How to Remove Tin Ceiling Tiles

An old, green, tin, decorative tile with a floral design on it.
What You'll Need
Work gloves
Putty knife

Tin ceiling tiles are a throwback from a time of regal houses, grand hotels, and classy movie theaters. Over time, they were replaced by more cost-effective materials. If you have tin ceiling tiles in your home, they might have rusted or been tarnished. If so, it might be a good idea to remove them. Here's how to do it.

Step 1—Preparation

Place your ladder just to the side of where you will be replacing tiles, as being directly under the tiles doesn't give you the space you need to move. The ladder also needs to be on a completely flat surface. Always wear your work gloves; tin ceiling tiles are very sharp around the edges, so be careful. Remove any accessories on the ceiling, such as vent caps, if they would be in way.

Step 2—Removing Tin Ceiling Tiles

Tin ceiling tiles are hammered directly into the ceiling, so removing the old ones can prove tricky. Inspect the tiles where they overlap, as this is where they are nailed in place. Use a putty knife to carefully pry up a side of the tile so you can get a grip on it. Use the pliers to grab the edge and carefully pull it from the ceiling. Repeat this process with the remaining tiles.

Step 3—Prepare the Ceiling

Removing the tin ceiling tiles will leave behind small holes. To fill these in, get on the ladder and apply filler over each of them. Spread the filler as thin as you can, so it dries quickly. After the filler has dried, sand it down with the block, to create a smooth surface.