How to Choose the Right Commercial Ceiling Tiles

Written by Milan Jara on 15th Oct 2019

Antique Silver Ceiling at Zuccarelli’s Italian Restaurant - Antique Silver

So, you know you want to update the ceiling tiles in your business but you’re not sure where to start. If you’re trying to figure out which tiles are right for your space, here are the things you should consider when choosing commercial ceiling tiles for your space.



Type of Tile

Laurel Wreath - Faux Tin Ceiling Tile - #210 - Antique Copper

The type of tile you choose is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when decorating your business. You must consider the space when making your choice – as opposed to just picking something you think might look nice.

Granted, how the tiles look is important, but there are so many other things to think about in addition to the style and appearance of the tile.

It’s equally important to not focus on one other aspect either.

For instance, you shouldn’t just choose tile based on how expensive it is or how high-quality it is. Different spaces require different types of tile, so no matter how great a tile selection might be, it’s not going to be the right choice for every single space. You need to think about the overall needs of the building and the space. What’s happening in the space? Is it an educational environment? A healthcare environment? A food services environment? Is it a commercial office space? The function will dictate the form in this case.

Make sure you’re looking at the big picture when choosing commercial ceiling tiles. You need something that performs acoustically for that particular space, that offers insulation if needed, that makes sense in the space, and that helps you troubleshoot existing problems overall. Make a list of your concerns about the space and then give some thought to how different types of tile can help eliminate some of these problems.



Environment of the Space

Laurel Wreath – FAD Hand Painted Ceiling Tile – #CTF-004

If you think you can stop focusing on your space now when making a selection and move on to the specific design of the tile, think again.

You need to keep the environment in mind when selecting your tiles. For instance, an acoustic ceiling tile tends to perform optimally in rooms filled to standard occupancy based on the space and humidity of 70 percent. If you’re dealing with something different than that regularly the tile is not going to perform at the same level. If you’re in a more humid environment, even if it’s temporary, it can affect the ceiling tiles.

To predict exactly what you’re going to be dealing with long-term, you need to take into consideration the humidity of a space and opt for humidity-resistant panels if necessary. They are designed to stand up to higher humidity levels and not sag when exposed to higher levels of moisture in the air.

Keep in mind, too, that humidity issues aren’t just about the look of the tile. If you’re thinking you can just replace any tiles that sag if exposed to humidity over time, you also need to consider what’s going on behind the scenes. Humid air tends to encourage mold and mildew growth, so replacing a single tile could turn into replacing an entire ceiling and having to undergo length remediation.

There are tiles available that feature an antimicrobial treatment to reduce the risk for mold and mildew growth. Certain types of commercial ceiling tile materials such as fiberglass substrate also tend to stand up to moisture better than other options. This can also help with staining on the tiles and keep them looking bright and fresh longer than if they weren’t treated.

The bottom line? You have to consider the risks in the environment when choosing ceiling tiles. Know what your environmental issues are and allow those to guide your decision when making your decisions about commercial ceiling tiles.



Avoiding Problems

The best way to save yourself time, money, and frustration fixing problems with commercial ceiling tiles is to prevent them from occurring in the first place. There are plenty of things you can do at the beginning of the process when you’re shopping for and installing tiles that will keep you from running into issues down the road.

A thorough evaluation of your needs in the space is one of the most important things you can do. This can happen during the building phase if you are working with a new building or during the planning stages of a renovation. Selecting the right tiles for your space can eliminate the risks of certain problems. For example, if you know the ceiling will be frequently in contact with materials or accessed for other reasons, it’s important to pick a material that offers durability and scratch resistance. Damage resistant tiles mean you’ll need to replace tiles less frequently – if at all.

In some spaces, hygiene and sanitation will be your most important consideration. This is the case in food services and healthcare. You might need to choose commercial ceiling tiles that can be easily washed and are water-resistant and capable of standing up to heavy-duty disinfectants. This is an instance when the function of the tile is going to be far more important than the design because the health of people who are spending time in the space is a factor.

Finally, you need to make sure that whatever commercial ceiling tiles you choose that the installation is done properly. Poor installation can result in damage and misalignment, which means you’ll need to redo the project almost immediately.

Tiles can be easily damaged when they are installed improperly. Keep this in mind not just when you are installing the tiles initially, but also if any maintenance needs to be done and a third-party is handling the tiles. Any time you need to allow someone else to handle your commercial ceiling tiles you should work with an experienced, well-trained maintenance staff that knows what they’re doing. The same is true for the initial installation. You might want to try a DIY as you would at home, but in a commercial space, this can cost you more in the long-run. Your strategy for cutting costs will lead to more expenses in the long-run.



Selecting Commercial Ceiling Tiles the Right Way

Circles and Stars – Styrofoam Ceiling Tile – 20x20 – #R82 - Plain White

Understanding your options, knowing what different manufacturers have to offer, and taking advantage of the technical resources that are out there can make your decisions about commercial ceiling tiles easier to make. Even if your knowledge and experience with tiles are limited now, you can learn a lot in a short time that will enable you to make the right decision for your space. The selection of your commercial ceiling tiles should balance performance, budget, and design, and allow you to get exactly what you need in your space without having to replace or repair regularly once the ceiling is installed.

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