Not long ago drop ceiling, also sometimes known as suspended ceilings, were most commonly found in basements or commercial settings. As the number of designs and colors have increased, drop ceilings are becoming more common place. These ceilings are now used in dining rooms, family areas, and recreation rooms. In many of these areas it is desirable to have a ceiling fan to help move air and to help control energy costs. Mounting a ceiling fan on a drop ceiling is certainly possible, but it will take a bit more preparation.
Ceiling fans require more support and a better anchor point than the standard ceiling tile of drop ceiling grid-work can provide. Not only is the weight of the ceiling fan a consideration, the vibration caused by constant use must also be taken into account.
There are several methods which can be used to install a ceiling fan in a drop ceiling. You can add additional support brackets, bracing, and even line the back of a ceiling tile with a piece of plywood. All of these will work, but there is another method which is specifically designed and engineered for the purpose of properly placing a ceiling fan in your drop ceiling.
You may purchase a specially designed bracket which will fit neatly above your drop ceiling grid-work. This bracket is heavy duty and fits neatly within the existing grid-work. Its outside dimensions match those of the ceiling tile and it snaps neatly into place. These brackets are adjustable and span the center point of the ceiling tile in which you intend to install the ceiling fan. In the center of the bracket there is a secure anchor point located precisely in the center of the bracket. This allows for even support and distribution of the weight load once the ceiling fan is installed.
It will be necessary to install a support from the anchor point on the bracket to an secure overhead location, such as a ceiling or roof joist. This support can be in the form of a cable, or a chain cut to length. It is important the support method be tight and be cut to exactly the correct length. If the support method is not the proper length the ceiling grid will be un-level.
There are several manufacturers which supply this type of hardware. Arlington Industries offers a variety of good products designed for installing a ceiling fan in a drop ceiling. You will find using a bracket of this type to be far easier to install, less expensive, and will provide better overall results than attempting to install the fan directly to the drop ceiling grid-work and adding additional support cables.