Metal Ceiling Express
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Nail-Up Instructions

Nail-Up Tin Ceiling Panels are the type of panel that overlap on its 1/4" perimeter nail rail installing direct to a wood substrate. All panels regardless of pattern are 2'x2'. The tin panels will nail to plywood or furring strips (6" or 12" on center) on ceilings using nails. Nailup tiles weigh approx. 1.85 lbs each.  When installing tin tiles, your main concern is making sure your pattern is straight.  You should not be concerned about the edges lining up.  You will be overlapping tiles at install and all edges will blend together.  
Instructions.Things You'll Need:

Gloves - to prevent cuts and finger prints on Unfinished tiles.
Ladder Stud finder
1/4 plywood Pencil
Screwdriver 2-1/2-inch screws
Drill Tape measure
Chalk line Nail gun
Finishing nails Tin snips
Circular saw Hole saw

1. Put on a pair of gloves.  Without gloves, you take the chance of having black oily finger prints on Unfinished tiles and obtaining cuts.  Climb up on a ladder and place a stud finder flat against the ceiling. Turn the stud finder on and move it until it lights up to indicate the location if a ceiling joist beam. Mark the location with a pencil. Continue until you have marked all of the ceiling joists.

2. Place a piece of 3/8-inch plywood flat up to the ceiling and attach it to the ceiling joists using a screwdriver and 2-1/2-inch screws that are spaced 8 inches apart. Continue until the entire ceiling is covered in plywood. You will need another person to assist with this process.

3. Place the end of a tape measure at one end of the ceiling and stretch it all the way to the other end to establish the length. Divide the length in half to determine the center of the room. Stretch a chalk line across the center of the room and snap the line to divide the room in half.

4. Place the end of the tape measure at one side of the room and stretch it across to the other side to determine the width of the ceiling. Divide this number in half to locate the center of the width. Use the chalk line just as you did before, to create a line that divides the ceiling into quarters.

5. Insert one of the ceiling tiles onto the ceiling in one of the center corners created by the chalk line.

6. Examine the edges of the tile for the 1/4-inch raised lip on the edge of the tile. Insert finishing nails into this lip using a nail gun and spacing the nails at 6-inch intervals around four sides of the tile.  You can also place nails in the flat area between the bumps on the nail rail area.

7. Place another ceiling tile directly next to the first tile and overlap the edge on the first tile. Nail this tile in place just as you did the first.  Putting nails through both tiles.  Put nails in the corners last, as for you will be overlapping four tiles in the corners.  When overlapping tiles, you may have to bend the nail rail area to close the gap between the two tiles. This way it creates a nice seal between the two overlapping tiles.  When installing tin tiles, your main concern is making sure your pattern is straight.  You should not be too concerned about the edges of the tiles lining up.  You will be overlapping tiles at install and all edges will blend together.    

8. Continue installing ceiling tiles until you reach the end of the wall. Use a tape measure to determine if the last tile needs to be cut, and mark the cut location with a pencil. Cut the ceiling tile off using tin snips if the tile is metal or a circular saw for other materials.

9. Return to the center of the room and begin installing a second row of tiles in the same manner. Install ceiling tiles until a quarter section of the ceiling is complete, and then return to the center and start on another quarter section.
Links to Installation videos!!!! 

Protecting Unfinished Material


     Any steel material should be coated with an oil-based product for protection and best results.

Painting your Ceiling


     If you choose to paint your metal ceiling, be sure you use an oil-based primer and paint as the steel will rust if a water based product is used. Unfinished steel must be cleaned with wax and grease cleaner before painting. Use care not to scratch pre-painted finishes when nailing up ceiling.


Nail-up tiles have a nail rail area around the outside edge of the tile. Place nails in between bumps on flat surface and in the corners of the tiles.