How to choose ceiling panels

In recent years, ceiling decoration with decorative panels of various designs is gaining more and more popularity. The main reason is that there is no need to level, plaster and putty the surface of the base, and these works not only take a lot of time, but also take a lot of money. Decorative panels look very aesthetically pleasing, quite strong and durable, and also extremely easy to install, which can be done independently in just one day. The first task that needs to be solved is not to get lost in the variety of proposals and to make the right choice of materials. The main question is how to choose ceiling panels. What materials are the panels, what sizes, for what designs of ceiling systems they are intended – all this is extremely important and determines the final choice. Last but not least, it is also necessary to pay attention to the color, texture, shape, moisture resistance, sound insulating properties and other characteristics..

Types of ceiling panels

Ceiling panels are divided into different categories according to different characteristics, for example, according to the method of installation, according to the material of manufacture, according to size and shape, according to the presence and absence of fasteners. The choice of the necessary panels should start with determining what type of fastener you are going to use, whether it will be a suspended structure or simply glued to the base..

According to the method of installation, ceiling panels are:

  • Panels for cassette ceilings. They have standard dimensions, usually 600×600 mm, and fit inside the frame of the suspended structure. This includes Armstrong ceiling panels – the most common in our market..
  • Slatted ceiling panels. These are long and narrow slats made of aluminum or plastic that are attached to each other and to the suspended structure.
  • Panels with tongue and groove system various widths from 3 to 400 mm, connecting to each other. They can be attached either to the guides or simply glued to the ceiling surface.
  • Panels of various sizes, which can be glued to the base. It can be square tiles made of expanded polystyrene, or can be panels 300 mm wide and 1 to 3 m long..

The choice of ceiling panels, depending on the installation method, is completely dictated by what kind of structure you want to equip. If the ceiling is very low, and you do not plan to hide communications behind the ceiling, then choose panels that are enough to stick to the base. If room height allows, consider cassette or slatted ceilings.

What materials are the ceiling panels made of?:

  • Aluminum. For cassette ceilings and slatted ceilings.
  • Mineral fiber (basalt). For cassette streams and panels that can be attached to rails and simply glued.
  • Fiberglass.
  • Plastic (PVC). For all types of ceiling structures.
  • MDF. For cassette ceilings, slatted ceilings and panels fixed to the lathing.
  • Glass – silicate and acrylic. For cassette ceilings.

Foam ceiling panels

  • Expanded polystyrene. Ceiling adhesive panels.
  • LED panels. For cassette ceilings – LED backlit panels.
  • Infrared heating ceiling panels. They are used not only as decorative elements, but also for heating and cooling the premises..
  • Soft fiberboard. A unique material consisting exclusively of pine shavings and fibers without the addition of binders and resins. For cassette ceilings, lathing and bonding panels.
  • Drywall.
  • Wood.

In addition to conventional decorative panels, there are acoustic panels with exceptional properties for damping impact noise, moisture resistant, intended for use in rooms with high humidity, thermal insulation, heating panels, lighting panels, perforated panels for better ventilation, and others. Let’s take a closer look at what panels are for the ceiling..

Panels for cassette ceilings

Cassette ceilings are a frame made of longitudinal and transverse guides, into the cells of which decorative panels are inserted. Suspended systems of Armstrong cassette ceilings are so popular in our country that they are used everywhere, even with panels from other manufacturers. This is very convenient, since the dimensions are unified..

Armstrong ceiling panels – characteristics:

  • Dimensions 600×600 mm or 600×1200 mm.
  • Panel thicknesses 8 – 25 mm.
  • Moisture resistance at a temperature of + 29 ° C is 90% or more in different models.
  • Light reflection from 80% or more.
  • The edges of the panels are made in 3 types: Board – panels with smooth edges, installed in the frame cells from a profile of 15 and 24 mm. Tegular – edges in the form of a wide step, the panel seems to sag below the edges of the profile 24 mm. MicroLook – Narrow Step Edges.

Panels for this type of ceiling can be made of various materials..

Mineral fiber panels

Armstrong ceiling panels are manufactured from specially treated stone wool. The method of wet molding is used, clay, perlite and various binders – latex, starch, gypsum and processed waste paper are added to the mineral fibers. The surface is painted in the required color in several layers. The main advantage of such panels is their amazing soundproofing property. Panels that use more latex are moisture resistant and suitable for installation in the bathroom.

Ceiling panel Baikal

Ceiling panel Baikal is considered an economy class panel designed for installation in public places and municipal buildings – at train stations, offices and other institutions. Has dimensions 595×595 mm, thickness 12 mm, Board edge, light reflectance 80%, moisture resistance 70 – 90%, sound absorption coefficient 0.1. The Baikal ceiling panel has a characteristic white embossed surface with non-directional and non-focused wormholes. Please note that this type of panel is so popular that it is copied in large quantities in China, but Chinese panels are thinner (7 – 8 mm) and less durable. The cost of Baikal panels is 1.5 USD.

