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Suspended Ceiling Cost

IMany contractors will quote a suspended ceiling cost per square metre, with the UK average being around £28.50 per m2. The reason prices are quoted in this way is because every suspended ceiling project will be different.

There are many variables in place, so here we'll run through the most significant cost factors to bear in mind when working out your budget. For example, a commercial suspended ceiling is likely to be larger and more complex than a residential project.

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Pricing Factors in a Suspended Ceiling Cost

Before requesting a suspended ceiling quote, you'll need to know what the primary costs are:

  • Ceiling material: you might decide to have a suspended ceiling made from MDF, other types of timber, plastic or tiles - each costing a different amount. If you're not sure what materials would be best suited to your intended use of the space, a tradesperson can recommend the best option.
  • Size of the room: a suspended ceiling might be for one small space, a larger area, or across multiple rooms. The larger the ceiling, the more materials and labour required, and the more expensive the job.
  • Ceiling height: the higher the ceiling height in your property, the more labour will be required for the installation.
  • Features: you will have multiple options, from adding lighting systems to installing fire sprinklers. There are also many ceiling tiles and finishes, ranging from simple budget options to bespoke ceiling tiles, which will be more costly.

The below table shows an indication of what sort of costs you would be looking at on some of the most popular suspended ceiling projects, based on average pricing for labour and materials.

Suspended ceiling project Average UK costs
Installation of a drop ceiling or suspended ceiling £22 to £35 per square metre
Ceiling tiles for a suspended ceiling for a 10 x 12-foot room £1,500
Suspended ceiling kit based on a 600 mm thickness £390
Insulation costs for a suspended ceiling £5 to £8 per square metre

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Other Budget Costs to Fit a Suspended Ceiling

In addition to the costs of the suspended ceiling materials, and the labour hours required, you will also need to budget for the other works necessary to repurpose or renovate the room or rooms in question.

That might include:

  • Installing new lighting systems - you can request an Electrician Callout quote via our service.
  • Fitting air conditioning or fire sprinklers.
  • Booking a Hive Installation to manage your central heating, which may cost less with the new lower ceiling height.
  • Opting for higher-grade premium insulation for warmth or soundproofing.
  • Hiring a plumber to Move a Radiator

Other custom installations could involve fitting a sound system into the suspended ceiling, which will be an additional cost again.

Location is also a factor, with projects in the southeast usually costing around 10% more elsewhere. If your suspended ceiling work is on the ground floor and doesn't require any scaffolding, towers, or exterior access, the labour costs will be lower, but it may require a larger budget if access is challenging.

Replacing an existing suspended ceiling where it has become stained, cracked, or lost tiles will also carry charges around removing the current installation and waste disposal costs.

Skip hire costs between £150 and £300 depending on the volume of waste materials to be disposed of and how long your contractor requires the skip. 

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Breaking Down a Suspended Ceiling Cost Quotation

Quotes for suspended ceilings can be quite different between contractors, so it's advisable to seek at least three estimates to compare the costs and decide which tradesperson to use.

The core costs will be the materials and labour, so if your quote is based on one 'all-in' price, it's worth asking for an itemised quote so you can see exactly what materials are included. This will also help establish whether you need to budget for additional works to install lighting or fire sprinklers, for example.

Drop ceilings come in a vast range of performances, so you would expect the difference to be:

  • Around £20 to £30 per square metre for a budget suspended ceiling. That could reduce to £12 - £18 per square metre if you have economies of scale installing a more significant ceiling. 
  • From £25 to £35 per square metre for a mid-range suspended ceiling, including ceiling tiles. Costs can reduce to £15 to £22 per square metre for more extensive projects or commercial installations.
  • High performance suspended ceilings can provide improved sound insulation and will cost closer to £35 to £45 per square metre, again dropping for larger projects to around £25 to £35 per m2.

Insulation is vital for energy-efficiency, warmth retention and soundproofing, so if you are installing a suspended ceiling in a living space, you should opt for the best quality insulation your budget allows for.

These materials cost between £5 and £8 per square metre, although you can opt for premium quality insulation if you need greater protection.

If your price is quoted per square metre, we'd suggest measuring up the room and asking for a revised estimate based on specific measurements - this ensures there is less wiggle room, and you have a fixed value to work from.

Likewise, labour hours quoted per day, or hour, can vary considerably, so it's best to ask the tradesperson for an indication as to how many days or hours they expect to need, so you have a more accurate price.

What are the Benefits of Installing a Suspended Ceiling?

Alongside the suspended ceiling cost, there are multiple benefits:

  • It is easy to lift panels or ceiling tiles to carry out any repair works or changes to the piping or electronics sitting behind the suspended ceiling.
  • Soundproofing and reducing sound from the rooms above.
  • Energy-efficiency, by reducing the volume of a room and keeping the heat better retained. The higher-grade the insulation, the more significant the impact on your energy bills.
  • Brightening interiors, using white or gloss finish tiles to reflect light.
  • Reductions in duct, bacteria and mould, using antimicrobial treatments for suspended ceilings in bathroom and kitchen areas (see more on the cost of kitchen rewiring and kitchen wrapping costs for more information on kitchen renovation).
  • Flexible designs, with limitless options for the colour, materials, style and layout of your suspended ceiling finish.

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FAQs - Installing a Suspended Ceiling

Let's answer some of the most frequently asked questions about installing a suspended ceiling in your property!

Can I Install a Suspended Ceiling By Myself?

It's not advisable to attempt to fit a suspended ceiling yourself unless you have experience and construction skills - since fitting a ceiling isn't an easy job.

You can purchase DIY kits starting at around £390 for a 600 mm fitting, but there are risks to consider, such as working at height and the dangers of having a poorly fitted suspended ceiling which could cause severe damage were it to collapse.

Replacing broken or damaged ceiling tiles is usually a relatively simple job, so you can often carry out minor maintenance and repairs without contractors. However, larger ceilings at a greater height can be risky, so it's best to rely on professionals if you don't have the right equipment or experience.

How Much Should I Pay for a Drop Ceiling?

A suspended ceiling and a drop ceiling are the same things. If you receive a quotation for a drop ceiling, the products and materials won't be any different, and it’s just alternative terminology for the same project.

The average UK cost is around £28.50 per square metre. Drop ceilings are identical in being formed of ceiling tiles adhered to a frame, suspended from the original ceiling structure above.

What Types of Ceiling Tile Can I Have on a Suspended Ceiling?

There are lots of ceiling tile types, and the best for you will depend on your budget, the size of the room, and whether you have specific requirements around decor, insulation or soundproofing.

Some of the most popular suspended ceiling tiles include:

  • Concealed grid tiling
  • Microlook panels
  • Tegular edge ceiling tiles
  • Square edged suspended ceiling tiling

Your tradesperson will usually be able to show you examples of the ranges of tiles on offer so you can make an informed choice about which will best suit your property.

What is a Suspended Ceiling?

Suspended ceilings don't impact your property's structural integrity and don't mean removing or changing the ceiling already in place.

A metal grid is hung from above, hence the higher cost for a greater ceiling height. Tiles are fitted onto that grid, and any ductwork, piping or wires are concealed behind the tiles.

What Do Suspended Ceiling Cost Per Square Metre?

The costs will depend on the room's size, location, the complexity of the installation, and what materials you choose.

As a rough indication, most suspended ceiling installations cost from £22 to £35 per square metre, with the highest prices in London and the southeast.