The global COVID-19 outbreak is affecting how essential businesses conduct productive and safe operations. During these unprecedented times, businesses have been challenged to implement solutions to ensure the health of their customers and employees. Many local businesses, in conjunction with their facility maintenance partners, are installing sneeze guards (also called sneeze shields, cough guards, or sneeze screens) in strategic areas to help protect employees and customers from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The sneeze guard material being installed may be as simple as hanging clear shower curtains to more complex installations of heavy, durable acrylic shields (think plexiglass).
Sneeze guards are being installed in various places around the store, including check-out counters, customer service desks, drive-through windows, warehouses/distribution centers, restaurants, and even in office spaces.
Why hanging sneeze guards? Once you have your plastic, glass, or other material to be the shield, do you really want to drill permanent holes into expensive store counters? Do you really want to take up counter space with the base of the sneeze shield? An alternative is to hang sneeze guards from the ceiling.
But how do you hang them so they don’t look tacky?
How To Install Sneeze Guards from Ceilings
- Step One: Attach string, wire, cord, or rope to the sneeze shield.
- Step Two: Attach other end of the cord to the ceiling using a magnet, clip, or hook.
- Step Three: Make adjustments so that the sneeze guard is hanging level and at the proper height.
1. Attach Wire to Sneeze Guard
You’ll need to first figure out how heavy the sneeze guard is and find a material that can handle its weight.
Once you do that, attach the string, wire, cord, or rope to the sneeze shield. You can do this in different ways, including by using:
Depending on the weight of the sneeze guard, you’ll drill at least two holes in the top of it. That’s how you’ll connect the wire to the sneeze shield. You could also attach a hook through the hole. We don’t recommend using tape to attach the cord to the sneeze guard.
2. Attach Wire to the Ceiling
Attach the other end of the wire (etc) to the ceiling. You can also do this in several different ways, depending on the type of ceiling you have. Ways to attach a sneeze guard to the ceiling itself include:
- Magnets with hooks/loops (there’s an easy magnetic hanging system for this so that you don’t need a ladder)
- Drop ceiling clips and hooks
- Drilling a hole for a hook or other fastener
Metal Ceilings (ex. Open Beam)
To easily install the ceiling magnets, you could use a telescoping extension pole to attach the magnet clip to the ceiling. Alternatively, use a lift or ladder. Here’s an all-in-one kit that will help you hang multiple sneeze guards (or try this kit).
If you have ceilings over 27 feet tall, try this option instead.
For drop-ceilings, you can attach a special clip to the metal frame surrounding the ceiling tile, and then loop the cord through it. Note that if you’re not using LoopLine (such as a wire cord), you may want to use a metal crimp.
Other Types of Ceilings (ex. Drywall or Wood)
You’ll probably need to use a ladder or lift for this part. Unless you’re adding a small metal plate to use with a ceiling magnet, you’ll likely need to drill a hole into the ceiling and use a hook or other fastener.
Once the hooks are installed, you could use an telescoping extension pole to attach the string/wire to the ceiling hook.
3. Adjust for Height and Make it Level
Make adjustments to be sure the sneeze guard is hanging level and at the right height. Here’s how:
- If you’re not using fishing line with loops (LoopLine) or a wire gripper/cable adjuster (UrbanTrapeze), you’ll need to:
- Take down the sneeze guard
- Undo the knots
- Adjust the rope to be the correct length
- Retie the knots
- Cut off the excess rope
- Reattach the sneeze guard to the ceiling
- If you’re using LoopLine, you won’t need to retie any knots. Simply adjust the number of loops to match.
- If you’re using a wire gripper/cable adjuster (UrbanTrapeze), you’ll simply need to use that to change the length of the wire cord/cable.
Diagram of How to Hang Sneeze Guards from Drop CeilingsShop Starter Kits
Ceiling Outfitters offers many products available for immediate shipment to enable rapid completion of COVID-19 related projects, including:
The UrbanTrapeze™ is a unique product that allows for fast, adjustable, and secure installation of heavier items that require steel cable. UrbanTrapeze speeds up the installation process by reducing or eliminating crimps and ferrules. This is the ideal hardware for hanging heavy plastic shields.
E-Z Twist Drop Ceiling Clips
If you’re looking for how to hang plexiglass from drop ceilings, our E-Z Twist Drop Ceiling Clips are perfect for hanging makeshift shower curtain sneeze guards in locations with Drop Ceilings. For example, C-Stores or Fast Food Restaurants.
Hanging Hardware for Ceilings
A wide selection of hanging hardware including steel cable, swager, and cable cutting tools, aluminum crimps and sign hanging systems are available through Ceiling Outfitters. Check out this Diagram: Hang Sneeze Guards from Ceilings
An alternative solution uses our LoopLine™ cord in place of the steel cable and the UrbanTrapeze. LoopLine is a connecting cord made from 2” continuous loops. It is easily measured simply by counting the number of loops. When each line has the same number of loops, the sneeze guard hangs level. Self-connect to the ceiling clip of your choice and the sneeze guard by looping the line back through itself. Click here for our LoopLine instruction sheet. LoopLine has a 25 lb. tensile strength, and is available in clear, white or black in 82 ft. and 328 ft. spools and is easily cut with scissors; no special tools needed. Most of the sneeze guards being deployed weight from 6-9 pounds making LoopLine a less expensive solution for your project.
Our Commitment to Support You
Ceiling Outfitters® is committed to supporting our customers. During these challenging times, you can rely on our facility to remain open and ship essential products for completing COVID-19 projects.
About Ceiling Outfitters
Since 2007, Ceiling Outfitters® has partnered with over 2,000 organizations and 22,000 stores nationally within the retail, manufacturing, education, and hospitality industries. Ceiling space and storefront windows are optimal visual display locations and we help customers utilize these areas safely, quickly, easily and more economically. Please, contact us for more information on how we can help you during these challenging times.