Drop ceilings, also commonly known as suspended ceilings, are very popular in areas such as basements where overhead objects make a conventional ceiling impractical. Objects such as electrical wiring, plumbing fixtures and duct work can be very difficult and costly to relocate or otherwise hide. A drop ceiling can be installed below these items, thus eliminating the need to move them, and can present a very attractive ceiling at the same time.
In certain situations some of these overhead objects are routed in such a manner they cannot be completely concealed by a drop ceiling. One such example is duct work which can at times be routed down through the ceiling area in order to properly reach another area or device. When this occurs it will be necessary to construct the drop ceiling around the duct work.
Begin your project by installing all grid work as you normally would. Once you know the location of the grid-work on the exterior walls take careful measurements and transfer these measurements to the duct work. Make level marks around the full diameter of the duct work at the exact level of the ‘L’ brackets on the exterior walls.
Install ‘L’ brackets around the duct work. Cut two brackets the exact length of two sides of the duct. The other two pieces of bracket need to be cut two inches longer than the width of the duct work. Use short screws, or pop-rivets to install the same type and size brackets as you used on the exterior walls. When completed, you will have ‘L’ brackets fully encircling the duct work. Check the brackets prior to securing them to the duct work to be certain they are level and at the exact same height as the ‘L’ brackets on the exterior walls. If these are not level, the ceiling will either sag, or have an awkward upward angle in the area of the duct work.
If any of your brackets intersect the duct work, carefully cut the bracket so it will fit flush against the duct work and rest atop the ‘L’ bracket mounted to the duct. Complete the installation of the remainder of your grid-work for the ceiling. Install all ceiling tiles with the exception of those around the duct work.
Take carefully measurements of the opening around the duct work. Transfer the measurements to a ceiling tile. Using a razor blade cutter, cut the ceiling tile to match the opening in the grid-work. Install the ceiling tile into the grid-work, making certain it fits smoothly and snuggly on all sides. Repeat this for each custom ceiling tile needed to complete the pattern around the duct work.