Allwoodwork — Article — Tin Ceilings Another Centurys Elegance In Modern Homes

Allwoodwork - Article - Tin Ceilings Another Centurys Elegance In Modern Homes

Tin Ceilings. Another Century’s Elegance In Modern Homes

by: Liz Roberts

Tin ceilings recall an era when homes reflected a grand elegance. They also reflect an era where houses were crafted as opposed to just being built in a quick slapdash way. You can have a bit of this craftsmanship by simply installing a tin ceiling in either your living, dining or even bed room. This two day project will last a lifetime in your house as well. It is an art from another era, but one that will outlast any modern installation.

Tin tiles come in a variety of different patterns. Most of them are actually steel which is sturdier than tin. You can buy 100 % tin tiles if you want more authenticity. There are also tin cornices and moldings as well to finish off the ceilings look. The tile patterns range from basic squares within squares to more elaborate floral and woven designs. Some even have delicately drawn lilies and chrysanthemums embossed on them as well as stars and suns. Choose a design that will compliment the rooms dcor. If the furniture borders on the Victorian or Edwardian, then choose the flower embossed tiles. If you have a French country look, then go with simpler looking tiles. Also match cornices and moldings to the your design. These act as a kind of frame and will highlight the main body. There are several interactive websites that let you play with different tiles and moldings. You can experiment with them to get a customized ceiling suited to your tastes.

Before you do any installation you have to prep your tiles. Tin tiles or panels always have a protective covering to protect their finish. Peel these off. Then paint every tiles underside with a good metal primer prior to installation. Youll also need to prime and paint the front as well. Use a clear urethane or acrylic for this. Remember, when handling your tiles, wear heavy gloves. Tin tiles have razor sharp edges that can result in nasty gashes (and an unwanted trip to the local ER).

The second step is prepping your ceiling. Remove any lighting fixtures or ceiling fans. Use your stud censor to locate ceiling joists and mark these with a pencil. Now snap a chalk line along the joists to use as a guide. Hold a piece of the cornice (the top course that crowns the walls) and mark where it meets your wall usually about 3 inches away. Install 1 by 1 furring strips at this distance from the wall along the ceilings perimeter by driving a screw into every joist. Use a spacer block to help keep these first strips straight and at the same distance from the wall. Starting at the corner of the room and working outwards, mark along the chalk lines every 12 inches. Now install furring strips along these marks (these will be perpendicular to the chalk lines).

Now youre ready to install your panels. Starting in one corner, place one tile on the ceiling. Line it up with the chalk lines and the perimeter furring strip to make sure its straight. Drive cone head (or decorative) nails every 12 through inconspicuous spots in your panels pressed design. (many panels have what is known as buttons that hide nail heads as well). Drive a nail through every button in the seam on the furring strip. Before you nail the first seam in place, put your second panels seam over this one. Now nail them both at the same time. Repeat this process until the majority of the ceiling. except for the area along the walls is done.

This remaining space will be too narrow for full sized tiles. Measure this space and cut your panels accordingly using tin snips (shears made exclusively for cutting metal). Now install these cut panels the same way you did the full sized ones.

Once the main body is done, its now time to fit in the cornices. If you feel comfortable about mitering the wood trim and coping wood pieces, you can miter it yourself. If not, then buy premitered pieces for your cornices.

After preparing the cornices, snap a chalk line at the height you want the cornices bottom to be. This will help in keeping it straight. Install the first regular or non mitered section by nailing through it. up into the furring strips you placed along the perimeter of the wall. Install the remaining cornice pieces in the same way, driving a nail at every cornice button where it meets your ceiling. You may want to secure the cornices to them if you have plaster or old and fragile walls. Use a panel adhesive instead of nails. Run a line of the adhesive on the cornices inner lip before you put it in place. Then hammer nails through the buttons to secure the cornices top to your ceiling.

You can now reattach light fixtures. Make sure youve drilled holes in the tiles for any wiring to snake out. Also you can paint your tiles if youd like at this point.

Tin ceilings are a beautiful addition to any room. They throw a past century elegance to stark modern homes. Install a tin ceiling to give your living, dining or bed rooms a romantic yet distinctly unique feel.


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