Suspended Ceiling Tiles Q&A

Suspended Ceiling Tiles Q&A

Here we answer all your questions about suspended ceiling tiles


The world of suspended ceiling tiles is rather niche. There are very few specialists in this field and not many people have a broad knowledge about ceiling tiles, but only have answers to commonly asked questions.

So, what are some of the most asked questions we receive? And what are the most common questions that go unanswered? We will answer all there is to known here for you.


The Most Asked Questions About Ceiling Tiles


Although the list of questions we receive is long and vast, we do have specific questions that come up much more frequently about suspended ceiling tiles. The top 3 questions we receive are :-


1.) How much do ceiling tiles cost?

Answer: Ceiling tiles can cost anywhere from £20.00 per box, up to £500.00 + per box. The reason for this is simple. You are buying both the ceiling tiles brand, as-well as its performance, so the less technical performance a tile has, means the lower the price will be. The higher the technical abilities and the more reputable the brand, would mean a much higher price.


2.) What ceiling tiles do i have?

Answer: There are many different ceiling tiles available today, making it almost impossible to answer this question without either checking key features of their tile, or seeing it in person. Take a look at our ‘How to identify ceiling tiles’ post for advice on identifying your tile.


3.) Do i need a fire rated ceiling tiles?

Answer: This all depends on the where your ceiling is being suspended and the regulations that will apply to it. For example, a commercial shop that has a flat above, would require that the ceiling between the two properties would give protection in the event of a fire. This is rated in forms of reaction to fire and structural fire protection. If in doubt, always consult a professional or your local building control.


Technical Questions


Above are just three examples of the questions that we get asked on a regular basis, there are of course many more questions and some of which that people struggle to find an answer for. The hardest answers to find are usually much more technical in nature and around topics such as acoustics, fire protection and hygiene performance.


So why are these questions so hard to find answers for? There simply aren’t many people who are trained to understand the technical specifications required for suspended ceilings. The manufacturers of the major brands do have technical departments who should be able to answer or assist you with any of these more in-depth questions, or we are more than happy to help you with some of our expert knowledge.


Acoustic ratings


Acoustic ratings are difficult to understand for anybody that isn’t trained in this field. But it is common for people to be looking for an acoustic ceiling tile. So how do suspended ceiling acoustic work, and how are they rated?

The acoustic performance of a ceiling tile is measured in two ways: -

1.       Sound Absorption – Rated in alpha waves between 0.0 and 1.00 & Class A to E.

2.       Sound Attenuation/Insulation – Rated in dB

When working on a project, you would generally have a specification to work to, and this may state things such as a requirement for a Class A sound absorber. This would tell us the rating in which we need to achieve and we would find a ceiling tile that has that rating.


Fire Performance


Fire ratings are rather complicated in the ceiling world, as many people expect a stand-alone ceiling tile to have a fire rating. The truth is that to achieve a certified fire rating, you must adhere to the guidelines on a manufacturers fire certificate. This certificate would outline which ceiling tile and grid systems have been tested together and in what environment, in order to achieve a fire rating.

In almost all cases, you cannot mix one manufacturers tile, with another’s grid, as they will not have been tested together, to give a certified fire rating. There are of course exceptions to this, so please do contact us if you have a query.

The other consideration of a fire rated ceiling tile is the type of surface your new ceiling system will be suspended from. The four most common surfaces are steel, concrete, timber and mezzanines. Steel and concrete surfaces are the easiest to achieve a fire rating below, as many manufacturers have tested their systems in this application. Timber and mezzanine surfaces are less widely tested, so your choices of tile and grid systems will be much more limited. All is not lost here though, as specific tiles have been designed for use below mezzanines, such as the Zentia Mezzguard tile.


Humidity Resistance


Humidity resistance is an important ceiling factor. You must make sure that the ceiling tile you choose is suitable for your environment, and where humid areas appear, you must use a tile that has a high resistance to humidity.

The humidity resistance performance of a tile is measured in % RH, the RH stands for relative humidity. The reason they are rated in RH, is to tell us that the tile expects to withstand x amount of humidity within a standard setting, rather than constant humidity. This matters more in applications such as swimming pools and changing rooms, as the humidity in the air is much greater, so the tile is more exposed and has more chance of sagging.

The material make up of the tile plays a big part In is humidity resistance, as certain materials repel moisture better than others. For example, glass fibre-based ceiling tiles will repel moisture better than a mineral fibre ceiling tile would.


Light Reflectance


The surface of a ceiling tile must be able to reflect light, to keep rooms well-lit with even light distribution. You wouldn’t want a room to look dark and dingy because your ceiling tiles had poor light reflectency.

Similar to humidity, light reflectance is measured as a percentage ranging from 0% to 100%. You may want to take a look at this rating on any tiles you are looking to buy, to make sure that they are suitable for your application.


In conclusion, there are a multitude of questions surrounding ceiling tiles and suspended ceilings, but you only need to ask an expert to get your answer!

For more information and support, call one of our dedicated sales professionals today on 01253 864902.

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