Michael Roemen: “Today Kat and I are going to talk about wood grilles. We’re going to talk about the most common questions that we hear about wood grilles and make sure that you as an architect are well informed about that type of product.”
Katrina Ernst: “A wood grille is a ceiling panel where the slats are deeper than they are wide. A slat can be called a member. Some people call them louvers, but it’s basically just where the wood member is oriented vertically.
You can adjust the member width, the member depth; you can adjust the on-center spacing and reveal. The reveal is the space between the slats, and it is what allows the sound to carry through and to kind of break up the visual impact of the grilles. The on-center spacing is from the center of one slat to the next slat, and a lot of times we’ll have lighting fixtures or diffusers that need to be a certain spacing and so that’s how we determine the on-center spacing a lot of times; [it] is dictated by what you need to fit in between the slats.”
MR: “So, within our wood grilles, we have a few different assembly types. We have our backers which hold the slats together via a fire-rated black plywood. We have dowels, a real classic look, where all the members are held together through a half-inch black dowel. We have a lay-in system which gives full access from the plenum. Then we have a dowel-backer system that has dowels and backers. Then finally we have our baffle system. The baffle is essentially one very tall or deep wood member that looks like a grille but it’s suspended individually by aircraft cable.”
KE: “Typical wood grille module sizes are 1 foot, so 12 inches. The veneer sheets come in 8 ft. and 10 ft. lengths, and so within that we canget you 4 ft. lengths or 6 ft. lengths. The solid wood grille panels can go up to 10, 12 ft. sometimes. It’s the same width, but it can have longer lengths.”
KE: “So, we do have a page on our website which is titled Species & Finishes. You can also request a species box, and we can send out little 3×3 chips of the various species options. A solid wood grille is ideal for a situation where you are going to have a lot of field cutting. It is also more beneficial because you have a variety of length structures as well as being lighter weight.
A veneer wood grille is a good option if you are looking at a species that is going to be non-economical, such as solid cherry or solid walnut. In those cases, you can get the appearance of that species without paying the premium for a solid wood. The main options that you have for finishes are clear, or you can do a stain, which can either be a standard or a custom stain, or you can do opaque.
We can do stains on both solid and veneer. We found that stains work best on particular species. In order to create a custom color match, we would need some sort of a sample; a chip, or something that shows the color you are looking for. An opaque finish is going to have more of a paint-like appearance. You can do custom opaque finishes; the only things that we can’t do are things like metallic finishes.”
Suspension & Details
MR: “9Wood grille systems are designed to suspend from T-bar. Usually a heavy-duty 15/16ths. Our detailing is mainly going to be for a T-bar suspension. However, we can do attachment to C-channel or hat channel or even wood furring or framing if it’s in an exterior environment. We cannot attach wood grilles directly to drywall. It needs to go through the drywall into something structural, and that’s because a typical wood grille is around 3 lbs. per sq. ft.”
MR: “9Wood Grilles have a variety of access panel options. Some are on the more economical, simpler approach, and we also have some higher-end, more expensive options with hinges and things like that. We definitely have a variety of solutions to make sure you have accessibility and that your maintenance teams can get up into the plenum.”
MR: “Wood grilles typically are going to be in the upper teens to lower 30s per sq. ft. Now there’s a lot of factors that play into that, for example, species, stain, dimensions, so we can easily go higher than that, but generally speaking you will fall in that range.”
KE: “9Wood’s standard product takes about 8 to 10 weeks for approvals, which include shop drawings and submittal samples, and then it’s 8 to 10 weeks for the fabrication and delivery of the product, which totals roughly 16 to 20 weeks. 9Wood’s Fast>Track program has lead-times of 3 to 6 weeks which does include shop drawings and samples. The 9Wood design assist team supports architects in assisting to write specifications and getting in process custom samples and finding the best product to match that design intent.”
MR: “Thanks, Kat, that was great. You know, Kat is part of our team of design support specialists, and they have a lot of expertise to help you as an architect navigate all of this information. We really appreciate you watching the video today, and we’ll see you next time.”