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How Tin Ceiling Tiles Are Made

Ever wonder how tin tiles are made today? As one of the only American companies manufacturing tin ceiling tiles, we pride ourselves on our hands-on craftspeople, historic patterns, and bespoke offering. We use high-quality materials and use traditional processes instead of automating. 

Our particular process has helped us maintain authentic quality and beloved patterns over many years. Here's a peek behind the scenes.


Outside shot of the American Tin Ceilings facility at dusk. 

Starting with Steel

Historically, tin tiles were made of tin. Today they are made of stronger and more durable steel--though the name "tin tile" continues to define this unique product.  

We turn to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania based, US Steel for our steel. They manufacture a wide range of steel sheet and tubular products for the automotive, appliance, container, industrial machinery, construction, and oil and gas industries. Primarily operational in North America and Central Europe, US Steel can make 29.3 million tons of coil steel (a large roll) per year.

US Steel cuts the coil and ships it directly to our manufacturing and design plant in Bradenton, Florida. Using materials produced or distributed close to home decreases our carbon footprint and decreases our cost—a savings we pass on to you. 


Stack of stamped tin tiles just after they came off the press.


The 24" x 24" tin tiles are stamped and embossed by passing through one of the three presses on site. The pattern molds are interchangeable and the appropriate pattern mold is added to the press before each run of tin tile.

After the tin is pressed, it goes on to be colored and finished. Some of the panels are set aside to be sold as "Unfinished" tin tiles. These are popular for rustic or industrial designs or they can be custom painted and finished by customers.  



Powder Coating

After stamping, the panels are sent through one of the powder coating lines to be colored. Powder coating is a polyester resin with pigment, and occasionally pulverized metal, which is electrostatically charged with opposing currents and sprayed onto the panels. Using electricity ensures the product surface is evenly coated with long lasting adhesion.

The coated tiles are hung on a conveyer belt and run through an automatic powder booth, where spray guns are used to apply powder onto the panels. Once the color is on, they are put into a 400-450 degree oven. The powder coating melts and bakes on to the tiles providing a durable finish. 

We have developed our own custom formulated colors and antiquing methods for a lineup of colors that you won’t find anywhere else. These are a part of our Artisan color collection.

 Side by side image of artisan tin tile color being produced.

Artisan Colors

Our Artisan colors are hand applied and finished. We paint each panel individually then gently wipe some of the paint away to reveal the metal or powder coated surface underneath. This creates a custom look that mimics aged tin tile that might be seen in a historic building with original tin tiles.

The level of human interaction in the making of our tin ceiling tiles ensures you get a truly unique product unlike any other. Our products are the real thing; just like the tin tiles of the turn of the century. 

How we make tin ceiling tiles plays a big part in the superior quality and durability of the product. Want to know more about American Tin Ceilings and how we make tin ceiling tiles?

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