How Much Does it Cost to Install a Suspended or False Ceiling?

Are you planning to build a new house? Not sure what kind of ceiling to choose? Drop ceilings, also known as dropped ceilings, suspended ceilings, and false ceilings, are used to describe different types of ceilings.

suspended ceiling

Even though these terms can be confusing at times, they are essentially the same. The installation procedure for false ceilings differs slightly from that of suspended ceilings, but the result is nearly identical.

For years, suspended ceilings have been a popular option for offices, schools, hospitals, and other commercial buildings across the UK as a cost-effective yet elegant and clean interior design solution.

They've also grown in popularity in the home, with many Britons opting for false ceilings in their kitchens or loft conversions.

A false or suspended ceiling, also known as a dropped ceiling or suspended ceiling, is a set of panels, tiles, or frames that hang a few feet underneath the main structural ceiling, which is made of concrete, or wood planks if your home is made of wood.

A suspended ceiling or false ceiling, for example, is not permanent and is not part of a building's structural foundation. But on the other hand, these dropped ceiling styles serve to conceal or cover the solid framework that would be the actual ceiling.

Here we will go through the different prices of a suspended or false ceiling and what is involved in the cost. So, if you want a new ceiling but are not sure where to start, then here you will find out all the information you need to know.

Because there are hundreds of different types of ceiling tiles on the market today, it is difficult to provide an accurate price for installing a suspended/false ceiling. Its cost varies depending on a variety of other factors.

So, how much does a false or suspended ceiling cost?

In an area of 30m2 to 50m2, a low-cost ceiling complete with ceiling tiles will cost approximately £20 to £30 per square metre, reducing to approximately £12 to £18 per square metre in larger areas.

In an area of 30m2 to 50m2, a mid-range ceiling complete with ceiling tiles will cost roughly £25 to £35 per square metre, reducing to approximately £15 to £22 per square metre in larger areas.

If you wanted to add an insulation quilt above the ceiling, based on the thickness, you'd be looking at an extra £5 to £8 per square metre on top of these rates. So in these projects of less than 30m2, you would expect a low-cost ceiling to cost between £300 and £400.

These costs should give you an expectation of how much a ceiling will cost you for a local business to supply and install a suspended ceiling, and you should add 10% to 20% for London areas.

Suspended Ceiling Prices

The table below will break down the cost to install a suspended or false ceiling:

Job Installation Cost
Low-cost ceiling complete with ceiling tiles £20 - £30 per m2
Mid-range ceiling complete with ceiling tiles £25 - £35 per m2
Larger area’s £15 - £22 per m2
Add an insulation quilt £5 - £8 per m2
Projects of less than 30m2 £300 - £400
Get Instant Quotes

Compare quotes and get a price for any job around the home or garden. No obligations. Completely free.

Get a Price for your Job

What are the Supply Costs for a Suspended Ceiling?

Suspended ceilings are less expensive than beam or mortar ceilings, and they are a cost-effective way to conceal flaws in the original ceiling and untidy wires and extra installations.

suspended ceiling

Because they are simple to install, they are also inexpensive to fit and maintain. This section will go over the supply costs for a suspended ceiling so you know how much of your installation cost is made up of materials only.

There are various suspended ceiling tiles available, ranging from low-cost options designed for simple major commercial integrations to specific suspended ceiling tiles aimed at homeowners.

Plasterboard suspended ceilings typically cost between £7 and £9 per m2. Mineral fibre tiles are more cost-effective suspended ceiling tile choices, with bulk purchases ranging from £40 to £80.

Fire-Rated is created to shield dangerous electricals and protect the building's frame; they cost £40 - £60 in bulk. Metal ceiling tiles are typically the most expensive option, costing between £80 and £300.

Having all your materials prepared ahead of time can avoid last-minute shopping trips. For example, acrylic caulk will cost between £1 and £7, and ceiling grid substances will cost between £50 and £250, depending on the quality.

To finish the installation, you'll need a carpet knife, which ranges in price from £1 to £5 depending on the quality of the knife. The chalk line will cost you between £4 and £11, and clamps will cost between £5 and £7.

A drill bit set will provide you with a variety of drill bits to finish the work; these typically cost between £20 and £30. A drill/driver, preferably cordless, will cost between £30 and £50.

