Installing Suspended Drop Ceilings

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    Installing our Perimeter Molding The perimeter molding holds the outside edge of all the tiles that come into contact with the walls of your room. It also sets the ceiling height and sets the level of your grid system.

    Since we measured down from the lowest obstruction in our room and figured out we need to drop the ceiling 6 inches lower then the joists. We could just go around our room and where the bottom of the joist meets the wall measure down 6 inches and make a mark…..

    But a better way is to use a water or laser level. If you do not have a good quality laser level then you can rent one or you can build yourself a water level from 20 feet of clear 1/4 inch tubing filled with colored water.

    You can read our other HowTos on how to setup a laser level or water level.

    If you do not have access to either of these items then you can just use a 6 foot long carpenters level and measure down from the joists. But you have to be very careful when you do this because it is easy to start at one corner of the room and end-up much lower or higher.

    Any large differences will show up later.

    Now that we have our line we can screw our molding to our wall studs.

    Drill a holes or use a hole punch to place holes in your perimeter molding.

    Now using 2-1/2″ drywall screws attach one corner of the molding so the bottom sits on the level line you just made.

    Take the other corner of the molding and position it in place but before you attach it to the wall double check the level of the molding with your carpenters level.
    Now place one screw in the center and fill the remaining holes with screws.

    The screws will be going into your wall studs so they will have a distance between them of 16 inches on center.

    Go all around the room with the perimeter molding and at the corners of your room you should make sure that your moldings meet up cleanly. You can leave them flush or you can cut 45 deg angles on the corners it is up to you just don’t let them overlap or sit one on top of the other.

    You will also need to cut your moldings with your tin snips.

    When you have extra pieces of molding or railing remember to keep them because you may be able to use them in other places.

    Once our perimeter molding is up we can start installing our main grid rails.

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