Help with ideas to mount racks to garage ceiling


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Old 03-06-20, 11:45 PM
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Help with ideas to mount racks to garage ceiling

I am trying to mount some hardware (bike racks that can hang 6 bikes) on my townhouse garage ceiling. Essentially, I am trying to mount 2 rails on my ceiling that I want to secure to the ceiling joists since it's going to carry a bit of weight. However, I am coming across a problem.

It seems like the drywall of my garage ceiling is not directly mounted onto the wooden joists. After some head scratching, I was able to look through a mechanical access cover on my ceiling and see that there are several items "sandwiched" between the ceiling drywall and the joists.

If you look at the couple of photos I've attached. One shows the garage ceiling with the white maintenance access door. The other photo shows the access door opened. From that opened door photo, you can see that (going from the ceiling upwards) there is the ceiling drywall, then 4 inches of a black foam insulation, then another layer of drywall before getting to the 2X4 of the joist. That's easily 5 inches of thickness from the ceiling surface until getting to the joist.

So if I need to mount hardware on the garage ceiling, how would I do it so I can make sure the screws are attached to the solid wood joists? Simply long wood screws? For instance, part of this bike rack involves a 76" long ceiling rail that I want to attach to the ceiling using about 4-5 ceiling screws. Do I just get long 8" wood screws or something to span the thickness of all these layers to get purchase to the wood joists?

Thanks for any ideas and tips.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 03:46 AM
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I would through bolt so you can have a nice big washer on the top side of the joist to help support the weight. But, you could use long lag bolts so you don't have to go up in the attic. When tightening just bring it up to snug and don't over tighten and crush the foam.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 04:17 AM
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Interesting construction, do you own the area above the garage, it must be there as noise suppression.

But the drywall has to be mounted to something, it cant be mounted to the foam so there has to be some structural component in there somewhere that you can attach too!
 
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Old 03-07-20, 04:34 AM
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If you have access to the space above the ceiling in the area where you want to hang the bikes. consider the following. Secure a 2x4/6 to the ceiling using threaded rod to a parallel 2x4/6 laying across the top of the ceiling joists. Choose the length of the two 2x4/6 to suit.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 06:31 AM
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You will have to investigate more.
Perhaps what you are seeing is just to seal the access panel and the actual ceiling construction is different.

You need to know if the rafters are 16 or 24 inch on center.
Are these rails going to be mounted parallel or perpendicular to the rafters.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 08:13 AM
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Thanks for all of the replies so far. I thought I would answer a few questions that were posed as well as clarify a few more things.

This is the ceiling of my townhouse garage. Above the ceiling is the floor of my kitchen area. So the foam is probably used for thermal as well as sound insulation. This is not an attic and there is no crawl space, so I definitely cannot use through bolts and washers to secure my 2 ceiling tracks that I need to mount onto the garage ceiling.

This is a new development and they are still building these units. However, there aren't any current units at a construction phase where I can get a good look at the garage construction. The site supervisor is around. So maybe I'll get him to come over and spend 10 minutes to help me understand how the ceiling is constructed or make suggestions as to how to best mount the hardware I am wanting to mount.

I am pretty sure that this foam is not just around this access panel. You can see the "sandwich" construction. I've tried testing the ceiling surface drywall to find studs by driving in 1.5inch small calibre nails even around where there are drywall screw divots and I have not been able to hit anything solid AT ALL. That's what got me totally puzzled until I opened up this panel and saw the "sandwiching" in the ceiling.

And the two rails I would like to mount will be going perpendicular to the rafters.

Thanks. Please keep any more tips coming.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 08:43 AM
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I have a photo of another unit’s garage under construction. This is in the same development and should be identical to mine. However, I don’t have photos of later phases of construction as the drywall and foam went up.

By the way, does anyone have any familiarity with this kind of construction? i.e. a layer of 4” foam sandwiched between two panels of drywall? And how the ceiling drywall is actually fastened onto the foam layer? Any web link would be great!

Thanks.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 09:37 AM
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Can you post a picture of the bike rack that you want to use?
If that rack is designed to be mounted onto a load bearing surface, you might have to change tactics.

