There’s a tendency to think of plain, fiberboard ceiling panels when it comes to ceiling tiles. Ceiling tile is available in a much wider range of materials, however. Whether you’re looking for faux tin, copper, tin, aluminum, or wood tiles for their impressive looks, or you’re shopping for acoustical tiles for noise reduction, there’s sure to be a style out there somewhere that will meet your needs.
The Standard Fare
There are a number of tile materials to choose from when it comes to ceilings, so don’t think you are stuck with that popcorn ceiling. With most of these options, the difference is primarily cost and appearance, though there are some exceptions where specific functions are desired.
- Faux tin tiles are tiles made of a composite material that are manufactured and pressed to resemble a painted tin ceiling tile. They are cheaper, easier to install, come with a variety of designs stamped onto them, and most people won’t be able to tell the difference between this and the real thing.
- Tin tiles have undergone a resurgence of sorts in home improvement circles. First popular around the turn of the last century, they are attractive, light-weight, easy to install, and act as both a decorative addition and an effective fire barrier. They are usually stamped with intricate designs and come in a wide variety of finishes, from classic polished tin, gold, silver, and copper to whatever shade of paint meets your fancy, and more.
- Copper tile is the cream of the crop when it comes to metal ceiling tiles. It costs more than other materials, but it is tough to beat from an aesthetic standpoint. There simply aren’t many ceilings that can compare to one adorned with beautiful polished copper.
- Aluminum tile is about the best kept secret in the industry, primarily because it’s so good at mimicking every other metal out there. Aluminum is the cheapest of the metal tiles, but you won’t be able to tell any difference from your vantage point below. And because it can be manufactured to look virtually indistinguishable from tin, copper, gold, bronze, or anything other metal, many homeowners find aluminum to be a very sensible, and beautiful choice.
- Wood tile, also referred to as wood ceiling paneling, is another stunning choice when it comes to looks. It’s more expensive, but creates such a warm, classy, antique look that many homeowners decide the extra cost is worth every penny.
- Drop-ceiling tiles, which are installed into suspended ceilings, are probably the most effective ceiling solution out there. Remember those boring fiberboard tiles mentioned earlier? These are them. They won’t take anybody’s breath away, but they are great for covering up ugly older ceilings without much work, and for installing in basements or other areas where you might have exposed wiring or ductwork that needs to be hidden.
- Acoustical tiles are tiles specially manufactured to absorb and deaden noise. They can be installed directly to a ceiling or as a suspended ceiling. These are often used in commercial settings, but can be a godsend if you’ve got a teenager in the basement who lives by the adage “If it’s too loud, you’re too old.”
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If you’re interested in installing tiles for your ceiling, talk to a ceiling professional about what is the best choice for your home and needs. If you end up doing it yourself, you’ve gained some valuable information to help you get going, and if you’d rather have someone do the work for you, you’ve taken the first step in getting your ceiling tile improvement project underway!