If you want to make the most out of your media experience at home, whether catching a movie with friends or watching a solo documentary, a ceiling-mounted screen projector will go a long way. When buying a projector, you can find one specifically for the ceiling, or you can get one that offers both the ceiling and wall installation.
Hanging your projector screen from the ceiling can be a technical exercise which will require you to be well prepared before ruining your ceiling or destroying the Projector. Below, let’s discuss some of the equipment and material you will need at hand and a step-by-step guide on how to go about the mounting process.
Every ceiling has frames that support and hold up its structure. These frames are called joists or studs, and they run parallel over the drywall. These frames are very strong and firm, making them suitable for installing your ceiling projector.
You can locate the ceiling joists in two different ways. You can use a stud finder whereby you move the machine over your ceiling. If the stud finder lights red, then you’ve found the joists. The other option is using a very strong magnet. You can then use the magnet to locate the screws that attach the drywall to the ceiling joists. If the magnet sticks, then you’ve found the stud.
If, after finding that the place suitable for hanging your projector screen from the ceiling has no studs, I recommend that you find a different location to mount or put a wooden beam under the drywall. This will offer support and avoid bringing down the ceiling.
Measuring is essential as you determine whether you have a high or low ceiling and help you choose the size of the projector screen you get. If the ceiling is high, you should ensure that the screen you get will be long enough to extend all the way down or to at least a good viewing point. If you have an average height ceiling, ensure that you get a screen that fits your place just right.
After getting your screen, you should measure how far apart the screen’s bracket connectors are and use the same measurement for the ceiling. Have a marker pen to mark the exact spot for accuracy when drilling.
You can also have a template for marking predrill holes at this stage. This will help make the installation process precise. Use a piece of cardboard to make the template. This template will ensure that the holes for screws are evenly spaced and evenly spaced from the wall. This will be crucial if you need to extend to bypass art on your wall or even window trims.
you will need to use a drill to bore through your drywall. Use a 3/16 drill bit. Predrilling is very important as it makes the installation of the real screws an easier task. It also helps you determine whether you are going to hit the ceiling joists or not. As mentioned earlier, hitting the studs would be a great thing to offer support, especially if the projector screen is quite heavy.
If you cannot hit or find the ceiling joists, I recommend that you use anchor bolts. If you have an attic through which you can access the ceiling joists, you can make a cross-brace to offer support. All you need to do is attach a 2*4 board perpendicularly between the joists right under the insulation where you have your predrilled holes. Once it is securely in place, it will offer you a solid base for your installation by helping distribute the weight of the screen.
You will need an extra set of hands at this stage and may have to ask someone around the house to help you. You will have to screw the eyebolts onto the bracket connectors found on top of the screen’s housing. Snap the hook snaps onto the eyebolt’s loop.
You can then twist the eyebolt screws through the ceiling. Connect the hook snap on top of the screen’s housing to the eyebolt in the ceiling. Some screens do not come with snap hooks. Instead, they have loops. Replace the eyebolt screw on the ceiling for a hook crew to match.
Ensure that the holes you drilled in the ceiling are big enough to fit the toggle bolt’s folded wings. Then remove the wings from the toggle bolt, then proceed to get your ceiling hook and screw in the toggle bolts into its screw holes. Twist the wings back in and ensure that you twist it a minimum of three threads in from the tip. Fold the wings and place them inside the hole in the ceiling. You can use the screwdriver to secure the toggle bolt and the ceiling hook to the ceiling. Finally, you can mount your projector screen to the hook. While fastening and tightening the screws to secure the screen and the Projector, be careful not to overtighten.
Once you align your projector screen, you are good to go. You can now enjoy your media room experience.
I recommend that you follow what the manufacturer’s manual will recommend. It will guide you on how close to the top of the screen it should be to project an image on the screen. There is no general answer to this as every Projector is different.
Drywall can only hold and support 5 to 10 pounds without any anchors. Drywall is a very brittle material and may not be able to hold that much weight for a long time. You will find that almost all projector screens weigh more than 10 pounds. Therefore, you should ensure that you make support beams to help support the weight of your ceiling that has no anchors.
If the projector ceiling comes with a dedicated mount or projector bracket, then it means that it is specific to your Projector. However, there are also universal mounts that can be used on different types of projectors. The screw hole patterns on the universal mounts are in such a way that you can them to fit any brand.
Although it may also depend on your personal choice, the projector screen should be approximately one-third of the distance from the display to where you sit. Place it between 24 to 36 inches above the floor just to ensure you get the optimum vertical viewing angle which is in the range of 15 to 20 degrees.
If your ceiling is made of plaster or drywall and it had a wood joist/stud, then it is safe to drill. However, ensure to use a bit and mark using tape just how much depth you need to secure your anchor. I would recommend not to drill any deeper than that. If you are planning to drill through concrete, it would be best to use a hammer. If there is no attic and you have no way of getting eyes through, put a piece of tape around your drill bit to mark the depth. Don’t go further than ½ inches.
Hanging a projector screen and a projector from the ceiling may not be such a big task, but it requires a given level of skill and accuracy. Try to ensure that you position the Projector near a wall to make the wires as discrete and hidden as possible. You should also make sure that the throw distance between the Projector and the screen is enough.
It is also crucial to check and ensure that you have all the necessary equipment and material before starting. This is to avoid scenarios whereby you are halfway done with the mounting process then you realize that you are missing a crucial screw or bolt.
Be careful with the type of your ceiling before you start the drilling process. If it is drywall or plaster, ensure that it has ceiling joists supporting it. If it doesn’t have, make a beam to support the extra weight of the projector screen. If you are drilling on concrete, ensure to mark the drill bit to do no drill past the recommended depth. If you are also renting out space and you do not own the house, I recommend that you consult the owner.