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Update Your Boring Ceiling with Metal Ceiling Tiles


If you’ve been browsing decorating magazines or websites like Houzz, you’ve probably noticed a trend: metal ceiling tiles. Metal ceilings tiles can turn an ordinary ceiling into a work of art. The look is sharp and distinctive.

When you think of a metal ceiling, you might picture an industrial space. But metal ceilings are highly versatile for the home because they can be used to create all sorts of looks. Go for a sleek and modern vibe, a rustic farmhouse aesthetic or the rich and expensive look of a high-class hotel.

Metal ceiling tiles come in a variety of colors, from traditional metals like gold, silver and bronze to more muted whites, creams and browns. Some are distressed to create a historic feel, while others are sleek. The pattern possibilities are almost endless: geometric, antique, carved, recessed, scrolled, circular, floral and more.

Metal Ceiling Tiles

How Much Do Decorative Ceiling Tiles Cost?

  • A typical metal ceiling tile - 24-by-24 inches and made of tin - costs anywhere from about $5-$30. The price varies based on quality and the intricacy of the pattern. For a 12x16-foot room, you’d need 48 tiles to cover the ceiling, which works out $240 at $5 per tile, $480 at $10 per tile and $720 at $15 per tile.
  • Faux metal tiles can be found for as little as $2 each.
  • Antique or vintage metal ceiling tiles can usually be found for $50-$150 each, but there’s no guarantee you’ll find enough to cover the area.
  • Professional installation usually adds $1-3 per square foot.

Using Decorative Tiles to Cover Popcorn Ceilings

One of the most popular uses for decorative ceiling tiles is covering old and ugly popcorn ceilings. Popcorn ceilings have fallen (way) out of fashion, but at one point the texturing technique was used by almost every builder. That leaves a lot of people who own older homes with a choice: live with them or do something about it?

“Popcorn” or “cottage cheese” texturing can be removed, but the process is messy, labor intensive and time consuming. If you’re hiring a professional, the project could cost $400-$1,000 per room. If the ceiling contains asbestos, which is common in older homes, you could spend north of $3,000 per room.

Covering the popcorn ceilings with decorative tiles is relatively quick and painless in comparison. Even if your ceiling contains asbestos, the asbestos does not need to be removed when the tiles are installed as long as it has not been disturbed. And in many cases, installing tiles is cheaper than removing the texturing.

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