Ensure you have no obstructions hanging down below joists (ductwork, wiring, plumbing, etc.) and that you can screw into the joists. Secure ductwork and wiring so there will be no pressure on the flush dropped ceiling.
Clear the room for easy access to the entire area throughout installation. If you are installing lighting, find the center of the room, then 24” centers in both directions to fit the new tile layout.
Identify the U-shaped edge trim pieces, and have your 1 1/2” screws and screwdriver on hand. Set up a step platform or multiple ladders. Have a friend on the ground hand you the pieces and support the ladder throughout the installation process.
Begin by installing the U-shaped edge trim channel along the entire perimeter of the room with a drill and 1 ½” drywall screws (Image 1). Start in one corner, working your way around the room, overlapping any seams by at least ½”. Attach to both ceiling joists and into the side wall with a drill and screws approximately every 24” (Image 2).
These plastic strips have a central snap-in channel for the finish trim bars and side notches at 24” spacing for the cross bars (Image 1). Decide on your starting point and lay out in both directions (Image 2). The ceiling tiles are 24” square. You can attach the joist-mounting channels parallel or perpendicular to the ceiling joists.
We installed the channels parallel to the ceiling joists. Use the side notches on the mounting channel to align with your starting point. Cut the mounting channel to size if necessary to align a notch at the correct location. Ensure the channel is mounted in a straight line with a string or laser line. Attach to ceiling joists with a drill and 1 ½” screws every 24”. Ensure the notches remain at 24” on center at the butt joints.
The cross bars look similar to the finish trim bars, but are only 24” long (Image 1). Place the trim bars in the notches of the installed mounting channels (Image 2). While one end of the cross bar is still floating, attach to the next mounting channel using trim bars as spacers (Image 3).
Start at one edge, and install all full tiles (Image 1). Flex the finish trim and side bars out of the way to fit tiles (Image 2). Work your way into the rest of the room, one tile at a time (Image 3). Note that tiles are directional.