Covering Up a Very Ugly Ceiling With Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles

About: There is nothing I love more then making something new and usable again that someone else would have thrown out or torn down! And there's no reason to buy new when you can build it yourself!

After you got past the horrific glare of the very pink foam insulation covered walls (and that EVERY THING was covered in spray foam) the next worst was probably the ceiling in the main room. This particle board is more like thick cardboard then anything else and so so ugly. I found the most lovely solution: Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles. I was still concerned about their weight and if ANYTHING would be light enough to be glued to that ceiling and stay in place. I just crossed my fingers. When the giant box full of them showed up at my house and I picked it up and it literally weighed nothing I knew I had a win on my hands.

Step 1: Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles...

This stuff really is styrofoam (think white styrofoam coffee cup) it is so light and delicate it is amazing. And it comes in about a hundred different looks! My cousin helped me put up all 300 square feet of ceiling in literally an afternoon and, my goodness, this was very easy however I was really glad to have her there. Otherwise I would have had to have caulked a tile, went up the ladder, stuck it to the ceiling, got down off the ladder, moved the ladder, caulked another tile etc. etc. Having a second person cut my time by half. One of us put them up and one of us put caulk on the back of them and handed it to the person on the ladder. We took turns because even though these weigh absolutely nothing the person on the ladder still got quite the neck strain.

Step 2: Finished Ceiling and Tips...

A couple of notes that I learned along the way: These tiles are paintable so that's something I plan to do in the future, you can also order them in multiple different colors that make them look like real old tin ceiling tile – copper, gray patina, etc. Very cool. They are SO easy to install and I feel really confident that they will be there until someone wants them to come down. They aren’t what I would call “cheap” but what would have been 30+ hours taping and mudding that ceiling and then priming and painting it to one afternoon of work – well its hard to put a price on time and to me the total cost was absolutely worth it.

$465 – Ceiling tiles

$70 – Caulk

$535 – TOTAL

Before and After Contest 2017

Participated in the
Before and After Contest 2017

Share

    Recommendations

    • Beauty Tips Contest

      Beauty Tips Contest
    • Backyard Contest

      Backyard Contest
    • Colors of the Rainbow Contest

      Colors of the Rainbow Contest

    8 Discussions

    0
    None
    EcoExpatMike

    2 years ago

    Looks terriffic! But I would guess that the local fire marshal would see "Styrofoam ceilings" as only slightly better than "suspended bags of gasoline" in case of a fire.

    I dunno if those things are "rated" for resistance, but personally (former Fire Fighter, current Expat Safety Consultant) I would strongly recommend RUNNING AWAY if there is ever any kind of fire in that room.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKel2MdPn58

    5 replies
    0
    None
    GrandmasHouseDIYEcoExpatMike

    Reply 2 years ago

    lol well they're sold for this purpose exactly so I really can't say whether or not they're "rated" they were a lovely and easy solution to one very ugly problem for us. Thanks for commenting!

    0
    None
    MikBGrandmasHouseDIY

    Reply 2 years ago

    If they are modern tiles, they will have a fire retardant to prevent them becoming such a hazard. It's the old 1970's styrofoam (polystyrene) tiles that are the nightmare: Flammable, toxic black smoke, dripping melting sticky plastic. Even worse when coated with a layer of oil-based paints!

    If you have any offcuts of the tiles left, take one OUTSIDE and try and set fire to it. If it refuses to catch on fire, and just crinkles up and self-extinguishes, that's good. Try the same trick with a piece of scrap polystyrene from some non-critical non-firesafe packaging application, and see how horrible it is.

    0
    None
    EcoExpatMikeMikB

    Reply 1 year ago

    The horrible fire at Grenfell tower is an example of how manufacturers will sell ANYTHING. You have to read the labels. Really. I pray you got the good ones... https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jul/13/grenfell-tower-building-control-warned-about-refit-insulation-plan

    0
    None
    MikBEcoExpatMike

    Reply 1 year ago

    Valid point -- but "read the labels" is bad advice if you believe that manufacturers "will sell anything". Do as I said and TEST a piece of the insulation and see if you can set fire to it. Outdoors.

    0
    None
    EcoExpatMikeGrandmasHouseDIY

    Reply 2 years ago

    Yes, and I am 95% sure I am taking counsel of my fears because I was a firefighter back when all kinds of stuff was used in (both to build & furnish) that was incredibly dangerous. It looks great. The old timey ones are just evil. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3A133eN5ME https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9e_19dUezCQ

    0
    None
    bethmwl

    2 years ago

    I voted for you. Great job and tenacity to pull it off.

    1 reply