A neat and beautiful ceiling makes the whole room attractive. In this regard, special attention is paid to it during repairs - the ceiling should not only harmoniously fit into the surrounding space, but also serve for a long time. However, the finishing of ceilings is usually associated with certain difficulties - you have to deal with cracks and unattractive seams, level differences, the consequences of leaks and conspicuous communications.
If you have at least something from this list, and you need to fix the ceiling quickly, we recommend that you think about choosing an Armstrong suspended structure.
What it is?
Modern manufacturers of this type of ceiling position the finish as an "American design innovation", but this, of course, is not the case. Tile-cellular structures have been widely used in the Soviet Union and Europe since about the middle of the 60s of the last century. True, in industrial premises, and not in private houses or apartments.
Modern technologies have made it possible to carry out the production of ceiling tiles from materials that are suitable in all characteristics for any premises - from a small kitchen to finishing an office or school study. Therefore, today we can say with confidence that Armstrong finish is perhaps the most versatile floor finish available.
The structure looks like a system of profiles that form square or rectangular cells. Slabs and lamps are located in the cells, and the profiles themselves are attached to the base ceiling using suspensions. The suspension system will successfully hide irregularities, wiring or ventilation, protect against noise (in this case, plates with special characteristics are selected), and will allow the room to be insulated.
Installation of such structures is carried out quickly and does not require special preparatory work. Profiles and plates are relatively inexpensive (of course, if we are not talking about exclusive design developments). However, before starting repair work, we recommend that you consult with a specialist who will help you evaluate the base ceiling according to the following criteria: whether it will withstand the additional load and what kind; whether it is necessary to remove old plaster and repair cracks; what building materials the floors are made of. This will determine the materials for finishing you choose in the future, as well as the appropriate weight of the profile, the size of the dowels, and so on.
The production of ceiling panels has been developing especially rapidly in recent years. A variety of innovative materials and their unique properties, an abundance of color variations and textures, the ability to illuminate the ceiling from the inside - all this allows you to choose exactly the option that most successfully complements the interior and suits you.
Suspended tile structures have many advantages, we will talk about them a little later. The main advantage that must be mentioned is the "completeness" of the ceiling. This means that you will present the design of the ceiling even before its installation, and upon completion of the work, no additional adjustment or touch-up is required.
Consider the main advantages of Armstrong suspended structures:
- Room size doesn't matter - Armstrong can be installed in both small and very large rooms.
- Most of the ceiling tiles are very lightweight, which will avoid unnecessary stress on the base flow.
- Only Armstrong will best cover serious ceiling defects.
- Armstrong is irreplaceable where it is necessary to hide communications - it will successfully "cover" various cables, wiring, hoods. In addition, if the communications need to be repaired, then it will be enough for you to remove the required number of tiles without disturbing the entire structure of the ceiling.
- Damage to one finishing element will not lead to the need to dismantle the entire structure - the ceiling tiles are easy to replace.
- Assembly and installation of an Armstrong ceiling does not require special knowledge and the strength of any home craftsman. Special tools are also not required - ordinary construction tools will do.
- The materials used to make ceiling tiles are very diverse. You can easily find the best price / quality ratio.
- The textures and colors of the finishing panels are very diverse and the selection of finishes suitable for the style of the interior will not be difficult.
- In the space between the main ceiling and the suspended one, you can lay insulation and combine a beautiful finish and insulation - an ideal option for rooms in country houses.
- If necessary, you can select panels with good soundproofing qualities - which is why Armstrong is often installed in clubs and recording studios.
- Most modern finishing panels are suitable for installation in rooms with high humidity.
- Modern finishing materials do not attract dust and, if necessary, can be easily cleaned and washed.
- All finishing panels are specially certified and safe for humans. They do not emit any harmful substances, and the slight odor inherent in new plastic disappears within one to two days.
- Finishing panels are not susceptible to temperature changes, do not deteriorate and do not change color when exposed to ultraviolet radiation.
Cassette ceilings have some disadvantages:
- Armstrong finishes may not suit all interior styles. For example, for classic interiors, it is better to choose a simple matte stretch ceiling.
- In home interiors, it can look "rustic". To prevent this from happening, use the original textures of the panels and spectacular lighting.
The cheaper the ceiling tile, the shorter its service life. Also, cheap options are usually not moisture resistant.
- Unfortunately, poor quality ceiling tiles can change color when exposed to sunlight or begin to crumble from heat or cold.
- Ceiling tiles can be damaged by an accidental hit or scratch (children's pistols and slingshots, toy helicopters and airplanes, an accidental champagne cork, or just an unsuccessfully tossed object).
- The suspended structure will inevitably "eat" 15-25 centimeters of the height of the room.
