Rigging a suspension point

Project Status: Complete

I’ve been asked this a few times now so I’m putting together some information here. I’m also buying a new house soon so will be able to add them wherever I want!

  • Boxing heavy bag
  • Lighting rigs
  • Decor
  • Rope suspension
  • Aerial hoop
  • Silks
  • Swing

Safety 1st!

Before we start, you’re going to be at height (assuming you are hanging yourself in some way and not equipment) read this…



Here’s a basic overview so you get the idea…

Assuming that you have a plastered ceiling then the neatest way to do this involves lifting floorboard in the room above. This is my cunning plan so far, there are easier ways to do it but this should provide a safe and secure suspension point.

Cunning Plan

The advantage of using a cross member between two joists is that you can get a crossmember of appropriate width for drilling the hole for your eyebolt. You don’t want to drill a hole directly through a thin joist to accommodate your eyebolt and weaken the joist itself! With any luck this method will also not result in lots of holes drilled through your ceiling as you aim for a joist or crossmember blindly from below.

  • Lift floorboard above where you want the suspension point.
  • Drill a pilot hole, mid way between to joists, down to check you are in the right place in the room beow.
  • Drill a hole through a beam to use as a cross member. The cross member should be shorter than the joists to allow space for the top of the eyebolt and the nut(s).
  • Install a crossmember between the two joists over the pilot hole.
  • Drill through the pre-drilled hole in the crossmember and through the plaster into the room below.
  • Pass the eyebolt up through your shiny new hole.
  • Place a large washer or reinforcing plate over the end of the eyebolt to further spread the load.
  • Install at least one nut preferably 2 with one of them being a lock nut
  • Tighten each nut in turn while someone in the room below holds the eye in the orientation that you are hoping to achieve.
  • Before refitting the floorboards above consider adding an access hatch so you can check on the suspension point easily. You’re less likely to check if its hard to do!


Commercial Eye Bolt - 316 Grade Stainless Steel

Make sure it is a nice fat one that is stainless steel and forged. Read the Crash Restraint article linked above for why you need one of these and not a cheap one.

I used a hole saw to cut a larger hole up from below, around where the 12mm spade bit drilled down through the ceiling. I then used the same hole saw to cut a wooden spacer / washer the thickness of the terrible artex ceiling and plaster. I could have used a bigger holesaw and sanded it down to get a flush fit but there’s nothing stopping me going back and doing that.

3 of these bad boys later….

The one I did in the photo I cut too far from the joist on the left hand side so there wasn’t much of the joist hanger supporting the floorboard but there was only about 120mm of it sticking out from under the wall so not much load…. meh!!

Next stop….. Gym rings, yoga swing, straps, silks, aerial hoop……