How to Install a Ceiling Fan in a Drop Ceiling

Not long ago, drop ceilings, also sometimes known as suspended ceilings, were most commonly found in basements or commercial settings. As the number of designs and colors has increased, drop ceilings are becoming more commonplace. These ceilings are now used in dining rooms, family areas, and recreation rooms. In many of these areas, it is desirable to have a ceiling fan to help move air and to help control energy costs. Mounting a ceiling fan on a drop ceiling is certainly possible, but it will take a bit more preparation.

Ceiling fans require more support and a better anchor point than the standard ceiling tile of drop ceiling grid work can provide. Not only is the weight of the ceiling fan a consideration, but the vibration caused by constant use must also be considered.

Several methods can be used to install a ceiling fan in a drop ceiling. You can add additional support brackets and bracing and even line the back of a ceiling tile with a piece of plywood. All of these will work, but there is another method that is specifically designed and engineered for properly placing a ceiling fan in your drop ceiling.

You may purchase a specially designed bracket that will fit neatly above your drop ceiling grid work. This bracket is heavy-duty and fits neatly within the existing grid work. Its outside dimensions match those of the ceiling tile, and it snaps neatly into place. These brackets are adjustable and span the center point of the ceiling tile where you intend to install the ceiling fan. In the center of the bracket, there is a secure anchor point located precisely in the center of the bracket. This allows for even support and distribution of the weight load once the ceiling fan is installed.

It will be necessary to install support from the anchor point on the bracket to a secure overhead location, such as a ceiling or roof joist. This support can be in the form of a cable or a chain cut to length. The support method must be tight and cut to exactly the correct length. The ceiling grid will be un-level if the support method is not the proper length.

There are several manufacturers who supply this type of hardware. They offer a variety of good products designed for installing a ceiling fan in a drop ceiling. You will find using a bracket of this type to be far easier to install and less expensive. You will provide better overall results than attempting to install the fan directly to the drop ceiling grid-work and adding additional support cables.

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About the author
Ben White has written thousands of articles on everything home improvement. He has had the privilege of writing for such websites as the Huffington Post, DeWalt,, HGTV, and many others.

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