Cutting Recessed Drop Ceiling Tiles

drop ceiling
  • 2-6 hours
  • Beginner
  • 125-200
What You'll Need
Utility knife
Tape measure
2x4-foot ceiling tiles
Safety goggles

Recessed drop ceiling tiles are easy to repair because they fit inside a metal grid on your ceiling. Although most tiles are pre-cut to fit, you may occasionally find that cuts are necessary to fit around fixtures and fittings.

Step 1 - Prepare

Lay your ceiling tiles face up on a flat, stable surface. The tiles are delicate and break easily, so care must be taken. Make sure the blade in your utility knife is sharp. A blunt blade could damage your tiles. Keep sharp objects at a safe distance away from you and remember to always wear safety glasses when cutting tiles.

Step 2 - Measure Your Tile

Measure the width of the grid area in which the new drop ceiling tile will be fitted. Place the end of the measuring tape on the outside edge of the grid. Pull the tape across to the opposite outside edge of the grid and write down the measurement. You should repeat this process to measure the grid length.

Step 3 - Transfer Measurements

basement with drop ceiling

Use your measuring tape and a pencil to transfer the ceiling grid measurements onto your new ceiling tile, to ensure your measurements are straight use a ruler to make the line marks. Alternatively if not warped, you could simply draw around the old tile to get the required measurements.

Step 4 - Cut Your Tile

Hold your ceiling tile still and line up your ruler along the marked edges. Run your utility knife along the marked line to cut the tile, place your cut edges to one side. Repeat this process with any remaining tiles.