7 Steps to Install Your Decorative Ceiling Tiles
– Step 1: Check the quality of the substrate
– Step 2: Take measurements
– Step 3: Clean the ceiling
– Step 4: Mark the installation lines
– Step 5: Lay the tiles
– Step 6: Cut the tiles
– Step 7: Do the finishing touches
Installing ceiling tiles allows you to hide a ceiling in poor condition, giving it a slight decorative touch. It’s a seemingly simple job, but it requires a flat surface.
Most of the time, decorative tiles are polystyrene sheets. Lightweight, they are also fragile and vary in shape, style, pattern, and even colour.
Here’s how to install decorative ceiling tiles.
Caution: Have someone help you with the installation, and make sure you work comfortably on the stepladder (don’t be at arm’s length).
1. Check the quality of the support
– Beforehand, remove any glue or wallpaper residue from the ceiling by scraping with a spatula.
The flatness of the support
– Use a level and a ruler to check the flatness of your ceiling.
– If the surface is not flat and has many irregularities, it is better not to install decorative tiles; you can choose another solution.
The appearance of the ceiling
– If the substrate is smooth enough, the tiles can be installed, and you should be able to get a good result.
– If the substrate is crumbly, apply a coat of primer to allow the tiles to adhere correctly.
– If the substrate has any cracks or roughness, use a filler to fill them.
2. Take the measurements
– Take the dimensions of your ceiling.
– With these measurements, estimate the number of tiles needed.
– If your room has non-perpendicular walls or a particular shape, it is advisable to use a plan.
3. Clean the ceiling
The substrate must be free of dust and grease to optimize the adhesion of the tiles.
– Clean the ceiling with a brush using detergent diluted in water.
– Wait for it to dry completely before starting to install your tiles.
4. Draw the axes of installation
For best effect, you should start laying the tiles in the center of the room.
– Mark the midpoint of a wall.
– Using a chalk line on the ceiling, draw a perpendicular line from this point to the opposite wall.
– Mark another midpoint from a wall adjacent to the first.
– The intersection of the two lines is the center of the room.
– The lines will serve as a guide for the installation.
5. Lay the tiles
– Using a spatula, place a small amount of glue in the center, at each corner, and in the middle of each side of the tile (9 spots in total).
– Place the tile in place, with one of its corners at the center point marked earlier and one of its sides on one of the lines.
– Beware, this glue sets quite quickly.
– Use a flat surface (e.g., a piece of scrap tile) to press evenly on each glue pad.
– Do not press with the flat of your hand; you risk leaving marks.
– Continue along the line to the wall, fitting the next tile on the centerline and against the previous tile.
– Lay the rows to the right of the previous one in the same way and align with the previous one.
– Once the right half is covered, start from the center point to make the left half.
Warning: Use only specific polystyrene glue. Other glues may attack this material.
6. Cut the tiles
You will probably have to cut the tiles to complete a row.
– Place the tile to be cut on top of the last full tile laid.
– Use a 3rd tile that you place against the wall, overlapping the other two.
– Draw the cut line along with the latter; the visible surface of the tile to be cut corresponds to the space to be filled.
– Then, cut the tile using a cutter and a metal ruler.
– Place the cut side on the wall or corner.
7. Finishing touches
If you want to give a final and cleaner touch to the junction between the tiles and the ceiling, you can place a quarter-round PVC strip of the same colour at this point.
– Put the strip in place, transfer the cut line.
– Use a mitre box and saw for clean cuts.
– Cut at 45° for angled joints, but also in a straight line.
– Glue the rod, choosing a suitable glue for the surface.
– Press hard on the strip to optimize adhesion.
Finally, please find below a checklist of the materials you will need to install decorative ceiling tiles.
Materials needed to install decorative ceiling tiles
- Alkaline detergent
- Tape measure
- Spirit level
- Aluminum ruler 2 m
- Polystyrene glue (available in jar or tube)
- Chalk line
- Quarter round rod
- Mitre box