Hi all, I bought a stud finder in order to put a light fixture up in my
condo. This particular light fixture hangs from the ceiling. But when
I run the stud finder across the ceiling it doesn't find any spot that
is "clear" as it successfully does on my walls.
Just as a test to see if the stud finder was operating effectively on
the ceiling I attempted to drill in a couple of spots on the ceiling
with no success. It looked as if I was hitting metal. I'm obviously
unfamiliar with the construction of buildings (condiminiums in this
case) - but is it possible that my entire ceiling is just a series of
contiguous I beams or some other construction that would result in no
allowance for putting ceiling fixtures up (without something that can
drill through metal)? As one would expect the ceiling already has a
number of light fixtures in it - is it possible that there was no
accomodation made for adding further fixtures?
How many stories to the building?
It is quite possible that your ceiling is the concrete for the floor above.
I assume this is a swag light complete with power cord that you plug in?
If not you will need an electrician in a multi-family building for reasons
of law, bylaws and insurance regulations.
All sorts of things are possible, and we can't see your place from here.
What sort of construction is your place- wood frame or multi-story
commercial, like an apartment building? If the latter, floors are probably
also firebreaks, steel trusses (and maybe a few I-beams) with corrugated
steel above, and maybe below, and concrete or some kind a gypsum product as
a firestop and finish surface. A full-on commercial spec building may even
have reinforced concrete slabs between floors. In these cases, a
surface-mounted setup and raceway wiring may be the only practical answer.
Even of it is frame construction, maybe you have expanded metal lathe under
a plaster ceiling, which a stud finder is usually clueless with. As a start,
I'd pull one of the other fixtures out, and try to get a peek at how the
ceiling is framed. If pulling an existing fixture is outside of your skill
set, get professional assistance in installing your new fixture. (NOT a
flame, mind you, most people never have any reason to learn about such
things, and everyone has start learning somewhere.)
If you have an upstairs neighbor, you may not have the right to open the
ceiling anyway, and will have to go through the management company to make
any invasive changes. Even if this is just a wood frame attached or detached
condo, they should have a set of prints on file, and/or a point of contact
at the builder, to answer structural questions.
Hi all, thanks for everyone responses. You'll have to excuse my
ignorance since I've really never been shown nor attempted ANY sort of
home improvement. I've only recently purchased this place so this is
my first real attempt at doing anything beyond putting up a picture.
That said, to answer some of your questions - this light fixture comes
with a plug - so I can plug it into the wall - therefore I don't need
an electrician to install it. Also, from what I have learned since I
posted the question at least one of you guessed correctly - it isn't
metal that I'm hitting it is concrete. I spoke to a helpful individual
at Rona and he directed me to pick up a masonary drill bit so I'll
attempt that tonight. He also gave me hooks that more than double the
necessary weight capacity for the light fixture.
Thanks for everyone's suggestions,
Well, I got the masonary drill, did the drilling (disturbed the hell
out of my neighbours) and now have my flourescent light fixture hanging
from my two ceiling hooks.
The hooks I purchased can be used in drywall, concrete or wood. If
used in concrete they use these plastic housing that is stuck in the
hole and then the hook screws into the plastic. Apparently each of
these hooks should be able to hold 60 pounds. One issue I ran into was
that I must have been a little sloppy in the drilling of my first hole
since the hook I placed in it slipped out under about 15 pounds of
So instead of redrilling another hole into the concrete (since that is
really tiring work) - I just poured a bunch of crazy glue all over the
plastic and then quickly screwed the hook in - then let it sit
overnight. In the morning I gave the hook about a 25 pound tug and it
held. So I put the lamp up - I'm guessing this means I'm going to be
regretting that decision when it comes time for me to move out and take
out that hook, eh? If I'm really lucky, I can just yank on the hook
and most of the plastic will come with the hook. If I'm not so lucky,
I'm guessing I'll yank on the hook, leave most of the plastic in there,
then fill the plastic'y hole... dunno
Oh well... amateur construction gets amateur fixes
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