A hammer and tape measure will cost between £2 and £7, and a drywall circle gauge will cost between £7 and £20. Tin snips typically cost £7 - £20, and you'll also need strong lines, a lag screwdriver (£2 - £11), a pop-in riveter (£20 - £30), and gloves (£1 - £3).

The table below will break down the supply costs to install a suspended or false ceiling:

Supply Cost
Plasterboard suspended ceilings £7 - £9 per m2
Mineral fibre tiles £40 - £80
Fire-Rated £40 - £60
Metal ceiling tiles £80 - £300
Acrylic caulk £1 - £8
Ceiling grid substances £50 - £250
Carpet knife £1 - £5
Chalk line £4 - £11
Clamps £5 - £7
A drill bit set £20 - £30
Drill/driver £30 - £50
Hammer £2 - £7
Tape measure £2 - £7
Drywall gauge £7 - £20
Tin snips £7 - £20
Lag screwdriver £2 - £11
Pop in riveter £20 - £30
Gloves £1 - £3

What are the Additional Costs to Install a Suspended or False Ceiling?

When installing a suspended or false ceiling, additional costs could add up to increase the overall cost of your suspended ceiling. Here we will go over the additional costs so you can try and avoid them to keep your installation at a lower cost.

Plastering a Ceiling

Plastering a ceiling typically costs between £250 and £300. The cost, however, will be determined by the size of the ceiling and the method used, with the above-said price only being average.

plastering ceiling

Plasterboard would cost around £400 to £500 to apply to a ceiling for a small ceiling, £550 to £700 for a medium ceiling, and £800 to £1,000 for a large ceiling.

In the case of wet plaster, budget £200 to £400 for a small ceiling, £300 to £450 for a medium ceiling, and £450 to £750 for a large ceiling.

In most cases, the pricing is straightforward: a labourer will start charging a daily rate of around £125 to £175. The price may rise to around £175 to £225 if the plastering proves to be more difficult than it would be in most cases.

For further information, please refer to our guide on plastering a ceiling costs.

Painting and Decorating

When redecorating, keep the costs of interior painting for different projects in mind. The average cost of painting a room, for example, ranges from £180 for a small bedroom to £600 for a large living room.

You will also have to consider the painting and decorating costs for other fixtures, such as skirting boards, which range from £180 to £350 and windows, which range from £400 to £1500.

Other jobs involve painting doors, which can cost between £220 and £1600, and re-painting kitchen cabinets, which can cost between £600 and £1000.

Wallpapering is yet another high decorating cost, with prices ranging from £180 for a small room to £600 to strip as well as hang the wallpaper, while installing internal cladding costs between £1500 and £2500.

For further information, please refer to our guide on interior painting and decorating costs.

Skip Hire

The average cost for a 2-yard skip is £70 to £100, with a 4-yard skip will cost on average £100 to £160, and a 6-yard skip will cost £120 to £190.

An 8-yard skip usually costs £150 and £370, a 10-yard skip normally between £180 and £410 on average, and a 12-yard skip will cost around £220 - £450.

A 14-yard skip usually costs between £230 and £460; whereas a 16-yard skip will cost £240 and £480; an 18-yard skip costs around £280 and £500, and a roll-on roll-off skip will cost between £300 and £500. For a lockable skip, you'd need to budget around £200 to £300.

The cost of hiring a skip varies depending on factors such as the type and size of the skip. The type will also have an impact as roll-on roll-off skips are less expensive per yard than a basic skip.

Other price factors involve the number of tradespeople that have been hired to deliver and pick up the skip, the easy accessibility to your property, and your location. Because skip hire cost varies across the country, where you live will have an influence on the price of hiring a skip.

On the other hand, the hiring costs in the southeast are likely to be higher than the national average. However, costs of skips in the north of England, Scotland, as well as Northern Ireland are usually lower than in the rest of the country.

For further information, please refer to our guide on skip hire costs.

New Lighting

The cost of new lighting will vary according to how much lighting you require in your room as well as how much space you have.


Installation costs approximately £60 for a basic fitting and up to £1000 for lighting fixtures and wiring.

