Ceiling tiles are an excellent investment as they decorate your space and help in insulation and noise reduction. Suppose you want to install ceiling tiles in your home; choosing the appropriate size for the room is essential. So, how big are ceiling tiles?
The most common ceiling tile sizes are square 2′x2′ (61x61cm) and rectangular 2′x4′ (61×122 cm). Ceiling tiles come in sizes that fit into the ceiling grid system — the regular ceiling grid systems are 15/16″ and 9/16″. The standard thickness of the tiles is about 0.625 inches (~16mm).
The rest of this article will explain everything you need to know about ceiling tile sizes and answer some questions you may have about them.
- 1 Ceiling Tile Sizes
- 2 Can You Put Ceiling Tiles Over a Popcorn Ceiling?
- 3 What Size Staples Should You Use for Ceiling Tiles?
- 4 Why Do Ceiling Tiles Have Holes?
- 5 What Causes Ceiling Tiles to Sag?
Ceiling Tile Sizes
Ceiling tiles come in sizes that fit into regular grid systems. The 15/16″ grid (1″ wide grid) is the standard grid. There is also a more modern one; the 9/16″ grid.
Ceiling tiles have a size allowance of 0.20 inches (5 mm). This means that the actual size of the tile is smaller than the quoted size by 0.20 inches (5 mm). The size allowance enables the tiles to fit easily into the grid.
● Ceiling Tile Thickness
The thickness of ceiling tiles may vary from one manufacturer to the other. However, they have a standard thickness of about 0.625 inches (~16mm). They are pretty light, making them easy to install or remove.
Can You Put Ceiling Tiles Over a Popcorn Ceiling?
You can put ceiling tiles over a popcorn ceiling. You can do so if you feel like your popcorn ceiling is outdated or unsightly or to give your space a new look. Putting ceiling tiles over a popcorn ceiling is easier, healthier, and cheaper than removing it entirely.
It’s essential to clean and dry the surface before you put ceiling tiles over a popcorn ceiling for the following reasons:
- Cover: The tiles will cover your popcorn ceiling for years — you don’t want to cover the dirt.
- Direct surface method: If you use the direct surface method (explained below) to install the ceiling tiles, the tiles bind better to a clean surface.
- Wet surface: Any adhesive you may use to install the ceiling tiles over the popcorn roof may not work efficiently on a wet surface.
Below are some methods you could use to put ceiling tiles over your popcorn ceiling:
- Direct surface mount: In this method, you screw or glue the tiles directly to the popcorn ceiling. This method is ideal if the popcorn ceiling is intact and stable, i.e., no part of the ceiling is cracked, bulging, or falling off.
- Covering the popcorn ceiling with wood strips: You can use wood strips such as furring strips to cover the popcorn ceiling. After covering the popcorn ceiling, install the ceiling tiles.
- Grid Surface Mount: In this method, you install a grid directly to the popcorn ceiling. You then fix the ceiling tiles inside the grid.
What Size Staples Should You Use for Ceiling Tiles?
The best size of staples to use for ceiling tiles are those long enough to penetrate at least ½ an inch (13 mm) into the wood. They should be slightly more than ½ an inch (13 mm) long. If the staples penetrate at least ½ an inch (13 mm) into the wood, the ceiling tiles can remain intact for years.
In addition, the crown width of the staples should be a maximum of 3/8″ (0.375 inches). This size of crown width is ideal because the pin becomes invisible, making your work neat.
Below are the best sizes of staples to use for ceiling tiles:
- 17/32″ staples: These staples are approximately 0.531 inches (14 mm) long. So, they are slightly longer than ½ an inch (13 mm), making them ideal for ceiling tiles.
- 9/16 to inches: These staples are about 0.5625 inches (14 mm) long. They are, therefore, ideal for ceiling tiles as they are slightly longer than ½ an inch (13 mm).
Why Do Ceiling Tiles Have Holes?
Ceiling tiles have holes for acoustics, particularly the absorption of sound in the room. The holes increase the surface area of the ceiling tiles, enabling them to soak up and trap more sound waves. Ceiling tiles with many holes are good for soundproofing a room.
● The Benefits of the Holes in Ceiling Tiles
As mentioned above, the holes in ceiling tiles are for acoustics. Below are some benefits of the holes in ceiling tiles:
- They reduce noise in the room: Since the holes in ceiling tiles trap and soak up sound waves, the amount of noise in the room reduces.
- They absorb echoes: Perforated ceiling tiles have sound-dampening properties. The holes, therefore, help to absorb echoes by preventing sound from bouncing back. Therefore, your conversations don’t go beyond the room.
- They minimize the reverberation of sounds: When there is reverberation from a room, the sound can disturb your peace. The holes in the ceiling tiles diminish the reverberation of sound within the room, thus, enabling you to enjoy your space.
What Causes Ceiling Tiles to Sag?
Ceiling tiles can sag for various reasons, such as water seeping continuously into the tiles. Ceiling tiles can also sag due to poor craftsmanship when installing the tiles or from old age.
Below is a deeper explanation of these reasons:
● Water Seepage
As stated earlier, ceiling tiles can sag due to water seepage. For instance, if your ceiling tiles are made of fiberboard, they can easily sag if water seeps into them for an extended period. The reason is that this material is essentially made of paper.
When water seeps into the ceiling tiles from a leaking roof or leaking pipes for an extended period, the tiles can grow mold, weaken, and start sagging.
● Poor Craftsmanship
If the original work of installing the ceiling tiles was shoddy, the tiles would eventually sag. Only using an adhesive when attaching the tiles to the wood instead of glue plus staples will cause the tiles to sag after a few years.
Ceiling tiles experience wear and tear as they age like everything else. As the years go by, the adhesive and staples holding the ceiling tiles can start to fail. When this happens, your ceiling can start sagging — a sign that they need repair or replacement.