How to Install Ceiling Fans on Suspended Ceilings

ceiling fan

A drop ceiling, often referred to as a suspended ceiling, have been popular in areas such as basements for many years. This is mostly due to their ability to hide overhead obstacles such as piping, duct work, and electrical wiring that would be otherwise costly and difficult to relocate.

With more selections in tile designs these ceilings have become more popular in other areas of the home. In many of these areas it is also desirable to install a ceiling fan. While this is possible, the conditions require special considerations as well as special installation kits.

Adding Support for Ceiling Fan

The grid-work of a suspended ceiling does not have the stability or strength to support even a small ceiling fan. As a result additional support must be added. The grid-work of the ceiling is supported by hanger wires attached to overhead anchor points. The ceiling fan will require more support than hanger wires can normally provide.

Select the location for your ceiling fan and remove the ceiling tile. Select an anchor point above the proposed fan location. This anchor point needs to be heavy duty and capable of supported a significant amount of weight. A ceiling joist is preferable. Securely anchor an eye bolt or similar device deep in the joist. Attach a chain to the eye bolt by looping it through the opening and bolting the chain together to form a tight loop.

Installing the Ceiling Fan Kit

Lay out the parts of the ceiling fan mounting kit to be certain all parts are present and identified. The bracket will fit between the grid-work and will bolt into place on each end of the opening. Atop the bracket will be an anchor point. The chain which is attached to the overhead anchor point will attach to the anchor point on the bracket. This chain must be tight when in place so it will be capable of supporting the weight of the fan without causing any sagging in the ceiling grid.

Once the bracket is in place use a carpenter’s level to be certain the ceiling grid is still level. Make any adjustments as needed to bring the ceiling into level. Once level, cut a small hole in the ceiling tile you removed directly beneath the center of the bracket. Replace the tile in the ceiling grid-work.

Install the Ceiling Fan in the Suspended Ceiling

drop ceiling fan installation

The ceiling fan hardware will mount directly to the bracket. Once the bracket is attached, the remainder of the installation will be no different from a standard fan installation. Once the installation is complete, check the fan for any unusual vibration or movement.

Most ceiling fans will come with small weights which can be added to help reduce vibration while the fan is in operation. It is important to reduce vibration as much as possible in these types of installations, so follow the instructions for the model fan you have purchased.