How to Install Ceiling Tiles

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How to Install Ceiling Tiles. Ceiling tiles are a great way to redo a ceiling and to brighten a room. The installation process is quick and relatively easy. If you are remodeling an older house, ceiling tiles are a good choice to install in rooms with uneven walls and/or ceilings.

Things You'll Need

  • Safety glasses
  • Measuring tape
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Ladder
  • Furring strips
  • Eight penny nails
  • Hammer
  • Shims
  • Utility knife
  • Square
  • Staple gun
  • Staples
  • Molding strips
  • Stain
  • Miter box
  • Saw
  • Finishing nails

Prepare to Install

Measure opposite walls of your room in inches. Add 12 inches. Divide this number by two. The number you arrive at is the width of the border tile. Jot it down. Repeat the process for the other two walls.

Purchase the ceiling tiles. Tiles usually come in 12x12 inch squares or 12x24 inch rectangles. Purchase your other supplies while you are at the lumberyard.

Determine which way the ceiling joists run. Nail the first furring strip perpendicular to the joists along one wall. Put two eight penny nails into the furring strip at each joist. Butt the ends of the furring strip together to create a strip along one wall.

Make sure the furring strips are level. Place shims between the furring strip and the ceiling if necessary.

Nail the next furring strip 12 inches on center parallel to the first furring strip. Continue this process until you come to the opposite wall. Nail a furring strip parallel to that wall as well.

Set the open boxes of ceiling tiles in the room at least 24 hours before you begin to install them. This gives them a chance to acclimate to the room.

Install the Ceiling Tiles

Start in one corner. Cut the corner border piece to fit. Square it.

Mark the starting square on the furring strip. Make sure the flanged edges point toward the center of the room. Use a staple gun to attach the corner tile.

Put up the next tile along the border. Staple it in place. Now place a ceiling tile on the other leg of the corner. Staple it.

Set the first full ceiling tile in place. Butt it in place next to the three tiles already in place.

Continue to work from both angles of the corner and out into the room. Cover the entire ceiling with ceiling tiles. Nail the last row of ceiling tile directly to the furring strip if the staple gun doesn't reach into that tight of a spot.

Measure and cut the molding strips to fit. Stain the strips. Use the miter box and saw to miter the corner pieces. Use the finishing nails to nail the molding into place.

Tips & Warnings

  • You can use adhesive to install ceiling tiles as well, but stapling the tiles to furring strips guarantees the tiles won't fall down.
  • Wear safety glasses at all times.
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