- Unfortunately, the construction will not allow to perform any curvilinear figures - only straight lines or diagonals.
Suspended ceilings are used all over the world, so you can always ask the seller for certificates of compliance with generally accepted standards.
Armstrong's standard suspended structure specifications are:
- The size of one tile is from 600 sq. mm, also tiles with a size of 1200 x 600 mm are on sale.
- The thickness of the tiles varies from 0.8 to 2.5 centimeters.
- The weight of a square meter of the structure depends on the weight of the finishing materials and can range from 2.5 kilograms to 8 kilograms.
- Depending on the characteristics of the finishing material, the moisture resistance of the ceiling varies - from 70 to 100%.
- The Armstrong structure is specially certified (you can ask the seller or manufacturer for the relevant documents) and has a high degree of environmental friendliness, so such ceilings are absolutely safe for humans. These designs are approved for installation in children's educational and medical institutions, which indicates their high quality.
- Reflectance - up to 90%, which means all Armstrong ceilings have good light reflection.
- Sound absorption coefficients depend on the board materials and range from 0.2 to 0.5.
- Armstrong has a low flammability rating. This is a fire-resistant ceiling, since most of the materials from which the slabs are made are non-combustible. Due to the variety of materials, fire characteristics can also be different and are determined by an indicator called "fire resistance" (this is the time that a material resists fire).
- According to GOST, Armstrong systems are structures of a low hazard class and they can be used in premises for various purposes.
- If the ceiling tiles are subjected to additional processing with special compounds (this is done from the inside), then they can withstand corrosion and moisture for a long time. Ceiling slabs are commercially available with three types of edge: Microlook, Tegular, Board, since the slats of the suspension system can be of different widths and shapes (even straight edges or "steps" edges).
The main differences in suspended ceilings are the differences in the material of the finishing boards. The manufacturer's certificates must indicate their main technical characteristics. Several types of Armstrong designs can be found on the market today.
- Economy class ceiling implies cheap and simple materials - mineral-organic plates, rather thin and fragile, are used as ceiling decoration. No moisture resistant material is used in their manufacture, so any leakage or excessive moisture will damage the finish. Nevertheless, the economy class designs have their advantages, such as a variety of assortments, a wide palette of colors and a light weight of the boards themselves.
- Special characteristics of slabs moisture resistant ceiling allow using cassette ceilings in swimming pools, baths and saunas, on loggias and unheated verandas.
- Colored and lattice panels, options with unique ornaments and lighting - a design project will make your wildest dreams come true. True, the cost of such a design will be slightly higher than the standard Armstrong version.
Suspended systems "Prima" have excellent performance and are suitable for use in damp rooms. Durable and durable panels are made from durable materials - metal, plastic, and so on
- False acoustic ceiling necessary for rooms with sound insulation. The thickness of the soundproofing boards reaches 22 mm, so such suspension systems are highly reliable.
- For the manufacture of hygienic ceiling mineral panels with an antibacterial coating are used. This ceiling is washable and is widely used in healthcare facilities.
- Rack ceiling It is mounted similarly to the Armstrong suspension system, the only difference is that the structural elements of the new ceiling are not panels, but metal (aluminum) slats.
- Raster ceiling - it is a cellular suspended structure, and the size of the cells can be completely different. In addition, cells can be of different shapes - square, diamond-shaped, or polygons. Armstrong's design can also be classified as raster. A special type is ceiling panels, which are small open cells (metal lattice).
Different designs are designed to meet different needs, but any Armstrong ceiling can be said to be easy to install, versatile, durable and fireproof.
In addition to the difference in the characteristics of ceiling tiles, you may encounter a different way of installing them. So, most often there is a standard method in which the tile is simply embedded in the frame, but there may also be a more modern way - installing trim elements by snapping in from the outside.
The composition of the elements of the suspended structure remains unchanged when installed in any room, only their number changes. To install the structure, you will need the following profiles: load-bearing, transverse, corner wall profile. The components of the suspension system of the frame of the new ceiling are strings (or spokes) to support the profiles and butterfly springs for attaching the suspensions. And, of course, the most important part of the design is plates or cassettes.
In fact, Armstrong is a construction set consisting of elements that are connected to each other and form a kind of mesh of profiles and panels. Such a design is universal and can be used in large and small spaces, and difficulties arise only when working with non-linear rooms (in these cases, the design has to be combined with plasterboard or plastic suspended ceilings).
The key to the success of Armstrong installation is the correct and even fastening of the profiles to the walls and ceiling. First of all, you need to pay attention to the fact that the base ceiling and walls can be made of various materials - wood, concrete, stone, brick. This means that we will need to fix the profiles using dowels of various sizes. For example, stone walls or silicate surfaces dictate the choice of dowels of at least 50 mm.
