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What to Consider When Choosing Interior Finish Materials

Interior finishes are like the icing on the cake of your chosen design scheme. And just like certain flavors of icing go well with different types of cakes, certain design elements work better with specific finishes. 

So what are the ingredients that should be in the mix when selecting interior finish materials? Here's what to consider when choosing a finish and how American Tin Ceilings products fit them. 

 

Chart showing different finish combinations available with tin tile. 

Aesthetics  

Aesthetics are a critical interior design component for selecting a finish. A few key ingredients influence your aesthetic: 

  • Style: What is the design style of your interior? This could be anything from minimalism or Japandi to a flashier maximalist or Art Deco scheme. American Tin Ceilings products fit every design style, but especially those that are more traditional or elegant. 

  • Era: What era is your interior from? Does it feature a new, modern building that was just built or a historic building undergoing revitalization? Ceiling and wall tiles by American Tin Ceilings have been used in several revitalizations, including everything from early 20th Century hotels to modern kitchens. 
     
  • Color/Pattern: Have you considered the color and pattern of your finish? Do they fit the style and era of your design? If you’re choosing tin tiles by American Tin Ceilings, there are over 30 patterns to choose from in unfinished, standard, premium, or artisan finishes. 

If you are concerned that your finish won’t fit the aesthetic, American Tin Ceilings lets you sample things first, so you’ll always find that perfect piece of tile. 

 

 

 

Illustration of how to install in tile in three steps.


Durability 

Be on the lookout for finishes that are prone to break, chip, or crack. Paying attention to durability is another critical interior design component. Some important factors that influence durability include: 

  • Material Type: What are your finishes made of? American Tin Ceilings products are made from T1-grade tin-plated steel. 
     
  • Fire-Resistance: How well your finishes stand up to flames is what defines their resistance. Every American Tin Ceilings product carries an ASTM E 84-03b fire rating. 
     
  • Extra Protection: Are there any extra layers of protection that come with your product? Each American Tin Ceilings product is powder-coated in a polyester resin for a tougher, longer-lasting finish. 

Want more information on our product specifications?  

 

Cost

Determine your budget and explore materials that fit within it. Remember to consider not only the initial cost of materials but also installation costs and long-term maintenance expenses.
Sometimes choosing a finish that is high quality is far more important than the cost so be sure to balance the cost and the quality to ensure you get a finish that will last and look good. 

 

Illustration of a stylized kitchen with different product selections and finishes.

Safety 

Safety is important no matter what product you’re using. One of the biggest threats to any building is fire. You'll need a finish that’s been fire tested. According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are two main indexes that determine the fire protection ability of interior finishes: 

 

  • Flame Spread Index: This index determines how fast and far flames spread when a material is set ablaze. The lower the score, the better the product stifles flames from spreading. American Tin Ceilings’ powder-coated tin tiles have a Flame Spread Index ranking of 15 out of 200, placing them in Class A (the highest class). 
     
  • Smoke Developed Index: This index measures the concentration of smoke as a material burns. The lower the score, the better the product resists smoke emissions while on fire. American Tin Ceilings’ powder-coated ceiling tiles have a Smoke Developed Index of 35 out of 450, placing them in Class A (the highest class). 

Because of these test results, our products have been given an ASTM E 84-03b fire rating. The full fire testing data can be found below. 

 

 

Living room mood board with various products and finishes for inspiration.

Sustainability 

Sustainability is now more important than ever before, especially when renovating or building new construction. Choosing environmentally friendly interior finishes keeps energy costs down and emissions lower, making for happier building occupants and a better earth. 

Several different traits make a product sustainable: 

  • Recycled Materials: Are your finishes made from reused materials? American Tin Ceilings tiles are made from 25% recycled steel, with a 100% virgin coating.  
     
  • Lack of VOCs: Do your products contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs)? VOCS can degrade air quality or cause breathing problems and other health effects. Our tin ceiling tiles are VOC-free thanks to our special powder-coating process. 
     
  • Harm-Free Construction: Was the construction process also environmentally friendly? At American Tin Ceilings, we make there are no harmful production processes involved, and we control every step of the stamping and coating processes to ensure it meets our stringent requirements. 

 

See Our Commitment to Sustainability
 

Maintenance 

Have you considered the amount of upkeep your finishes will require? Two main factors impact maintenance: 

  • Durability: Does your finish resist dirt, debris, and other irritants? American Tin Ceilings products are made from a thick, T1-grade tin-plated steel and powder-coated for better resistance to ultraviolet light, pollution, dirt, grime, and salt deposits. 
     
  • Ease of Cleaning: Is it easy to clean your finish? Our ceiling tiles will naturally accumulate dust over time, but all you’ll need to clean them are mild soap, water, and a non-abrasive sponge or cloth. Make sure to clean your tiles as soon as you notice any irritant accumulation. 

More info on tin tile maintenance can be found below. 

Explore Tin Tile FAQs

 

Longevity & Timelessness

Opt for materials that have a timeless appeal and will remain stylish for years to come. Avoid trendy materials that may quickly go out of fashion, unless you're willing to update them frequently. 

Functionality 

The best interior finishes have a variety of features that make them functional and worthwhile. Here are some variables that could impact functionality: 

  • Acoustics: Does your finish control sound in a crowded room? Our acoustic tin tiles have been extensively sound-tested and can reduce noise and room echo by up to 85%. 
     
  • Installation: Is your finish easy to install? Is there a variety of installation options? Our ceiling tiles can be nailed up, dropped into a grid, or snap-locked into place to best fit your needs and time constraints. 

Want a finish with excellent marks in every category?

 

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