Installing ceiling panels

Installing ceiling panels

  • Ellie Stirk

Ceiling panels are relatively simple to install and require just a few tools to complete. Most knowledgeable DIYers will have everything they need, including a sharp Stanley knife, hand saw, electric jigsaw, staples, or screws, a marking pen, ruler, sealant gun, and tape measure. Below, we explain how to mount panels into your ceiling, and our handy installation video shows you how to do it visually.

Step 1: Determine Your Ceiling Height

Determine the length and width of your ceiling with a tape measure. To begin, pick which direction you want the panels to travel over your ceiling.

Tip | Ideally, you want the boards to be long enough to cover while wasting as little as possible (most ceiling panels come in 2.6-metre lengths).

Once you've decided which direction your panels will face, you'll need to calculate how many panels you'll need in total. Divide the width of your wall by the width of the panels to get the answer.

Step 2 | Putting Your Measurements on Your Panels

Once you've determined how many panels you'll use, measure the length of the ceiling to ensure that the ceiling panels are the correct size.

Transfer your existing panel measurements to the back.

Tip | If you know your walls are straight, move this measurement to the back of each panel. If your walls are uneven, make careful to measure each panel board as you go, since this will ensure that the panels sit level against the wall with no gaps.

Step 3 | How to Cut Ceiling Panels

Once you've marked the back of your panel with the proper measurements and a straight line with a black marker pen and a ruler, you're ready to cut. There are three ways to trim your panels.

- The Stanley knife

To avoid chipping, use a sharp Stanley knife and make sure the panel is face down. Score a straight line down the back of the panel where you've indicated, then hang it from a stable surface and snap the panel waste off for a clean finish.

- Hand Saw

Make sure the fine tooth hand saw you're using is sharp. Make an incision cut on the groove side of the panel with the saw, then cut along the panel in a straight line from one end to the other.

- Electric Jigsaw

Check that the blade of an electronic Jigsaw is sharp and that the panel butts up to the saw and is in line with the measured marking line. To avoid chipping the end of the board, make sure the saw is running at maximum speed before cutting down on your panel.

Step 4 | Remove the Groove from the Panel That Will Be Installed First

To remove the groove, cut at a 45-degree angle and slice from top to bottom of the panel with a sharp Stanley knife. This keeps the panel flat against the wall.

Step 5: Choosing and Applying Glue

After cutting your panels, apply your chosen glue and install them to your ceiling surface.

Pink Grip is a solvent-free glue that works well on porous surfaces such old plasterboard, concrete, chipboard, and wood. This adhesive sticks right away.

Step 6 - The Installing

Remove any protective coating from the face of the panel.

You may start installing your first panel after you've applied your adhesive. Simply install the ceiling board, being sure to put the panel groove side against the wall where it was previously cut for a flush finish. Once you're happy with the placement of the panels, apply pressure to the entire panel - length to length - to ensure that the adhesive spreads and a tight seal is formed.

Securing the panels -

If you've decided to screw, staple, or pin your panels in place while the glue sets, you'll need to screw, staple, or pin the panel tongue every 30cm. Repeat with the remaining panels, being careful to secure each panel using the tongue and groove interlocking method and applying pressure to each panel as you proceed.

Step 7 - Drilling around Spotlights and fittings.

If your ceiling has spotlights or other light fittings, measure the diameter of the light fitting and record its location with a pen mark on the relevant ceiling board before cutting this area with a circular saw drill.

Step 8 - Finishing With Trims

To finish off your ceiling boards, you can use one of three different types of trim; one of these trims (quadrant trim) can be installed externally after all panels have been installed, while the other two trims (coving & end cap) must be installed with the panels as they are installed onto the ceiling.


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