Armstrong tile ceiling is the most popular among suspended systems. He is appreciated both in offices and in private apartments for many advantages, but he also has drawbacks. Next, we will consider all the intricacies of installing Armstrong ceiling and give tips and advice on the use of this coating.
The exact name of this type of coating is a tiled-cellular suspended ceiling. In our country, it is traditionally called Armstrong by the name of an American manufacturing company. This company more than 150 years ago began to produce, among many other building materials, slabs made of natural fiber. Similar slabs are used today for mounting Armstrong type ceilings. Although the device and installation technologies for such suspension systems have changed somewhat, the name remains as a common name.
Armstrong tile-cellular ceiling coatings are frame systems made of metal profiles , suspensions, which are attached to the concrete base and mineral plates, which are directly coated. The material for them is obtained from mineral wool with the addition of polymers, starch, latex and cellulose. The color of the plates is predominantly white, but decorative coatings may have other colors. Frame parts are made of light metals: aluminum and stainless steel.
The mass of one mineral plate can be from 1 to 3 kg, the load per 1 square. m. it turns out from 2.7 to 8 kg. The products are predominantly white in color, they are quite fragile, subject to moisture and high temperatures, so they are stored in reliable moisture-proof packaging. Such plates are cut with an ordinary paint knife. There are more durable options, made on the basis of latex and plastic, these require for processing a harder tool.
The advantages of Armstrong-type ceilings are as follows:
- lightness of the whole structure and ease of installation;
- the ability to hide all irregularities and defects of the ceiling;
- safety and environmental friendliness of the material;
- the possibility of easy replacement of plates with defects;
- good noise protection.
False ceilings after installation form voids in which electric cables and other communications are usually hidden. If you need to repair or install a new wiring, then it is easy to get to it by removing several plates, then they simply put them in place.
This type of ceiling has its drawbacks:
- since they are installed at a certain distance from the ceiling, they take the height from the room; it is not recommended to install the Armstrong system in rooms that are too low;
- mineral slabs are rather fragile, they are afraid of water, so it is better not to install them in rooms with high humidity;
- Armstrong ceilings are temperature sensitive.
Usually, based on these minuses, they choose certain places where Armstrong ceilings are installed. The leader here are offices, institutions, corridors in various buildings. But often the owners of apartments during repairs make such coatings, most often in hallways. In rooms where there may be increased humidity, for example, in kitchens, the problem is also easily solved - special types of Armstrong coatings are put: hygienic with protection against steam, fat sticking and functional, moisture resistant.
How to calculate the amount of materials?
In order to calculate the amount of materials for installing Armstrong suspended ceilings, you must generally know what parts they are assembled from.
For installation, standard products with dimensions are needed:
- mineral plate - dimensions 600x600 mm - this is the European standard, there is still the American version of 610x610 mm, but we practically do not see it;
- corner profiles on the walls - length 3 m;
- main guides - length 3.7 m;
- transverse guides 1.2 m;
- transverse guides 0.6 m;
- height-adjustable suspensions for attaching to the ceiling.
Next, we calculate the area of the room and its perimeter. It is worth noting that it is necessary to take into account possible overlappings, columns, other internal superstructures.
Based on the area (S) and perimeter (P), the number of necessary elements is calculated by the formulas:
- mineral plate - 2.78xS;
- corner profiles on the walls - P / 3;
- main guides - 0.23xS;
- transverse guides - 1.4xS;
- number of suspensions - 0.7xS.
You can calculate the amount of materials for installing ceilings along the area and perimeter of the room using the numerous tables and online calculators available on construction sites.
In these calculations, the number of whole parts is rounded up. But one must understand that only with a visual picture can one imagine how it is actually more convenient and more beautiful to cut plates and profiles in a room. So, for example, for 1 m2 you need about 2.78 pieces of standard Armstrong plates, rounding up. But it is clear that in practice they will be trimmed with maximum savings in order to use as few trimmers as possible. Therefore, it is best to calculate the norms of materials using a drawing with a grid of the future frame.
As additional elements to the Armstrong ceiling frame, fasteners are used on which suspensions are fixed to the concrete ceiling. For them, an ordinary screw with a dowel or collet can be taken. Another additional component is the fixtures. For such a design, they can be standard, with dimensions of 600x600 mm and simply inserted into the frame instead of a conventional plate. The number of lighting fixtures and the frequency of their insertion depends on the design and the desired level of lighting in the room.
Additional accessories to Armstrong ceilings can be decorative plates with patterns or squares with round cutouts in the middle for recessed spotlights.
The next item on the Armstrong Ceiling Installation Chart is surface preparation. This type of decoration visually hides all the defects of the old ceiling, but it is not protected from mechanical damage. Therefore, first of all, it is necessary to remove the old coating - plaster or whitewash, which can peel off and fall on the mineral slabs. If the existing material is held tight to the ceiling, then you can not remove it.
If the ceiling is leaking, it is necessary to waterproof it , as Armstrong ceiling tiles are afraid of moisture. Even if they are functional and moisture resistant, then the future ceiling will not save from large leaks. As a waterproofing material, you can use bitumen, waterproof polymer plaster or latex mastic. The first option is cheaper, the last two, although more expensive, but more efficient and harmless to residential premises. Existing joints, cracks and crevices must be repaired with alabaster or gypsum putty.
Armstrong ceiling construction technology allows the frame to be placed at a distance of 15-25 cm from the floor slab. This means that insulation can be placed in the free space. To do this, use various insulating materials: polystyrene, mineral wool, polystyrene foam. They can be attached to the old ceiling on an adhesive base, screws or use a frame made of a rigid metal profile, wooden battens. Also at this stage, the necessary wiring is laid.
