Rack ceilings on the Russian market appeared relatively recently, but nevertheless quickly gained popularity. Their availability, a variety of choices in color and shape, as well as ease of assembly make it possible to install rack ceilings not only for professionals, but also for amateurs. They got their name due to the shape in the form of a rail of various sizes.
Advantages and disadvantages
Perhaps the indisputable and most important advantage of any slatted ceilings is their widespread use in the interior decoration of almost any room. You can also highlight the following benefits:
- Resistant to various temperature conditions.
- Excellent moisture resistance, making this system suitable for use in wet areas such as kitchens, bathrooms or swimming pools.
- Increased fire resistance. Non-combustible materials are used in the production.
- Resistant to mold and mildew.
- Easy care. enough to wipewith a damp cloth without detergent.
- Lightweight design to avoid additional reinforcements.
- Speed. The rack ceiling installation technology is not complicated, so the work is done in a short time.
- Long service life. The warranty period with proper installation is 15-20 years.
The disadvantages of these ceilings include the following:
- When installed, the height of the room is reduced. But this can also be a plus, since various communications can be hidden between the rails and the ceiling.
- The impossibility of detailed replacement, that is, if one of the rails is damaged, partial dismantling will be required to replace it.
Types of rack ceilings
By type of material, rack ceilings are of two types:
- Plastic - The rails are made of PVC. Light weight, low price, but also low strength.
- Metal - slats are made of galvanized, chrome-plated steel or aluminum. They have the best aesthetic characteristics and environmental friendliness. A conditional disadvantage is the increased price and the formation of rust in case of damage to the top layer of the rail.
There are three types of joints:
- Open - when mounted between the rails, there is a gap of up to 15 millimeters (depending on the model of the ceiling), into which a decorative strip is subsequently inserted.
- Closed - slatted panels are inserted into each other with a tongue (looks likeon the connection of wooden lining).
- Gapless - panels are mounted close to each other without any inserts.
The appearance of the rails can also be different:
- Solid or solid panel. It is a rail without any holes.
- Perforated panels. They are made by perforation and have equidistant holes on the surface of the lath.
Mainly used in rooms where additional ventilation is required. Knowing what types of panels are will help you better understand how to assemble a rack ceiling.
Depending on the type of rack ceiling, the composition of the kit may vary slightly, but the main details will be similar. Consider the package in more detail:
- Material depends on choice. Products can have different sizes, but basically on sale you can find slats from 300 to 400 cm long, 5 to 30 cm wide and 0.4 to 0.7 mm thick.
- Decorative inserts (for open type ceilings) that are inserted between the rails.
- Guide profile (angular or U-shaped). Attaches to the wall around the perimeter of the room. It is more of a decorative piece and is not load-bearing in any way.
- Traverse (stringer, comb). The main carrier profile, which has latches or teeth on which the rails are attached. It is on it that the main load of the ceiling should be.
- Direct or adjustable (spring) hangers. Designed for attaching stringers to the ceiling.
- Mount rackceiling. It can be various dowel-nails, anchors or ordinary self-tapping screws if the surfaces are wooden.
In order not to have to run to the store and buy additional components at the most inopportune moment, it is necessary to calculate the amount of material as accurately as possible. Also, the calculation of the rack ceiling will save you from unnecessary purchases, and this, in turn, will save both time and money.
First you need to decide on the direction of the rails, that is, figure out how they will be mounted - along the length or width of the room. This is important, as it will avoid unnecessary expenses. Example: a room measuring 2.5 by 1.9 m. If you run a three-meter rail along the length, then the remainder will be 0.5 m from each panel (for a four-meter strip, the consumption will be greater). But if we change the direction in width and get a four-meter rail, we will get two parts from one whole, and the consumption will be 0.2 m from each panel. And this is more than half as much.
- Reiki, like decorative inserts, are purchased based on the area of the room, with a small margin, which is measured in square meters.
- Guide profile - a decorative part in the rack ceiling installation, measured in running meters. The quantity is determined by adding the length of all the walls of the room (perimeter). Also available with a small margin.
