Great Lakes Tin Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How should I prepare the ceiling before I install the nail-up tiles?

The surface area should be clean, dry, flat and structurally sound. If proper preparation steps are not taken, you take the risk of a poor final product.

What can I use to cut the ceiling tiles?

Use tin snips to cut the ceiling tiles.

What accessories are available to finish my real tin ceiling project?

Real tin tiles have two types of crown molding that can be used to achieve that finished look, and you can also use wood crown molding for trim.

Do you have matching grid for the lay-in tin ceiling tiles?

We have colors that are similar, but not the exact color of the tin tiles. A home center can mix matching paint for a grid system if desired.

Can the ceiling panels be cleaned?

Yes, standard mild soap and water should be used to clean the tiles.

Can I get samples of ceiling tiles?

Yes, samples are available by calling us at 1-800-434-3750 or on a products details page of the tile you are interested in. Find out more about ordering samples online here.

What tools will I need to install Great Lakes Tin ceiling tiles?

To install your ceiling tiles, you will need the following:

  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Steel straight edge
  • Chalk line
  • Hammer
  • Dome heak nails or #4 pan head screws
  • Leather work gloves

Do I need to install regular acoustic panels behind the lay-in panels?

No, that is not necessary. If sag or lift is an issue, we recommend that the panels are installed underneath a mineral board ceiling tile or some other material. You can use old mineral board tiles or purchase an economical mineral board tile for this purpose. THIS IS NOT A REQUIREMENT.

Can I paint the panels?

Yes the matte white and unfinished panels are recommended if you plan on painting your tiles. Use an oil-based primer and paint. Steel will rust if a water-based product is used.

What is the heat index for these tiles?

Painted tiles are fire retardant up to 300 degrees.

Which tin tiles need a border tile?

The Syracuse, Saginaw, Niagara, Toledo, Rochester, and Toronto designs typically use a border tile, but the use of border tiles is based on personal preference.

What grid system can be used for lay-in tiles?

Any standard grid system can be used and grids can be painted to match the tiles. Some GridMAX is similar in color, but none is an exact match.

How should the nail-up tiles be installed?

Plywood or furring strip installation is recommended prior to nailing up tiles. Space the nails every 6-12 inches apart. See our installation page for details.

Can I install Great Lakes Tin Ceiling tiles as a backsplash panel behind my stove?

Yes, our Great Lakes Tin panels can be cut to use for backsplash. The tin panels can withstand heat up to 300 degrees F., making it a great decorative option behind or near most stoves. We recommend nailing the panels up instead of using adhesive for this application as the heat could soften the adhesive. Make sure your stove does not exceed 300 degrees at the tin tile location.