Ceiling Mounted vs. Wall Mounted Hoist Systems

We often get enquiries from people regarding the various ways hoist systems can be installed in a room. They might be architects designing a new facility, or it could be a private individual who is looking to buy a property and need to know if it’s possible for a hoist to be installed. Sometimes, it isn’t possible to install a hoist in the ceiling, so what are the other options?

How is a wall mounted hoist installed?

Although a wall mounted system may sound more complicated to some, it’s actually pretty simple to install. The system is connected to the wall by wall brackets. These are flat metal plates with a protruding section which the rails are fastened on to. This takes about half as much time to install as a ceiling mounted system does.

A wall mounted hoist system attachment
Here you can see a wall mounted hoist system that does not attach to the ceiling at all.

The wall brackets are drilled directly into the wall with anchor bolts (see above). If the wall isn’t structurally strong enough (i.e.., if it’s a partition wall), then it may need to be reinforced or a floor mounted track utilised.

For information on a how a ceiling track hoist system is installed, read this article.

The benefits of a ceiling mounted hoist

Ceiling track hoists can be supplied and installed in an array of layouts and fashions. Ceiling mounting is probably the most popular way to mount a hoist (for us it is anyway), and that’s mostly because it offers a lot of flexibility in terms of layouts and options.

One of the key benefits of a ceiling mounted hoist system is the ability to have it installed flush to the ceiling. This is known as inset tracking, and it means that the system looks loads tidier. It also saves space in the room. For instance, if you have low ceilings, it’s better to use a ceiling system that is inset because this takes up less space than a below-hung track would.

A ceiling mounted track also gives you the option of including additional track components such as curves, turntables and track switches.  All these allow the user to create a more flexible tracking system which gives greater coverage.

A ceiling track hoist system inset to the ceiling
Ceiling mounted systems can be inset like this one, transferring the bulk of the load through the ceiling itself.

The benefits of wall mounted hoist systems

Conversely, wall mounted systems have their own benefits. If you’re in a place where you don’t have access to the ceiling or your ceiling joists are simply too small to take the weight of a hoist system, then wall mounting might be the next best option.

One of the main pluses of wall mounting is how much less time it takes to install. Whereas with a ceiling mounted track you need to cut or drill through the ceiling to fix the tracking, a wall mount simply requires brackets attached to the wall, and then rail is then slotted on to the wall brackets. This takes about half as much time to install as a ceiling mounted system would.

Wall mounted systems are also excellent options in rooms with high ceilings. Generally, we try to install hoist systems at about 2.4 to 3 metres from the floor. So in a room with ceilings that are 5 metres high, you’d have to hang the tracking fairly low to accommodate safe transfers. This can look particularly messy and can be a pain to install.

The wall mounted system offers a good alternative for this. This can be installed at the perfect height, with no need to fix into the ceiling (providing that the distance between wall fixings isn’t over 6 metres). Similarly, wall mounted systems are an excellent option for rooms with coving. The brackets can be installed below the coving, taking minimal space.

What about a floor mounted hoist?

This might seem like a slightly bizarre concept given that hoists are supposed to be situated at a higher level, but it is possible to mount a hoist system so that the weight is transferred through the floor.

A diagram of wall posts that can be used with or without skirting board
Wall posts can be used if the walls and ceiling aren’t load-bearing.

Wall support posts can be used when neither the wall nor the ceiling is strong enough to withstand the weight requirements of the hoist system. These are lengths of metal that are drilled into the wall from the floor level right up to the height of the system. The tracking is then fixed to the tops of the wall support posts, and the system is installed. There’s technically no such thing called a floor mounted hoist, but when you think about it, a wall support post does the same thing!

Each mounting method has its benefits, and some will be better for certain situations than others will. It’s always worth asking your hoist system supplier what they can offer if you’re not sure on different installation methods and configurations. The long and short of it is that hoist systems can be installed in a wide variety of ways, so make sure to get in touch with us to discuss what the best option is for you.