- The stringer is bought taking into account some features: the first profile should not deviate from the wall by more than 30 cm, and the step betweenthey should not exceed 120 cm. For the example above, we need 3 stringers of 250 cm, or 7.5 running meters. Depending on the length being sold, leftover stringers can be joined together to save money.
- The number of hangers is calculated taking into account the fact that the step from the wall should not exceed 40 cm, and the step between the hangers should not be more than 120 cm. According to our example, it turns out that 3 hangers will go to one stringer, in total they will need 9 pieces.
- Dowel-nails or other fasteners are purchased individually, depending on the type of walls in the room (brick, drywall, wood). When buying, please note that the mounting of the guide profile is carried out in increments of 30-50 cm, and 1-2 dowel-nails are required for one suspension.
The right choice
The final result in the installation of rack ceilings directly depends on how high-quality material was purchased. If the color and texture are chosen based on the design project and your personal preferences, then in choosing a really high-quality material, slightly different principles are followed:
- First of all, it is recommended to check the quality certificate for this product. It must meet all the requirements of GOST.
- Each rail should have a protective film to reduce the possibility of damage or deformation during transport and storage.
- Don't chase the low price. A truly high-quality product cannot be cheap.
- It is advisable to buy all components in one place and from one manufacturer, since it is likely that the parts are from differentmanufacturers are incompatible.
- If you wish, you can buy panels with increased thickness, this will reduce the possibility of deformation and increase the service life.
When buying material, you may encounter not only a variety of colors and textures, but also a variety of prices that differ from each other. Of course, sellers may refer to the fact that imports are always more expensive and so on, but this is not entirely true. Many foreign manufacturers have their own representative offices and production facilities in Russia, and it is not at all profitable for them to deliberately inflate the price. As a rule, an unscrupulous manufacturer manufactures panels with a reduced thickness and uses low-quality material for this. Such panels will cost less, but their quality will be poor: their deformation is possible already in the process of delivery or installation. Therefore, choose only trusted manufacturers.
From foreign companies can be noted:
- Ceiling Group USA Corporation is an American manufacturer with a huge range of products for all types of slatted ceilings with a guarantee of up to 10 years.
- Geipel – German quality speaks for itself. Apply additional surface treatment of the rails from dampness and moisture.
- Luxalon is a Dutch manufacturer with many representatives in Russia.
Domestic manufacturers also do not stand still, and some of them have recently been making products no worse than foreign ones, and besides, they are cheaper. The following can be distinguished:
- "Bard" - uses the latest technology in the manufacture of products that are considered the most durable.
- "Albes" - specializes in the production of various ceiling systems, including rack.
- "Lumsvet" - in addition to ceiling production, is engaged in the manufacture of various metal products, as well as lamps and light sources.
In addition to certain skills and knowledge, for the installation of rack ceilings, you will also need a good tool that will greatly facilitate and speed up the work.
This list includes:
- Pencil or marker (depending on the surface).
- Roulette and square.
- Marking cord.
- Normal and laser level (preferred).
- Puncher or drill (depending on the material of the walls to which the guide profile will be attached), you will also need a screwdriver.
- Scissors or hacksaw (depending on the thickness of the rails)
- Hammer, pliers, paint knife.
- Tools for drilling holes for fixtures (if ceiling lighting is provided).
- Tile drills (if installation takes place in the bathroom or toilet).
Before we start
One of the advantageous differences in installing a rack ceiling with your own hands (as, indeed, other suspended ceiling systems) is that the ceiling itself remains intact. Before starting the main work, it would be useful to do the following:
- Remove flaking elements from the ceiling.
- Dedust the surface with a primer or plain water. If installation is carried out in rooms with high humidity, it is necessary to treat the surfaces to be closed with an antiseptic.
- The even plane of the wall surface along its length is the key to the future visual beauty of our ceiling. If the walls have sufficiently noticeable defects (bumps or pits), then they should be leveled in advance (at least partially), since on such a surface the guide profile will also be bent and will look ugly.
- If for various reasons it is not possible to level the walls, do not despair, because at the finishing stage, defects can be partially hidden by sticking ceiling plinths or baguettes around the perimeter of the room.
