What Are the Best Tips for Installing Ceiling Tiles?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 06 October 2019
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There are several useful tips to consider in order to easily and successfully go about installing ceiling tiles, including selecting the right type of tiles, understanding the correct installation process, and working with the tile adhesives properly. Before buying ceiling tiles, it is important for the consumer to take the time to research the different types available as well as determine where they are to be installed. Most dropped ceiling tiles are designed for simple installation, and although a professional contractor can be hired for the job, many people choose to install the tiles themselves. Home improvement stores and websites are excellent resources for step-by-step instructions and tips.

The first step to installing ceiling tiles is choosing the right tiles for the job. Most standard ceiling tiles are available in a few different pre-made sizes, but the consumer can also custom order these tiles to match their project needs. The ceiling tiles are typically made from cane or wood fibers and mixed with bonding chemicals to retain their integrity for long periods of time. Home improvement experts recommend choosing ceiling tiles made with a flame resistant coating for increased safety. Homeowners are encouraged to bring accurate measurements of the ceiling to the supply store to ensure they purchase the correct amount of ceiling tiles.


When installing ceiling tiles as a do-it-yourself project, it is important to understand how the installation process works. It is common for ceiling tiles to be designed for a tongue-and-groove fit, though special adhesives are also used to ensure the fit and stability of the suspended ceiling. Some ceiling tiles can be installed properly by nailing the tiles to the wood furring strips, the supportive structures of the ceiling. If the furring strips are made of metal, installation is completed by attaching the tiles with metal clips.

Adhesives are most often used on perfect, flat ceilings, while metal clips or furring strips are used in a drop ceiling manner in all other situations. While installing ceiling tiles with adhesives, it is important for the ceiling and the back of the tiles to be as clean as possible and free of debris. The adhesive should be placed on all four corners of each tile as well as in the center for optimum adhesion. Some experts recommend applying a couple of sample tiles, leave them alone for 48 hours, and evaluate how well the tiles have adhered in that time frame before completing the project.


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Post 6

Ceiling tile alone will not eliminate all of the noise it will only eliminate part of the problem. There are some tiles that are highly acoustical. Still, to help with your problem the best thing you could do would be to install sound attenuation blankets between the joists above the drop ceiling first these can be purchased at your local home stores.

Make sure when using it, you wear eye protection, and wear protective clothing as it is very nasty to work with. Use support wires to retain the sound blankets between the joists. Then put in new high acoustic rated tile back into the grid.

A good ceiling supply company will have oodles of different tiles you can use that will work for you.

Post 5

To get the last tile in place you have to cut it slightly smaller than the piece before it, then if using a molding, push it back past the interlocking tongue, then using a small nail (no. 4 finish nail or smaller) poke two of them through the finish of the tile one on each edge, Use the nails as a handle to put the tile into place locking it into the other. Then use a little caulk, (DAP) red and white tube sold in all home stores, to fill in the small holes left by the nails.

Post 4

Does anyone have any experience with installing acoustic ceiling tiles? My kids' room is right below my office. Sometimes when they are playing it can be distracting to me. I want them to be able to make some noise, so I was thinking about installing acoustical ceiling tiles to eliminate part of the problem.

Are they something that I could install on my own, or should I hire someone? Also, are there any certain features that I should be looking for like different noise reduction ratings or thicknesses?

Post 3

It seems like installing the last tile is always a problem. I have never dealt with dropped ceilings, but I do have regular ceiling tiles in my attic. My type are the interlocking kind that are mentioned in the article. A while ago, one of them came loose and caused several more to fall down. I got all of them back into place until the last piece.

Does anyone know how to install ceiling tiles like this, and how to get the last piece into place? I have nailed all of the other pieces into place, but I still can't get the last piece in.

Post 2

@matthewc23 - I always used to have the same problem with replacing ceiling panels until my uncle showed me a couple of great ideas.

Usually I have reasonable success by just putting the tile in the right location and then moving the metal frame around until the piece falls into place. Sometimes this won't work, though. In that case, you can often take an unbent coat hanger and put a small, 1 inch "L" bend in one end. Put this between the tile and the frame and pull down while going around the edges. Once the tile is in place, you can wiggle the coat hanger out. This can be difficult to do depending on how tight the fit is, but it usually works for me.

Post 1

We have both dropped ceiling tiles and tongue-and-groove tiles in our home. Personally, I like the look of the dropped tiles the best, but the other type are good in places like a kitchen where a suspended ceiling may not look right.

The problem we have always had is replacing tiles from the dropped ceiling. Removing the tile and getting a new one into the right spot is easy, but then lowering the new tile into place can be almost impossible at times since the guides always seem to fit very tightly. Does anyone have any suggestions for how to pull down a tile to get the right fit?

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