If I Were You - I'd hang the bikes from the rafters using a steel cable; run the cable across 3-4 rafters to spread the weight across several rafters. .

Get up in the rafters, punch a small hole down through the ceiling drywall at at the outer edges of a rafter.
Push in a plastic bushing from downstairs. Snake a thin steel cable up through one bushing, across 3-4 rafters, then punch another small hole at the outer edge of the rafter, push in a bushing from downstairs, thread the steel cable down through that bushing.
Attach steel hooks for hanging bikes to the cable with a clove hitch/half hitch.
Repeat 6x and you have a simple and fast bike support system.

Example below, with Blue, Green, Yellow and Red giving a rough idea of steel cables hanging over rafters.
In practice, you'd stagger them to be on different rafters, but that was difficult to drwa.

If you ever sell the place, you simply untie a clove-hitch from one bike hook, then pull that cable through. and you've removed the bike rack.




 
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Old 03-07-20, 11:05 AM
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Sounds like a good idea Hal but he can only work thru that small access hatch.
He probably couldn't reach the area where the cables would be needed.

Looking at the picture with the hatch open.... is there access to plumbing there ?
Trying to figure out why there would be access to a duct.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 12:04 PM
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Those are engineered trusses. Do NOT use through bolts or lag bolts as I first suggested. In most cases you are not permitted to drill into a truss, especially the bottom cord. Deck and wood screws are OK though as they push the wood fibers aside and don't cut through them like drilling a hole does.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by PJMax
Sounds like a good idea Hal but he can only work thru that small access hatch.
He probably couldn't reach the area where the cables would be needed.


If you can't work in the crawlspace; then I'd make pairs of holes in the ceiling drywall and run steel support cables up and over the rafters using fishtape and/or sections of stiff steel wire to pull the cable across the rafters and down into the garage.

(I HIGHLY recommend salvaging the wire-frames from political campaign signs, they straighten out to around 7' to 8' tall, hold a bend, yet resist buckling enough that you can lightly push with them (I keep one around for pushing and pulling open skylights in the cathedral ceiling.)
 
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Old 03-07-20, 12:58 PM
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This is the bike storage system I'm trying to mount. I've already purchased it. https://www.saris.com/product/cycleglidestorage-system


That access hatch I was able to take a picture through is to access a part of the heating system. There is a electrically operated damper that directs different zones of heating. That's the only reason there is a hatch there.

So, if I can figure out where these trusses are, is it OK to put a long wood screw through to it? Or are there other concerns? Let's say the rack system has to hang six bikes. That totals up to 300 lbs, max. And with four screws in each ceiling tracks (2 parallel tracks) that makes eight screws into the trusses to distribute 300 lb.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bikemd
Originally Posted by Pilot Dane
Those are engineered trusses. Do NOT use through bolts or lag bolts as I first suggested. In most cases you are not permitted to drill into a truss, especially the bottom cord. Deck and wood screws are OK though as they push the wood fibers aside and don't cut through them like drilling a hole does.
So, if I can figure out where these trusses are, is it OK to put a long wood screw through to it?
So, manufacturer assumes this is screwed through drywall into a wooden rafter.
You will need to accurately locate multiple long-ass deck screws that go through the drywall, through the foam insulation, avoid electric, and still manage to hit the center of the truss, and THEN start driving the screws in. Difficult but workable.
I suspect you're going to need a helper on a ladder looking through the hatch, with long steel wire to guide the screws to the center of the trusses.

I would lay out the bike rack so that it spanned multiple trusses (Perpendicular in the directions) and start the screws but leave them 2" to 3" below the sheet rock to make final adjustments.

I would consider scuffing the paint and run a bead of drywall/contractor's glue along the top of the ceiling track, then slowly screw the ceiling track up into the trusses, so that the rails end up glued to the sheetrock for extra shear stability.
 
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Old 03-07-20, 10:20 PM
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I suspect you're going to need a helper on a ladder looking through the hatch, with long steel wire to guide the screws to the center of the trusses.
Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by "with long steel wire to guide the screws to the center of the trusses"? And yes, the ceiling tracks will be mounted perpendicular to the trusses.

