step is to fasten 1 x 3 furring strips around the perimeter of the room. Be
sure to check that the furring is wide enough to provide nailing support for
the cornice (fig.1). If the furring is too narrow, simply bring it away from
the wall, as needed, and fasten it in place. We attached the furring with
2-in. drywall screws driven with a cordless drill/driver (fig 2). However,
you could nail up the furring, as well.
lay out the positions of the rest of the furring strips by starting in the
center of the ceiling and working out, every 12in. on center, toward either
side wall. Be sure to orient the furring strips so they run perpendicular to
the ceiling joists. If the ceiling is uneven, shim the furring with cedar
shingles (fig3). You can use a long straightedge or stretch a dry line over
the strips to check that the furring is straight. The strips do not have to
be perfectly aligned because the metal panels will cover up minor alignment
problems. As long as each strip is no more than 1/8 in. higher or lower than
the others, you should be all right.
Also, install cross
furring every 4 ft. on center to provide nailing support at the ends of the
4ft. long metal panels (fig 4). Be sure to lay out the cross furring
starting at the ceiling's center and working out to the walls.
panel Prep & Installation
The steel ceiling panels
come unfinished and must be treated with either oil based paint or
polyurethane. To maintain the look of the "raw" metal, Shanker Industries
recommends using rust-o-leum brand aluminum colored paint.
When working with 2 x 4
ft. or 2 x 6 ft. panels, it's advisable to have someone help you hold the
panels in place for nailing. The ceiling panels come with special 1.in. long
cone-head nails. Use these decorative nails in the center of the panels, on
overlapping edges and wherever else they will be exposed.
the panel edges that will be covered by overlapping panels or by the cornice
molding with standard 1/2 in wire nails. Note that the panels have small
raised bumps, or buttons, in the pattern.
hammering the cone-head nails, drive them directly through the center of the
buttons (fig 6). When nailing the panel edges, drive 1/2 in wire nails off
to one side of the buttons (fig 7). Use this technique so the wire nails
don't interfere with the overlapping panels and cone-head nails that secure
Starting in the center of
the ceiling, install full-size panels the length and then the width of the
room. When it comes time to cut a panel, simply flip it over, mark the
cut-line, with tin snips (fig 8). Keep in mind that this job will proceed so
much better if you are using a decent pair of snips that are properly
sharpened. If your snips are old and dull, either have them sharpened or buy
a new pair. As you progress, there will be seams where the corners of four
panels will overlap (fig 9). To make it easier to drive a cone-head nail
through all four sheets of metal, first drill a 1/8 in dia pilot hole.
Molding- The Crowning Touch
Cornice molding is
installed where the cornice depends on the size of the room and height of
the ceiling. Typically, a high ceiling in a large room will accommodate
wider moldings. Since this installation was in a small room with standard
8ft. high ceilings, we decided on a cornice that projects from the wall only
2 1/2 in. Cornices with projections up to 9 1/2 in. are commonly available.
A quick look at Figure 10 shows the relationship of the cornice to the metal
ceiling panels and furring strips.
ceiling panels, the 4ft. long cornice moldings are fastened with cone-head
nails. However, since the nails driven up into the furring strips are at a
slight angle and must pass through a metal ceiling panel, too, it's best to
first drill pilot holes through the panels, but not through furring strip
Be sure to leave enough
solid wood so the nail will hold securely once driven. Drive the nails
through the buttons in the cornice (fig 12). Note how our cornice buttons
line up exactly with the ceiling-panel buttons. Try to do the same when you
are laying out your cornice molding and keep this in mind as you nail up the
cornice to ensure a professional- looking installation. Also, we found that
it wasn't necessary to nail the cornice to the wall. The nails in the
ceiling provided sufficient pressure to hold the cornice flat to the wall.
Continue to install the cornice around the room overlapping the ends by
about 4in. into the corner.
At an inside corner , run
one cornice piece square Then, using a coping cut technique, trim the
second piece on the adjacent wall to fit. Here's an easy way to cope a
perfect inside corner: First, place a strip of wide masking tape across the
end of a piece of scrap molding. Hold the scrap molding in the corner and
use a simple compass or scribing tool to transfer the profile of the
nailed-in-place cornice to the scrap piece (fig 14).
cut along the pencil line and test fit the coped cut (figs 15 & 16). You may
have to make a few minor trim cuts or do a small amount of filing to make
the parts fit together. Once the coped cut fits perfectly, use this scrap
piece as a template to mark a length of cornice for installation.
Fitting cornice molding
to an outside corner is clearly the toughest part of a metal ceiling
installation. But again, there's a procedure that, along with a little
patience, will produce perfect joints. Since most corners outside and inside
aren't precisely square (90 degrees), you must first determine the angle of
the outside corner using a sliding bevel square. Place the square up to the
corner, tighten the wing-nut and then measure the angle of the square to
Now, place a strip of
masking tape on the ceiling running out from the corner. Hold the bevel
square against the wall with its blade aligned perfectly with the outside
corner. Mark a pencil line along the blade and onto the tape (fig 17). This
line represents the point where the two moldings will meet.
Hold a section of scrap
molding against the wall in its proper position and so it extends past the
line on the ceiling. Mark the molding's bottom edge where it touches the
outside corner of the wall and its top edge where it intersects the line
(fig 18). Now draw a line connecting the two marks across the face of the
cornice and make this angled cut with tin snips. Repeat this procedure for
the opposite mating length of molding using a piece of scrap.
hold the two pieces together at the corner to check the joint. At this
point, the two won't fit together very well. It's difficult to get a perfect
fit because the surface of the cornice is so uneven that cutting a straight
line is difficult. However, it's simply a case of trimming and fitting until
they do. It may take several attempts, but with a little patience and a keen
eye you should be able to get the two parts to fit together tightly.
Once you're satisfied
with the fit, transfer the end cuts to the cornice molding pieces and make
the cuts. Be sure to cut and install the cornice pieces so their buttons
line up with the ceiling buttons once all the pieces are nailed in place.
Nail up the two outside corner molding pieces and check the fit once again.
If the molding are to painted, fill the joint line with caulking. If the
molding is to be left unpainted, file the joint for a perfect fit (fig 19).
- The Field Panel is the design of the main panel in the room. This
panel may cover the entire ceiling or be centered in the room, as shown in
the sketch above.
- A Molding Strip may be used to enhance the appearance of the
ceiling. It is installed between the field panels and the filler panel.
- The Filler Panel is a panel with a simple over-all design such as a
"hammered" or "dimpled" finish. This panel is used to center the Field Panel
in the room.
- The Cornice is applied to the corner of the wall and ceiling. It
can be one of our metal cornices or your own choice such as stained wood.