As one of the leading suspended ceiling installers in Manchester and across the UK, one of the questions we are often asked is whether or not a suspended ceiling is considered a structural ceiling. While the quick answer is simply “no”, there’s a little more to it than that!
In this article, we’re going to talk about the difference between structural and suspended ceilings, and what you can expect from each.
What is a structural ceiling?
When we talk about a structural ceiling, we are referring to the top layer of any room. If you think of a room as a cardboard box, the ceiling would be the lid. While it is a single plane, when combined with the room’s walls and floors, it gives shape, structure, and stability to the surroundings. It is expected to bear the weight of the rooms above, as well as any fixtures fittings that might be installed on the ceiling side. It also provides structural integrity against outside influences, such as the weather.
Of course, technically speaking, no ceiling is a structural ceiling. Even a regular plastered ceiling is not considered structural. The structure in question is comprised of roof/floor joists (depending which side of the partition you’re looking at). While the materials might vary from property to property, these are typically tough, strong, and durable items, such as timbers, concrete beams, or reinforced steel girders. It is these joists that provide the support and stability expected of a structural ceiling. The floorboards on one side and the plastered ceiling on the other, are just decoration.
What is a suspended ceiling?
That all being said, there is a distinct difference between a regular plastered ceiling and a suspended ceiling. Suspended ceilings offer practical and aesthetic advantages. A suspended ceiling grid is installed some distance from the main ceiling, depending on the effect you hope to achieve. Ceiling tiles are then fitted into the grid to create a brand new ceiling. It is not only attractive to look at, but the cavity between the suspended and structural ceiling allows you install all manner fixtures and fittings, from custom lighting and security cameras, to audio speakers, air-conditioning, and more. All the equipment is artfully hidden behind those ceiling tiles. The tiles themselves can also offer sound and heat installation, depending on their construction.
While suspended ceilings are more than durable enough to support the weight of any accessories you might want to install, they are not intended as weight-bearing ceilings. Installing a heavy chandelier, a punching bag, or any other weighty items is likely to result in problems.
For professional suspended ceiling installers in Manchester and across the UK, get in touch with Granmore today. Call us on 0800 074 5005 or send an email to email@example.com to discuss your requirements with one of our experts and to receive a free, no-obligation quote for our services. Alternatively, order your own suspended ceiling grids and ceiling tiles directly from our online store and get fast delivery across the country.