Tin ceilings are very sought after in older homes, because they are not only beautiful but are also hard to find. Tin ceilings have been replaced by cheaper materials, that were also easier to clean and maintain. You can still find the tiles used to make tin ceilings, as a reclaimed product that may have survived a remodeling job or demolition. You can use tin tiles as a kitchen backsplash, to create the same type of classic look as you would have on the ceiling. Tin ceiling tiles are sturdy and resistant to water. They are also fairly easy to install. The article below will cover issues you should know when using tin ceiling tiles as a backsplash, as well as tips on how to do it correctly.
Trimming the Tin Tiles
The space that you have to work with for the backsplash may be smaller than the standard size of the tin tiles. This means you need to cut them, in order to make them fit. First, determine how large you want your backsplash tiles to be. Then, transfer those measurements to the tiles. Place the tiles first to determine the fit. Once the sizes are determined, you can trim them, using a pair of tin snips.
Leave the Lip
Tin ceiling tiles have a lip around the edges which allows them to be easily installed over rails for the ceiling. It is important that when you are trimming the tin tiles to do your best to leave the lip intact. Keep the tiles as full as possible when using them as a backsplash. The lip on the tiles is what you use to help secure them to the wall.
Attaching the Tin Tiles
There are 2 ways to attach tin ceiling tiles to use them as a backsplash. The best possible solution, to ensure that the tiles stay on the wall, is to use both methods. Use a heavy-duty construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails with water-resistant qualities and apply it to the back of 1 of the tin tiles, and then press it to the wall where it is supposed to go. Then, use copper finishing nails to further attach the tin tiles to the walls. Place them along the lip of the tiles. The combination of the adhesive with the nails will keep the tiles in place for years to come, regardless of the abuse they will take.
Tin ceilings have the habit of oxidizing, causing them to turn green and yellowish. This is a natural reaction between the metal and the oxygen. It happens faster when the tin ceiling tiles are used as a backsplash in the kitchen. This means that you have to take steps to prevent this from happening. This is done by sealing the tin tiles using one of the following methods—
Coat the backsplash with beeswax or carnauba wax by applying it to the copper surface with a lint-free cloth then polishing it with a clean soft cloth.
The application of two thin coats of linseed oil using a soft cloth followed with a buffing will also give it an added shine.
A more durable solution would be with 3 or more coats of brush-on lacquer (such as Minwax Clear Brushing Lacquer) letting it dry 30 minutes between coats.