If you want to redecorate your living room or bedroom, you may want to consider installing a ceiling light, which can range in price from £6 for a simple flush mount light to £2000 or more for a chandelier.

If you want to install new light fixtures in your kitchen, you could choose pendant lights to hang over your kitchen cabinets, which typically cost between £30 and £500 per light.

Cost Factors of a Suspended Ceiling

Here are some cost factors regarding suspended ceilings:

Number of Tradespeople

The number of labourers hired may or may not be significant. Obviously, the more skilled workers you hire, the larger the hourly labour rate will be; however, if they collaborate well together as a team, the time it takes to complete the work may be cut in half, cancelling out the above factor.

This may or may not occur, and if the team works particularly well together, you may even save money to employ a team rather than a single person. In most cases, this is a one-person job.


Suspended ceilings are made of a variety of materials, ranging from MDF and other wood grains to plastics, as well as other minerals/silicone fibres or tiles that can reflect light to develop the illusion of more space.

Wood is typically the less expensive option, but plastic tiling can be found at reasonable prices, especially if you aren't concerned with the aesthetic appeal of such a ceiling.

Light Systems

While all suspended ceilings have different lighting options, low-energy halogen bulbs and extensive light ‘systems' that work across multiple suspended ceilings will usually cost a little more than standard industrial rectangular fittings.

Special Features

Some suspended or false ceilings can also be installed with a variety of extra features, such as air conditioning, speakers, fire sprinklers, and even a variety of colours or patterns for the pickiest customer – but the more you add to your basic ceiling, the more it will cost.

Fire Resistance

Fire-resistant suspended ceilings include a special resin-coated 60mm barrier, which can make a significant difference in protecting your overall suspended ceiling investment.

fire resistance

It does, however, cost twice or three times as much as a standard suspended ceiling – so make sure you are able to afford it before signing the contract.

Access To and Within Your Building

If you live in a busy city, the worker will have to factor in factors such as parking costs when drafting quotes, as this is much more expensive here than it would be in a rural setting.

Furthermore, for prices to remain low, the floor on which the ceiling must be installed should really be easier to access. This means that installing a suspended ceiling on the bottom floor is less expensive than installing one on the other floors.

The Original Ceiling's Height

A higher ceiling will require more time to install, increasing the cost.

Tradesmen Costs for a Suspended Ceiling Installation

Installing a suspended ceiling is not the easiest project to complete, and unless you are highly trained to do so, it is not recommended that you do it yourself.


Keeping this in mind, you can purchase DIY kits for the project, which cost around £400 - £420 per 600mm2 tile covering 10m2.

Even if you purchase this kit, there is a risk associated with climbing a ladder to access your building's ceiling. Climbing to great heights can be extremely dangerous if your physical capabilities are in doubt, as there is always the risk of injury.

Furthermore, if the ceiling is not properly installed, it may collapse, causing damage to the components beneath.

Finally, it would be beneficial if you understood that it is difficult to achieve the same quality finish as professionals in your installation.

In this section, we will go through the different costs to hire a tradesman to install a suspended ceiling.

Labour costs are a difficult question to answer because the appropriate price is determined by a variety of factors. A 6m high ceiling, for example, takes longer to install than a 3m high ceiling, and a 30m2 corridor ceiling takes longer to install than 30m2 of the ceiling in a single room due to the extra cutting of the edge tiles.

Raking and curved walls add additional labour time, and the ceiling void may become cluttered with services as well as cable trays, making the ceiling installer's job much more difficult.

The size of the false ceiling design also has a significant impact on the cost, and this is before you've even decided which type of ceiling panel you want to be installed.

For labour costs, it will cost you between £15 and £25 per m2 in areas ranging from 50 to 250m2. If the area is between 1000 and 5000m2, installation could cost as little as £11-£14/m2. Or it will cost £150 - £200 for a day’s work, therefore depending on how long it takes to complete the job will affect the labour costs.

If your basement seems to have a lot of loose wires, plumbing pipes, and ductwork, expect ceiling repair experts near you to raise the price even more. Working around those elements takes much more time and may cause the job to be delayed by a day or more.

More specific data to help you formulate the most accurate cost of a suspended ceiling should be obtained by contacting several local contractors and national retailers and comparing several different quotes; this way, you get the most availability and can generally find the lowest price for what you want!

