Removing a Dropped Ceiling

Steps on How to Remove a Dropped Ceiling

By Mark J. Donovan

Dropped ceilings have a number of advantages. First and foremost they allow easy access to plumbing pipes and electrical wiring that may be buried above the dropped ceilings. This is one of the main advantages of installing dropped ceilings in basements. This said, there comes the occasion where the dropped ceiling needs to be replaced, either with a new dropped ceiling or drywall. Removing a dropped ceiling, fortunately, is relatively easy to do.

When removing a dropped ceiling it is important to wear protective clothing and eye protection. A mask is also helpful to reduce the inhalation of dust and any mold spores that may have grown on the dropped ceiling panels.

This is particularly true when removing a dropped ceiling from a basement.

The first step in removing a dropped ceiling is to cut off power at the main circuit breaker box to any lighting that may be integrated into the dropped ceiling panels.

Next, remove the individual dropped ceiling panels from the dropped ceiling grid. You can do this by simply pushing up on a corner of each ceiling panel and then slightly twisting and lifting it out of the grid system.

Now disconnect the wiring from the dropped ceiling lights. You may want to put a wire nut over each loose wire if you have plans on turning the circuit breaker back on.

Next, use safety wire to tie up any ductwork or vent systems that are currently being supported by the dropped ceiling grid assembly. You can tack up the other end of the wires to the overhead floor joists to suspend the ductwork and vent systems.

With the ceiling tiles removed and mechanical hardware suspended from the floor joists, you can begin to cut the suspension wires that hold the dropped ceiling grid up.

While cutting the suspension wires disassemble and remove the tees that form the ceiling grid.

Next, remove the suspension wires from the floor joists.

Finally, remove the dropped ceiling wall track along the perimeter of the walls. Depending upon how they are attached you may need a screw gun or a claw hammer to remove the screws, or nails, respectively, from the track.

Replace a dropped ceiling in the basement with a drywall ceiling

And with that, you have finished the removal of your dropped ceiling.

For information on repairing a large drywall hole, see the “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook from  The “How to Repair a Large Drywall Hole” Ebook provides step-by-step instructions on how to repair your damaged wall so that it looks as good as new.

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