How to Hang Things From a Ceiling

By F.R.R. Mallory

Hanging things from the ceiling is a good way to use your vertical space. Some people like to hang furniture from the ceiling, while other people favor smaller items, like plants or chain curtains. No matter what you plan to hang, the principles and techniques are similar. The first thing you need to know is the weight of the object. The heavier the object, the more support you will need to hang the object safely.

List of Items Needed

  • Scale
  • Tape measure
  • Stud finder
  • Wall anchors
  • Screw eyes
  • Joist brackets
  • Drill or handheld rotary tool with drill bit
  • Nuts and bolts
  1. Weigh the object you want to hang using a scale.

  2. Move a stud finder along the ceiling near where you want to hang the object. Mark the location of the ceiling joists. Drive a slim nail into the location of the joist to be sure it is at that location.

  3. Check the packaging on the object to see if there are special hanging brackets or recommendations for hanging the object. Mark the locations on the ceiling where the recommendations can be met. The heavier the object you are hanging, the more critical it is to screw directly into joists or even add additional framing to support the object correctly.

  4. Use a drill or a lighter weight rotary tool with a drill bit to bore into joists if your object is lightweight and can be hung from a heavy-duty screw eye. Bore a pilot hole to make screwing the eye easier. Some objects are so light you can install them using a ceiling butterfly-type anchor. These are only connecting to drywall or plaster, so they must be very light.

  5. Mount curtain tracks by framing away from the closest parallel joist or by using anchors rated for the weight of the curtain directly into the ceiling surface. Hang canopy rings by screwing into the nearest joists and adjusting the location of the bed a few inches to accommodate the location.

  6. Mount very heavy objects by adding framing between the joists using special joist brackets based on the weight of the object. If you are hanging beds and chairs, it is essential that the bracing be more than what is recommended by the furniture manufacturer. This may require opening up the ceiling and adding framing, or framing in from the attic side.

Tips and Warnings

  • Special joist brackets are available to retrofit joists to carry additional weight loads. Take precautions to understand what is reasonable load for the type of joists used in your home.

© Demand Media 2011