Metal ceilings are typically installed in commercial applications but have recently begun to become popular again as a home improvement project for kitchen and bathroom remodels. In the early 1900’s tin and other metal ceilings were popular decorum and used frequently in Victorian era homes and businesses.
As modern machinery developed newer and cheaper metal punching machinery and products, so too has progressed the modern age of metal ceilings. Hundreds of materials are available for metal ceilings from the cheap to the very expensive. Thousands of stamped, carved and embossed metal designs are available on the many different materials making metal ceilings one of the most versatile interior design applications available.
Metal ceilings come in two basic applications; nailed and hanging. Nailed metal ceiling tiles are attached to dead-wood substrate with nails or glue. Some tiles interlock with a tongue and groove interlocking channels. Hanging metal ceiling tiles attach to a grid system and metal skeleton which hangs from several wires attached to the sub-ceiling. Whatever method you use, a variety of styles, designs and prices abound.
A nailed metal ceiling is best used over a ceiling that is straight and plumb. Any variations from the original ceiling will transfer down to the new metal ceiling tiles unless the deadwood is shimmed, ripped down or altered.
Attach deadwood to the ceiling using screws versus nails. Nails may pull out in the future from the weight of the metal ceiling. Make sure you attach screws into trusses or joists without damaging any wires or plumbing yet penetrating the wood at least ½” or more. A look through the above attic is a good idea before beginning.
Find the center of the room and work your way out in a spiral pattern. One your deadwood is in place simply follow along your deadwood, measuring every few tiles to ensure a square and true placement of the metal ceiling panels. When you reach the walls, add the metal cornice or attach crown molding.
Hanging or drop ceiling metal tiles are just like hanging acoustic ceiling tiles. Run the j-channel around the walls at the desired height and slope/level. Next find the center of the ceiling and add the main channels. Hang the center channel with a few wires at first and get as close to level as possible. Add two vertical channels on each side and piece in the four foot sections. Now go back and level the three main channels and four foot sections by adding and adjusting wire where it is needed. Finish the grid by attaching the wall j-channel and missing two foot grid sections. Finally add the metal ceiling panel’s cutting edge pieces as needed.