- We draw up a work plan
- Design selection
- Main features of LED backlight
- We make a two-level ceiling with a niche
- Materials and tools
- Surface preparation
- First level frame for niche type construction
- Second level frame for niche type construction
- Cornice lighting
Two-level plasterboard ceilings are very popular in interior decoration due to their spectacular appearance and the possibility of arranging hidden lighting. How to create such a structure with your own hands, we will tell you today.
It is realistic to equip two-level ceiling structures even in rooms with a low floor-ceiling level. Without a doubt, they perfectly fit into any room design and look especially impressive in combination with hidden lighting. They can be made with your own hands, without much experience and global labor costs.
We draw up a work plan
So, if you still decide to equip a two-level ceiling on your own, draw up a preliminary work plan. It usually includes:
- Drawing up drawings.
- Preparation of the room, surface, materials and tools.
- Installation of the first level frame and its sheathing.
- Laying hidden communications.
- Installation of the second level frame and its sheathing.
- Lighting arrangement.
Decide right away with lighting for your ceiling.
This could be:
- niche or box;
- cornice with expanded polystyrene or polyurethane lining.
The first option is suitable for arranging lighting when the ceiling is still at the installation stage. The wires for the luminaires, as well as the power supplies and drivers for the LED strips, are located above the suspended ceiling and mounted in front of the sheathing. The second option is for those who already have a ready-made design, but the backlight is not provided in it initially. The wires are mainly laid on the outside and covered with a decorative cornice, like lighting fixtures.
Also decide on the shape and location of the second tier of the structure.
Finally, all you have to do is choose a light source. Most often they use LED strips, flexible neon or duralight. We will focus on LED strip as the most popular option..
Main features of LED backlight
So, let’s consider the advantages of this type of backlighting:
- low cost for relatively high quality lighting. It should be noted that neatly, correctly glued tape can compete in efficiency with any other light bulb;
- long service life;
- easy installation;
- a large number of color palettes using RGB strips, as well as the ability to smoothly adjust brightness and color change from the remote control.
Before purchasing, consider the individual characteristics of different belts:
- the size of the LEDs and their density (power consumption and lighting intensity);
- supply voltage – 12 V or 24 V;
- glow color – from monochrome to RGB;
- security. So, tapes can be coated with a protective polymer that protects the product from moisture..
Read more about the selection and connection of LED strips in the article: “LED strips for lighting: types, types, connection”.
We make a two-level ceiling with a niche
There is nothing difficult in installing a two-tiered ceiling with a niche. If you want to build such a structure, follow the simple step-by-step instructions. At the same time, keep in mind that it is strongly not recommended to save on materials. The strength and uniformity of the entire surface depends on their quality..
Materials and tools
To work, you need the following materials:
- Ceiling gypsum plasterboard sheets – 9mm (moisture resistant, if installation is carried out in a room with high humidity).
- Dowels for fastening starting profiles (if the walls in the house are brick or concrete), metal-wood screws (if the walls are wooden), metal screws with a 13 mm press washer, drywall screws.
- Putty – starting, finishing, for seams or wagon.
- Metal profiles – PPN (ceiling guides), PP (ceiling rack).
- U-shaped hangers.
- LED strip, power supply, driver.
- Level or hydro level (it is easier to work with a laser level).
- Chopping thread, pencil.
- Screwdriver, you can drill with a carrier.
- Metal scissors.
- Stationery construction knife.
- Spatulas for filling rough ceilings.
First of all, prepare the surface and the room itself. To do this, take out all furniture that gets dirty easily or will interfere during installation. Ideally, you should have a completely free room..
If you have expensive wall or floor coverings, cover them with a thick plastic wrap to avoid their inevitable clogging with assembly dust, putty, and scratches..
Crumbling and fragile elements of the old ceiling covering, try to remove.
First level frame for niche type construction
Let’s start with the installation of the first level frame. In some cases, when the ceiling does not require preliminary alignment, it is not necessary to build it, you can immediately make the second tier.
The frame for the first level is no different from the frame for a regular single-level ceiling and is made as follows:
1.Mark along the perimeter, using a level and a pencil, horizontal lines along the lower point of the surface drop.
2.Along the lines, fix the PPN starting profiles on dowels or self-tapping screws corresponding to the purpose, surface material.
3.Every 50-60 cm, fix U-shaped hangers (spacers) to the ceiling surface. Distance between rows of distancers – 40 cm.
4.Insert the PP profiles into the grooves of the guides and fix them to the suspension legs using self-tapping screws with a 13 mm press washer, keeping the level in the longitudinal direction. Place the PP every 40 cm, at the place where the suspensions pass.
five.To stiffen the structure, cut the jumpers from the PP profile and install them using special connectors – “crabs” between the longitudinally running profiles.
6.The frame is ready. After making sure that it is even, sheathe it with sheets of gypsum plasterboard using self-tapping screws on drywall.
Second level frame for niche type construction
When the first tier is ready, proceed with the installation of the second.
1.Outline on the first tier of the gypsum board the extreme line of the second, of the shape that you yourself have previously chosen. Let’s say it’s an S-shaped line.
You will need to create 3 elements of this shape from the PP profile. To do this, take a profile and make notches on it every 3–5 cm, cutting 1 side and shelf with metal scissors. Then, gently bending at the place of the cuts, fasten the resulting element to the ceiling in the shape of the drawn line. Set aside the two remaining blanks, they will be useful to you soon. A special perforated profile can be used for curved surfaces.
2.To the S-shaped profile, screw the jumpers from the profile every 40 cm. Their length will indicate the height of the future 2 of the second level with an addition to drywall. Attach a second profile to them, bent in the same shape.
3.Mark the line of the starting elements on the wall exactly at the level of the lower figured element of the tier. Fix the guides with the grooves outward with dowels or self-tapping screws (depending on the surface).
4.Fix the cut profile to the ceiling instead of the hangers, with a 50 cm pitch on the line and a 40 cm row spacing.
five.Screw the longitudinal PCBs to them, previously inserted into the guides, wall and lower figured elements. As with the first tier, using the “crabs” add jumpers to strengthen the structure.
6.The frame is ready. Before the next step, route all the necessary wiring through it.
7.Now attach the sheets of gypsum board to the resulting frame, cut to a given shape with an offset of 10-12 cm.
8.Attach the third, notched profile you have left on the resulting ledge, bending it in accordance with the existing curved line.
nine.Cut strips of drywall into the width of the mounted board and the gypsum board under it. Make notches on it, without touching the bottom layer of cardboard, every 5 cm.Very carefully, starting from the middle, fasten these strips to the sides, closing them.
ten.Putty the surface according to the standard plasterboard plastering scheme..
eleven.In the resulting niche, in the profile-side, put the LED strip. The side of the back side needs to be revetted with gypsum board and the tape should be glued, but you can simply carefully put it into it. So, if necessary, it can be quickly changed..
See how you can make ceiling lighting using RGB tape in the article: “LED strips for lighting: types, types, connection”.
If you already have a fully formed ceiling, and for some reason the creation of a frame second tier is impossible, you can install a polystyrene foam cornice, in which hidden lighting is placed.
The cornice is a wide decorative element and can have various shapes, but, in general, it is rarely fastened due to the low strength of the material and poor heat resistance..
Meanwhile, it is very easy to attach it to a pre-primed surface using liquid nails as an adhesive..
It can also be painted in almost any color..
Thus, you can create interesting design structures on the ceiling and not necessarily the form given in the instructions. Following the basic principles of installation, it is quite possible to carry out your own original ideas with hidden-type illumination, open, when instead of LED strip spotlights are used, or combined.