If you doubt the ability of the base ceiling to withstand the suspended structure, it is better to entrust the installation to specialists - they will most accurately select the necessary fasteners.
The easiest way to work with wooden floors - the frame grille is usually attached using ordinary self-tapping screws. Even a novice master can handle the installation of the main finishing elements - plates. The main thing is that the whole structure is even (for this you need to check all the angles between the guides). Next, we put the tiles sideways into the lattice, give it a horizontal position and carefully place it on the profile.
The use of a ceiling plinth will help to complete the entire structure.
Don't forget about lamps and other communications! All these work must be completed even before installing the ceiling, and when installing the lighting fixture, we recommend that you immediately connect it to the wiring in order to avoid removing the panels and reinstalling them later.
The best Armstrong ceiling lighting fixture is a pre-built recessed lamp that replaces a number of ceiling tiles.
Speaking about the materials used in the construction of Armstrong suspended ceilings, we are primarily talking about the materials used for the manufacture of plates, since there are very few variations in the profile - it can be aluminum or galvanized.
So, today we can find the following panels in the Armstrong design:
Metallic. The appearance and price of such finishes can vary greatly. The lightest and most durable, moreover, perfectly amenable to painting in bright colors - aluminum. A more budgetary option is steel galvanized or nickel-plated tiles (the appearance is not worse than aluminum, but heavier). Metal panels are extremely durable - manufacturers give a guarantee for some models up to 50 years. In addition, modern technologies allow the production of polymer-coated metal panels, mirror and matte, perforated, corrugated, so that you can easily find a reliable and beautiful option
Wood still popular as a decoration, we only note that square wood tiles, mounted like Armstrong, are quite rare. These panels are expensive and require a high quality timber frame instead of metal. However, modern plastic successfully imitates wood. If you still prefer an environmentally friendly wood finish, then cork or bamboo panels are an effective substitute for wood panels. They have become popular relatively recently, but have already received many positive reviews, since they are not only elastic and durable, but also have a host of other advantages, for example, heat and sound insulation properties
- Mineral panels or from mineral fibers are compressed sawdust with the addition of polymer binders. A huge plus of this modern finish is that it can imitate different textures - wood or different types of stone, which allows us to diversify our interiors.
- PVC finish (plastic ceiling). High-quality ceiling and wall finishing materials are made of plastic today. A huge number of variations in textures and colors allow you to carry out the most daring projects, for example, to use panels with photo printing in the interior. The low price and good technological characteristics (plastic is extremely moisture resistant, does not change color over time, is not afraid of temperature changes) gave the plastic panels a "green light" in finishing work in country houses.
The only thing to remember is that plastic panels cannot be used where the temperature can be higher than 70 degrees, for example, in a sauna. In addition, the plastic finish is easily damaged and must be handled with care during installation.
- Plaster. Plaster finishing will be especially in demand where it is necessary to depict chic stucco or imitate a stone vault. Gypsum is not flammable, according to all characteristics, it is safe for humans, it allows you to create a perfectly white surface in the spirit of palace interiors.
- Glass ceiling. Semi-transparent squares made of glass or plexiglass, illuminated from the inside, look noble and elegant. Glass structures fit perfectly into the interiors of modern apartments, and they will be appropriate in any room - from halls and offices to kitchens and bedrooms.
After installing the suspended ceiling, the height of the room will inevitably decrease by at least 15 centimeters. If your ceilings are not high, but a suspended ceiling is still necessary, it is best to use glossy and mirrored panels, which will visually increase the height of the room.
The weight of the structure depends on the materials to be used. So, you can use aluminum profiles or stainless steel profiles: the aluminum structure will be much lighter.
The materials from which the ceiling tiles are made also have different weights. The weight of glass or acrylic panels is quite significant, while plastic or aluminum panels are very light. On average, a square meter of construction weighs about 4.5 - 5 kg, but it can reach 8 kg. In addition, the thickness of the finishing material will also determine the weight of the coating - it can vary from 0.8 to 2.5 cm. The standard dimensions of Armstrong ceiling tiles for ceilings are 600 square meters. mm and square shape.
Available in standard sizes and profiles. The length of the bearing profile in accordance with GOST is 3.6 m, the minimum length of the transverse profile is 0.6 meters.
If necessary, you can order longer or shorter profiles from manufacturers, or connect them to each other.
Colors and designs
Armstrong's range of ceiling panels is expanding every year. Today manufacturers offer us elegant embossed panels, perforated panels, panels with a geometric pattern that can be folded into an overall picture, panels with additional decorative elements (for example, mesh ceilings), black and white models with and without perforation, mirrored and colored panels …
Each panel design option has its own advantages. So, the perforated ceiling looks great in any room, regardless of their size. It can be successfully combined with color and black-and-white panels, while perforation will add originality to the standard design, decorate the austere interior of an office, clinic or educational institution.
