The basement is often a dark, damp bunker that children are afraid of. But more and more homeowners are giving this overlooked space a second look and discovering that it has all sorts of possibilities. With a little TLC, the underbelly of the house can be converted into entertaining space, extra bedrooms, and more.
The drop ceiling is a first step on the journey from basement to usable and stylish square footage. Allow tin drop-in ceiling tiles to be at the forefront of the transformation. Read on to learn everything you want to know about recreating the basement with a drop ceiling.
What Are Drop Ceilings?
Remember the ceilings at work or school with the white cork board-like texture? They sit on a grid of thin metal strips that criss-cross the room. You’ve probably lifted one or two out of the way to hang some decorations at some point. These are called drop ceilings and they are “dropped” or suspended below the actual ceiling usually because there are pipes, ductwork, and other mechanical items that need to be covered up. It’s a kind of false, cosmetic ceiling that completes the look and feel of the space but allows for easy access should repairs be needed.
The white cork board-like panels that sit on the metal grid are called drop ceiling tiles. They are not the only option available for drop ceilings. There are many types of panels or tiles that work with this type of suspended arrangement: drop-in tin tiles for instance.
Can Drop Ceiling Tiles Be Used for More Than Commercial Buildings?
You’re probably used to seeing drop ceilings in commercial buildings, but they are also very popular in residential basements. A basement has very little space above it to house ductwork and such and that makes basement ceilings unsightly. But there’s a simple solution: drop ceilings.
Drop-in tin ceiling tiles are an excellent option for residential basements because they offer much more style and color than traditional drop ceiling tiles. We offer 40+ patterns and 50+ colors, plus molding and filler tiles. Drop ceiling tiles measuring 2x2 are much better suited to smaller residential spaces compared to commercial 2x4 drop ceiling panels. Drop-in tin tiles have an excellent fire rating as well.
How Do I Install Drop Ceiling Tiles?
To use drop-in ceiling tiles, you need to have a suspended grid already installed. A 2x4 grid is easy to modify to a 2x2 to accommodate drop-in tin ceiling tiles. Just add cross tees. If you don’t yet have a suspended grid, you’ll need to get one installed.
Next, simply count how many tiles you’ll need. A full panel for each space in the grid is necessary. Partial slots will require that you cut a full tile or select one of our filler panels. You can find an easy measuring guide to help you figure out how much tin tile to order. Or you can get in touch with our helpful customer service department or design professionals for a free design consultation.
American Tin Ceilings developed drop-in tiles with “The Edge”, a proprietary recessed edge design that ensures your tin tiles are secure. Angle the tiles upward through the space between the grid then flatten out the tile and let it rest on the grid.
If you notice that the drop-in tin tiles don’t fully rest on the grid (creating a gap in some places), you can use our drop-in clips. We highly recommend the use of drop-in clips for every drop ceiling tin tile project.
The clips straddle the t-bar and flange at the bottom to press the edges of the tile flush with the grid. It’s as simple as that.
Gapping Around the Perimeter
Around the premier of the room, the drop ceiling tiles can be a bit more tricky. If you’ve selected a pattern that has a significant profile depth, there may be gaps around the perimeter where the tile sits on a wall or molding. You can solve this by selecting a different pattern with less of a profile or by going with a filler tile. Filler patterns have little to no profile and simple designs so they complement most patterns.
Refresh Your Old Grid
If you’re working on an existing grid, spruce it up with a fresh coat of paint before you begin installing new drop-in tin ceiling tiles. Consider painting the grid to match your tin panels for a seamless look. Or go with a contrasting color to emphasize individual panels.
Cutting Partial Panels
When you have partial spaces around the perimeter of your space (not full 2x2 squares) and you need to trim a tin tile to fit, you can use tin snips to make the cut. However, many people find a guillotine cutter does the trick quickly and makes the straightest cuts.
Cutting Around Light Fixtures
You’ll likely have to cut into the middle of some of your tin panels to make room for light fixtures. After carefully measuring where the cut should go, begin by drilling a hole. From there you can get your tin snips in and make the circular cut.
Consider tin panels for your drop ceiling tiles for the basement. They are the perfect addition to the home that wants to hide underbelly functionality with the cool, crisp style that tin tiles offer. Get started by picking the perfect pattern today.