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A Step-by-Step Guide: Installing a Suspended Plasterboard Ceiling over Vermiculite


Introduction: Installing a suspended plasterboard ceiling over vermiculite can be a challenging task for tradespeople. Vermiculite, a lightweight insulation material commonly found in older buildings, requires careful consideration during installation. In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of installing a suspended plasterboard ceiling over vermiculite, ensuring a safe and effective outcome.

Materials and Tools Required:

  1. Safety equipment (gloves, goggles, dust mask)

  2. Ladder or scaffolding

  3. Measuring tape

  4. Chalk line

  5. Screws and screwdriver

  6. Metal furring channels or battens

  7. Plasterboard panels

  8. Utility knife

  9. Plasterboard adhesive

  10. Drywall saw

  11. Jointing compound

  12. Sandpaper

  13. Paint or finishing materials (optional)

Step 1: Prepare the Workspace Before beginning the installation process, ensure that the workspace is clear and safe. Remove any furniture, cover the floor with drop cloths, and turn off any electrical power supply in the area where you'll be working. Additionally, wear the necessary safety equipment to protect yourself from dust and other hazards.


Step 2: Assess the Vermiculite Ceiling Examine the existing vermiculite ceiling to ensure it is stable and not damaged. Look for any signs of water damage, sagging, or loose particles. If there are any concerns, it's advisable to consult an expert before proceeding with the installation. A test for asbestos must be conducted before works starts.


Step 3: Measure and Mark the Ceiling Grid Using a measuring tape, determine the desired height for your suspended ceiling. Mark this height along the walls using a chalk line. Next, establish the layout of your ceiling grid, ensuring even spacing between the furring channels or battens. Mark these locations on the walls as well.


Step 4: Install Furring Channels or Battens Attach the metal furring channels or wooden battens to the ceiling using screws. Ensure they are level and aligned with the marked positions. These channels will provide support for the plasterboard panels.


Step 5: Cut and Install Plasterboard Panels Measure the dimensions of the ceiling space and cut the plasterboard panels accordingly, leaving a slight gap at the edges to accommodate any potential expansion. Lift each panel onto the furring channels and secure them in place using screws, ensuring a snug fit. If needed, trim the panels using a utility knife or drywall saw to fit around any obstacles such as light fixtures or vents.


Step 6: Apply Adhesive and Screw the Panels Apply a generous amount of plasterboard adhesive to the back of each panel before placing it on the furring channels. This adhesive will provide additional strength and stability to the ceiling. Once in position, secure the panels further by driving screws through them and into the furring channels at regular intervals, typically every 600mm including glue in-between .


Step 7: Finishing Touches Once all the panels are securely installed, apply jointing compound to cover the screw heads, seams, and any gaps between the panels. Smooth out the compound using a putty knife and allow it to dry. Once dry, sand the compound lightly to create a smooth, even surface. You can then apply paint or other finishing materials according to your preference.


Conclusion: Installing a suspended plasterboard ceiling over vermiculite requires careful planning and execution. By following this step-by-step guide, tradespeople can achieve a sturdy and visually appealing ceiling while ensuring the safety and integrity of the vermiculite insulation. Remember to prioritize safety and consult with professionals if needed. With proper installation, a suspended plasterboard ceiling


Pricing This is just a guide and not to be used as a quanteed price without a consultation: The pricing below is just the supply and install of the suspended ceiling, other costs involved are electricians, furniture removal, floor covering etc.

​Suspended Ceiling Supply and Install

​Price for Install

1 Room Only

​$4000

2 Rooms Only

$​6000

Entire 1 Bedroom Apartment 55m2

​$8000

Entire 2 Bedroom Apartment 70m2

​$11000

Designer Homes and Larger Apartments

Quote Provided after Site Visit


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