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Questionhow can we build a false ceiling over an existing concrete one an install downlighters?

Our builder says the only was is to suspend a metal grid and install ceiling tiles, but this would make our kitchen feel too much like an office. Is there a way of fixing a more substantial grid that could support plasterboard ceiling with downlighters? The ceiling is concrete and in a victorian mansion block, with a flat above.

8 Answers

Best Answer


if you copy and paste this link you can see how you can suspend a ceiling and fit 12mm plaster board
hope this helps and if you cant find anyone local to help you please contact us
many thanks

pk property 19th Jun, 2011

Timber framework.
Just to give you an idea of what you need:


This is what i use when erecting a false/dropped ceiling,plasterboarded & skimmed.


carl melady 19th Jun, 2011

Victorian mansion I`m assuming the ceilings are quite high as they were in victorian era.
Its possible to stud out the ceiling with timber by fixing timber battens to the walls and hanging joists from these to create a void between the existing ceiling and the new one.
New joists should be set @ either 400mm centres or 450mm centres to use 1200 x 900mm plasterboards.
The depth of space between ceiling and timbers depends on how deep the downlighters are but it may be worth considering insulating the roof void for sound proofing from the flat above.
Downlighters should be fitted with a fire proof hood.
Hope this is of help to you.

KB Home improvements 19th Jun, 2011

Hi Sarah,
depending on the height of the ceiling, it could be possible to do a drop ceiling using metal framing and then plaster boarded. This also can be insulated to help with noise and thermal.
I use this method on flat conversions for soundproofing the rooms.

Everybuild 19th Jun, 2011

yes did many ,frame out in timber 3x2s either fix around perimeter walls ,install joist hangers and hang joists either side then 1st fix lights ,plasterboard and skim ,2nd fix lights ,job done ,

substructure 19th Jun, 2011

Hello Sarah,
There are now available suspended metal framed ceilings which allow for a plasterboard and skim,they are lightweight and very strong and far superior to the timber alternative,i have installed them a number of times with no problems.Good Luck!


B.P.O'Connor plastering 21st Jun, 2011

Depending on the size of the ceiling, you could fit joist hangers and form a suspended ceiling with 12.5mm plasterboard and skimmed.
Size of timbers are dependant on the span, you can probably get some fixings in the ceiling to make it rigid.
This way you can get any cables/pipework installed.
You need about 150mm clearance for the downlighters, and use the ones with fire hoods.


A metal grid can be fixed to walls and hangers of whatever height you require can be fixed,grid up, insulate,platerboard plaster etc obviously depending on size of room,but 40m2 grid and plasterboard=2/2.5 days labour(excluding material)

renorite 22nd Jun, 2011

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