If you hire a tradesperson to install your suspended or false ceiling, make sure they are fully trained and qualified to do the job – and always check the warranty for your new product to ensure that your costs are part of a wise investment that will not let you down!

The table below will break down the tradespeople's costs to install a suspended ceiling:

Labour Cost
50 to 250m2 areas £15 - £25 per m2
1000 and 5000m2 £11 - £14 per m2
Days’ work £150 - £200

How Long Does It Take to Install a False or Suspended Ceiling?

The duration of having work completed in your home can be affected by different factors. Most people don't enjoy having people in their homes with the loud noises and mess that these types of jobs can sometimes create.

Therefore, knowing how long it takes to install a false or suspended ceiling is important. Here, we will go through the duration to install a false suspended ceiling, so you know what to expect.

Your current ceiling situation is one factor that could lengthen the time required to install your false or suspended ceiling tiles.

The track system that is commonly used with false ceiling tiles is referred to as a suspended or false ceiling. The tiles are placed in the tracks, which are suspended from the ceiling by a few inches, adding to the tiles' sound-absorbing and cancelling properties.

The other, less common process includes directly attaching the tiles to the ceiling.

Projects involving a false or suspended ceiling will take time. Make sure to communicate clearly about time requirements with the builders, or if you're doing everything on your own, keep these things in mind when planning a timeline.

Most people believe that a false or suspended ceiling installation can be completed in a couple of hours, but it will most likely take a little longer.

It will probably take a couple of days for someone who knows what they're doing, assuming all the materials are on hand and ready to go. If you're a first-timer doing the project on your own, expect it to take longer, perhaps a week or so.

Types of Suspended Ceiling

A false ceiling is a form of architecture in which a secondary ceiling is installed beneath the original ceiling. This additional ceiling can be made of a variety of materials such as plaster, metal, or wood.

Because they are literally lowered or hung from the main ceiling, false ceilings are also known as dropped ceilings or suspended ceilings.

Suspended ceilings or metal ceiling tiles are most typically found in commercial settings like offices and restaurants. They are, however, becoming increasingly popular in residential settings.

In a residential setting, the main advantage of a suspended ceiling is that it can add interest and personality to a room. It can make the room appear larger and more open.

A false ceiling could be installed in any room of your home, but it is most frequently used in kitchens, bathrooms, and bedrooms.

But what are the different types of false or suspended ceilings?

In this section, we will go through the different types of false or suspended ceilings and their pros and cons, so you know which one will suit your home more when the time comes!

Concealed Ceiling

Choose concealed grip if you want a clean and smooth look for your suspended ceiling. The grid system is hidden behind acoustical tiles in this type of suspended ceiling.

The benefit of installing concealed grip suspended ceiling is its appealing and aesthetic appearance. On the other hand, it prevents easy access to an area above the ceiling for repair. Furthermore, it can be more expensive than other types.


  • Clean and smooth


  • It can be expensive

Gypsum Board and Plaster Suspended Ceilings

This type of suspended and false ceiling is most commonly used in public buildings such as theatres, lobbies, and auditoriums, among other places.

gypsum board

A suspended ceiling made of gypsum board and plaster can be messed to simple light gauge steels, or some special framing elements can be used.

While basic light gauge steels are suspended on cables, special framing components designed specifically for this type of ceiling and available in a variety of complex shapes are available.

The most significant advantage of installing a gypsum board as well as a plaster suspended ceiling is the increased value it adds to your room. It has a distinct design that will give your room a modern appearance.


  • Adds value to the home
  • Unique look


  • Mostly used in theatres

Exposed Grid Ceiling

It is a popular and low-cost type of suspended ceiling. The composition of the exposed grid suspended ceiling distinguishes it from other types. It is made up of long metal strips known as mains. These mains are linked together with tees. The short metal pieces are known as tees.

Tees and mains work together to form a grid system. Suspended ceiling tiles are used to fill the grid system mentioned above. A standard metal frame surrounds each tile of the exposed grid. This frame is available in a variety of sizes.


  • Low cost
  • Available in different sizes


  • None

Fire Resistant Ceiling

Because of its resistance to fire, this type of suspended ceiling is preferred. It is made of a specially designed fire-resistant material. The installation of fire-resistance-rated suspended ceilings is a process that requires extensive knowledge and skills.

