How to Install Basement Ceiling Tiles

Lead Image
  • 8-24 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 250-900
What You'll Need
Tape measure
Tin snips
Utility knife
Stud finder
Ceiling tiles
Drop ceiling track
Suspension wire

Basement ceiling tiles are common in finished basements. You can buy them in a variety of sizes, colors, and styles. Basement ceiling tiles provide a number of other benefits.

Because the basement ceiling tiles are suspended on a drop ceiling, you can access the ductwork, framing, and fixtures above them. Ceiling tiles also offer easy repair. If one of the tiles sustains damage, you don’t have to repair the whole ceiling. You can simply remove the tile from the ceiling and replace it with a new one.

Choose the Location of Drop Ceiling

The frame for the ceiling should be 4-inches from the ceiling joists. Using a level and a straight edge, mark around the room at the desired position of the ceiling. If you have a laser level, use it. It will make marking the position of the ceiling much easier. Remember not to look directly into the laser beam.

Attach the Track

If you are using a kit, you can attach the track with nails into the studs. Use the stud finder to find the studs. If you aren’t using a kit, you can attach the molding to the wall with large staples. Fence staples work well for this project. Make sure to attach the molding every 16-inches.

Use the tin snips to cut the track to size. Measure accurately. For the inside corners, butt the ends of the track together. You will need to miter outside corners at a 45-degree.

Place the Wire Grid

Determine the layout of the basement ceiling tiles. If you are using more than one style of tile, note the exact placement of each one. If you need to cut holes into the ceiling for lighting fixtures, do so before the tiles are in place.

Attach eyebolts or screws to the joists to create the grid with wire for the tiles to rest. The wire should be taut so that it won’t hang or droop. Don’t pull the wire so tight that it may break under the tension.

Drop the Basement Ceiling Tiles in Place

Slide the basement ceiling tiles into the grid sideways. Use a light touch when installing them so that you don’t damage the ceiling frame or the tiles. Use your utility knife to trim the tiles which butt against the wall so that they fit properly.