Setting up your Grid
Once you have picked the type of tile that you will be installing you can begin laying out your grid tracks. It is best to do this on paper first so we don’t make mistakes in cutting our tracks. We will be installing 2×2 foot tiles so all of our final openings with the exception of our lights need to be 2 foot square.
To accomplish this we will layout our grid system using main grid rails that will run the long length of our room then we will install 4 foot long connectors between each main grid and finally 2 foot long connectors between our 4 foot connectors to give us 2 foot square openings throughout the room.
You want to measure your room at your ceiling height from corner to corner in each direction and also in at least 2 mid points in the room in both directions.
Since the outside edge of the room will support the tiles with a 90 degree molding we have to divide the center of the room into 4 foot wide sections to find where our main rails will be placed.
If you are lucky to have a room with a width that is equally dividable by 2 feet then you are all set but if your room is an off dimension, which it most likely is, you will need to adjust your main rails to place a half tile on the outside edges of each wall.
As you can see if we layout our tiles from one side of the room to the other we are left with less then half a tile when we finish.
The best way to handle this is to split the difference between both ends of the room and cut tiles that are larger. You may not care as much if you can hide one end of the ceiling tiles under an overhang or in an area that will not get a lot of traffic. For most smaller rooms this is really a necessity.
To get the measurements you take the width of the last full tile 24 inches and the width of the small tile 9 inches and add them together then divide by two 24+9= 33 inches 2/33 = 16-1/2 inches. So, each side of our room will get tiles that are about 16-1/2 inches wide.
It is best to layout your plan on paper first.
Next we will measure for our perimeter molding height.