12 Easy Steps On How To Install Drop Ceiling

Do you have imperfections in the ceiling of your room? If yes, then you can install a drop or suspended ceiling. They are pretty easy to install and are available at low costs. The best thing is that this ceiling can hide all the ductwork, pipes, and wires. 

The drop ceiling even acts as a sound barrier and prevents the sound waves from entering the room. So, if you want to soundproof your room, a drop ceiling is an excellent option.

So, how to install drop ceiling? You need first to plan the drop ceiling grid and install the wall molding on each wall of your room. You have to install the main and secondary runners and then slide the drop ceiling panels on each grid opening.

Installing a drop ceiling is an easy DIY project and can be easily handled by homeowners.

The article discusses a step-by-step guide on how to install drop ceiling. So, you can keep scrolling through the article to learn the step-by-step procedure for installing the drop ceiling.

Tools Required For Installation Of Drop Ceiling

The tools required for installing drop ceilings are as follows.

  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves
  • Hammer
  • Pencil
  • Tin snippers
  • Tape measure
  • Ruler
  • Wire cutting pliers.
  • Tin snippers
  • Screws
  • Wall molding
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses

How To Install Drop Ceiling?

Installing a drop ceiling can help to enhance the space and soundproof your room.

However, there are a few safety things that you need to keep in mind. For example, the metal grid components can be sharp and hit your hand or eyes. 

So, you need to wear gloves and safety goggles while working on this project. Ensure you have a safety ladder and the working area is free from obstructions.

Now let’s discuss step by step how to install drop ceiling.

1. Check Building Codes

You may need to contact and get permission from the local authority before starting the project. Some municipal authorities must submit drop ceiling designs before starting the project.

You also need to ask the local authority about the ceiling height to the local authority. Most of the drop ceiling panels are installed four inches gap from the main ceiling.

So we recommend first verifying whether a drop ceiling can be installed in your area and then purchasing materials and working on the project.

2. Measure The Length Of The Wall Of Your Room

Take a tape measure and measure the length of every wall in the room where you will install a drop ceiling. You can write the measurements in your notebook or directly on the wall. 

Try to measure the length of every wall by leaving at least 4 inches from the top so that you have enough space for fixtures. Now, take a 4 feet level and draw a straight line with a pencil all over the wall. But if you don’t want to draw yourself, then take Chalkline. 

The chalk line consists of a string coated adequately with chalk and wounded. You have to snap the chalk line string so that it will create markings on the wall.

If you have planned to add fluorescent light panels, try to leave 6 inches from the top and then do the marking for drop ceiling installation.

3. Cut Wall Angles According To The Length Of The Wall

Wall molding or wall angles are L-shaped and installed on each side of the wall. They form the grid’s perimeter and will help support the drop ceiling panels.

The wall angles are usually 8 to 12 feet long; hence, you have to trim it with the help of a tin snipper. It ensures that the wall angle will be installed according to the length of the wall.

If you have a corner that goes out of the wall, try to cut the wall molding or wall angle at least 1 inch more than the measurements. You have to cut the wall angle at a 45-degree angle for every corner of the walls.

4. Screw The Wall Angles

Locate the sud on the wall using a stud finder, then mark it with a pencil. You can then line up the wall angle in place of the line drawn on each wall. Now take 3.5 cm screws and an electric screwdriver and secure the wall angle, mainly where you have done stud marking.

Ensure that the wall angles are appropriately secured in their place. If any wall angle is trying to bow out, don’t tighten it against the wall. We recommend keeping a wood shim between the wall and the wall angle; later, you can use caulking to fill gaps.

5. Cut Main Runner

The main runner will support the entire weight of the drop ceiling panel. You have to measure the length of the room that goes perpendicular to the wood joist present on the ceiling of the room.

You have then cut the main runner according to the measurement. You can cut the main runner with the help of tin snips. But if the room’s length is more than the size of the main runner, use clips to connect two ends of the runner.

6. Use Chalk Line At A Distance Of 4 Feet 

Hold the chalk on one end of the room and then pull it to another side. You can then snap the chalk line so that it will create a mark on the joists. Now move to another four-foot distance and make another line on the joist. You can keep moving until you reach the room’s other side.

If you don’t like marking with the help of chalk-like, use strings in place on the ceiling from one end to another.

7. Install Eyelet Screws

You need to purchase eyelet screws from the local hardware shop. The eyelet screw has holes at the end from where you can insert the wire and hang the main runner.

You must insert a large bit inside the electric screwdriver and place the eyelet screw inside the bit. Now install the eyelet screw on every third joist of the ceiling.

8. Insert Certain Length Of Wire On Each Eyelet Screw

Bring a 16 gauge wire and cut it into 20-25 cm. Then, insert the gauge wire in every eyelet screw installed on the ceiling joist. You have to insert two inches of the wire inside the eye of the eyelet screw and then bend it with the help of pliers till it points down.

9. Hang The Main Runner With The Help Of Wire

You have to hold the main runner so that its end will rest on the wall angles and be at 90 degrees to the joist on the ceiling. Now insert the end of the wire inside the circular slots of the main runner and bend it with the help of pliers. It ensures that the main runner is secured in its position.

10. Install The Secondary Runner Perpendicular To The Main Runner

You must find slots at a distance of every two feet on the main runner. You have to lift the secondary runner and fit it inside the slots of the main runner.

11. Make Holes On Tiles

You have to find the area on the ceiling for the ductwork or lighting fixture. You have to cut the shape accordingly on the tile with the help of a utility knife.

If you plan to install a panel fluorescent light fixture, then there is no need to cut the tile into any shape.

Your room can have edges that will not fit a full-size tile. So you need to measure the grid opening of the tile and then add 3/8th inches to it. You have to cut the tile according to the measurement with the help of a utility knife.

We recommend never cutting the tile with the help of power equipment because it creates too much dust.

12. Installing New Drop Ceiling Tiles In Its Place

Most of the drop ceiling tiles will not require any hardware for installation. We recommend you first focus on the center of the grid and then move to the edges. You have to put on the tiles on the ceiling till you completely cover it.


Installing a drop ceiling has various advantages. It enhances the look of your room, insulates and soundproofs it. Hence, you can avoid unwanted noise just by installing a drop ceiling.

The best thing is that you can install the drop ceiling panels easily without getting professional help. 

We have discussed above how to install drop ceiling in detail. You can go through it step by step to learn the tools required and the procedure involved in the installation process.

FAQ : How To Install Drop Ceiling

Q1. What is the minimum clearance for a drop ceiling?

Ans : You need at least 4 inches of clearance for a drop ceiling. It means there should be at least a four-inch gap between the existing and the drop ceiling. But if your room has recessed lighting, the gap can be 6 inches.

Q2.  How is a drop ceiling constructed?

Ans : The construction of a drop ceiling involves tiles on a metal grid. The metal grid supports the molding attached to the walls. You must slide the drop ceiling panels or tiles inside the open grid. However, the weight of the panel is mainly taken by the wire hanging from the ceiling.

Q3. Are drop ceilings expensive?

Ans : Choosing a local remodeling company to install a drop ceiling will cost you approximately $5.80 per square foot. But if you consider drop ceiling installation a DIY project, it will cost almost $2.30 per square foot.

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