From what you are suggesting to me, this mount is "doable". However, it will be quite challenging. Without the usual way to find these trusses (since the trusses are not right close to the ceiling but rather, around 5 inches deep/away from the surface of the ceiling drywall). I guess that's the challenge as you stated. Hitting each truss as much in the middle as possible and having to do this with 8 different long screws. As well as avoiding anything that I can damage in the path of putting each screw through.

I hope I can at least find from the building site supervisor a bit more info about the whole construction of the ceiling. It would be helpful if, at the minimum, he can tell me the spacing (16 or 24 inches) of the trusses. At least with that, if I'm able to find a single truss, I can measure out where the others should be.

This really was NOT a problem I expected to encounter in installing a simple ceiling mount bike rack.

Thank you all so much for your responses and advice. It is very much appreciated!
 
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Old 03-08-20, 03:17 AM
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Honestly this is a lot of comments for a relatively simple install, yes your construction is a bit different but as noted the drywall is not attached to the foam, and it's not suspended down from the truss so something to mount to is up there it;s just a question on finding it,

Get some eyes on another unit, everybody is speculating and your the only one who is going to really solve this!

Do not glue the bike rack to the ceiling, if you ever had to remove it would be a huge mess to repair as it will take down a big patch of the paper.

Mount with or across the trusses, we're only talking a hundred pounds and either method will work.
 
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Old 03-08-20, 07:13 AM
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You will have to talk to the site manager.
What and how those ceiling panels are is a mystery as no one has seen them.
Or it may be a totally different setup since in the picture it looks like thaty are using both metal and wood for support.

Although it is hard to tell for sure it looks like they use trusses made of 2X6's at 24 inch on center.
Walk over to the other unfinished place and take a tape with you.

Get a ladder and a stud finder and go over the ceiling where you want to mount it.
The finder will not find the studs but should be able to find the screws.

 
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Old 03-08-20, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bikemd
Originally Posted by Hal_S
I suspect you're going to need a helper on a ladder looking through the hatch, with long steel wire to guide the screws to the center of the trusses.
Could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by "with long steel wire to guide the screws to the center of the trusses"? And yes, the ceiling tracks will be mounted perpendicular to the trusses.
Fortunately, the rails are designed to be "screws-first, slide rail over screw heads, tighten screws"
This still means you'll be on a ladder, pushing long screws up through the ceiling sheetrock, hoping to find the center of the truss. Repeat several times.

It IS possible to "feel" where the truss is, "feel" the outline of the truss, and locate the screw at the center of the truss, give it a "tap" to get it started, and then screw it in.

However, I would consider having a helper/spotter on a ladder, looking through the access port, to guide you so that you locate the screw at the center of the truss. IF your have a clear line of sight, and IF you duct-tape a magnet to the end of a long slightly flexible steel wire or plastic rod, THEN the spotter can actually grab the screw and guide it to the center of the truss, which makes it easier to accurately screw into the center of the joist.
 
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Old 03-20-20, 08:52 AM
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Just an update. I had a chat with the site build supervisor today and have a better understanding of what’s in my ceiling. For those who wonder what the ceiling surface drywall is fastened to. It’s what he refers to as “hat tracks”. Here’s a link to what they are. And no, these “hat tracks” will not allow me to fasten anything to them. I will have to use 8” wood screws to seek out the trusses but I have a better understanding of the spacing of the trusses now.

https://sebringdesignbuild.com/the-i...channel-guide/
 
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Old 03-20-20, 09:03 AM
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Havent read this thread word for word, but if you have access to the top of this ceiling, just poke your head up there and verify your on center joist spacing. Then measure from the access door over to where your joists are. They appear to be 3 1/2" wide so you would have a hard time missing them. Then use long truss head torx legs to attach your frame. Hopefully your rack will go perpendicular to the joists.
 
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Old 04-12-20, 09:47 AM
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Just to close the loop.

After that talk with the site construction supervisor and a few tips he gave me. I found out the trusses are 19.2” spaced. I was able to see one of these trusses through the access panel in the ceiling and made all of my measurements off of that. 8 for 8, I was able to hit the trusses with all 8 screws I put through the ceiling. (4 for each rail). I ended up using long deck screws.

Thanks to all who responded and gave me ideas and tips.
 
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