Ceiling Panel Decorative

Ceiling Panel Decorative manufactured in China. Outwardly, it resembles economy-class panels produced in Europe by Armstrong and others, but the thickness of the panel is less and the density of the material is higher (390-410 kg / m3). Panel dimensions 600×600 mm, thickness 8 mm, smooth edges Board, moisture resistance 70%, light reflection 75%, sound absorption 0.4. Decorative panel face is white with non-directional wormholes and blind perforations. The cost of Decorative panels is about $ 2.25..

Ceiling panel Lilia

Ceiling panel Lilia made in Denmark by Rockfon, from Rockwool mineral fiber, glass mat is glued on the front side, which is painted in the desired color. This production technology allows you to successfully combine acoustic properties, fire resistance and moisture resistance. Panel dimensions 600×600 mm, thickness 15 mm, straight edges, light reflection 81.5%, low density 90 g / m3. The moisture resistance of Lilia panels is 100%, which means that even when wet, the panels will not deform. Also, the panels are not afraid of mold and mildew. Due to these properties, Lilia ceiling panels can be installed in various institutions, offices, salesrooms, classrooms and in production. Lilia panels start at $ 1.65.

Ceiling panel Oasis

Ceiling panel Oasis manufactured by Armstrong (Great Britain) has a rough surface of the front side without perforation. Has dimensions 600×600 mm, thickness 12 mm, Board edge, moisture resistance 70%, light reflection 80%, sound absorption 0.1 – 0.2. The sandy rough surface of the panel is ideally combined with special lamps with a prismatic matt diffuser. The price of such panels is $ 3, so they can be safely installed in offices, restaurants, cafes, gyms, libraries, clinics and other institutions..

Ceiling panel Filigran

Ceiling panel Filigran made in Germany has a smooth surface with a shallow perforation. Panel dimensions 600×600 mm, thickness 13 mm, moisture resistance 70%, light reflection 80%, sound absorption 0.65, has a straight edge, costs $ 1.875. a piece.

Most mineral fiber panels are in the same price range, so you should choose them based on your preference for appearance and technical characteristics such as sound absorption. The advantage of mineral wool ceiling panels is their heat-saving property..

Glass ceiling panels

Photo printed glass ceiling panels

Mirrored ceiling, frosted glass ceiling, stained glass, art painting – all this can be realized with the help of glass ceiling panels, which can be either silicate glass or acrylic (plexiglass). Such panels are available in sizes 600×600 mm, which allows them to be used in Armstrong suspension systems..

Frosted glass ceiling panels

Recently, frosted glass ceilings have been extremely popular. If you place light sources behind the panels, then, refracting through the glass and scattering, the light will fill the room with a warm glow and create an atmosphere of a cozy sunny day. The application of a pattern to the surface of frosted glass using sandblasting allows you to create a unique design. Glass panels are easy to clean, they are not afraid of moisture and fungus, they can be installed in the bathroom, kitchen and pool.

Aluminum ceiling panels

Aluminum panels for open system cassette ceilings

Aluminum ceiling panels are produced for both open system cassette ceilings and closed system ceilings. The front surface of the panels can be matte, glossy, with a mirror layer (metallized) or polymer spraying, of various colors. It can also be smooth, rough, perforated. The advantages of aluminum panels are fire safety, durability (up to 50 years), high wear resistance, exceptional moisture resistance and ease of maintenance..

Aluminum panels for cassette ceilings with a closed system

Panels for closed systems are produced with curved edges so that they can be inserted into the groove of the guide profile and snapped tightly there. The ceiling of such panels looks almost like a single surface, on which the fastening profiles do not stand out.

LED ceiling panels

LED ceiling panels

LED panels for cassette ceilings perform not only a decorative function, but are also luminaires. The body of the panel is made of aluminum alloy, along the perimeter of the body there are LEDs that emit light into the ends of a special LED lens. Behind the lens is a reflective film that redirects the light flux downward, and an additional diffuser evenly redistributes the light over the entire surface of the luminaire.

The light from such a panel is soft, uniform, without constant flicker, which can irritate the eyes. It is convenient to install LED panels in rooms with low ceilings, since they do not require a lot of installation space and are visually capable of increasing the volume of the entire room. The sizes of such panels are different: 200×200 mm, 300×300 mm, 600×600 mm and even round with a diameter of 240 mm. The price of LED panels depends on the size and power and ranges from $ 90. up to 300 USD a piece.

Acoustic decorative panels

A separate category of ceiling panels is soft fiberboard panels. Ceiling decorative panels Isotex (Finland) are a striking representative of this category. The dimensions of such panels: with a width of 300 mm and a thickness of 12 mm, the length can be 1800 mm, 3000, 3600, 4200 mm. On all sides, the panels are equipped with a tongue-and-groove system, so they are connected to each other easily and quickly, like a laminate.

Ceiling panels Isotex

Ceiling panels Isotex are made of ISOPLAAT sound-insulating board and covered with foil paper. There are only 4 color solutions of such plates, each of them has a relief pattern – a white plastered surface, imitation of wood, imitation of pressed wood. Isotex ceiling panels are absolutely environmentally friendly, they can be used in children’s rooms, hospitals and other living quarters, they create warmth, comfort and dampen noises and impact sounds in the room. The approximate cost of Isotex acoustic panels is 15 USD. per m2. Installation of panels is carried out on lathing or glue.

