Five key questions about false ceilings

What are they?

False ceiling also known as suspended or accessible ceilingis a constructive element installed at a lower distance from the original ceiling, reducing the height of the rooms. Most of them are made with prefabricated materials such as plaster, laminated plaster or aluminum.
What are they used for?

The utilities usually given to them are different; the most common use is to hide heating/cooling system ducts, as well as electrical installations. However, in recent years and as improvements have been adapted to the Technical Building Code (CTE), the suspended ceilings have been adding other practical features, such as compliance with acoustic and thermal requirements. With the added advantage that thanks to the innovation in new materials, attractive designs are increasingly achieved.
Are they all the same?

Of course they are not. Broadly speaking, we can divide them into two types of false ceilings: on one hand, the continuous ceilings and, on the other, modular ones. In the first case, the materials that are usually used are laminated gypsum plaster or plaster, joining the pieces with tape and pastes so that the result is a uniform surface.

On the other hand, modular suspended ceilings, although sometimes they also resort to laminated gypsum, generally use more innovative and varied materials, from metal to fiber or even wood shavings.

Depending on the needs and aesthetics, one or the other will be chosen, since depending on the circumstances they will provide different functionalities and acoustic and thermal performance. On the other hand, the investment in R&D of materials during this recent years has resulted in new developments such as plaster plates laminated in vinyl, which opens a wide range of possibilities in both types of suspended ceilings.

Falso Techo

What are the advantages?

Some of the characteristics can be common, such as a more beautiful aesthetic when hiding electrical and cooling installations or the fact that contributes on reducing electrical consumption of air-cons, and also improving the acoustics.

At the same time, when a failure occurs, whether electrical or cooling, the convenience provided by these facilities over conventional ones is extraordinary, since it is very easy to access the specific point of incidence.

Other advantages come directly to the material chosen for our suspended ceiling. In this way, metal roofs are not only the most long-lasting but also needs less maintenance than others. In this sense, we will have to be wisely advised by specialists because a false ceiling in a room is not the same one as in a bathroom, where the humidity and temperature conditions are very different.

At a lighting level, a false ceiling can also help to reduce the monthly bill, since it helps to reflect light and, therefore, requires a smaller number of luminaires.
On the other hand, hygiene and sanitation are also improved. Thanks to a growing awareness regarding respect for the environment, materials are becoming more sustainable while repelling dirt or even being washable.
Is professional help needed for its installation?

The answer is yes, because the professionals are the most indicated both for the choice of materials and to get the most out of the installation. In addition, it is necessary to take into account that false ceilings often support extraordinary weight of ventilation or certain types of luminaire, which requires the supervision of an expert, who will pay special attention to roof hangings and anchors (respecting manufacturer’s specifications) to make a rational distribution of the weight.

Narciso Oliva

Arquitecto Técnico. Project Manager responsable de desarrollo y ejecución de proyectos de obras - Technical Architect. Project Manager responsible for development and execution of construction projects.

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