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post #1 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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Just a little f.y.i.

Imagine a suspended ceiling grid,[ or floating ceiling as some refer it to] made for attaching drywall to. Hmmmm?

Just for those who didn't know, these type of ceiling grids have been used for years in malls, stores, schools ect.., and if you can install a susupened ceiling grid, the ones with 2x2 or 2x4 accoustical tiles, you can do one for a drywall ceiling grid, where the drywall is screwed directly to grid system useing 1 1/4 drywall screws. Then you would finish the drywall with tape and joint compound.

You won't find these ceiling's at Lowe's or Home Depot, just look in your yellow pages under drywall suppliers. The sales people at these places[H.D. or Lowes] will just look at you kinda funny:confused:

The difference with the drywall grid is, instead of useing wall angle, you use 1 5/8 track and attach it [screw] to the studs in the wall. Instead of putting your ceiling grid wire every 4 foot on your [mains], you go every 2 foot. The wire for the ceiling is also a heavier gauge # 9 wire. Your 4 foot tees just snap together into your 12 foot main tee's. The mains and the tee's that go into the 1 5/8 track are screwed together with metal pan head screws, The same screws that you use with metal studs and track.
Normally, we only install one layer of 5/8 drywall on this type of ceiling, but be sure to ask your supplier!!


I hope this doesn't sound to confuseing. There are several manufacture's that make these ceiling grids. Hope this helps someone.

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post #2 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 04:52 PM
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Holy Moly!!! What a concept! My basement is height challenged, so I can't give up much headroom. Could I use a ceilingmax grid and use 2x2 drywall squares in place of acoustic tiles ???? That would be a huge cost savings for me and give the qualities of sheetrock (albeit in 2x2 squares) with the convenience of ceilingmax! Not to mention I wouldn't have to mud and tape the ceiling.

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post #3 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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eameres,

The ceiling grid is designed to be covered entirely with drywall. It is the same color of a metal stud (silver).


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post #4 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 05:28 PM
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I understand. I'm improvising with the ceilingmax version. I like the idea of being able to pop out a square (even break it if I have to) without having to rely on my drywall patching/taping skills to repair it.

I guess one concern would be the weight of the drywall and if the ceilingmax grid will be able to handle it. Maybe I'll have to do an experiment, borrow a digital camera and post a picture or two.

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post #5 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 05:38 PM - Thread Starter
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eameres

The main purpose of this ceiling grid is to be able to install a drywall ceiling at just about any elevation that you would want.

When you are finished installing this ceiling grid, it will no longer be visable it will look like a normal drywall ceiling.

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post #6 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 05:56 PM
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Colin,

My situation is different. I know the height the ceiling has to be at. I don't have any choice, it has to be right snug up against the joists. I'm just paranoid about sealing up the ceiling for good, but I like the properties of drywall.

Your description of the regular drywall grid system just got me thinking of a way to try and get the best of bothworlds: A drywalled ceiling with easy access.

Eric.

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post #7 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 06:01 PM
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Anyone out there know the weight per sf of drywall vs that of a typical acoustic tile?

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post #8 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 10:58 PM
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a 4'x8' sheet of 1/2" drywall is about 50 pounds. 5/8" drywall is about 60 pounds.
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post #9 of 28 Old 01-08-2003, 11:21 PM
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Just wanted to backup Colin's tip.

My basement theater ceiling is 5/8" drywall over a suspended ceiling grid. The grid is installed in a very similar fashion to the grid used with ceiling tiles, except that the the grid is a heavier gage aluminum. The drywall screws into the grid just like you would screw drywall into wood.

The grid installation makes for a perfectly smooth, flat ceiling. This is very handy in a basement installation because you cant count on the 2x12's that make up the joist of the floor above to be perfectly flat or level over the long run of the room. If you were to simply screw drywall to the overhead joist, you are guaranteed a ripple or two in your ceiling.

Also, the grid makes installing canned lights a snap. They just drop right into the grid.

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post #10 of 28 Old 01-10-2003, 12:17 PM
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According to the Ceilingmax support folks, the drywall "tile" approach should be doable! I may still try an experiment or two though before I completely commit.

Eric.

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post #11 of 28 Old 01-10-2003, 07:31 PM
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How does the grid compare to RC-1 ceilings for isolation between floors ? Ball park what is a per square ft. cost for the grid system alone ?

FYI 1/2" Gypsum 2.2 psf and 5/8" 2.8 psf.

AJF

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post #12 of 28 Old 01-11-2003, 08:06 AM - Thread Starter
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AFryia,

I just spoke with our local metal stud, drywall supplier. He quoted a ballpark price of 40 cents a square foot. But, that does not include your wire, 1 5/8 track for the wall, pan head screws and wire hangers that would screw into your wooden floor joist above.

I would think 50 cents a square foot would be good figure.

This type of grid is really great for any size room that you may have! It does away with the framing problems you can run into with large rooms. And you end up with a nice level drywall ceiling.

