2nd May 2023 -

A common fixture for many commercial environments, suspended ceiling systems are a combination of ceiling tiles and metal framing. As the gap between the original and suspended ceiling is a minimum of 100mm, it can effectively conceal electrical wires, pipework and any other cables. If you plan to install a new suspended ceiling, replace an existing one or change your ceiling tiles, Zentia (formerly known as Armstrong) can provide the best solution for your workspace. 

What is Zentia?

Rebranded from Armstrong Ceiling Solutions in 2020, Zentia is a manufacturer of a wide selection of ceiling materials and products including floating ceiling systems, suspension grids and mineral ceiling tiles. With 2 separate Zentia Team Valley factories in Gateshead, the company has not compromised the quality of its products with the rebrand and expanded its presence to other countries around Europe, including Lithuania, Spain and Estonia. 

Benefits of Zentia ceiling tiles

Optima Zentia ceiling tiles with tegular edge.

When planning your suspending ceiling tile project, it is a good idea to think about how a particular system will benefit your workplace in the long run. Below are 4 key benefits to introducing a Zentia tiled ceiling. 

1. Acoustic performance

All Zentia ceiling products provide good levels of acoustic performance. Sound absorption levels range from 0.10 to 1.00 Alpha w (aw) - with 0 indicating zero absorption and 1 meaning full absorption. Zentia ceiling tiles contain a useful combination of sound attenuation and sound absorption, which allows full design flexibility and complete noise control for all types of open and closed spaces. Be sure to take advantage of Zentia’s Acoustic Calculator to determine the best solutions for your project. 

2. Fire-resistant

Although a fire-resistant ceiling tile does not exist on its own, with the right infrastructure such as an Armstrong ceiling grid in place, a Zentia ceiling system can provide fire protection of either 30 or 60 minutes. Tiles are designed to abide by industry standards, such as the REI system in the EU which determines 3 areas of fire resistance: ‘R’ - load bearing (structural stability); ‘E’ - integrity (scope to stay intact); and ‘I’ - insulation (maintain a particular temperature on the unexposed side). 

3. Adaptability

Zentia is conveniently adaptable for all commercial settings. For example, whether you are working in a commercial kitchen, hospital, library, large open office space, or an education setting such as a school or university lecture theatre, Zentia can provide effective and long-lasting solutions. Depending on the environment, all Zentia ceiling tiles and other products follow industry standards. 

4. Sustainability

Some Zentia products are Cradle and Cradle Certified. This means they have been tested for performance across several areas: social fairness; sustainability; water and soil stewardship; material health; clean air and climate protection; and product circularity. The Dune eVo, Perla and Ultima+ product ranges have achieved Cradle to Cradle Certified Bronze status. Zentia’s suspension ceiling systems are Cradle to Cradle Certified Silver. Plus, Zentia’s sustainable ceiling tiles are made using 79% of recycled materials - they are also fully recyclable, so you can be assured that tiles will not end up in a landfill after their lifecycle. 

Tips on how to install Zentia ceiling tiles

In addition to acoustic and aesthetic benefits, you should also think about the installation process and effective ways to manage the project from start to finish. Here are the 4 top tips on installing Zentia ceiling tiles

1. Prepare tools and materials before installation

Below is a checklist of everything you will need. Be sure to collect all the materials and tools first so you will feel prepared and confident throughout the process. Also, you will want to remove the ceiling tiles from their packaging for a minimum of 24 hours before installation. This is so the tiles can become climatised to the conditions.  

HacksawUtility knife
Chalk or string linePencil & hammer
Gloves & safety glassesZentia/Armstrong ceiling tiles
Tape measureTin snips
Straight edgeWire cutting pliers
Carpenter’s levelString
Coarse thread drywall screws (x6)Stud finder
Screw/drill gunDust mask

2. Follow safety guidance

Because of the way you have to work with the Armstrong ceiling tiles, as well as the use of power tools which can produce high levels of dust, it is important to keep a good amount of ventilation. A dust mask is highly beneficial for this type of project. You should also think about wearing a long-sleeved top, a pair of safety gloves and goggles to prevent injuries. For cutting ceiling tiles, carefully use the utility knife and store it correctly when it is no longer being used. To remove any dirt or dust during and after the installation is finished, it is best to use a soft brush. An art gum eraser will help to get rid of smudges and pencil marks. You should use a lukewarm damp sponge with mild soap to clean the tiles after installation.  

3. Installing Zentia ceiling tiles using the 3:4:5 triangle method

White Zentia ceiling tiles Hydroboard range.

Whether you choose to install hydroboard or hygiene board ceiling tiles 600x600, you will benefit from adopting the 3:4:5 triangle method. It will help you to make sure the string line from the first ceiling tile row is square with the side wall. To do this, you will need to measure 3ft from one corner and make a mark, then measure 4ft and make a mark from another corner. If the distance between these 2 marks is 5ft, you have a square corner. But if the measurement is under 5ft, the corner measurement is lower than 90 degrees. If the measurement is above 5ft, the corner measurement is higher than 90 degrees. Be sure to follow the string line throughout the project and not the wall itself. 

4. Enrol at Zentia Installation School

If you do not feel confident about installing ceiling tiles without any professional guidance, Zentia has its own Installation School where you can learn everything you need to know. The company runs a 2-day course based at one of its Team Valley factories. It is taught by Ian Young, who has acquired over 40 years of suspended and false ceiling experience. On the first day, participants learn about health and safety, vector and tegular ceiling tile perimeter cutting, Ultima+ Finesse concealed system demonstration, and a product overview of mineral and suspension systems. The second day covers areas from a product overview of Axiom, the manufacturing process and Axiom Canopy with SL2 plank installation. Various training dates are available throughout the year. 

Can you paint Zentia ceiling tiles?

You can paint over Zentia ceilings, but there are a few things you should consider before doing so. There may be a reduction in sound absorption, but this will depend on the pattern of the tile face, such as scrim, fissure and perforation, as well as the paint thickness. A ceiling’s sound attenuation or reduction performance is unlikely to be affected if tiles are painted. However, it is important to note that other factors such as light reflectance and fire resistance could potentially be affected - you should take this into serious account before deciding to paint. Also, if you repaint tiles, you will risk losing the manufacturer’s warranty - a 10-year warranty is applied to most Zentia products. 

Zentia ceiling tile products at competitive trade prices

After reading this article, you should feel prepared to install your own Zentia ceiling tiles. We supply all the materials and tools for your project, from Zentia Dune eVo tiles to Zentia Armstrong tatra ceiling tiles. Shop the Zentia range and take advantage of our speedy delivery options. For builders and construction professionals who want to make the task of finding tools and materials as stress-free as possible, a Building Materials Nationwide trade account is the way forward. Your trade account manager organises fast UK-wide delivery straight to the site or your home and finds the best tools and materials at the right price. Sign up on our website or give us a call for a friendly chat.