With the ever changing trends in ceiling design and presentation, The Construction Centre provides suppliers and manufacturers of ceiling products. In this section you will find a directory of companies specialising in suspended ceilings, tiles and panels as well as a wide range of other ceiling related products....more
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Ceilings are used to close the space to the underside of a floor or roof to hide the structure and services. There are three basic systems each using a variety of materials and finishes to achieve anything from a plain monolithic appearance to something highly ornate and sculptural. Each can offer technical qualities to meet acoustic, fire rated, moisture resistant or clinical standards.
Reference should be made to Approved Document B of the Building Regulations to determine whether the ceiling needs to be fire rated to suit the particular use of the building.
Boards & Planks
The first category is mechanically fixed back to the structure the most common type being plasterboard which is fixed back with plasterboard nails or screws to timber joists or sub frame. The plasterboard may be of several types standard for general use, vapour check for high humidity areas or fire check for use in high occupancy areas and escape routes. The joints between the boards are taped with a scrim bandage to avoid cracking and finished with a skim of plaster to provide a monolithic appearance to receive decoration. There are a wide variety of architectural plaster mouldings, cornices and covings to create both classical and modern sculptural interest.
Alternatives are to use timber boarding where advantage is to be taken of its natural beauty. This is generally manufactured in a tongued and grooved format for secret fixing and can be moulded to enhance the appearance or improve sound absorbent qualities.
These comprise a suspension grid which may be supported directly from the structure or where regular spaced fixings are not available a secondary structural suspension grid. The grid may be constructed in a square or rectangular format to suit the size and shape of the tiles. The most commonly manufactured sizes being 600 x 600 or 600 x 1200, though other sizes are available. The grid is made up of inverted 'T' bars suspended by wire hangers from the structure above. Metal plank ceilings use a system of carrier bars into which the planks are clipped.
There are alternative plank format tiles produced in a variety of widths up to 600mm and lengths up to 2500mm for use in corridors or for prescribing pedestrian routes.
The suspended ceiling tiles or ceiling planks are manufactured in a variety of materials each of which are offered in a range of textured and patterned finish. These include mineral fibre tiles, mineral wool, gypsum, fibreglass or metal and are predominantly finished in white though some companies offer additional metallic or pastel colours or timber veneer facings.
Edge treatment of the tiles and planks can add further variation to the appearance. Starting with the most basic sit in tile, which is simply sat in and supported on the T grid, to square edge tegular tiles which has a rebated edge to emphasise the gridded appearance. The edge of the tile may also be grooved to fit around and conceal the grid to produce a homogeneous appearance or have an additional chamfer to produce a 'V' groove.
Metal planks are also offered in a linear format with a variety of widths and edge profiles. These are particularly suited to areas of high humidity such as swimming pools or the semi external environment of shopping malls. There are also ranges designed for external locations to withstand the wind loadings and are useful for covered walkways or canopies.
A wide range of integrated services are available to suit most types of suspended ceiling product. These include light fittings, heating, ventilation and cooling systems. Some of the ceiling systems provide easy access to maintain the service above but when this is not possible there are purpose made access panels to suit.
These make use of recent technology which has been available for about the past 20 years and uses a PVC membrane fixed into an aluminium perimeter frame. The stretch ceiling membrane is available in an extensive choice of colours and textures and can be fitted to form inclined or vaulted forms. The membrane's inherent qualities make it suitable for most buildings. It can achieve a Class 'O' fire rating making it suitable for public buildings and its moisture resistance make it an ideal option for swimming pool ceilings and spas while its bio-proof surface make it an option for medical, catering or laboratory situations.