Decorative Ceiling Tiles

How to Install Glue-Up Faux Tin Ceiling Tiles

Give a Room a New Look with Decorative Ceiling Tiles

By Kevin Elliott

These instructions work with all types of ceiling tiles as well as Plastic Ceiling Tiles that is also called Faux Tin Ceiling Tiles and other faux metal tiles. Tin ceiling tiles add an opulent old-world touch to interior decorating.


Installing ceiling project using R02 Styrofoam 20x20 inch Ceiling Tile
Step 1: Calculate the number of tin ceiling tiles you’ll need. This will depend on the size of tile you want to use (some are 20x20 inches, while others are 24x24). Measure (in inches) the length and width of the ceiling (or other area) that you want to cover with the tiles, then divide the length and the width by 20 (or 24) to work out the number of tiles long and wide the ceiling is. Add an extra 15% to allow a margin for error.

Step 2: Prepare the surface. Ensure that the ceiling is clean, dry and stable. It’s a wise idea to remove any loose, chipped paint before you begin. If you wash down the ceiling, let it dry before installing the glue-up tin ceiling tiles.

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Step 3: Find the middle. As tin ceiling tiles create a very formal look, it’s vital to get them in neatly and evenly. This is best done by starting in the middle and working outwards. Find the center of the ceiling by using two strings that run from corner to corner diagonally: they will cross in the centre of the room. You may already have a light fitting or fan installed in the center of the room, which will help you find the spot (you may need to cut the tiles to fit around the fan, but remember the rule of measuring twice and cutting once). Once you have marked the middle, draw two lines across the ceiling that meet at right angles at the center point.

Step 4: Apply the glue-up tin ceiling tiles. To do this, put blobs of contact cement in the corners and along the edges of the tile, plus a few in the middle. Don’t smooth the glue flat; the pressure of applying the tiles will do that. Carefully put the corner of the first tile in one of the corners of the 90-degree angles drawn in the middle of the ceiling and press it firmly into place. Once the tile has adhered to the ceiling, place a second tile in another of the right angles in the center, then the third and fourth tiles in the others. Use these first four tiles as your guides, placing each new tile as close as possible to the ones already in place. It’s a wise idea to step down and look at the tiles from the perspective of the floor every now and again to check that the lines are running straight and evenly. When you get to the edge of the ceiling, the tiles may need to be cut to fit – use the box cutting knife to do this before placing the tile.

Step 5: Seal the gaps between the glue-up tin ceiling tiles using the caulking gun. With tin ceiling tiles and other metallic or decorative finish on the tiles, clear caulk is by far the best. After applying a line of caulk into the gap, use a damp rag to wipe away the excess caulk on the surface of the tile, then smooth the caulk deep into the gap with a gloved finger. Do the wiping and the smoothing as soon as possible after applying the caulk, as it is very difficult to do this once the caulk has dried.

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