How to Remove a False Ceiling

Written by damon hildebrand
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How to Remove a False Ceiling
False and suspended ceiling construction material ranges from foamboard to clear glass. (main image by Jacques PALUT from Fotolia.com)

False ceilings are suspended from the original ceiling with hanger wires. Metal moulding mounts along the room's perimeter, effectively sealing the false ceiling to the interior walls. Ceiling tiles rest within metal frames. Cross members and T-bars run between the perimeter moulding to create frames for supporting the tiles. The result is a ceiling that provides a means for routing electrical cables, lighting, plumbing and air ducts above the ceiling. Removing a false ceiling allows for additional overhead area and creates a roomier space.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Ladder
  • Wire cutters
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Nail-puller

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove the tile boards from the suspended frames. A ladder of adequate height is necessary to reach the tiles by hand. Push upward on one corner of each tile board until it releases from the frame. Lift the opposite end of the tile board up and out of the frame.

  2. 2

    Turn the tile at an angle and lower it through the suspended frame. Remove all the ceiling tiles in the same manner until only the frame and suspension system remain.

  3. 3

    Remove the T-bar pieces running perpendicular the beams. Start in one corner of the room. The beams run the full length of the room--from one wall to the opposite side of the room. The T-bars run perpendicular to the beams and form the ceiling tile frames. Remove the bars by pressing up on one end slightly, and pulling it away from the beam or wall moulding. Remove all the T-bars.

  4. 4

    Take down one length of beam at a time. Start in the same corner as before and cut the hanger wires holding each section of the beam, using wire cutters. Press upward on each end of the section to snap the beam loose. Work along the length of each beam. Start at one end of the room and work to the opposite wall. Remove all the beams in this manner.

  5. 5

    Pry the metal moulding from the walls with a nail puller. Start in one corner and pry the moulding loose while working down the length of the room. Continue removing the moulding on the remaining three rooms.

  6. 6

    Remove the remaining pieces of hanger wire still hanging from the ceiling. Staples secure the wires to the ceiling. Pry the staples out with a flathead screwdriver or a nail-puller.

Tips and warnings

  • Wear safety goggles and gloves while removing false ceiling material.
  • Use a ladder tall enough to avoid standing on the upper rungs.

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