Slatted ceiling panels

Rack ceilings are long narrow panels fixed to a frame. Most often, panels for such ceilings are made of aluminum, galvanized steel and plastic. Each panel has at least two tongue and groove edges for easy ceiling mounting.

Aluminum slatted ceiling panels

Aluminum slatted ceiling panels are more popular than any other because this material allows you to solve many problems, has excellent performance characteristics and can be painted in any color, including silver metallic, chrome and gold.

Aluminum slatted ceiling panels

Ceiling panels Albes Russian-made – high quality products that are in no way inferior to analogues of respected foreign manufacturers. That is why they are chosen by buyers throughout the CIS. Various decorative finishes of the panels are carried out at the factory, the front surface can be painted in any color from the international RAL color chart. White, chrome, gold, blue, black, red, matt and glossy shades, imitation wood, granite, chameleon, aged copper – all this is possible for aluminum slatted panels.

Albes panels have a strict shape, smooth rectangular edges, the width is different 85 mm, 135 mm, 185 mm. There are panels for both closed and open ceilings..

Slatted ceiling without gaps - closed system

The closed system assumes that the rails are tightly positioned so that there are no gaps. The second system assumes the presence of a gap, which is closed by an insert, 15 mm wide. The slots remaining during the installation process can be closed with inserts, or you can leave it open, then the ceiling will turn out to be corrugated.

Such panels are mounted on a frame made of galvanized steel or aluminum. Strength, moisture resistance, frost resistance, ease of installation, the ability to install any equipment in the space between the ceiling, resistance to mechanical and chemical stress – all this makes aluminum panels universal. They can be installed both in residential premises and in bathrooms, kitchens and public buildings..

Plastic ceiling panels

Plastic ceiling panels

PVC ceiling panels are available in two versions – for slatted ceilings and panels mounted on a lath. Unlike aluminum, plastic panels are less durable, so when choosing, you need to pay attention to the stiffeners. There should be enough of them, and they should be strong. Many manufacturers reduce the number of stiffeners to reduce the cost of the product and reduce its weight, so that it can be fixed without crate, but this is very controversial and dangerous..

The fastening grooves of the plastic panels are made in various ways. So called seamless panels have smooth edges, after installation, the joints of the panels are hardly noticeable. Embossed panels are connected so that a relief seam is formed between them, somewhat reminiscent of a lining. It is recommended to install this type of panels in rooms, the wall and ceiling structures of which change their dimensions, decreasing and expanding. The slipping of the spike on the groove of the panel allows you to make sure that the suspended ceiling does not deform. Seam after installation panels with rustic resembles a seam between floor slabs, neat and small.

Colors of plastic ceiling panels

Color and texture solutions of plastic ceiling panels are very diverse. The surface can be matte and glossy, monochromatic and patterned. Expensive panels imitate natural materials – fabric, mat, leather, wood and can have a relief pattern. When buying, it is necessary to carefully examine the front surface of the panels, as they easily leave scratches, dents, damaged laminate and stains.

Ceiling panels from MDF

Ceiling panels from MDF

MDF panels are fixed to the ceiling on the lathing with a construction stapler. A variety of colors, moisture resistance, ease of maintenance and installation makes it possible to install such panels in any room, including those with high humidity levels (laminated panels with a protective film). Before installation, it is advisable to treat the surface of the ceiling and the back of the panels with antifungal agents. In shape and size, MDF panels are sheet, for the entire length of the room, and in the form of square or rectangular plates. The second type of panels allows you to make a ceiling in the form of a pattern from panels of different colors and textures.

Infrared ceiling panels

Infrared ceiling panels

A modern innovation – decorative heating panels on the ceiling are confidently gaining popularity. They allow you to create an ideal indoor climate without drafts and save 40% on heating costs..

The principle of operation of ceiling infrared heaters

Zehnder ceiling panels – water infrared ceiling panels made in Germany. The room in which such panels are installed quickly warms up and cools down quickly, the temperature in it is evenly distributed; alternative energy sources can also be used without being tied to electricity. Zehnder panels are modules of different lengths, but the same width, so they can be combined into a product of any desired length. The modules are connected using special push fittings. The pipes inside can be made of copper, steel or galvanized steel. The sides of the panels have a special profile that allows them to be mounted in suspended Armstrong structures..

The main argument for using Zehnder ceiling panels is their unique efficiency. They are often used in restaurants, cafes, cinemas, public buildings, offices, hotel lobbies and other premises that are difficult to heat in the usual way due to their large area..

The choice of ceiling panels in the modern market is so great that it is not difficult to get confused. First of all, you need to decide on the design of the ceiling system, then decide from which material the panels are more suitable in this or that case. For example, mineral wool panels and soft fiberboard panels are suitable for thermal insulation and sound insulation of a room, and aluminum or glass panels are suitable for rooms with high humidity and aggressive operating conditions. An economical option is plastic panels and MDF panels. Also, the ceiling can be supplemented with LED panels – lamps, as well as diversify the surface with patterns or perforations.