Home & Garden

Embassy suspended ceiling

  • Last Updated:
  • Mar 9th, 2017 7:35 pm
12 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Mar 23, 2008
9557 posts
5973 upvotes
Edmonton
We're planning on taking advantage of the sale to finish the ceilings in our basement, after ripping out the drywall to reconfigure the HVAC during our reno. No experience with it yet.

The pluses for me include the flexibility of a drop ceiling with regards to running wire or anything else, but better looking and less ceiling height lost. Cost isn't a big deal; I suspect we can get by with 3 or 4 bundles. Costco cost is $1/sq ft less than HD or Lowes at regular price, even less (obviously) when on sale like this

C
Sr. Member
Mar 19, 2013
691 posts
206 upvotes
Prince Albert, Sask.
Nice looking ceiling. I have top end Armstrong ceiling. 5 years love it. Still looks great. If you install this product, maybe down the road, it looks paintable. Looks like a great choice.
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
16291 posts
1435 upvotes
Thornhill
I installed one a few weeks ago. Two units of that Costco stuff.

Super easy to do, but keep in mind that it's MDF: if you bash in a corner, you can't fix it. This isn't bad since the corners of tiles are hidden, but if you bash in the ends of the crossbars, they are visible.

If your room is wider than 8', then you need to extend the main crossbars but abutting them. There is a small tongue and groove at the ends, and theoretically they are supposed to fit together well, but they don't. The abutments are visible and I may need to patch them up with caulk or something.

If you cut the secondary crossbars, the instructions say to screw on a scrap piece to the back so that the face is flush with the face of the main crossbars, but they don't. They are visibly different.

This MDF is pretty hard (1/4"). Cutting holes for air diffusers, heat registers, and lights requires work. I did my cuts with a sharp Bosch hole saw, and it was difficult to control if the teeth caught unevenly. Spin saw might have been easier.

Cutting MDF leaves lots of dust, so wear your mask.

In the end, I'm not going to spend my day looking at the ceiling, so this system is a time saver. Looks better than those office 2'x4' tiles. And it's really a low profile drop ceiling which I wanted. Pretty expensive bough, but it was a small area.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
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Deal Fanatic
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May 5, 2007
5267 posts
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416
Starting my research for our basement reno and most likely will just drywall the ceiling as we didn't want to do a suspended one. This is a pretty nice alternative. Might have to check out. From the description it looks like this needs at least 1.75" of clearance. Are there any other products that require less clearance?
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 15, 2009
166 posts
74 upvotes
t3359 wrote:
Mar 6th, 2017 4:12 pm
I installed one a few weeks ago. Two units of that Costco stuff.

Super easy to do, but keep in mind that it's MDF: if you bash in a corner, you can't fix it. This isn't bad since the corners of tiles are hidden, but if you bash in the ends of the crossbars, they are visible.

If your room is wider than 8', then you need to extend the main crossbars but abutting them. There is a small tongue and groove at the ends, and theoretically they are supposed to fit together well, but they don't. The abutments are visible and I may need to patch them up with caulk or something.

If you cut the secondary crossbars, the instructions say to screw on a scrap piece to the back so that the face is flush with the face of the main crossbars, but they don't. They are visibly different.

This MDF is pretty hard (1/4"). Cutting holes for air diffusers, heat registers, and lights requires work. I did my cuts with a sharp Bosch hole saw, and it was difficult to control if the teeth caught unevenly. Spin saw might have been easier.

Cutting MDF leaves lots of dust, so wear your mask.

In the end, I'm not going to spend my day looking at the ceiling, so this system is a time saver. Looks better than those office 2'x4' tiles. And it's really a low profile drop ceiling which I wanted. Pretty expensive bough, but it was a small area.

bjl
Thanks for the review. Seems like a good choice for a small room but not so great for a large room. If you knew all this before buying, would you still do it ?
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
16291 posts
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Thornhill
Aggy wrote:
Mar 6th, 2017 4:22 pm
Starting my research for our basement reno and most likely will just drywall the ceiling as we didn't want to do a suspended one. This is a pretty nice alternative. Might have to check out. From the description it looks like this needs at least 1.75" of clearance. Are there any other products that require less clearance?
Snapclip was the alternative I was considering.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
RFD discounts for Schluter products
Deal Expert
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Dec 26, 2005
16291 posts
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Thornhill
givememoney wrote:
Mar 7th, 2017 8:14 am
Thanks for the review. Seems like a good choice for a small room but not so great for a large room. If you knew all this before buying, would you still do it ?
Yup. Probably not a lot of other choices out there.

bjl
What we do in life echoes in Eternity... and in Google cache.
RFD discounts for Schluter products
Deal Addict
Sep 26, 2007
1123 posts
225 upvotes
Gatineau
Snapclip crossbars and panels are different materials and that will show. Embassy is all MDF.
Snapclip requires slightly less clearance at 1 inch but Embassy is just 1.75 inch.
On snapclip recessed lighting will sag, not on embassy.
I have installed the Embassy in 3 basement rooms and I find it's great. Perfect? No. The points mentioned above are sonewhat true, but often do you give such a detailed look at your ceiling? The general look is great. Would not change it. Easy to access the joists.
One of my rooms was about 20 x 8. Works great.
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Deal Addict
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Dec 10, 2008
4222 posts
720 upvotes
Toronto
I'm buying the Embassy grid and clips, then DIY'ing the 1/4 tiles

Saving about 50% going this route. Most of the cost of the Embassy system is the tiles.
[OP]
Jr. Member
Oct 15, 2009
166 posts
74 upvotes
RCGA wrote:
Mar 9th, 2017 7:53 am
I'm buying the Embassy grid and clips, then DIY'ing the 1/4 tiles

Saving about 50% going this route. Most of the cost of the Embassy system is the tiles.
What will you do for titles ?? MDF that you will cut yourself ?
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Dec 10, 2008
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Toronto
givememoney wrote:
Mar 9th, 2017 9:11 am
What will you do for titles ?? MDF that you will cut yourself ?
4x8 sheets of 1/4 MDF, cut down on the table saw. Doesn't have to be perfect since the ends are hidden.

Paint the tiles and rails the same color. Done.

The room I'm doing is 25x16 and I'm saving about $800

I'd make my own 2ft rail spacers, too, if I can find the right thickness MDF (glue up two pieces for your tongue and groove)
Deal Addict
May 5, 2008
4794 posts
1487 upvotes
Winnipeg
RCGA wrote:
Mar 9th, 2017 9:40 am
4x8 sheets of 1/4 MDF, cut down on the table saw. Doesn't have to be perfect since the ends are hidden.

Paint the tiles and rails the same color. Done.

The room I'm doing is 25x16 and I'm saving about $800

I'd make my own 2ft rail spacers, too, if I can find the right thickness MDF (glue up two pieces for your tongue and groove)
Did the same..but got Rona to cut them but used steel track.

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