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I have just bought a house, with very high ceilings. This is great for most of the rooms, but for the bathroom and kitchen I want to lower the ceilings.

The existing ceiling is about 3.26m and I want to bring it down to about 2.5m.

I have done false ceilings before, but only for small rooms, so the weight wasn't much of an issue. This time however, the room size is 4m by 3.7m, so the weight of 12mm plasterboard plus skim will be quite a lot.

So my questions are:
1. what size joists will I need to use to avoid sagging in the middle? 50x100mm (2x4") ???
2. what is the best way to fix them to the walls ? Nail into battons around the edge? Use wall hangers? Something else?

I have "googled" but can't find any decent sites, and Wickes don't have any "how to" leaflets for this.

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You could use a suspended ceiling system where you hang a grid on wire or metal hangers from the existing soffit.

Have a look on the British Gypsum site fro how to do it and what you'll need.

The Site Book is very useful - look at the pages for CasoLine MF or Gypliner for some guidance.

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Very interesting site.

But those suspended ceilings seem to only have hangers up to 120mm.
I need to lower the ceiling by 760mm.
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Yes I would use roughsawn 4 x 2 and I put a perimeter up of 4 x 2 all round the room firt and fix them to the wall with these
These are graet because you just drill through the timber, into the wall with the masonry bit, use a long series SDS drill, and you dont need plugs for these screws, just screw them into the drilled hole.

Then cut the cross timbers, ever so slightly oversized, so they hold themselves in position, then either skew nail or skew screw, or use a framing nailer nail gun. Fit the timber at 400 centre or to suit the length of the boards. Use noggins or dwangs between the cross timbers to stop the timbers twisting when they dry and it also stiffens the frame. fasten some timbers from the floor or ceiling joist above down to the new frame to support it and also take some bounce out of it.
Stagger the plasterboards to avoid any straight joints and use 38mm plasterboard screws for the best finish.

Hope this helps

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Great reply, thanks.

How far apart should the screws be for the perimeter, in order to support the load?

And how many supports from the ceiling joists am I likely to need? Should 4 be enough? And should they be 4x2 also?

Thanks again,
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Hi Zach,

Around the perimeter, near the corners and say certainly every 900mm,
dependant on the wall condition and how good the fixing. Once the ceiling is
in the ceiling will hang on the fixings and they won't come out. The beauty
of screwing the plasterboards is that it keeps the vibration down on the
ceiling. Nailing the plasterboards vibrates the ceiling and loosens the
fixings. Screwing the plasterboards is a much better job than nailing
anyway. And use 4 x 2, go to the timbers merchants and select each length yourself,
They don't like it, but select the best lengths for yourself and leave the c**p
for somebody else!
Get the timber up and well nogged as soon as you buy it, because the longer you leave it, the worst the twisting will get, If you can't, then leave it as it was stored in the timber yard, until ready for use.

As regards the supports, if you screw the boards, you won't need them.
Supports help when nailing the boards, because the timbers can bounce,
making the nailing harder. The rule is to run the timbers to span the
shortest distance, so if a room 5 x 3.75 then the span distance is 3.75. Two
or three hangers should be sufficient.
This link takes you to a section of the British Gypsum Whitebook, look at
page 331, it gives you the construction detail and fixing centres for
boards. I use the whitebook all the time for reminders on all types of
partitioning work.


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