Further Armstrong installation instructions include markup. A line is drawn along the walls along which the corner profiles of the perimeter of the future structure will be attached. Marking can be done using a laser or a normal level from the lowest angle in the room. On the ceiling, the mounting points of the euro suspensions are marked. It will also be useful to draw all the lines along which the transverse and longitudinal guides will go. After that, you can proceed with the installation.
Do-it-yourself installation of the Armstrong system is very easy, 10-15 square meters. m of coverage can be installed in 1 day.
To build, you will need the following tools:
- laser or bubble level;
- drill or perforator with a drill for concrete;
- Phillips screwdriver or screwdriver;
- metal scissors or grinder for cutting profiles;
- screws or anchor bolts.
Elements of such ceilings are good in that they are universal, the details of any company are identical and are a designer of guides and adjustable suspensions with the same mounts. All profiles, except for corner for walls, do not need self-tapping screws or screws, they are connected using their own fastening system. Therefore, to mount them, you do not need extra tools and materials.
Installation begins with fixing the corner guides around the perimeter. They must be fastened with the shelves down, so that the upper edge runs exactly along the previously marked line. Self-tapping screws with dowels or anchor bolts are used, a pitch of 50 cm. In the corners, at the joints of the profiles, they are slightly cut and bent.
Then fasten the knots into the old ceiling and hang on them all metal suspensions for the upper hinges. The layout of the fixtures should be such that the maximum distance between them does not exceed 1.2 m, and from any wall - 0.6 m. In the places of placement of heavier elements: lamps, fans, split systems, additional suspensions must be fixed, at some offset from the place of the future device .
Then you need to assemble the main guides, which are attached to the hooks of the suspensions in special holes and hung on the shelves of corner profiles around the perimeter. If the length of one guide is not enough for the room, then you can increase it from two of the same. As a connector, use a lock at the end of the rail. After collecting all the profiles, they are adjusted horizontally using a butterfly clip on each suspension.
Next, you need to collect the longitudinal and transverse rails. They all have standard mounts that fit into the slots on the side of the rails. After complete installation of the frame, its horizontal level is checked once again for reliability.
Before installing mineral slabs, you must first install fixtures and other built-in elements. This makes it easier to pull the necessary wires and ventilation hoses through the free cells. When all the electrical appliances are in place and connected, then proceed to fixing the stoves themselves.
Deaf mineral slabs are threaded into the cell diagonally, lifting and turning you need to carefully lay them on the profiles. Do not put too much pressure on them from below, they should be laid without effort.
During the subsequent repair, installation of new fixtures, fans, cabling or decorative panels, the laid plates are simply easily removed from the cells, and after the work is also placed in their place.
Tips & Tricks
It is worth remembering that different options for finishing materials can be used for various institutions. For entertainment venues, schools, clubs, cinemas, it is worth choosing Armstrong acoustic ceilings with increased sound insulation. And for dining rooms, cafes and restaurants, hygienic plates are specially made from stain-resistant grease and a couple of material. Moisture-resistant elements with latex content are installed in pools, baths, and laundries.
Armstrong ceilings have a separate view of decorative slabs. Usually they do not have any useful physical properties, as described above, but perform an aesthetic function. Some of them are a great option for design art. There are mineral plates with a volumetric pattern embossed on the surface, with various textures, reflecting light glossy or matte, to the texture of different types of wood. So during the repair you can show imagination.
Depending on the height to which the Armstrong ceiling frame lowers, you must choose the right Euro suspension. Different companies offer several options: standard adjustable from 120 to 150 mm, shortened from 75 mm and elongated to 500 mm. If you need only a fine finish of a flat ceiling without differences, then a short option is enough. And if, for example, ventilation pipes are to be hidden under a suspended ceiling, then it is better to purchase long fixtures that can lower the frame to a sufficient level.
In wide rooms, the main transverse guides can be easily extended with locks at the ends. It is also easy to cut them to the desired length. As a perimeter frame, suitable angled metal profiles can be used.
For ease of subsequent assembly, it is best to pre-create a diagram containing perimeter, load-bearing, transverse and longitudinal profiles, communications, the location of ventilation, fixtures and blind plates, main and additional mounting nodes. Different elements indicate different colors. As a result, you can immediately easily calculate the consumption of all materials and the sequence of their installation from the picture.
When replacing, repairing Armstrong ceilings, the rules for dismantling are as follows: first, deaf plates are removed, then disconnected from the power supply and the lamps and other built-in appliances are removed. Then it is necessary to remove the longitudinal and transverse profiles and, in the last turn, the bearing guides. After that, hooks and corner profiles are dismantled.
The width of the metal profiles of Armstrong ceiling frames can be 1.5 or 2.4 cm. To reliably fix mineral plates on them, you need to choose the type of their edge.
There are currently 3 varieties:
- Board edge plates are versatile and fit securely onto any profile.
- Tegular versions with a stepped edge can only be fixed on 2.4 cm wide rails.
- And slabs with a stepped edge of Microlook lie on thin profiles of 1.5 cm.
The standard size of Armstrong ceiling slabs is 600x600 mm, previously 1200x600 varieties were produced, but they did not prove themselves for safety and the possibility of a collapse of the coating, therefore they are not used now. In the USA, the standard for 610x610 mm boards is used, it is rarely found in Europe, but it is still worthwhile to carefully study the labeling with dimensions when buying, so as not to purchase the American version that does not fit with the metal fastening system.
The Armstrong ceiling installation workshop is presented in the next video.