How To Cover Old 12 X 12 Acoustic Staple on Ceiling Tiles

Cover old tiles by draping soft fabrics beneath them to create a faux ceiling.
Cover old tiles by draping soft fabrics beneath them to create a faux ceiling. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Acoustic tiles may brighten a room when they are new, but when they begin to fade, they can ruin the appearance of the entire room. Replacing them is always an option, but with the old 12 by 12 staple on tiles, replacement is messy and time consuming. For a quick fix to your decorating woes, consider covering the tiles by draping fabric slightly below them to create a ceiling of flowing fabric.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Thin Fabric
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
  • Curtain rods
  • Screwdriver or hammer

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Calculating Fabric Needs

Measure the size of your ceiling to determine the amount of fabric you will need to cover the entire ceiling. Calculate the width and length of the room in yards to make fabric calculations easier, as fabric is typically sold by the yard from bolts 36 inches wide.

Purchase lightweight fabric to cover the old tiles. Select fabric that complements you decor and drapes well. Soft white or off white complements any room, but don't limit yourself to light colors. Deep reds, blues or greens make a dramatic statement when draped from the ceiling.

Cut the fabric in strips to match the width of the room. Allow enough fabric for it to drape slightly. A foot or more of excess fabric creates a slight drape for medium-sized rooms. Add 6 or more inches for hemming.

Install curtain rods at both sides of the room, running along the longest side of the room. Place the rods approximately 2 inches from the ceiling.You may need several curtain rods for both sides.

Sew a rod pocket at both ends of the fabric. Slip a curtain rod into the rod pockets on each end of the fabric. Place the rod in the hardware to hang the fabric so that it drapes from side to side, covering the old tiles.

Assemble the remaining fabric on the curtain rods. Adjust as necessary to create to look that appeals to you.

Tips & Warnings

  • To convert feet to yards, divide by three. For example, a 12 foot by 15 foot room converts to 4 yards by 5 yards.
  • Adjust your fabric needs as necessary for fabric sold in widths other than 36 inches.
  • Choose lightweight fabrics such as cotton, silk, tulle or any other fabric that appeals to you.
  • Heavyweight fabric cannot be supported by the curtain rods, unless you are decorating a tiny space.
  • Fabric may pose a fire hazard. Do not install a fabric ceiling above a wood stove or near a fireplace.

References

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