How to Replace a Suspended Ceiling Tile

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Drop cloth
Step ladder
Measuring tape
Straight edge
Exacto knife

One of the benefits offered by suspended ceiling tiles is that they are as easy to replace as they are to install. Ceiling tiles can get damaged for a number of reasons, usually either smoke or water. Make sure the source of the damage has been repaired before replacing the tile. If you don’t fix the problem first, expect to be replacing the ceiling tile again in the near future.

Step 1 - Prepare the Area

Replacing a suspended ceiling tile can be quite messy. You will want to protect furniture that wasn’t in the room when you originally installed the ceiling. Use drop cloths to cover furniture in the room, especially pieces directly under the tile to be replaced. Have a vacuum on hand to clean dust as you work to avoid tracking it around the room.

Step 2 - Remove the Old Tile

Place the step ladder directly under the tile to be replaced. With both hands, lift the tile and shift it lengthwise so a gap appears at one end of the tile. Lift the overlapped end of the tile and tilt it to one side. Slip the tile through the opening between the support tracks.

Step 3 - Prepare the New Tile

If the tile being replaced is a standard size, no preparation is needed. You can install it right away. For custom cut tiles, use the original tile as a template to mark the size needed on the new tile. Measure the size needed when the original tile is broken. Use an exacto knife and a straight edge to cut the ceiling tile.

Step 4 - Install the New Tile

Tilt the ceiling tile on its side and slip it through the opening in the support tracks lengthwise. Once the new ceiling tile is above the support tracks level it out and slide it into position. The new ceiling tile will drop into the support tracks.