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Discussion Starter #1
I have a client who wants to convert a commercial apartment unit into an ice cream shop. The storefront was converted into an apartment in the 1970s, and whoever did the work just threw up a drop ceiling over the original tin ceiling tiles.

The client wants to keep the original tin ceiling, but I'm having a hard time finding resources that explicitly show fire the fire rating of antique tin ceiling tiles (Even in IEBC Resource A). There are residential units above the retail unit, so the fire separation must be rated for 2 hours.

My client would be okay with removing the tiles and installing an appropriate fire-rated material under the joists, and re-installing the antique tiles, but I'd like to avoid that if possible.

Thank you
 

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I don't think you'll find it anywhere. This is like having some sheet steel up against the ceiling. Most of the fire rating comes from the rest of the assembly. You probably have plaster above it, but check it out and see what it is, then look up what the rating of that is.

I think that's the best you can do.
 

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All I can find, and like Davis stated...hard to pin down, is that tin is good for 1 hour. Something else has to be added to gain another hour.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All I can find, and like Davis stated...hard to pin down, is that tin is good for 1 hour. Something else has to be added to gain another hour.
Robie
Would you be able to point me in the direction of where you saw that Tin is good for one hour?

Thanks
 

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I don't think you'll find it anywhere. This is like having some sheet steel up against the ceiling. Most of the fire rating comes from the rest of the assembly. You probably have plaster above it, but check it out and see what it is, then look up what the rating of that is.

I think that's the best you can do.
Thank you! I will do some more digging.
 

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Here's a product that was used on tin ceilings to get it to a 2 hour fire rating.

 
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The problem I ran into years ago when I was looking into it is you either have to have a manufacturer specific number, or you have to have a generic. Generic numbers for achieving a fire rating by simply adding up ratings of generic materials are around, I just never found one for tin ceilings.

It has to be documented by an appropriate authority, or you can't use the number.

Personally, before I did anything, I'd get a peek at what it's covering. Figure out what the rating of the underlying structure is. If you can use an intumescent coating that isn't ugly to bring the rating up, do it. They tend to be thick.

I'd consider having an engineer sign off on it. He may be able to come up with a number which includes the tin ceiling.
 

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After rereading, I can almost guarantee the tin is just tacked to wood. How old is the building.

At least around here it is just tin shingles tacked to wood.

A little bit of light and gentle excavation will give you all the information you need.

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Have you called your building department and asked? Could you just leave this as a question mark or a float on the bid for the work depending on what the inspector says? I don't think you will find a fire rating for a non-standard material like this. There is likely plaster above anyways.
 

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I don't think you'll find it anywhere. This is like having some sheet steel up against the ceiling. Most of the fire rating comes from the rest of the assembly. You probably have plaster above it, but check it out and see what it is, then look up what the rating of that is.

I think that's the best you can do.

I used to salvage & repurpose tin ceiling. I've taken down tens of thousands of sq ft. There's nothing above it. It's nailed to furring strips, no plaster, usually just the floor joists & sub floor above it. I can't imagine it would have hardly any fire rating.
 

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Up here, a lot of these ceilings were put in later as a decorative upgrade, so the original plaster is under it.

I haven't checked a specific manufacturer's specs, but claims in the 1hr rating are out there.

If there is no accepted rating on the historical installations, and I haven't found any, you can't count it.
 

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Up here, a lot of these ceilings were put in later as a decorative upgrade, so the original plaster is under it.

I haven't checked a specific manufacturer's specs, but claims in the 1hr rating are out there.

If there is no accepted rating on the historical installations, and I haven't found any, you can't count it.

Valid point. Now that I think of it, we did take down a few that were installed in the 20's where they put furring strips over plaster. But usually there were large sections of plaster missing.
 
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