Stretch ceiling

The stretch ceiling is a perfectly flat surface (sagging is not taken into account), obtained by tensioning a PVC film of a special composition. To obtain a surface of this quality using traditional finishing methods, large financial and labor costs are required..

At the same time, the old methods do not have such advantages as moisture resistance, fire safety (class M1), quick installation (on average, two ceilings per day), strength (up to 100 kg / m2), ease of use (no need for special care ), durability (service life up to 50 years), etc. If we add to this that stretch ceilings have a wide range of colors and textures, that they do not fade and are easily dismantled and mounted, then it becomes clear that there is simply no alternative to them.

In fairness, the disadvantages inherent in stretch ceilings should be noted: firstly, the fear of sharp objects and, secondly, the relative high cost (the cheapest stretch ceilings currently cost about $ 30 per square meter with delivery and installation). If the first drawback is difficult to eliminate, then in relation to the second one can be sure that over time it will be significantly reduced. There is one more drawback – it is unlikely that you could do the work on the stretch ceiling on your own, if you were not connected with these – even if you can get all the components. Such work requires not only special equipment and materials that are not available in ordinary stores, but also professional skills..

Stretch ceiling is one of the types of suspended ceilings, although, strictly speaking, it cannot be attributed to them, since it uses fastening to the base ceiling only as one rather rare option. Usually, the ceiling sheet is fixed along the perimeter of the walls. This method is ideal for hiding the flaws of the base ceiling, as well as the utilities laid along it, the installation of lamps, air ducts. It can be used for decoration of almost any premises, including medical ones, since the material of the canvas is certified for use for these purposes..

The film from which the ceiling sheet is made is an ordinary PVC film of different textures (matte, semi-matt (satin), glossy (varnish), metallic, suede, marble, leather, etc.), cadmium-free, 0.17-0.22 mm thick, with certain physical properties. The ceiling itself is a canvas sewn from separate strips of PVC film, cut exactly to the size of the room, taking into account all its features. The drawing for the pattern should be done by a professional technologist, since in this matter, as in all matters related to stretch ceilings, there are a lot of subtleties that must be taken into account at all stages of preparation and installation. After cutting, the fabric is processed around the perimeter with a flexible plate – “garpon”, which is subsequently used during installation. At this, the pattern of the canvas ends, it is thoroughly washed with special means, folded using interlayer gaskets and packed in several layers of heat-insulating film. In this form (convolution), the ceiling is delivered from the manufacturer (usually from France) to the installer.

Stretch ceiling ceiling installation

Let’s consider this process for the simplest case – installation of a ceiling in a rectangular room, without pipes extending into the ceiling, with a “chandelier” -type lamp. This process consists of many operations and can be understood at first only by people who have experience in construction work and communication with a construction tool.

First of all, a baguette is fixed on the walls around the perimeter of the room., which is a plastic profile made of hard plastic or duralumin, for which the ceiling canvas is subsequently hooked with a harpon. The shapes of the profiles, as well as the method of fastening, are different for different manufacturers, although they are similar to each other. To perform this operation, first of all, the lowest angle of the base ceiling of the room is determined. This is done using a hydro level (a flexible transparent tube about 10 m long, filled with a tinted liquid).

Further from the bottom corner, 1-2 cm is measured down and a mark is made with a pencil. In reality, this gap is needed only for technological purposes, so that it is more convenient to get close with the tool when securing the baguette. Then, using the same hydro level, this mark is transferred to the other corners of the room. The water level is no longer needed and can be removed.

With the help of a chopping line with dye, a line is applied to secure the baguette. To do this, one end of the cord is set to a mark in one of the corners, and the other to a mark in an adjacent corner, while the cord must be taut. With your free hand, the cord is pulled perpendicular to the wall and released. The point of the operation is to slap the stretched cord against the wall and leave a straight line on it with dye from one horizon mark to another. Repeating this operation for all walls of the room, we get a horizon line along its entire perimeter. This line will be the basis for the subsequent installation of the baguette.

The next step is to accurately measure the corners of the room. This is done with the help of a special tool – a “ganiometer” (folding protractor) or by the method of selection of offsets. The second way is more accurate. It is better to immediately write the values ​​of the measured angles in pencil on the base ceiling. The actually required accuracy – 0.5 angular degrees – is difficult to make more precisely, since the scale division used to cut the corners of the pendulum saw is equal to one angular degree.

Now it’s time to mount the baguette on the walls. To do this, you must first prepare the baguette rail. Using a 5-meter tape measure, the length of the wall on which you plan to attach the rail is accurately measured. Usually the rake is 3-4 m long, so a longer tape measure does not make sense here. If the wall has a length that is less than the length of the rail, then the rail is strictly sawn in length with a pendulum saw at angles equal to half the corners adjacent to the measured side, and then fixed on the wall so that the upper edge of the baguette coincides with the horizon markings made earlier.