- If the lighting will be placed on the panels, then before installing the slatted ceiling, you should run the cable to the selected points for placing light sources. The same applies to forced exhaust (recommended) if it is a bathroom, and the extractor (fan) will be located on the ceiling.
The rack ceiling mounting scheme is not particularly complicated, so the work order will be simple:
- From the very beginning, you need to mark all the walls at the right height.
- Then, a guide profile should be mounted around the entire perimeter of the room.
- After that, a stringer is mounted on the hangers.
- The slats are cut to the required length and attached to the stringers over the entire area of the ceiling.
- At the final stage, they install and connectfixtures.
Marking the walls
- First, you need to determine the depth, that is, find out how much our ceiling will drop relative to the total height of the walls.
- In order to outline the entire perimeter, two marks on adjacent walls in the corner of the room will be enough.
- Using a tape measure, measure the desired height of the future ceiling and draw small lines.
- Set the laser level along the lines made (you can use a tripod or just hold it with your hand) and put marks in all corners of the room.
- Draw lines using a marking cord. This step cannot be done without the help of a second person. This is done as follows: the cord is pulled along the marks (along the length of the wall), then it is slightly pulled back and released. Due to the coloring element that is present on the cord, a straight line is obtained. We do the same with the rest of the walls.
Installation of frame and stringers
For the correct installation of the rack ceiling with your own hands, it is enough to follow the following steps:
- First of all, the frame or guide profile is suspended. It is important to mount it as evenly as possible, adhering to the drawn line. The profile is fastened in increments of no more than 50 cm. It is recommended to first drill holes in the profile and only then attach it to the wall. Although some manufacturers make the initial profile with holes to facilitate installation.
- Installation of stringers also begins with markings. The first and last are placed at a distance of no more than 30-40 cm from the wall, the subsequent ones - with a step notover a metre. According to these marks, using a laser, we start lines on the ceiling and mark the places where the suspensions are attached. The distance is about the same as for stringers: 20-30 cm from the wall, step - 1-1, 2 m. Do not forget that each tire has a beginning or starting end, from where it should be measured (for trimming).
You need to hang the stringers so that all the starting ends are on the same side. You can cut both with scissors for metal and with a hacksaw (in the case of a thickened design). The stringer is cut to about 5 mm short of the finished length.
- In no case should the stringer be allowed to lie on the frame, its weight must be fully supported by the suspensions. And the initial profile performs only a decorative function, the gap between it and the stringer should be 1-2 mm.
- Suspensions are attached to the ceiling with dowel-nails or self-tapping screws.
- After all the tires are mounted, they need to be level or flat.
Installation of panels and fixtures
Installation of slatted ceilings is almost complete, it remains only to mount the panels and light sources. For this you need:
- Cut the strips of the required length (5 mm less than the distance between the walls) and remove the protective film. If the walls and corners of the room are uneven, it is useful to measure the distance for each rail. This will avoid incorrect cuts.
- Installation usually starts from the most visible part of the room. This is more of an aesthetic moment and does not affect the overall process in any way. Therefore, everything is individual for eachpremises.
- The rail is inserted into the guides and snaps onto the stringers or traverses. Everything is quite simple.
- It often happens that the last panel does not fit the width, so it must be cut. To do this, on the back of the rail, you need to draw a line and forcefully draw a knife along it. Then you need to make transverse notches and, bending several times, break off unnecessary pieces. Metal shears can be used instead of a knife.
- The last rail is inserted with the cut-off part into the corner profile. To simplify the installation of the finish panel, you need to insert it in the penultimate turn. That is, the finishing rail is inserted first and only then the penultimate one.
Installation of fixtures is very simple and no different from installation on other suspension systems:
- The holes are cut with scissors or crowns during the assembly of the ceiling at certain early locations.
- The diameter is determined by the size of the lamp.
- The body of the luminaire will be more convenient to install on the rail before mounting it on the ceiling.
- Connection is made with the power off during or at the end of the ceiling assembly.
The rack ceiling is ready, it remains only to brush off the dust from the panels and enjoy the work done. As you can see, installation is quite simple and does not require huge knowledge and experience, which means that any beginner can do it.