within the suspended ceiling void above, and provides easy access for maintenance.
Suspended ceiling can cover cracks, stains and damage to existing structural ceiling at an economical cost.
Suspended ceilings offer better lighting possibilities and play a crucial role in optimising light reflection and saving energy.
Suspended ceilings can absorb and reduce noise.
When considering a suspended ceiling there are all sorts of criteria which need to be considered which can be divided into three headings:
Functional - includes the type of building it is to be installed within, and the activities which are being carried out.
Technical - includes the specific performance of the suspended ceiling needs to achieve.
Aesthetic - means that the right effect is achieved to complement the overall design concept.
Which suspended ceiling to use can depend upon a number of performance criteria, which are as follows:
Acoustics – All suspended ceilings provide some degree of sound absorption, which can be useful in a busy open plan office. Some tiles are purpose made to provide the best possible absorption.
Impact Resistance – Ceiling sometimes suffer rough usage in corridor areas, where equipment is generally located resulting in frequent tile removal. Some tiles are purpose made to be more durable in these situations.
Hygiene – Health and safety requirements demand that suspended ceiling conform to the regulations governing the food and health industries. Also, the electronic, fibre optics, pharmaceutical and computer industries have requirements for environmentally–controlled installations or may require Class 100 clean room conditions.
Humidity Resistance – Ceiling installation within areas which are likely to have humid conditions, such as shower rooms require special considerations and tiles designed to suit.
Fire – Most suspended ceilings will provide fire resistance to comply with current European standards.
Popular Suspended Ceilings
There are three popular types of suspended ceiling used in building today which are:
Mineral fibre type tiles laid within a metal grid framework. This type of ceiling can be seen in the majority of office accommodation and is very popular. For further reading, please see the following link: Armstrong Ceilings
Metal Tiles ceiling systems which often adopt a clip-in system so that the supporting framework cannot be seen. This type of ceiling can often be seen in more public areas such as airports, cinemas, Supermarkets etc. For further reading please see the following link: Burgess Ceilings Ltd
Constructed using a steel framework clad with plasterboard which is then dry-lined, or plastered to produce a smooth plaster finish and is often used when a more traditional flat ceiling is required with all the advantages of being a suspended ceiling. This type of ceiling is commonly called the British Gypsum Gyproc MF Suspended Ceiling or CasoLine MF. For further reading, please see the following link: Gyproc MF
In our next blog, we will take a look at those suspended ceilings which we are most frequently asked to install.