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Classic Tin Ceiling Nail-Ups

The original tin ceiling that has been around for over 130 years, Nail-Up tin tiles are the classic tin ceiling panel that dates back to the early 1800s. They overlap on a quarter inch nail rail and install directly into a wood substrate like OSB (716”), 38” plywood or furring strips (thin strips of wood used to level the surface). Not just for ceilings, they are also perfect for all backsplash, wall and craft projects. In these applications, tiles may be glued directly to almost any substrate. All panels regardless of pattern are 2’ x 2’ and every pattern is available in every color.

All you'll need to install is a four foot level or T square, a box of cone head nails or 18 gauge brad nailer, a tape measure, a putty knife, and a pair of tin snips or guillotine cutter. You may use a drill and tin snips to cut light and HVAC holes or a Roto-Zip will work as well. You may also want touch up paint for the nail heads and caulk to seal any seams.

History of Nail-Up Tin Ceilings

Nail-Up tin ceiling tiles were originally introduced to North America as an alternative to the expensive custom European interior design popular at the turn of the century. Tin in America began as a copycat of wealthy aristocrats who decorated their homes in fashionable carved plaster with panels, cornices and wainscots.

Admired for style, durability, lightweight material, and fireproofing ability, Nail-Up tin ceiling tiles gained considerable traction during the Victorian era, when they began being mass produced by companies located along major railroad lines with access to metal presses. Stamped into intricate patterns that looked hand-made and elegantly finished, 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 cast iron molds and the finished product was painted to provide a long-lasting, polished look.

Tin ceilings are currently undergoing a style revival as homeowners and architects alike rediscover them as an ideal solution for residential or commercial design projects. Both current and nostalgic, tin has become a common staple for ceilings, backsplashes, retail accents, and wainscoting.