The rc channel ceiling you speak of is screwed to the ceiling joist every 16 inches on center. They are normally ran perpendicular to your ceiling joist. If there are any bows or crowns on your ceiling joist above, the rc channel will follow them. But, the rc channel would give you maximum ceiling height.

The closest you could get to the ceiling joist above useing the drywall grid would be 2-4 inches. You need to have room to tie wires to your grid.

I.M.O. the drywall grid maybe less prone to vibration than the rc channel since there are far less fastening points to the joist above. But check with the manufacturer for there opinions.

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post #13 of 28 Old 01-13-2003, 08:23 AM
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eameres,

ceilingmax doesn't vibrate / rattle like normal suspended ceilings even with normal acoustic tiles, so I wouldn't bother with drywall tiles. Plus, soundboard based acoustic tiles will have more sound absorption characteristics than drywall anyway (they have a higher STC rating).

Also, I wouldn't trust the person on the phone at ceilingmax unless you talked to an engineer, the first level of tech support is clueless. A 2x2 drytall tile would we either 8.8 lbs (1/2") or 11.2 lbs (5/8"), I wouldn't trust ceilingmax holding that much weight

Due to the fact that the tiles are "snapped in" with ceiling max, combined with the fact that ever corner is attached directly to the joists and not hanging, the tiles hardly vibrate at all, the tiles are VERY secure to the joists.

I have ceiling max in the garage with drywall walls and concrete floor, it's a VERY live room. I have a nice stereo in there with kickin' bass and you never hear the tiles rattle, they are VERY secure. For a party once I had my Definitive Tech PF1500 sub out there and you could FEEL the concrete moving to Heavy D's "Rump Shaker", and the tiles were silent.

However, since they are so frequently coupled to the ceiling, sound transmission is horrible. Ceilingmax is a GREAT choice if you are trying to save headroom, a POOR choice if you are trying to eliminate sound transfer to above. Unfortunately, these two requirements do not go well together, it is very hard to do both very well at the same time.

Rhino

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post #14 of 28 Old 01-13-2003, 10:01 AM
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Rhino, Thanks for the info!

They claimed to have tested with 2x4 sheets of half inch drywall. Perhaps it's still worth running an experiment before commiting completely though.

Regarding sounds transmission. I was thinking that perhaps the drywall/ceilingmax approach might be somewhere between RC and screwing to the joists since the drywall "tiles" would be "hanging" in the grid, rather than in solid contact with the joists.

Eric.

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post #15 of 28 Old 01-31-2003, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by eameres
They claimed to have tested with 2x4 sheets of half inch drywall. Perhaps it's still worth running an experiment before commiting completely though.
USG makes a product called "Sheetrock Brand Lay-In Panel". They are 2'x4' 1/2" drywall panels sealed in a vinyl coating for use as suspended ceiling tiles. You can look at all there ceiling tiles here: PDF of Ceiling Tile Products

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post #16 of 28 Old 01-31-2003, 07:19 PM
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Hi
I am a builder in NJ and we use this type of grid for commercial work. We use USG and RidgidX. We have done HT basements and AV Demo Theaters. The demo theater we used the sheetrock grid in had a $200,000 equipment setup. It sounded unbelievable. We also used 20Ga. metal studs for the walls and perimeter drops. The walls where in a block building and where clipped at the mid point the the concrete block. We installed 3 1/2" fiberglass insulation and 5/8" gypsum in all areas. The owner finished the interior walls with 1" acoustic panels. The stage and the platform was built in standard lumber. Three of the 5 leather chairs are mounted on the upper level, on the platform. The sub effect on the upper seating is great.

I am a contractor by trade but play with the HT stuff as a hobby.

Feel free to EMail me with any questions about the products we use for the construction.

[email protected]
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post #17 of 28 Old 02-01-2003, 07:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi Build4u,

I also use the USG and RigidX grid. I like the fact that the main's and tee's are an 1 1/2" wide. That give's you plenty of area to screw to. I have also used some other drywall grids that are only 1" wide. They can be a pain.

This was a first for me yesterday. We hung 1/2" cement board, [Durock] to the grid and it will have ceramic tile applied to it. That is ALOT of weight!! We used # 9 wire every 2 feet on the mains. The architect said he looked at the "specs" and it was okay. Sure hope he is right! This was for a commercial building in a locker room.

rgladiator,

I have used the drywall panels you speak of. We install them mostly in kitchen area's with "fire rated" grids. I would think a normal grid could support the weight of these tile's if you use extra wire's. Check with the manufacturer and local building codes.

Colin
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post #18 of 28 Old 02-01-2003, 10:36 AM
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These seem like an ideal solution for creating a drop-type ceiling that would continue to be reflective for surround-sound information. The acoustic ceiling tiles all have NRC ratings of .55 or higher, which makes me worry about over-doing the absorption.

Anyone know how to go about obtaining any of these? I just sent an e-mail to USG to find out what the process was.
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post #19 of 28 Old 02-01-2003, 04:32 PM
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Colin,

This may sound crazy, but we once did a job with RigidX and hung 5/8" gypsum off it. Then the HVAC came in and hung off that. Then we went back in and hung a second RigidX system off the first. Was not my idea. Architects!!!! Its still there! The whole system is as good as the guy twisting the wire. I have seen some guys hang grid and not know how to twist the wire right. Not good.

