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How to install the EASY UP Installation System

The EASY UP track and clip system installs surface mount ceiling tiles or planks directly to joists or an existing ceiling, maximizing ceiling height in a room.


No drop ceiling grid is required. This installation system is considered to be DIY-friendly, but depending on your skill level, it may require our installation team. In this guide, we’ll walk through the steps of installing our EASY UP installation system.

Before you begin

Install the track

Install the tile

Install first border ceiling tile

Install second border ceiling tile

Begin installing row two

Install first full ceiling tile

Install wall molding

Easy Up Installation System overview

Before you begin

Safety tips

A. Ladder stability

When working overhead, make sure your work area is clear of obstructions and that your ladder is stable.

B. Adequate ventillation

Establish and maintain adequate ventilation in the work area. If high dust levels are anticipated during installation, such as with the use of power tools, take proper precautions.

C. Safety gear

Wear long-sleeve, loose fitting clothing, gloves, and safety glasses.

D. Utility knife

Use a sharp utility knife to ensure clean cuts. When not in use, store properly.

What are the basic tools needed for EASY UP Installation?

A. Sharp utility knife

B. Chalk line

C. Clamps

D. Drill bit sets

E. Cordless drill

F. Hammer

G. Tin snips


EASY UP Installation steps to complete

Install the track

A. Run EASY UP track in the opposite direction of the joists. Install track with #6 coarse thread screws. Screw length may vary, depending on your existing ceiling type. Over plaster – 3" screw; over drywall – 2" screw; direct to joists – 1 5/8" screw. (All screws sold separately).
Note: If necessary, you can shim EASY UP tracks to improve the flatness of your existing ceiling.

B. Screw first row of track 2" from the side wall. Use a screw at every joist. Continue installing the first row of track end-to-end or overlapped side to side. The track
should be installed flush to the front and back walls. To finish a row of track, cut to fit using tin snips or a hacksaw.

C. From the side wall, measure border tile width minus 2".

D. Install a second row of track parallel to the first at that point.

E. Install remaining rows 12" on center.

F. Install the last track row 2" from the opposite side wall.


Install the tile

A. Install a guide string along the front wall. Position about 3/4" below the tracks.

B. Familiarize yourself with the flanged edges of the tile before you begin cutting your first tile.

C. Side wall: Cut tile to the side wall border tile width, face-up with a sharp utility knife. Do not cut off flange sides of the tile.

D. Front wall: Cut tile to front wall border dimension.

E. The flange is not part of the border tile measurement. Measure the face of the tile only.


Install first border ceiling tile

A. Snap a clip onto the first two tracks, teeth facing out.

B. Push clips flush against the wall.

C. Push the first tile firmly into the corner by embedding clips into the cut edge.

D. Snap two new clips onto tracks and slide teeth over flange to secure the flange side of tile.

E. Lightly tap clips with a hammer to set the tile tightly to the front wall. Make sure the tile face edge is aligned with the guide string.


Install second border ceiling tile

A. Follow the same procedure as the first border tile, measuring and trimming along the front edge only (not flange edge). Push the flange edge firmly into the first border tile.


Begin installing row two

A. Trim tile to the side wall border tile width.

B. Install with clips.

C. Slide into place making sure the face edge is aligned with tile.


Install first full ceiling tile

A. Align tile squarely with the adjacent 3 tiles. Make sure all face edges are aligned. Install the remaining tiles to complete the first row (border). Keep the tile face edge, not the flange edge, flush with the guide string.

B. Continue installing tile using the diagonal sequence shown.

C. Snap a clip onto the track before inserting the last row of tile, and push flush with the end wall.

D. Cut the border tiles against the end wall 1/2” short to allow for expansion as room conditions change.

E. Install end wall border tiles and use a screwdriver next to the wall to embed the clip into the cut edge of the tile.


Install wall molding

A. Paint or stain decorative molding before installing.

B. Install molding at the joint between the ceiling and walls.

C. Nail molding into the wall studs at least every 24".

Frequently asked questions

How do I install the EASY UP track?

Follow the how to guide above for step by step instructions on installing the EASY UP track system.

How do you install Armstrong ceilings?

For most DIY-ers installing a drop ceiling is something that can be done quickly. Some of our products require better technical skills, more time planning and measuring, and more tools, like metal shears. Be sure to read our how-to install drop ceiling guide. And if you find that you aren't ready for this project, be sure to connect with our certified installation team!

What are surface mount ceiling tiles?

Surface mount ceiling tiles have grids that are attached directly to the surface above, which can be joists, existing drywall, plaster, or popcorn ceilings. This type of mount is used to maximize head room within a space.

Can you attach ceiling tiles directly to joists?

The ceiling tiles themselves cannot be attached directly to the joists, but the grid in which they are attached to can be attached to the joists.

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