How to Enhance a Plain Ceiling with Decorative Ceiling Tiles


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Jul 27, 2023

How to Enhance a Plain Ceiling with Decorative Ceiling Tiles

Ceilings were once a symbol of grandeur and opulence, adorning grand buildings, churches and palaces with their intricate and elaborate designs. We still find ourselves looking up in awe at these

Ceilings were once a symbol of grandeur and opulence, adorning grand buildings, churches and palaces with their intricate and elaborate designs. We still find ourselves looking up in awe at these mesmerizing historical buildings, with our eyes drawn to their magnificent vaulted ceilings, remarkable truss structures or distinctive works of art depicting mythology, historical events and landscapes. Contemporary design, on the other hand, has shifted towards a sleek, minimalistic aesthetic; one where plain white ceilings have become the norm in most modern buildings. As Rasmus Wærn and Gert Wingårdh suggest in their book What is Architecture? And 100 Other Questions, “Ceilings have devolved from being the focal point of a room to being a zone for mechanical equipment.” And yet they have extraordinary creative potential.

Although often overlooked –and even commonly referred to as the “forgotten wall”– ceilings have the power to completely transform and elevate any space. They can complement a room’s aesthetic and create a bold statement by adding layers of texture, movement and color, ultimately defining a building’s tone and character. But to make the most of this potential, designers must not limit themselves to flat, unadorned white surfaces and instead view ceilings as a canvas for creative expression.

Plain ceilings can be enhanced in many different ways, from using textured materials such as wood paneling or exposed brick to painting with a bold color or pattern. Another option, particularly known for its ease of installation, extensive design options, and three-dimensional appeal, is the use of molded decorative tiles. These can be installed as a replacement for existing ceiling tiles or as part of a new construction project, offering endless design options for homeowners, interior designers and architects looking to add depth, dimension and visual interest to a room. Whether achieving a subtle textured finish or an intricate, eye-catching pattern, incorporating decorative ceiling tiles is a quick and cost-effective way to personalize a ceiling and instantly transform it into a unique design feature.

With this in mind, Decorative Ceiling Tiles provides an extensive selection of ceiling tiles ideal for residential and commercial settings. In various sizes and styles, these help designers fulfill their creative visions, providing a tailored solution for their specific needs and preferences. Below we explore how tiles can be used to enhance a plain ceiling, delving into their material and aesthetic possibilities, as well as presenting different methods for their proper installation.

The first step in elevating a ceiling using tiles is to define their format, material and style. Decorative Ceiling Tiles come in three main sizes: 20" X 20", 24" X 24" and 24" X 48", each with a wide range of material options to suit different styles, from Baroque to Contemporary. Copper tiles, for instance, are a popular option for their rich natural appearance and antique charm. Besides its durability, toughness and ease of use, copper is known for developing a distinctive patina that becomes more appealing over time. Aluminum tiles are another durable, high-quality and contemporary alternative that can help brighten up any room by reflecting ambient lighting. Also recognized for their modern appearance, stainless steel tiles stand out for their reflective qualities, resistance to corrosion and versatility, while rustic steel tiles can give a space a charming and warm feel with their weathered and aged aesthetic.

For their part, tin ceiling tiles are made out of tin-plated steel and must be primed and painted from both sides to prevent corrosion. They are ideal for infusing a space with elegance, with styles that range from modern to antique. Lightweight, easy to install and cost-effective, faux tin tiles are another great alternative, imitating the look of real tin in a range of patterns, colors and styles. Other common options for ceiling tiles include: urethane, an alternative to plaster ceilings; styrene, a metal ceiling substitute; and Styrofoam, an alternative to tin and faux tin ceilings.

After selecting the desired material and style, the next step involves the proper installation of the tiles, whether it be in a new or restoration project. Glue-up installation involves applying an adhesive directly to the back of the tile and pressing it firmly onto a flat, solid surface –drywall, plywood, concrete and stucco, among others. This is a popular installation method for lightweight tiles, such as those made of styrofoam or PVC, and is a quick and easy solution for homes and businesses.

Nail-up installation, on the other hand, consists of using small nails or brads to attach the tiles to the ceiling and can be used with heavier materials like aluminum and copper. It’s a secure and reliable method, which explains why it has been a favorite for decades. Used in suspended ceilings, drop-in tiles are designed to fit into a grid system and help to reduce noise, provide insulation and improve the overall appearance of a space. These are easy to install and can be replaced individually if damaged or stained, as well as allowing for easy access to wiring and plumbing systems; all it takes is simply lifting a tile.

These recent years, particularly during and after the pandemic, have taught us that soul-less, overly minimalist interiors are no longer as desirable. Instead, people are increasingly drawn to personalized spaces with a strong character and identity, enriched with textures, colors and ornaments. With their versatility and aesthetic appeal, decorative tiles offer designers a unique opportunity to add personality, creativity and visual interest to any ceiling in any space.

Discover an extensive range of decorative ceiling tiles here.

Valeria MontjoyMaterial possibilitiesInstallation methods