If you are looking for an easy life and don’t want to spend hours and hours on home maintenance then you might want to consider ceiling panels.
Easy to install ceiling panels are the perfect product for any room where the conditions make life difficult for traditional ceiling coverings. Bathrooms and kitchens are the obvious problem areas but utility rooms, hallways and even living areas can all benefit from the benefits of this type of panelling.
Lightweight Hollow Construction
The panels are made from a hollow-section PVC. The edges along the length are tongue and grooved so that each panel can slot into the next. This also enables the panels to be secret fixed. Secret fixings involves nailing or stapling through the tongue so that nothing is seen on the visible front surface. The next panel that you fit will will cover up the fixing of the previous one.
They can be installed using a variety of methods. A staple gun is ideal for attaching them to existing wood or plasterboard (sheet-rock) ceilings.
It is also possible to stick the panels in place using a high-grab adhesive. This is ideal for use on surfaces that are not smooth. Ceilings covered with texturing compound, such as Artex, are typical scenarios.
It is also possible to use a combination of methods ideal for holding the panels in place while the adhesive set. See this article for more details on installing ceiling panels.
If you want an easy life you should fit ceiling panels in conjunction with wall panels. The more panels you install the less maintenance you will have in the long run. Where the two surfaces meet you can use a coving trims to finish off the edges. These trims vary in size, design and fixing method. But they will all allow you to be a bit more forgiving when it comes to cutting.
Designs and Sizes
In general ceiling panels tend to be quite narrow ensuring each strip is relatively light. This makes fitting them easier when working overhead. Common panel width are 250mm or 200m.
Standard length of the panels are in the range 2.5m to 2.7 metres. This size is sufficient for most small bathrooms but if the room is larger longer lengths are available.
If part of a room calls for longer lengths it is best to stick to using just these rather than mixing them with shorter lengths (which would usually be from a different batch). Colours tend to be reasonably consistent with panels but there can be slight variations – even with white ones.
Apart from white, there are a whole host of designs available. And because wall panels employ the same construction method these can also be used on ceilings.
Wall panel designs such as tile effect panels would look out of place on a ceiling but we have seen marble panels used with some success. But it is white, or some sort of variation of white, that is the most common. Here are some examples.
Whiteline Tongue and Grooved Effect
Wood ceilings look great and the plank-effect that they offer is very attractive. But wood does not fare well in moist conditions so a better alternative is required.
There are ceiling panels available that emulate the plank effect but are totally impervious to moisture. They will not warp or rot, need painting, will never flake and they require zero maintenance. These Whiteline panels are a perfect example. They have a glossy finish that simple wipes clean.
White Chrome Panels
This design is similar to the one outlined above but has the addition of a chrome stripe in the groove.
Each panel is moulded to look like 2 planks so each panel has 2 strips. The panels are 250mm wide which is a little too wide for the plank design to work effectively so by making them this way each “plank” appears to be 125mm wide. This is closer to the size of traditional wood cladding.
Plain White Ceiling Panels
Sometimes simple is best.
Not everyone wants to make a feature of their ceiling so in these situations a plain white, flush design, easy to fit ceiling panel is the best option.
Gloss white panels will provide a smooth, wipe-over surface and a slightly higher degree of reflection if you are trying to keep things light.
Matt white panels will be the closest thing to a painted plaster ceiling. Most people will not even notice this type of ceiling as it is so unassuming. But unlike painted plaster it will look good for years with no maintenance or mould issues.
So both plain whites will do essentially the same thing. It’s really just a matter of personal taste.
Flush White Panels With Chrome Strip
Flush fitting white panels like those above are sometimes available with an optional chrome strip. These are now less common but were very popular for a long time.
Small, chrome inserts were available that fitted in between the panels to provide a little visual interest. Chrome or silver where the most common but some manufacturers offered the strips in colours as well. A gold effect strip proved reasonably popular but demand dropped along with the move away from gold fittings in the bathroom.
If the strips have self adhesive backing they are easier to fit when to panels are on the floor. Fitting the strips in place while working overhead is a more fiddly undertaking.
Built-In Chrome Strips
Because fitting separate trims could be a bit difficult some manufacturers have made the ceiling panels with the silver infill strip built-in.
So you get a flush effect, gloss white panel with a chrome strip at every joint. They are still tongue and grooved so slot together then same as all of the other designs.
Widths are usually the standard 250mm or 200mm while most are available in longer lengths should they be required. bathrooms tend to be relatively small compared to other rooms in the house. So in most cases the standard length panels will be fine. But should you have a larger room to decorate then it is good to know you can cover the ceiling in one span.
Wooden panelled ceilings are not as popular as they once were but are still utilised in some designs. When using wood on a ceiling it needs to be thoroughly sealed with paint or varnish. Even then it can struggle to cope the moist conditions, temperature variations and high humidity.
There are specialist paints available that will provide a more durable finish than standard gloss paint or varnish. Or, you could save yourself a lot of hassle and just opt for easy to fit ceiling panels in a woodgrain effect as an alternative.
These panels will give you the natural grain of wood but in a material that will not swell up. It will never need varnishing or painting and will simply do exactly what you would expect.
Other Easy To Fit Ceiling Panel Options
There is no law that says you can’t use other colours and designs on your ceilings. We have seen several instances where Black Sparkle panels were used on their ceilings – to dramatic effect!
This type of installation works well in a larger, well lit room or if the ceiling is slightly higher than average. White Sparkle would be a better bet in a smaller room. Again you would make a feature of your ceiling with either of these two finishes.
But in general, unless you have a very specific design in mind, stick to white.
You can see that there are plenty of option when it comes to ceiling panels.
And the fact that they are readily cut with a handsaw, they are light to handle and quick to fit shows that easy to install ceiling panels certainly live up to their name.