How Do I Choose the Best Ceiling Materials?

M. Kayo

Ceiling tiles, planks, wood, panels and other types of ceiling materials are typically inexpensive and easy to install, even for the do-it-yourself home remodeler. Before deciding which materials work best for you, consider the overall cost, personal preference, aesthetic value, function, or benefit of a specific material, and the difficulty installing various ceiling types. Some ceiling materials require just a pair of pliers and some tin snips to install, while others require learning a complicated installation method, a high level of expertise, and specialized machinery.

A roll of mineral wool insulation.
A roll of mineral wool insulation.

Overall cost is one of the first things to consider when selecting the best ceiling materials. Determine the amount of money that you can spend on a ceiling. Some types of ceilings will be expensive from the outset and require specialized equipment or even professional installers. For example, competent plasterers are increasingly rare, and if you can find one, the cost to install and texture a plaster ceiling is likely to be very high. Other types of ceilings, like modular tiles and textured drywall, are more economical and easily installed by a do-it-yourself person.

Professional plaster work can be expensive.
Professional plaster work can be expensive.

Personal preference and the overall aesthetic value of ceiling material is also an important consideration. Some people like the old world feel of a pressed tin or copper ceiling, and there are many ceiling tiles available that simulate that look. Others prefer the warmth and texture of wood beams, possibly combined with some other type of ceiling materials. The best way to determine which materials are best for your particular taste is to look at ceilings installed in various rooms. Make a collection of photographs or take a close look at actual ceilings that you like.

Consider the benefits of using particular types of ceiling materials. Some materials absorb a great deal of ambient noise, while others provide an additional layer of insulation, keeping a room cooler in the summer or warmer in the winter and helping to keep your energy bills low. Hot air rises, and as much as 25% of heat in a home escapes through the ceiling and roof during the colder months. Materials that add an insulating barrier include traditional spun fiberglass, blown cellulose, blown mineral wool fiber, spray-on expanding foam, and radiant barrier paint. There are so many different varieties of materials on the market that choosing the best ceiling materials comes down to the desired look and feel of a room.

Types of ceilings include faux ceiling tiles made of lightweight thermoplastic designed to mimic tin, metal, copper, or wood ceilings. Drop or suspended ceilings require an interlocking grid system suspended by wires from the ceiling. The tiles, made of any number of ceiling materials, are placed into this framework. This type of ceiling is typically used in spaces with very high ceilings. Where the ceiling is low, surface mounted ceiling tiles might be a good choice since they can be glued directly onto the ceiling surface and come in a wide variety of colors, sizes, and textures.

Drop or suspended ceilings require an interlocking grid system suspended by wires from the ceiling.
Drop or suspended ceilings require an interlocking grid system suspended by wires from the ceiling.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I've been saving up money for a new house lately, and this article is very beneficial. Between the cost, personal preference, and benefits, I will take these factors into serious consideration. Overall, though I don't have much experience with choosing the best materials yet, this is definitely a step in the right direction.


I agree that cost is very important when choosing the best ceiling materials. Not only can you be ripped off if you're not careful, but house materials can be very expensive. Try to keep a balance between the cost and the quality. Don't buy the cheapest one, but don't buy the one that's most expensive either.

Post your comments
Forgot password?