Furthermore, lighting fixtures used in this type of ceiling must be backed up with a fire-resistant material. Simply put, every component of this type of suspended ceiling, including the panels that allow access to repair and maintain ducts and pipes, must be fire-resistant.


  • Resistant to fire


  • Hard to install

Ceilings with Suspended Drywall

Hangers and wires are used instead of metal grids in a suspended drywall ceiling. You can choose this type of suspended ceiling if you do not want to spend a lot of money on suspended ceilings with frames. Because of its unique design, it has an appealing appearance.

suspended drywall


  • Affordable
  • Unique design


  • Hangers and wires used

False Ceilings with Tiles

A false tiled ceiling can give any room a simple yet sophisticated look. Metal, wood, mineral wool, gypsum, glass fibres or plastic are common materials.

Because of its basic appearance and affordable cost, it is one of the most used suspended ceilings. As a result, these ceilings can be found for decoration in flats, shops, offices, and homes.


  • Found in flats, offices, and homes
  • Simple appearance
  • Low cost


  • Not popular due to its simple design

Suspended Ceilings Made of Aluminium

Whether it is a small bathroom in a condo or a meeting room in a large industrial high-rise, you can improve the look and appeal of the space by installing an aluminium suspended ceiling. It has a metal surface that ensures proper reflection of natural and electric light.

Suspended Ceilings Made of Aluminium

As a result, it can make your room appear well-lit and spacious. The ability of this type of suspended ceiling to fit in any room and improve its appeal is the main reason why it is preferred by many.

Aluminium is a well-known long-lasting material. It does not need a lot of upkeep to keep its lustre and toughness. It is considered safe for human health due to its eco-friendly properties.

As a result, it is recommended that it be used in medical institutions. Because of the numerous benefits it offers, many parents prefer to have this type of suspended ceiling installed in their children's rooms as well.

When it comes to aluminium suspended ceilings, there is a wide range of options available. There are numerous options available, ranging from rack to cassette and Griyalto.

Each type has its own set of qualities; however, Griyalto is the most sought-after due to its distinct characteristics. It is also known as the costliest suspended ceiling in the category of aluminium ceilings.


  • It can make your room appear well-lit and spacious
  • Long-lasting


  • Expensive

How Much Does It Cost to Remove a Suspended or False Ceiling?

When removing a drop ceiling, you may be charged between £2 and £7 per square foot. The cost to demo the interior materials for a 10-foot-by-12-foot room could range from £240 to £840.

You should also budget £60 per square foot for the cost of repairing the newly exposed ceiling. Drywall, paint, and lighting raise the cost even further.


Q: What have suspended ceiling tiles made of?

A: Although other materials can be used, most suspended ceiling systems are made of steel grid and acoustical tiles or gypsum white vinyl tiles. Metal hanger wires are being used to suspend these systems from three inches to over a foot (7.6 cm to 30.5 cm) underneath the deck.

Q: What is a false ceiling?

A: False ceilings, also known as suspended ceilings, are distinguished from standard ceilings by their proximity to the ground beneath the original ceiling structure. An empty space between the initial ceiling and the false ceiling is usually present, which can be useful for soundproofing apartments in much the same building.

Q: Is installing a suspended ceiling difficult?

A: Suspended ceilings are the ideal option for basement rooms with ducts, pipes, and cables that require direct access. The setup is simple and takes as little as a weekend. The finished ceiling height must be at least 7 1/2'. Check the building codes in your area.

Q: How thick is a suspended ceiling?

A: T shapes that are 15/16" wide are the most commonly used; however, 9/16" wide T shapes are becoming more popular. Suspended ceiling producers also produce a variety of shapes that provide the designer with aesthetic options. To add depth to a ceiling, a stepped T shape is frequently used with tegular panels.

Q: How long does a false ceiling last?

A: They have a long life ahead of them. A POP false ceiling could indeed easily last for 15-20 years in the absence of external damage.


Author: Emma M

I am a Liverpool-based freelance writer with a degree in Media and Communications. I specialise in product reviews, home improvement and DIY content. I am also experienced in social media management and content marketing.