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Installing Tin Ceiling Tiles

The Nail-Up tin ceiling panel is the traditional product that initially popularized tin ceilings at the turn of the century. The design hasn't changed in 130 years and is what most retailers sell today.


It requires a plywood substrate or furring strip grid spaced twenty-four inches on the centre. The grid must run in both directions to support nailing every six inches on all four sides of the panel. The Nail-Up tin ceiling tile has a quarter inch overlapping nail rail that helps create a smooth transition from panel to panel and minimizes the appearance of seams. Exposed nails are common so having touch up paint provides a more finished look. The standard Nail-Up tile measures 61 cm x 61 cm plus the 0.635 cm overlapping nail flange.


How to Install Nail-Up Tiles:

Map Your Lines - The first step of installing Nail-Up tin panels is to map out your positions. Run chalk lines from centre of the ceiling and work your way out toward the walls. Mark a centre point in the middle of the room. If you have a fixture installed, you can often centre the initial panel around this, or have 4 panels meet at the fixture. You can also start on the wall facing away from the door. That way, the panels are seamed towards the "dead" wall and won’t be seen from the entrance. This is recommended when using a white or light-coloured finish.


Install the Substrate- Nail-Up panels are installed using 1.5875, 18 gauge brad nails and an automatic nail gun. 25 lbs. of pressure on the gun will go through two overlapping tin Nail-Up panels. Brad nails are used around the edges every 15.24 cm. Although the tin panels are only 0.0254 cm thick, they overlap and will show the seams.


Finishing - Without filler: Cut the final rows of panels to fit flush against the walls. Trim out the edges with crown moulding or flat moulding. With filler: Install your panels up to your filler area. Cut the filler to fit flush against the wall. Nail the filler panel into the substrate, placing one nail every 6 inches around the perimeter of the filler panel. White colours need to have their edges caulked with white caulking; otherwise the edges will show. Nails can be hidden with touch up paint purchased from most hardware stores.


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