Old Ceiling Tiles: When to Replace Them

A typical office ceiling.

Old ceiling tiles may need to be replaced for a variety of reasons. While some may be obvious, others are far more subtle. Here are signs to watch for that could indicate your old ceiling tiles need to be replaced.


Heat sources or cigarette smoke can yellow your tiles. They could also become discolored because of a leak. In any of these cases, the tiles will look ugly and need to be replaced.


Ceiling tiles have a life expectancy of 10 years. Past that age, they can warp, become brittle, and even break. This detracts from their appearance as well as their functionality.


Tiles from before 1981 may contain asbestos. If you're not sure, you can get one of the asbestos-testing products on the market or call a professional. If there is indeed asbestos, remove the tiles, but be sure to find and follow the guidelines for doing so safely and responsibly.

Just Plain Old

If your tiles don't have any of the above mentioned flaws, there is still a situation where you'd want to get rid of them. If you renovated the room, your old ceiling tiles will likely show their age. Make new ceiling tiles part of the renovation.