Complete Guide on How to Install Tin Ceiling Tiles

Written by Milan Jara on 26th Jul 2022

Installed Tin Ceiling Tiles

When it comes to installing tin ceiling tiles, the process is incredibly simple and can be done quickly. We provide useful tips to help with your project.

When updating a house, most people tend to consider painting the walls rather than installing new ceiling tiles. If they do consider the ceiling, it is generally to add another coat of paint to it. However, installing ceiling tiles can generate that wow factor in any room and elevate the overall look. We show you how to install tin ceiling tiles.

Required Materials

  • Concrete sealer
  • Faux tin ceiling tiles
  • Measuring tape
  • Chalk snap line
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Paint roller

How to Install Tin Ceiling Tiles

To begin, calculate the square footage of the area where you want to place the tiles. Do this by measuring the length times the width of the space. This number is important when ordering enough ceiling tiles for the space. Also, add 10-15% extra just in case. If you don’t use it, you can always store it in case you need more, or return it to the store.

Order the Tiles

Tin Ceiling Tiles

When selecting tin ceiling tiles, first consider the style of your home. Find a style that blends in with the space naturally. Tin ceiling tiles are available in different colors and various faux metal finishes. What you choose will come down to personal taste and preferences. Tin ceiling tiles also come in various sizes and patterns, so you can select the size as well.

To determine how to install the tiles, examine the ceiling’s material. Some people like a glue-up installation so you can reposition them if necessary. Plywood, plaster, and paneling will work with glue. However, you need to check the instructions for the best method.

Mark Your Control Lines

For most areas, control lines should be in a straight line dissecting the tiled area in half. Measure the ceiling to locate the halfway point on each side of the space. Use a chalk snap line connecting the two points by stretching from one side to the other at the halfway mark.

This job is easier with two people. One person should pull down and then release the chalk line to snap a perfectly straight line to the ceiling. This serves as a reference when it comes to placement.

Once the line in one direction is completed, rotate it 90° to create an additional control line to create a cross forming straight lines and bisecting the middle point. Plan for your first tile to go in the corner using the intersecting chalk lines as a guide.

Dry Fit the Tiles Before Installation

It is best to dry-fit the tiles before permanently putting them into place. Before applying your adhesive, place the tiles on your ceiling. Trace fixtures that may require you to cut around them. Then, duct tape the back of the tiles to hold them in place as you dry-fit the individual tiles.

Make Cuts

Use scissors to cut your tiles to fit them to the ceiling. You may need to cut round shapes to allow for light fixtures wherever they are in the room. Tin tiles are easy to cut, but scissors or tin snips work the best. If you do use scissors, they need to be a strong set.

Cutting Around Ceiling Fixtures

Cutting Around Ceiling Fixtures

If you need to cut around a ceiling fixture, you can use a pencil to make a mark in the center. Then, you can use a string and attach it to the pencil, tracing a circle on the backside of the tile to make a perfect shape. You can use other tools as well and tin snips to cut out the circle.

Roll on Your Cement and Install the Tiles

Cement should be applied using a paint roller. Apply an even coat onto the back of the tile. Contact cement has an open time of 15 minutes. Once applied, allow it to sit for a few minutes while it becomes tacky. Then, you can apply it to the ceiling.

While the tiles are set up, place an even coat of contact cement on the ceiling. Cementing both surfaces allows the ceiling and tiles to bond with each other to create a firm seal.

Apply your tiles along the reference line, then work outwards towards the edges. Measure your pieces, then cut the tile to fit areas where full tiles will not fit. Stick to the available pattern and repeat for great results.

Clean and Cover Your Gaps

Sometimes your entire ceiling may not be completely square. You may discover that you have to make a few adjustments here and there. Decorative strips that match your tile will be instrumental in covering gaps. Clean tiles using a dry cloth. Ensure any cement has been wiped off the surface before applying the strips. Since they are not repositionable, try to line them up perfectly the first time.


Installing tin ceiling tiles isn’t difficult to do. They are easy to cut by using either tin shears or a pair of strong scissors to make the cuts. Tin shears tend to work best. They have a longer blade and handles. It makes generating a straight cut significantly easier than working with scissors.

When it comes to how to install tin ceiling tiles, the process is easy. You will find that the majority of your time is spent making the cross lines dissecting the room. Cutting the tiles takes minimal effort and can be done very quickly.

Tin ceiling tiles add a beautiful, elegant element to any room and can elevate the appearance. While most people consider simply painting it, you may want to do something different using tin ceiling tiles.

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