If the walls are larger than the length of the rail, the latter is cut in only one corner (it is recommended to cut the second one at a right angle, since most often the baguette is cut into length not strictly at right angles), and after fixing it or using dowels and self-tapping screws (Reinforced dowels of domestic production with a diameter of 6 mm and a length of 30 mm are recommended), or using a pneumatic gun and special nails or clips with a fastening frequency determined by the wall material. It should be remembered that the tension of the ceiling on the separation of the baguette is approximately equal to 60 kg / lm. The missing piece is built up with a piece of the required length with an appropriate cut, which is attached to the wall in the same way or in another way. Repeating this operation for each wall, we get a room, enclosed strictly at the level of the horizon. When performing this operation, it is important to remember that the joints of the pieces of baguette must be glued when they are joined using a cyanoacrylate group glue..

Then comes the most exciting period – the unfolding and installation of the canvas. As mentioned above, the ceiling sheet arrives at the installer folded. The quality of the packaging can play an important role, since even the slightest mechanical damage to the web leads to defective work. That is why special spacers made of foamed polyethylene or thin and soft paper are laid between the layers of the canvas. The unpacking of the canvas should be carried out in a room that is already partially warmed up (up to 40-50 ° C). Usually the heat gun is turned on for a few minutes, and then the canvas should be carefully unpacked and unfold, allowing it to warm up evenly (the heat gun should not be brought closer than 1.5 m to the canvas).

The manufacturer’s drawing is always included in the ceiling sheet, in which the “base” angle should be indicated, and it is folded so that the base angle is at the top and the canvas unfolds starting from it. The canvas should be unfolded in this way: after hanging the so-called crocodiles (spring clamps in the form of pincers) with sponges wrapped in two or three layers of cushioning material in the corners of the room on rope loops, we begin to unfold the canvas. The base angle opens first, which, after a little warming up in the heat flow of the gun, clings to the harpon by the “crocodile”. Further, as the canvas unfolds, its new corners will open, which cling to the “crocodiles” in the corners of the room corresponding to them. When the entire canvas is deployed and hooked, while it warms up to a state of suitability for installation, you should check if it is oriented correctly – albeit infrequently, there have been cases of error with the base angle.

The level to which the canvas should be heated is determined only by the experience of the installer – if you do not warm up the canvas, it will be difficult to pull and install it, if overheated, it will jump out of engagement, and in addition, the lacquer cloth can lose its luster. A normally warmed-up canvas should stretch quite easily instead of with a harpon and normally hold in the baguette locks. Only after reaching this state should you begin directly installing the canvas in the baguette. You can start from any corner you like. The selected corner is removed from the “crocodile”, which is immediately removed so that it does not interfere, then an angular blade is inserted into the groove of the harpon and with its help the harpon of the canvas is hooked onto the baguette. In this case, it is necessary to press down the harpon with the fingers of the left hand from above in the place where it has already been hooked onto the baguette, so that it does not immediately jump out of the engagement. Having hooked the corner itself, you need to change the blade to a flat one and continue engaging the harpon to the right and left from the corner until the harpon is hooked at least two locks in each direction. Further, the opposite and other corners are engaged in a similar way. It should be considered normal that each subsequent corner becomes more and more difficult to engage..

When all four corners are installed, you can start engaging straight sections. This is done already with the help of straight blades and approximators. First, two or three locks catch the sections at the end of the seams of the canvases – so there is less chance of their subsequent curvatures. Then the unsecured sections are divided in half and in the center they are again secured into two or three locks. So until the size of the loose sections is such that the entire section can be fixed without much effort (usually up to 1 m). Further, the final engagement is performed along the entire perimeter of the room. When this is done, it is necessary to check the quality of the mesh around the entire perimeter by checking the tightness of the ceiling to the baguette. If in any place the canvas does not fit snugly against the baguette, the engagement should be corrected. If everything is correct, then you get a rather tight canvas stretched over the baguette, forming a perfectly flat surface.

The last operation is the device of an external mounting lamp (chandeliers). The first thing to do is to prepare the amplifier ring. It is usually made of plastic with a thickness of 3-4 mm. Plastic must combine mutually exclusive requirements – durable and easy to process. Foamed plastics of the KOMATEH brand can be recommended. The outer diameter of the ring should be such that the cup of the chandelier covers it, the inner diameter should be such that the ring can be easily put on the hook of the chandelier fixed in the base ceiling. In any case, the ring width must not be less than 5 mm. Usually this condition is easy to fulfill. A chandelier hook is found by touch through the ceiling, and a mark is made in this place with a felt-tip pen. Cyanoacrylate-type adhesive is applied to the reinforcing ring in a continuous strip without breaks.

This condition is mandatory, otherwise the ceiling will subsequently crawl like a leaky stocking. After that, the ring is glued to the front side of the canvas in such a way that the mark made with a felt-tip pen is exactly in the center of the reinforcing ring. The adhesives of the specified type usually dry within a few seconds, therefore, after maintaining the specified time, with a sharp knife such as a small wallpaper inside the ring, the canvas is cut out, a wire is pulled into the resulting hole, connected to the chandelier, and then the chandelier is simply hung on the old hook, which, if necessary, is builds up in length.

This is the sequence of operations when installing the simplest stretch ceiling – four corners and a chandelier. More complex ceilings, including pipes, built-in lights, circular elements, or even level transitions, require their own description. You should not think that this is very simple. As already mentioned, if you decide to install stretch ceilings, entrust it to professionals.

Text: V. Popov

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