How to Put Up Ceiling Tiles Which Are Tongue & Groove Style

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Things You'll Need

  • Ceiling tiles

  • Utility knife

  • Chalk line

  • Hammer, or staple gun

  • Caulking gun

  • Ceiling tile adhesive

Ceiling tiles can be installed instead of sheetrock to the ceiling joists in a room or they can be attached to an existing ceiling. Installing tiles can cover up an unsightly ceiling and add freshness to the room. Ceiling tiles come in a wide range of styles and frequently have easy-to-connect tongue-and-groove-style seams. With the correct tools, tongue-and-groove-style ceiling tiles can be easily put up on your own. If you are installing directly to ceiling joists or an unsound ceiling, first attach furring strips.


Step 1

Cut tiles to fit along the edges of the ceiling if the ceiling dimensions are not evenly divisible by the size of the tiles. Make sure that tiles are cut so that opposing sides have equal widths. Cut off the sides that do not have the stapling edge. Use a utility knife with a sharp blade.


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Step 2

Mark the ceiling where the interior edge of the border tiles will sit by snapping a chalk line.

Step 3

Install tiles by beginning at one border and working your way to the opposite side. Attach initial border tiles with flange exposed and by lining the stapling edge up with the chalk line.


Step 4

Affix tiles to a pre-existing ceiling by putting a bead of ceiling tile adhesive 1 inch in and around the border of the underside of the tile. This will require a caulking gun. Also put adhesive in the middle of the tile. Stick the tile onto the ceiling. Nail or staple the tile at the stapling edge. For attaching tiles to furring strips, only use nails or staples – no glue. Attach subsequent tiles by fitting the grooves over flanges and continuing to glue and/or staple each tile.


Step 5

Continue until the entire ceiling is installed. Add molding along the corner where the wall meets the ceiling to conceal the seam and create a completed look.