Using sheetrock panels as Grid Ceiling tiles.

windslamJanuary 26, 2012

Has anyone tried cutting 2x2 panels from sheet rock and using them in a grid ceiling? Do they continue to lay flat over time without any sag? I'm specifically considering using the thin 1/4 inch thick panels to reduce weight even though the grid is well supported.

I originally installed some fancy Armstrong tiles in the ceiling hoping to give the area a classy look. It did look great for about 5 years. Now each and every tile has slightly bowed in the center because of the design characteristics which gives the ceiling a saggy look. In another area I had used plain old flat acoustical tiles and they still look great and lay flat even after 10 years.

This all started because with the addition of a wood stove, I wanted something over the stove area which would not be affected by heat or if a piece fell, would not be a fire hazard. I cut down some tile backer board that is about 1/8th inch or so into 2x2 panels, painted it put them over the stove area and they really lay flat and look great. Due to the cost, I don't want to do the whole ceiling in that stuff so thought the sheet rock panels would be the next best approach for the rest of the ceiling in that area even though cutting into 2x2 panels is a bit labor intensive. Looking at the selection of ceiling tiles in Lowes and Home Depot, I haven't seen anything I want to use. They all feel like compressed paper pulp and I'm sure some of the fancier ones will sag over time. They are already doing it in the store displays.

This is on a lower level in a split foyer home. I don't want to permanently sheet rock the ceiling because it gives me the flexibility of getting up in there to service both floors. I can't tell you how many times this has come in handy every time something new comes along that requires wiring changes for networks, adding tv cable to rooms, changing out lighting, rerouting/repair/plumbing upgrades etc.

Any experienced info on using the sheet rock as panels would really be appreciated.

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1/4" gypsum board will sag and standard 1/2" needs to be supported every 16 inches. Humidity and heat are important factors for a suspended ceiling.

What you want is made by several manufacturers, it just isn't sold in retail stores. They may not save you money but they will look better and last longer.

Here is a link that might be useful: SHEETROCK Brand ClimaPlus Lay-in Acoustical Ceiling Panels with FIRECODE

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:27AM
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Thanks Renovator8, that is the kind of information I'm looking for. I surely don't want to go through this again.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 4:48PM
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Might just as well consult the mfg;

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 7:58PM
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Thanks snoonyb, that site has quite a selection of choices. I'm glad I checked with you guys about using sheet rock, I never thought it would sag. Looking at a panel of it, with the beveled edges for taping, I wouldn't have gotten many 2x2 panels out of one sheet anyhow.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2012 at 11:11PM
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Pretty much all porous construction materials (except concrete) lose strength in hot humid environments and the loads on the supports are greater on ceilings than on walls.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 10:58AM
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That area normally doesn't get over 60-65 percent humidity on the rare occasions. I guess over time it took its toll. Looking at the sites you guys recommended along with some others I browsed, there's plenty out there that are rated for 95% humidity and above and, are guaranteed not to sag if you use their channel grid. I'm not going to replace the grid, I'm confident the tiles won't sag with what is in place. The acoustical tiles with no design in them have laid flat for a lot of years. For the main area I'm doing, I'd rather not use the acoustical but use more plain and straight up panels. The commercial type are more expensive but given that replacement over time would be necessary using the same type already there, the commercial ones are actually more cost effective. The fire ratings would be fine for over the stove area also. Now I'll just find a dealer or retail outlet that carries them.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2012 at 5:52PM
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