How to change, measure and cut ceiling tile Improvement TH Services Blog

How to change, measure and cut ceiling tile Improvement TH Services Blog

How to change, measure and cut ceiling tiles.

If you’re replacing your own ceiling tiles (you can buy them from the Suspended Ceiling Shop if required) then you will more than likely need to cut your perimeter tiles (unless you’re very lucky) for them to fit.  Cutting ceiling tiles isn’t a tricky task but it is one that needs to be done with a little care otherwise you can end up with tiles that are too short which will give you a gap around the edge of the tile, or tiles that are too long which will either just not fit in the grid, or, when forced in can push the grid out of square if they’re rigid enough (pushing the grid out of square will make other tiles difficult to get in and out as well as making the ceiling look untidy).

Cutting tiles though is a relatively straight forward and easy process and you’ll only need a few items in order to do it:

1. Some replacement ceiling tiles (for example Armstrong Dune)

4. A straight edge.

5. Pencil or similar.

1. We will assume for this article that you have removed all of the existing ceiling tiles and that your grid is still in a good state of repair and ready to install the new tiles.

2. Start out by installing the full ceiling tiles.  This will help square up the grid and keep it square whist you work around the perimeter.

3. You now need to install the ceiling tiles along the lengths of the perimeters; leave the corner tiles for now they will be changed at the end.

4. Measure the size of the first cut; carefully measure from the trim (metal wall angle) to the centre bulb of the grid.  Take this measurement from both sides of the cut, into the wall, to ensure that any difference in size is accounted for (for example the wall could run out).  When you have your tight measurements subtract 5mm – this allows the tile to fit neatly without being too tight.

5. Place your ceiling tile on a firm, level surface; preferably something that won’t get damaged by the knife blade if it goes all the way through (a workbench or another box of ceiling tiles is perfect).  Transfer the measurements of the cut to your ceiling tile – make sure that when the tile is installed the cut edge will be against the trim – mark on the tile with two pencil marks each dimension.

6. Place your straight edge on the tile, lining it up with your pencil marks.  Hold the straight edge firmly with one hand, so it cannot move, and draw your blade smoothly down the straight edge.  You don’t need to force the knife to cut through the tile in one action, a decent score down the tile once, or twice if required, will be sufficient to allow you to break off the unrequired piece of tile.

7. Occasionally, when you break off the unneeded piece you can end up with a rough edge on your cut; if this happens just tidy it up with your knife.

How to change, measure and cut ceiling tile Improvement TH Services Blog

8. Repeat the above process until you have put in all of the cuts apart from the corners.

9. The reason for leaving the corner cuts until last is that installing the other cuts around them will help keep all of the perimeter cross-tees square when measuring and installing these last cuts.

10. When fitting the corner tiles the process is exactly the same; you are just measuring two different ways!

11. Simply measure, as detailed above, the one way from grid to wall and transfer these dimensions to your tiles, then measure the other way from grid to wall and transfer these dimensions to your tile.  Remember to ensure that the cut edges are going to end up against the trim (it can help to actually hold the tile up towards the ceiling help you envisage which way to mark the dimensions).

Then simply repeat the above instructions until you have fitted all of your tiles.

You’re done all that’s required now is to have a tidy up and stand back and survey your handywork!  I’ll hopefully be back to write about how to cut and fit rebated tiles in the future.

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