Friday, March 23, 2012

Mounting objects to fragile surfaces

There may come a time when you need to mount something to some ceiling tiles.

You know the ones... white and pock-marked... make a huge mess any time you have to move them... always end up with one corner out of place, taunting you...

Very fragile...

Of course, this'll work on other fragile or soft surfaces.


The solution is a pretty simple though, so I'll quickly throw a little walk-through up here.



Using this method has two effects:
  1. Disperses the pressure on the weak object so a larger area is carrying the weight. (Like wearing a snow-shoe)
  2. Provides a sturdy surface for mounts to be connected to.

Start out by cutting a small piece of wood that's big enough to mount whatever it is you're mounting.

Drill your mounting holes in the wood, evenly spaced. (1 in each corner for ex)

Place it on the back of the tile and CAREFULLY drill the four holes. Not only will you need to push the drill slowly, but you'll want the drill bit spinning slowly. The tile is soft enough you could even take the drill bit in hand and cut your way through manually. This avoids shredding the tile.


Now, you can take 4 bolts and 4 nuts, and fasten the two together. I also suggest some washers to disperse the pressure, ESPECIALLY on the side facing down. (Since the back side already has the wood to spread the pressure out)

Don't tighten it too much... did I mention the tile is fragile? You'll have to gauge how much is enough, because too much pressure and the bolts will end up squeezing through the bottom of the tile.


If you need to feed any wires through, drill another hole.


Now you can fasten your object to the wood, through the tile.
While most mountable objects come with screws, you might need some longer ones to compensate for the extra half inch or so of tile.


FYI, I screwed the mount in place, rather than putting the screws in first and twist-locking it on... because of the sponginess of the tile, it just wouldn't have been tight enough.

Next you can feed through any wires, and mount your object before putting the tile back in and finishing up.

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