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Components of a Tin Ceiling

A tin ceiling is comprised of two primary components and two optional components. The primary components are the tin ceiling panel and the crown molding. Very rarely do you see a tin ceiling without crown molding. It would be similar to a picture without a frame. Optional components are flat molding/rope molding and filler. These components are generally used when the design layout requires it.

Selecting the Appropriate Tin Ceiling Products

When choosing to add tin to your new home, remodel, or commercial project, the most important factor to consider is what type of installation best fits your needs. American Tin Ceilings offers 3 different tile types, each designed around a 24” x 24” tile. Choose the best installation type based on the substrate of your ceiling between Nail-Up, Drop-In and Snap Lock™.

For patterns, the rule of thumb is that any room smaller than 12’ x 12’ should use 12” repeating pattern like #2 or #8. Large rooms can utilize a dramatic 24” pattern like #7 or #10. Backsplashes and areas smaller than 6’ x 6’ should use a 6” repeating pattern like #3 or #19. Crown molding should be selected according to the room size; 4” for small rooms, 6” for medium and 9” for large rooms. Flat molding can be used to trim out the panels or act as divider between panels and filler. Girder nosing can be used on an open edge where an ‘L’ molding is required.

The panel pattern may dictate the accessories you need. For example, 6” or 12” repeating patterns have a shallow profile depth, and is commonly installed wall to wall, with the outside perimeter being trimmed to fit flush against the wall. Crown molding is then installed over the tin panels, hiding the cut edge. A 24” pattern has a deeper profile depth, which makes it difficult to install crown over the profile, due to the gap that would be caused. To resolve this, filler panels are used in the perimeter area between the full sized pattern tiles and the outer edges of the ceiling. Flat molding can be used to transition between pattern and filler tiles.


There are three common design variations for a tin ceiling. You can get very creative when installing, but these three provide the fundamentals from which all other design layouts can be conceived.

Wall-to-Wall Panels, with a half-trimmed perimeter - The installation begins in one corner with full panels. When you reach the opposite side, the remaining perimeter panels are trimmed to fit flush against the wall. This is the most basic installation method and the easiest.

Wall-to-Wall Panels, trimmed proportionately around the perimeter, centering the ceiling - This is the most common installation method. When using Snap Lock™ tiles, determine the partial panel sizes on all sides of the perimeter, then cut panels to fit in the first half of the perimeter. Install the first partial panel in a corner, working in columns along either wall until only the opposing perimeter remains. Trim the final perimeter panels to fit flush against the wall.

Whole Field Panels bordered with filler - This is the most common installation method when utilizing a larger 24” embossed design. Execute your panel installation as in scenario 2, except use trimmed filler in the perimeter area. To produce a nice transition between embossed panel and hammered filler, cover the seam where the filler meets the panel with a flat molding.

Other Tin Panel Applications

Tin panels can be used for more than beautifying your ceiling. Our customers have used our tin panels for various applications such as walls, windows, backsplashes, fireplaces, countertops, cupboards, doors, wainscoting, accent pieces, headboards, art décor, metal sculpture, and more. The options are limited only by your imagination.