Architects & Designers
Stretch Ceilings Data for Interior Designers
The primary consideration in installing an interior design product or material is usually its aesthetic impact on the space being designed. With stretch ceiling products, certain technical and structural properties must also be taken into account including the details of the installation, the shape it will have, and the space required.
The shape of a stretch ceiling membrane is determined by tracks that are hidden behind it. A flat installation requires tracks along the perimeter only, while 3D structures require a three dimensional “skeleton” that will be enveloped by a sheath of membrane. For flat structures, the tracks are attached to the wall or ceiling directly using regular vertical or horizontal screws. The choice of screws depends on the underlying structure of the house. A Laqfoil authorized installer will choose the proper screws for the installation. The tracks come in different models with slightly different measurements, their selection dependent on the measurements of the installation.
The most frequently used tracks are 25-30mm (0.98in - 1.18”) tall, meaning a stretch ceiling installation will only take away that amount of physical height from the living space in a room (or breadth, if the installation is to cover a wall). If irregularities on the underlying surface exceed 25mm, more substantial tracks can be used, or the stretch ceiling can be installed at a lower height. The standard width of a roll of membrane film from the manufacturer is 3300mm (10.8268 ft), which gives a single-frame installation a maximum width of 3200mm (10.4987 ft). Tracks may be attached to the walls or to the ceiling, so it is possible to install several 3200mm sections in a row; the border between sections is barely visible and has no impact on the overall visual impression made by the installation. It is also possible to weld together two or more sheets. The length of a single-frame installation may be virtually unlimited. Some of our completed Laqfoil projects so far have required us to cover an area of over 220 square meters. If stretch ceiling technology is used for a ceiling, the normal mode of application is to cover the entire ceiling. If such installation is used there is no space left between the stretch ceiling and the walls of the room. The most common shape for these stretch ceilings is rectangular, but circular, oval, curved, and other custom 2D shapes can also be provided. If the room already has moulding installed, we can use special tracks that will minimize the gap between the ceiling and the moulding.
Installing Aesthetic Enhancements and Fixtures
A stretch ceiling cannot support any weight attached to it. All ceiling fixtures and other ceiling-hung elements need to be attached to the underlying surface and/or structure, and must rely on supports that protrude through the membrane. It is recommended that the position of these supports be identified before stretch ceiling installation. A Laqfoil installer will put a transparent enforcement ring around the port in the membrane in order to prevent deterioration around the protruding element. Stretch ceiling membrane is designed to sustain temperatures between - 40 to + 60 C (+140 F). Putting up new fixtures or other design elements after a stretch ceiling has been installed is still possible, if done by a professional installer. Using adhesive to attach very light visual accent elements to the membrane is also possible, but not recommended.
3D Stretch Technology Products
Various types of spatial structures can be created using stretch technology. One such option is a layered stretch ceiling or wall mural that uses a transparent or specially-finished vinyl membrane as one or more of the layers. The membrane can be perforated for acoustic attenuation, or can have an LCD or fluorescent assembly installed behind it or between two membranes. Another commonly used option is stretch ceiling boxes, which are usually suspended from a ceiling, and serve as a light source. These boxes usually combine a wooden, metal, or plastic frame with a transparent, perforated, or translucent membrane. 3D structures can also be used as purely decorative elements (see picture).
When designing such elements, one needs to consider that the internal 3D skeleton of the structure will form the edges and corners of it.
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