Tin Ceiling Tiles: DIY Friendly Installation Instructions

Written by Milan Jara on 19th Sep 2011

Tin ceiling tiles can be used to give a room old time charm or cutting edge modern styling and if you’re even just a little bit handy with tools, there’s no reason why the upgrade can’t be a DIY project. The next several posts will provide all the instructions needed to give any room in your home a complete transformation by using nail up tin ceiling tiles.

Decorative Ceiling Tiles offers two options for installing tin ceiling tiles in your home — nail up tiles and drop in tiles. Drop in tile installation will be discussed in a future post, but they can also be a DIY friendly option for most rooms. However, if you want your ceiling to have a old time look, nail up tiles with their exposed fastener heads might be the best choice.

Prepping Your Room for a Tin Ceiling Tile Installation

Beauty of Tin Ceiling Tiles

If you’re installing tin ceiling tiles in a finished room, the first step should always be moving all furniture and other obstructions out of the way. If at all possible, this means all the way out of the room. Working with the tin ceiling tiles doesn’t create much of a mess — not when compared to painting or finishing sheetrock, but moving around furniture can slow the job down and may create a safety hazard while working on a ladder. Once the room has been cleared, drop cloths should be placed down to protect your floor covering.

Surface Preparation for Nail Up Tin Ceiling Tiles

Most homes have sheetrock or plaster applied over the ceiling joists or bottom chords of the roof trusses above. The framing behind the finished surface can provide a good anchor for nailing your tin ceiling tiles, but unfortunately it’s normally spaced at about 24 inches. This means that in many cases you might only be nailing into sheetrock or plaster which isn’t sufficient for holding up the tiles. The solution is installing a plywood nailing surface over your existing ceiling.

Beauty of Tin Ceiling Tiles In Kitchen

The best choice of a plywood is 3/8 or 1/2 inch thick material as they are light enough to work with fairly easily, but substantial enough to provide a good surface for your tiles. Installing the plywood is at least a two person job and three people might be ideal. Marking the location of the framing behind the sheetrock or plaster with a chalk line can make fastening the plywood to the ceiling much easier. The plywood can be nailed up or you might want to use a screw-gun and screws as fasteners.

The plywood sheets should be installed perpendicular to the ceiling framing and fastened securely into each framing member they cross. All end joints should meet over framing members so the ends of both pieces can be fastened to the framing.

Once the plywood is in place, you’re ready to begin installing the tin ceiling tiles. That phase will will be covered in the next post.

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