The mirrored ceiling also remains at the peak of its popularity. Speaking about such panels, it should be noted that they are made, of course, not of glass, but of polystyrene with a special film imitating a mirror surface (not necessarily smooth, but also ribbed). By the way, mirror panels are flexible enough, so they can even trim curved sections of the ceiling. Mirror panels are easy to clean, do not attract dust and are easy to clean, so they are suitable not only for decorating residential premises, but also for premises of beauty salons, clubs and so on.
Colored panels are increasingly used in modern kitchen interiors. They look especially good when they match in color with furniture and other finishes (or contrast with them). Classic combinations: black and white, brown and beige, yellow and blue, white and red, green and white delight the eye and add attractive brightness to the room.
When designing a colored ceiling, remember the sense of proportion and elegance - an abundance of color spots that are not connected with each other by a single shade or a single compositional solution will rather annoy than please.
A few words about acrylic transparent ceilings. A transparent ceiling will increase the space, make even a small room visually taller, and most importantly, the soft light passing through the panels will add coziness to a bedroom, living room or study. Ceiling panels are most often made of acrylic glass (plexiglass), but silicate glass can also be used. An ornament applied to acrylic panels or imitation of a stained-glass window looks beautiful.
Any glass panels are fragile finishing materials, so care must be taken when working with them
Armstrong suspended ceiling structures can be used in a wide variety of spaces, from small apartments to large public buildings. These suspension systems have proven themselves perfectly in schools, clinics, shopping centers and offices - repairing the ceiling covering does not take many years, and replacing individual elements is not difficult.
The combination of matte and mirrored panels in combination with lighting elements makes it possible to diversify industrial and office interiors, to hide communications inevitable in such premises.
In living quarters with a tiled ceiling, they often experiment. For example, you can place lighter tiles around the lighting fixtures - this will add light to the room. An interesting option is chaotic color spots on a white, silver or black background. In the interiors of modern halls and kitchens, a contrasting "checkerboard" or any other tiled "pattern" looks spectacular (its complexity is limited only by the size of the room).
Combining slabs of different textures also allows you to turn a standard ceiling into a unique one. So, the combination of acrylic panels with backlighting and conventional panels will allow you to change the amount of light in the bedroom at will, highlighting the entire ceiling or its individual sections.
According to the owners, this is an economical and high-quality product. Armstrong allows you to quickly tidy up the ceiling, even if it was initially completely unattractive - plaster crumbled, cracks were noticeable"
According to experienced users, Armstrong is a ceiling you can install yourself. No special tools are required, no special skills are required either - the main thing is to follow the instructions.
When choosing panels, give preference to more expensive moisture-resistant models … Even water vapor can deform economy-class panels. After installing a ceiling with plastic panels, a specific smell may be felt for a while. It is best to spend the first three to four days after the installation of the structure in the country house, or simply ventilate the renovated room well.
Gray and black ceiling panels look nice, but only look good with additional lighting, such as spot lighting. Before installing Armstrong, consider the reliability of the floors, as the finishing boards can be quite weighty.
Beautiful examples in the interior
White ceiling is always in fashion - strict classic panels will emphasize the elegance of the interior of a city apartment.
If you own a vacation home, this is a great reason to try Armstrong finishes. Changing temperatures and high humidity will not damage the beautiful and modern ceiling. The light finish of the ceiling and walls is perfectly combined with both wooden details and metal elements.
A small room will seem larger if you choose two-tone glossy panels for decoration and arrange them in a chaotic manner. Modest office interiors will benefit from bright accents of positive colors - it is faster and more fun to work in such a room.
Modern technologies allow Armstrong to be made of plastic, which in appearance will be absolutely indistinguishable from a wooden false ceiling. At the same time, it will be fireproof and moisture resistant, and, importantly, it will be very light.
To make the ceiling even more original, some designers suggest arranging Armstrong suspended structures in two levels. This is sometimes necessary in meeting rooms, hotel halls, office rooms, where the ceilings are quite high, and the room needs to be given a certain coziness.
The combination of black and white trim panels has long been recognized as a classic.
The main thing is that the ceiling in the apartment "echoes" the pieces of furniture and the general style, otherwise it will look superfluous.
Backlit glass panels are a great way to add light where there is little. A great option for rooms without windows is to simulate "windows" on the ceiling using panels depicting blue skies and white clouds.
Armstrong suspended structures are not only suitable for offices or high-tech interiors. They fit perfectly into classic interiors with antique furniture. The main thing is to choose the right finish, for example, beautiful white gypsum or mineral panels.
For information on how to properly assemble the Armstrong ceiling, see the next video.