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The Home Depot

Installing a Decorative Ceiling

Pro Referral > Home Guides > Interior Decoration > Installing a Decorative Ceiling
Installing a Decorative Ceiling

Look to the ceiling when you need to make a dramatic statement in a ho-hum room. When the eye travels up, big things happen in any room. A decorative ceiling can make people notice architectural elements and designs that shout innovation and style.


As you explore the possibilities of installing a decorative ceiling, learn all the details about some of the more popular design choices. Once you know what fits your style and budget, you’ll be ready to make a bold statement with your ceiling.

  1. 1.Ceiling Panels

    The variety of ceiling panels available for installation in your home may overwhelm you with its magnitude. Whether you’re after acoustical benefits, a clean aesthetic appeal or designer touches, choose a ceiling panel that will create a look to match your décor. Choose from patterned, smooth or textured styles in a variety of colors to fit any room.

    Many ceiling panels have simple installation design, meant to appeal to the do-it-yourselfer possessing limited knowledge and skill. Ceiling panels might install with glue or staples. If you use the adhesive-style ceiling panel, the adhesive allows you to position the tiles carefully before it sets.

    Clean and prepare the existing ceiling by cleaning it, priming it and painting it. Plan and mark the placement of the ceiling tiles directly onto the ceiling. Working with the marked lines on the ceiling, begin installing ceiling tiles in the center of the room first and working your way out to the perimeter of the room. After you finish installing the tiles, add decorative strips designed to conceal the joints between each tile.

    Another decorative option for ceiling panels involves painting them after installation.

  2. 2.Tin Ceiling

    What could be more ornate and old fashioned than a tin ceiling? Back in the 19th century, tin ceilings first hit the scene as an effective way to add a dramatic flair to a room. Imagine the delicate patterns stamped over the panels of a tin ceiling and then decide which room in your home would benefit from this innovative design touch. To eliminate the threat of rust to a tin ceiling, the metal can have a plating of brass or copper over it. It’s also possible to simply paint over it or add a coat of polyurethane.

    Installing a tin ceiling involves preparing a plywood underlayment, making the layout of the tin ceiling tiles onto the plywood and then nailing them onto the plywood with a brad nailer. Make sure you overlap the tin tiles to hide exposed edges and prevent gaps from showing in the ceiling.

  3. 3.Ceiling Tiles

    If you’ve got a ceiling you’d rather hide than emphasize, perhaps ceiling tiles would do the trick. Simple, yet effective, ceiling tiles install easily and add classy appeal to any room. Some ceiling tiles even have patterns embossed on the surfaces so they resemble painted tin panels.

    With standard home-improvement tools, you can install ceiling tiles yourself. It’s important to plan the installation, including the border around the perimeter for a finished appearance. After the installation of tracks running in the opposite direction of ceiling joists, you’ll be ready to install the ceiling tiles. Work in organized fashion to install the border tiles and then the center tiles from one corner of the ceiling to the opposite corner.

  4. 4.Grid Molding

    A suspended ceiling covers a multitude of unattractiveness if your ceiling has seen better days. If you plan a suspended ceiling in a room, the first step will involve installing grid molding to hold the ceiling panels in place, suspended down from the ceiling. Although the installation of grid molding can be challenging for one person, once it’s in place, the hard part’s done. Remember, your measurements will be important, so make them precise. If you make a mistake with the grid measurements, the entire ceiling will not align correctly and you will need to redo the grid molding system again.

    Once you have the grid molding in place, insert the suspended ceiling panels. You might even change the panels out to replace them from time to time to freshen the décor in your room. Another option involves painting the suspended ceiling panels to give your ceiling a new color.

  5. 5.Ceiling Planks

    Wood planks on the ceiling can create a warm and appealing look. The surface of the planks can vary in finish and color to match any room décor. Wood planks can be synthetic or authentic wood, depending on your budget and style.

    Similar to installing other tile systems, wood planks install by using a track system installed perpendicular to ceiling joists. Once you finish installing the tracks, the planks snap into the tracks with a tongue and groove fitting.

    After you finish installing the ceiling planks, finish the look by adding molding around the ceiling perimeter where the ceiling meets the wall. This molding might be an ornate crown molding or something less ostentatious.

    5.Hiring a Professional

    With an eye on architecture and simplicity, you can create a beautiful ceiling in any room of your house. The beauty of many of these projects is that they are simple enough for you to do yourself. If you do decide you need help, however, Redbeacon is always glad to assist. Simply submit a work request and you’ll receive a list of possible professionals you might hire. After choosing the contractor, Redbeacon steps in and handles the rest of the process for you, even collecting your payment and paying the professional on your behalf. You can also rest knowing that the work has Redbeacon’s satisfaction guarantee.


    Take the step you know you want to take and transform your ceiling into a work of art. Once finished, you’ll be glad you created your decorative ceiling.

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