By Michael Swiderski, Ph. D.More in Blog Cabin
Tin ceilings were introduced in Africa and Australia in the mid-1800s, but it wasn't until the United States mass-produced rolled sheets of tin that the tin ceiling trend was born. Tin ceilings were middle-class Americans' response to the decorative plaster ceilings en vogue in Europe. The tin ceiling trend peaked in the late 1800s and was eventually replaced by dry wall or acoustic drop-ceiling panels.
The recent surge in historic home restoration has increased popularity in stamped tin ceilings. Vintage panels can be found at architectural salvage suppliers. These reclaimed, three-dimensional panels often need to be cleaned, mended or stripped and repainted. Newly manufactured ceiling panels come in contemporary and vintage designs and are produced in metal as well as compressed foam.
Do as much research as possible before planning the project. Online photo galleries and slideshows will provide a variety of visual examples and creative ideas to assist in the design process. Price panels and decide on design, color and material.
The ceiling dimensions that will be covered with panels should be taken and drawn to scale on graph paper. When sketching the design in advance, identify where the predominant light source(s) are located (window, chandelier, sconces, etc.).
Builder's Tip: Floor dimensions are usually identical to the ceiling. Measure the floor instead of climbing a ladder to take ceiling measurements.
The size of the ceiling will determine the needed quantity of stamped tin panels. At Blog Cabin 2011, the recessed alcove in the game room measured 8' x 9'. Reclaimed stamped tin ceiling panels were purchased from an architectural salvage supplier to cover this recessed space. The reclaimed panels were in need of cleaning, and random patterns and slightly different dimensions had to be accounted for. Prices for reclaimed tin panels range in price from $15 to $70 per panel, based on condition and material.
Builder's Tip: Try to purchase tin panels that are nearly identical in size to minimize trim work.
The tin panels are nailed to furring strips which are screwed into the marked ceiling joists. The ceiling dimension will dictate the amount of 2” x 2” furring strips needed, based on the length and width of the panels. Don't forget to include furring strips for the perimeter of the ceiling. The shopping list above will help with the remainder of project purchases.
What About New Stamped Tin Ceiling Panels?
If purchasing reclaimed panels is outside the budget constraints, newly fabricated, less costly ceiling panels may be purchased online. With some DIY research, many of the Web links advertise a variety of panels in different patterns, styles, materials, colors, shapes, sizes and prices. Websites displaying newly stamped ceiling panels can be found under the Web browser heading “stamped tin ceiling panels.” Prices range from $4 to $50 per panel, based on the style and material.