Masterclass Tips From a Tin Expert

October 12, 2015

American Tin Ceilings’ CEO, Rick Morse, gives his take on the new wave of European installations, unique pairings of color and pattern, pro tips on scale and perspective, and his personal favorite “wow” installations…

What are a few of your personal favorite installations and why?

I've always been fond of Brass Monkey, a popular NYC bar. This installation is a classic example of what tin brings to a space. Brass Monkey installed our Pattern #6 in Copper Brushed Bronze for the roof of their bar with our patented Snap Lock™ tiles that screw directly into the ceiling substrate. The combination of brick, wood, and tin in Brass Monkey creates an exceptionally beautiful space.

I'm also particularly impressed with Nacional, an upscale Heineken-affiliated bar and restaurant in Amsterdam. Nacional commissioned a custom star pattern (pattern #36) of the Heineken logo from American Tin Ceilings for this installation. In addition to the custom aspects of this project, it's also a great example of the possible applications of tin tiles – Nacional applied this pattern throughout the space, from the roof to the walls to the wainscoting.

What are the most impactful combinations of color and pattern for different application areas like backsplashes, ceilings, etc?

For backsplashes, we see amazing installations with Pattern #3 in Stainless Steel. Pattern #3 is a great fit for this application because it's intricate but with a shallow profile depth, easy to clean, and works well in both modern and traditional design contexts. On the ceiling side, it's really interesting when we see darker tile ceilings – most people think light colors by default, but we're seeing very interesting installations in the Artisan family, our handpainted specialty finishes. We also just released a new color, Espresso, available in all of our patterns, that's a great choice for a darker tin ceiling.

One important consideration when installing a tin ceiling is to consider the profile depth of the tile and its relationship to ceiling height. For taller ceilings, tiles with larger scale designs and deeper profile depths are a good choice; for shorter ceilings, we suggest considering flatter panels with subtler design. Two good choices are Pattern #3, a classic, and Pattern #18, a chameleon tile that can be used in modern treatments or traditional styles.

Do you see tin as more of a historical design element or does it fit into current trends as well?

Tin covers both sides of that design spectrum, and many places in between. Our job is to help designers see tin's potential in a range of contexts from traditional restorations of historical buildings to new builds in need of a trendier aesthetic.

Tin can be varied in how impactful it is in a room – certain colors and patterns can create the defining "wow" factor a space needs, while other patterns and colors can be used as subtle complements to varied design elements in the space. With the wide selection of patterns and colors American Tin Ceilings offers, the design opportunities are truly limitless.

What's one important rule to always remember when planning a renovation or installing tin panels?

The most important rule for a successful tin installation is to consider your installation as a series of steps – Research and Planning, Materials Preparation, and Installation. We pride ourselves on staffing both design and engineering experts who offer FREE consultations at any stage of your project. Take advantage of our instructional videos, inspirational photo gallery, and our knowledgeable staff to advise on your choices and help you plan your project.


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