History of Tin Ceiling Tiles

October 29, 2013

The American Tin Ceiling Company has only been around since 2002, but has been producing authentic replications of early 1800s Victorian tiles ever since. An affordable alternative to the exquisite plasterwork found in traditional European homes, we manage the entire manufacturing process in the US from bulk metal coils to mold making, pressing, finishing, and shipping to be able to provide best in class customer service and keep costs as low as possible while ensuring quality control. We currently produce over 35 patterns in 80+ colors, but let’s take a step back to examine tin tile’s humble beginnings.

Tin in America

Tin in America began as a copycat of wealthy European aristocrats who decorated their homes in fashionable carved plaster with panels, cornices and wainscots. Ceiling tiles began being mass produced in the US in the Victrorian era (1839-1901). Companies located along major railroad routes began making patterns out of thin rolled plates that could easily be shipped direct to contractors. Major artists were commissioned to design elaborate patterns that took shape when several tiles were positioned together. Sheets of tin were stamped using hammers to make the cast iron molds and the finished product was painted to give the appearance of expensive, hand carved plaster. There were about 45 companies in America making metal ceilings, but they started to fizzle out by 1930 as tin became somewhat obsolete. They’re recently undergone a style revival as interior designers, homeowners and architects rediscover tin ceilings as an interesting decor element for residential or commercial projects in a variety of styles, colors and settings.

Tin Tiles Today

Today, powder-coated finishes ensure a more permanent fixture free from rust or wear and tear. Tin has become a popular staple for more than just ceilings and you’ll find it everywhere from kitchen backsplashes to bars, restaurants and retail spaces looking add a touch of elegance and class. Browse our photo galleries for design inspiration or contact us to learn more.


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