Build4u
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post #20 of 28 Old 02-03-2003, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Build4u
The whole system is as good as the guy twisting the wire. I have seen some guys hang grid and not know how to twist the wire right. Not good.

Build4u
Any tips on twisting the wire?

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post #21 of 28 Old 02-03-2003, 05:52 PM
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RG

The most important thing is to make sure that the loop that goes threw the grid is tight. When you install the lag into the joist above, I bend a hook on the wire and feed it threw the eye of the lag. I bend the wire around so it crosses the vertical wire at about 45 degrees. Now with a good pair of electrical pliers, clamp the tail of the wire, hold the pliers and the vertical wire together and twist the whole unit. If you do this enough, you will learn to get a very tight and nicely stacked twist. You should twist the wires at least 4 or 5 times.

For the end that ties to the grid. We use a laser becon. You can use a jet line string if you wand thought. Take the vertical wire and hold it tight to the grid with one hand. Slide the grid up or down untill the system is level. When it is level clamp the wire with your pliers right at the hole in the grid. Now bend a 90 degree bend at that point and slip the wire threw the hole. bend the wire up so it crosses the vertical wire at a 45 degree angle. Now, at this point I do the same as above but its a little bit tricky upside down. You can twist the grid end by hand just keep the twists tight.

When we tie to the lags we use a lag pole for high jobs. That drive the lag and twists the wire at the same time. These work very well.
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post #22 of 28 Old 02-04-2003, 05:55 AM
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Thanks! It's good to get tips like these from people who know what they are doing. :)

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post #23 of 28 Old 02-04-2003, 01:15 PM
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i have a question. I am want to replace my grid ceiling (vibrations galour) with a drop drywall grid ceilling like the one you spoke of here. Hte question I have, "can I use metal studs for the grid?" Leveling with a laser guide and then tieing with 9 guage wire every 2 feet? And would be the grid patern? 2*4? Or something wider?

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post #24 of 28 Old 02-04-2003, 03:42 PM - Thread Starter
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TreyCarr,

Yes you could use metal studs for a ceiling grid. Just make sure all of the holes in the studs line up. Then you would buy [metal U channel] from your drywall dealer. This U channel is then inserted into the holes of the metal studs, then it is twisted until it locks tightly in place. The ceiling wires are wrapped around [tied] to the U channel. You should be able to go every 4 foot on center with your wire instead of 2 foot with this type of frameing.

You DO NOT need to put the U channel into every hole of the studs. Space the channels approx. 4 foot apart. Where one channel ends and another begins, let them overlap each other, and either wire or screw them together.

Try to use 3 5/8" 20 gauge studs on 16" centers for your ceiling frameing if you have the room. Although, you could use 1 5/8 or 2 1/2 studs, IMHO the 3 5/8 makes for a more solid ceiling. Also, how long of a span you have is a concern??

All of Build4u tips for twisting wires are correct and well said! But, I would like to add one thing, Before you twist any of your wires, make sure they are straight as possible with NO kinks . Just take your pliers and give your wires a little "tug down".

Colin
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post #25 of 28 Old 02-04-2003, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
more sound absorption characteristics than drywall anyway (they have a higher STC rating).
Not necessarily true. STC will tell you the expected reduction of sound on the opposite side of the wall. It does not provide any indication as to how much of that reduction is by absorption vs, say, reflection.

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post #26 of 28 Old 02-05-2003, 04:48 AM
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Colin

Good advice about pulling the wires tight. I did forget that very importent step. Not pullung the wires tight is why after the job is all said and done, one day, you notice that the ceiling you thought you had straight as an arrow, really looks more like the ocean.

I have never built a metal stud drop but have seen them. This would be a very solid ceiling. I also agree 100% that 20Ga. metal is the only way to go in all construction. Alot of people go to Home Depot and Lowes and see 25 Ga. metal and think that metal studs are all the same. They are not! In my area I would guess 75 to 80% of all our work in completed in 20Ga.

Mike
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post #27 of 28 Old 02-18-2003, 08:59 PM
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Ok, I said I'd get back to everyone with pricing information when I received it and here it is:

The Sheetrock lay-in panels from USG come in packs of 4 panels. Each pack is priced at around $14.

The problem is (at least at my Home Depot), USG won't ship any unless you order an entire pallet. This means 48 packs minimum, for a cost of around $700.

I'm trying to figure a way to order a smaller quantity but it doesn't look good at the moment. Maybe I'll use 1/4" MDF 2x4 panels.

Anyway, there you have it.

-Bart
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post #28 of 28 Old 02-19-2003, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Bart

Don't give up your search for the sheetrock lay-in panels. Have you looked in your yellow pages under " drywall suppliers" or maybe " drywall distributors"?? These type of drywall dealers normally have contacts with ceiling grid manufacture's such as USG, Armstrong, ect., and don't require you to purchase an entire pallet of panels. Buy just what you need!

Good luck, Colin
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