We often receive inquiries about the magnets for fabric ceiling draping installation. Will they attach to the ceiling that I intend to install fabric draping? Will they hold the fabric? How many magnets do I need for fabric draping installation?
First of all, the magnets we offer for sale on our site are neodymium magnets that attach to any metal that contains iron. They are perfect for attaching to the metal ceiling grid of most suspended ceilings (see our installation video on our website home page), to the girders of industrial ceilings, or to the metal light housing or HVAC registers. A neodymium magnet is the most widely used type of rare-earth magnet, and are the strongest type of permanent magnet commercially available. We have been using the neodymium magnets in our draping installations over the 15 years and we have never had a neodymium magnet drop off the ceiling. We suggest if you are uncertain whether a ceiling attachment point is magnetized, test the attachment point to see if a magnet will attach. If you do not have a neodymium magnet available use a less powerful magnet just to determine if the metal in the ceiling is magnetized. If you determine that it is, then decide whether the configuration of the ceiling attachment points allow for the installation of your design plan. The metal ceiling grid provides the greatest flexibility, while the position of light housings or HVAC registers may be too restrictive for your design plan.
The magnets we sell are offered in two sizes, regular ring magnets, or 5 lb. magnets, and super ring magnets, or 10 lb. magnets. The 5 lb. and 10 lb. descriptions refer to the recommended maximum weight each magnet will hold. Keep in mind each draping panel you will install will have multiple attachment points requiring multiple magnets and thereby dispersing the weight of the fabric over the multiple magnets. We do suggest if your panels are going to exceed 27 ft. with only one swag, then you should use the super ring magnets to reduce the possibility of magnets slipping out of place as a result of greater gravity pull on the swag. All the fabrics we sell we use in our own draping installations. They are light weight and work beautifully with the neodymium magnets. We do not use heavier fabrics like Satin, Poplin or Knits, to name a few, in ceiling installations. Even a powerful neodymium may not hold these types of fabrics in place.
Finally, the number of magnets required for an installation depends on your design plan. We go into our own installations with a prepared design plan which identifies the layout of the fabric ceiling panels and their attachment points. Knowing the attachment points tells us how many magnets we will need. Based upon our past experiences we include 20 magnets in our draping kits for each 50 yard bolt of fabric in the kit. Your design plan however may call for more than 20 attachment points for your panels in which case 20 magnets will be inadequate.
Hope this helps in understanding neodymium magnets and their application in ceiling draping installations. Let us know if you have questions.