Chandelier with ceiling medallion in old house. Old House Interior Finish:

Installing A Chandelier
With A Ceiling Medallion

In This Article:

The mounting strap is attached to the ceiling box and the length of the threaded tube is checked. The ceiling medallion is glued and screwed in place. The chandelier wires are connected and the fixture is suspended from the ceiling J-box.

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Skill Level: 3 (Intermediate) Time Taken: About 2 Hours

By , Editor



An elegant chandelier in a dining room makes a huge improvement in the appearance of the room. I would even say that a good chandelier makes all the difference in the world. In our old house remodeling project we had long planned to install a chandelier near the middle of the room, directly over the dining table.

This was the dining room after the hardwood flooring had been installed and finished.


The ceiling before the medallion and chandelier were installed.


Junction box for chandelier. The junction box.

This is a ceiling fan J-box from Home Depot. Chandeliers can be heavy, so they need more than an ordinary junction box.

Even if a light-weight chandelier was being installed, remember that years from now somebody else may install a different chandelier.


We got this 20 inch ceiling medallion at Home Depot. We simply spray painted it with an off-white semi-gloss paint. Ceiling medallion.


This medallion came with long screws, threaded tube extensions, and a small tube of caulking.


I used a stud finder to locate the joists. Instead of marking the joists with a pencil, I used masking tape, and I marked them quite far from the junction box so the medallion wouldn't cover the marks.


This is the mounting strap that came with the chandelier.


Chandelier Installation Without A Medallion:

If I was installing a chandelier without a ceiling medallion, I would install the stock mounting strap to the ceiling junction box.


Then the canopy would slide over the threaded tube.

Note how the threaded tube pokes out of the canopy by about 1/4 inch. Since the medallion is 1¼" thick, I will need a longer threaded tube.


And the threaded collar loop would be screwed onto the end of the tube (but there would be wires going through the tube).


This is what the canopy would look like if I wasn't using a medallion.


Installation With A Ceiling Medallion:

I replaced the 2½" original tube with the 4" long tube that came with the medallion.



Getting the correct length of the threaded tube is critical here. I measured the total thickness of the medallion plus the canopy, plus a small length (perhaps ¼") of that the rod goes inside the collar loop. If the rod extends too far, the collar loop will "bottom out" before it clamps the entire assembly in place, and I'll have to remove everything and reposition the threaded tube so it doesn't  protrude as far.



I wrapped the ground wire around the ground screw in the junction box, and tightened the screw firmly.

The ground wire must be attached to the junction box and the mounting strap.


Note how the red wire was capped off and tucked into the J-box. We used 14-3 wire to feed this fixture just in case someday the home's owners want to install a ceiling fan instead of the chandelier. In previous years this room has been used as a living room, and maybe that will happen again.

I installed the mounting strap with the longer tube.

Note how I also connected the ground wire to the green screw on the mounting strap.

Extra-long threaded tube for installing chandelier when a medallion is used.


The Medallion:

Applying construction adhesive to back of ceiling medallion. I applied a bead of urethane construction adhesive to the back of the medallion, but not according to the instructions.

The instructions show four big dabs of adhesive being applied, well inboard from the edge. Uh-huh. In that big recessed area? Obviously they changed their design without updating their instructions.

I positioned the medallion against the ceiling and drove in several 3" trim head screws.

I was only able to catch the joists in three places, but from my experience that is enough to hold the medallion until the glue dries.

Fastening ceiling medallion with trim head screws.

Later I applied some siliconized acrylic latex caulk over the screw heads to conceal them.


Back To The Chandelier:

With most chandeliers you get plenty of extra chain and wire. I've always had to shorten the chain by opening one link. Usually I can bend a link with a pair of pliers and a crescent wrench.

The chain with this chandelier was especially heavy, and I had to put the link in a vise to be able to bend it.


I threaded the chandelier wires through the chain.

I ran the wires through every second link.


This chandelier had a deluxe feature: an expanding link with a hex nut.


The wires need to poke through the hanging loop.


And then the wires need to run through the canopy.


I stripped the ends of the supply wires in the ceiling J-box.


Supporting chandelier on stepladder during light fixture installation. I placed the chandelier on the paint tray of a 6-foot stepladder.


I made the wiring connections.

I twisted each chandelier wire around its corresponding supply wire.

Note that the chandelier wires are not colored white and black to distinguish neutral from hot. The wire used for chandeliers is basically lamp cord.

Lamp cord has a ridge along the neutral wire.


Electrical connections for chandelier, except wire needs to run through tube... I made the connections.

Only I did this wrong.

I always do this.


The lamp cord needs to run through the threaded tube, up into the ceiling J-box, and then back down below the ceiling where you can reach it to make the connections.


Like this.


I tucked the connections up inside the J-box.

This is where you realize how important it is to have enough extra length of wire.


I placed the canopy up against the ceiling, and threaded the hanging loop over the threaded tube.


I connected the chandelier chain to the little section of chain on the hanging loop.

With most chandeliers you won't have this fancy openable link, you'll need to bend a link to open it.


Then I carefully lifted the chandelier off the ladder, and moved the ladder away.

The chandelier was finally installed.


This is a huge improvement over the old ceiling fan that was here before. Chandelier in dining room of old house.


While you are working on your dining room, I strongly recommend parking something underneath your chandelier.

Every time I've worked on a house that had a chandelier with no table underneath, I've hit my head or my shoulder on the bloody light fixture. Every single time. Including this project.




Tools Used:

  • Cordless Drill/Driver
  • Phillips Screwdriver
  • Wire Stripper
  • Pliers
  • Crescent Wrench
  • Caulk Gun

Materials Used:

  • Chandelier, Kichler Lighting
    2061 LZ 5 Light 60 Watt Candelabra
  • 20" Ceiling Medallion, Fantec Inc.
  • Urethane Construction Adhesive
  • 3" Trim Head Screws, GRK
  • Light Bulbs, Clear, Small Base
  • Wire Nuts

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Written September 18, 2005