What Weight Will My MF Ceiling Hold?


What’s the maximum weight your MF suspended ceiling will support? Here’s the answer.

A single sheet of plasterboard is (usually) a pretty lightweight thing. That metal frame you’ve just installed should be well capable of supporting it, shouldn’t it? But what about if you double up with an additional layer? And then there’s the weight of any extra insulation. And the plaster, of course, not to mention the added weight of lights, sensors and more.

All of a sudden, lightweight has suddenly become a lot…well, weightier. So will your metal frame still be up to the task?


While it is possible to talk specifics, it’s not easy to ensure your frame matches exactly the manufacturer’s requirements. Take Gyproc/British Gypsum’s answer to the question, which is:

“For the standard Soffit Cleat fixing method at 1200mm centres, Gypframe MF7 Primary Support Channel at 1200mm centres and Gypframe MF5 Ceiling Section at 450mm centres, the maximum weight (including weight of board, any insulation and plaster finish) is 30 kg/m2.”

Let’s unpick that…

The product: 30 kg/m2 is what you can expect from Gypframe. We stock a range of components from several manufacturers, including Gyproc, Tradeline , Cipriani and more. You might expect all MF components, whoever the manufacturer, to deliver the same weight tolerances (and most will be in the ballpark) but to be absolutely certain you’ll need to check the data sheet of the manufacturer of your frame, or talk to us.

  • The layout: To achieve 30 kg/m2 maximum weight tolerance, you’ll need to arrange the grid as noted above. You can, of course, increase that max weight by reducing the space between MF7 primary support channels to 900mm or 600mm.
  • The ceiling: The original ceiling’s joists don’t need to support the entire weight of the suspended one (the perimeter channels will do much of the heavy lifting) but each hanger will need to be fixed in place and that will require ceiling joists in good condition, with plenty of structural integrity.
  • The fixings: There are two separate factors to consider here. First, for an MF ceiling that supports the manufacturer’s stated weight, you’ll need to use the right fixings for the right material (drywall screws in drywall, for example).

Then you’ll need to ensure that you use enough of the fixings at required intervals to avoid creating damaging stress forces. That applies to the hangers you fix to the ceiling, the channel you screw to the wall and the plasterboard you affix to the grid.

The plasterboard, for example, should typically be fixed every 150mm around the edges of the board and with maximum centres of 230mm elsewhere. In addition, no screw should be placed closer than 10mm from a bound board edge and no closer than 13mm from a cut edge.

Even taking the manufacturer’s datasheets as gospel, other factors – the type of fixings, number of fix points and even the quality of the workmanship – will have an impact on maximum weight.

If you have questions about your MF ceiling installation, give one of our experts a call on 01253 864902.