How to Install Ceiling Tiles How to Install Ceiling Tiles

What You'll Need
Ceiling tile
Nails (several sizes)
Glue gun
Steel tape
Ladder
Furring strips
Stapler
Caulking gun
Border molding
Straightedge
Handsaw
Staples
Chalk line
Utility knife
Graph paper
Hammer
Adhesive
Folding rule
Hand cleaner
Tracing paper

While you must always adhere to packaging instructions, this article will provide basic advice on the general process of installing ceiling tiles, which includes not only choosing a style and size, but also using an adhesive, furring strips, and planning for obstructions.

Selecting Tile

The majority of ceiling tiles are comprised of fiberboard, which is more or less a blend of wood/cain fiber and various binding solutions.

While most tiles are 1-square foot, they are sold in other sizes. The most common technical design for ceiling tiles is a tongue and groove style. You can also get them in special surface textures and seamless designs. Many homeowners prefer specially manufactured tiles which deaden sound, called acoustical tiles.

A sales associate at your local home improvement store can help you choose the right tile for your project.

Applying Tiles

Generally, you will see either nail/staple-applied tiles or adhesive-applied tiles. Use adhesive on smooth ceiling surfaces and nails/staples on rough surfaces.

3 Basic Rules on Cutting

Only use cut tiles along the parameter. Opposite tiles, meaning those across the room from each other, should match. You should also never use less than 50% of a tile.

Determining the Size of Border Tiles

Measure the distance between the walls. If it comes out to an exact multiple of 12, there is no need for smaller border tiles. Otherwise, add 12 and divide by 2 to determine the width of the border tiles. Do so in both directions.

Applying Tile With Adhesive

You must get the surface ready for the adhesive, especially paint surfaces. Make sure that the surface can support tile by applying several tiles around the ceilings and examining how well they stay after several days.

Make lines with chalk string to align the border tiles. Shape the first border tile and and fit it to the corner. When cutting the tiles, make sure you work on a flat surface and that the tile is face-up.

Dab adhesive in all 4 corners of each tile, dab 1 in the middle. Put the tile into place so that the flange is exposed and you can align the tongue in grooves.

Sometimes, even the ideal smooth surface will require a staple for extra support. Once border tiles are placed, fill the ceiling with uncut tiles. Once all of the tiles are placed, add molding to create a clean look

Installing Tiles on Wood Furring Strips

Use furring strips on rough surfaces. Mark the location of ceiling joists and attach the furring strips from joist to joist at a right angle.

Installing the Furring Strips

Align the second strip so that it rests between at the center of the strip and the width of the border tile.

The rest of the furring strips must be installed so that they rest at a parallel angle to the second strip you have installed. They must also be spaced 12-inches on center. Affix the strip by applying 8-penny nails. Use a carpenter's level to ensure that everything is aligned properly. Use scraps for the edges to support border tile.

Stapling Tiles to Furring Strips

Make lines using chalk string down the center of the furring strips. Use the lines as a guide to install the tiles. For the initial cuts, remove the side that is devoid of a wide stapling brim. As before, set the tiles to that the tongue and groove tiles can be put together.

Begin by applying border tiles, then fill the space with full-size tiles. Once it's all filled, add the rest of the border tiles. Apply molding to make a nice, clean finish for your project.

Tilling Around Posts or Pipes

Refer to the images to see how to cut the tiles to fit around plumbing and other fixtures. All one must do is slice the tile in 2 and trim the halves to fit around the obstruction. Always cut the tile while it is face up with a utility knife.

Information in this article has been furnished by the National Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) and associated contributors.

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