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What Are the Pros and Cons of Tin Ceiling Tiles?

Autumn Rivers
Autumn Rivers

Tin ceiling tiles are popular for commercial buildings, and some homeowners like the look in their house. One of the advantages of these ceiling tiles is that they are known for being attractive and can be customized with various stamped designs. They also are considered practical because the nonporous material does not soak up stains. Those who opt for this kind of tile have to pay a lot for this convenience, though, which is the main downside of installing such ceiling tiles.

The main reason homeowners and building owners alike opt for tin ceiling tiles is that they are eye-catching. Popular in Victorian times, these ceiling tiles offer an antique look, whether in an old or new structure. Plain silver tiles are the least expensive option and their shine can catch the eye of visitors, but many building owners prefer that their tin ceiling tiles have a design stamped on them. It is possible to choose from various designs or create a custom pattern that best suits the business or home. These types of ceiling tiles can also be painted any color the customer wants and can have a high-gloss finish added to maintain the shine for years.

Woman holding a book
Woman holding a book

Another benefit of tin ceiling tiles that appeals to many customers is their durability. The material is nonporous, so it rarely becomes stained; dirt and moisture have nowhere to go once they hit the surface. This also means rust and mold do not typically plague these tiles, which have been known to withstand both floods and fires. An occasional dusting of their surface is often all the tiles need to stay clean and look new for years. Therefore, customers interested in buying a ceiling that will last a while, with little maintenance, may opt for tin ceiling tiles.

On the other hand, customers who want this type of ceiling can expect to pay good money for it, because it is one of the most expensive options available. Those who want the look of tin without the cost can purchase faux tin to save some money. While the material is cheaper, tin-look ceiling tiles tend not to boast the same durability as real tin tiles, so customers may have to put in some extra effort to keep their faux tiles clean and in good repair over time. If they do, they will likely be rewarded with a ceiling that looks nearly as good as the more expensive real tin, because few can tell the difference.

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Discussion Comments


@kylee07drg – I also have a faux tin ceiling, and frankly, I don't know why anyone would pay extra money for the real thing. Sure, I have to dust it once a month to keep it at its shiniest, but that, I can handle!

I prefer a simple style, so I got the tiles that remind me of sections of a chocolate bar. They have a bronzed color that makes me think of chocolate, and they have an inset frame bordering them, making them look like beveled pieces of candy as part of the greater bar.

Sure, looking at it makes me hungry at times, but that's okay. I love the simplicity of the design. It's the shiniest ceiling I have ever seen, and it requires minimal maintenance.


I am kind of amazed that many companies market their tiles as tin, even though they admit they are now made of aluminum instead. They claim that this is a better material, yet they still call them “tin tiles.”

I'm not complaining about the product itself, though. I have an aluminum tile ceiling, and I'm very happy with it. I do call it what it is, however.

My ceiling is shiny and silver, and it is made to look like overlapping amphibian scales. Staring at it can be a bit dizzying after awhile, because the same small scale pattern is repeated thousands of times.


I know an artist who does tin ceiling tile art. Using actual tin, she comes up with designs and embosses them onto it herself. She also uses paint to dress them up.

I didn't know that you could paint tin ceiling tiles, but she told me that she uses a metal primer first. She paints with acrylics, but she has to use a varnish afterward to make it permanent. Most acrylic paints can wash off with water, and the varnish seals the color into the tin.

She has sold quite a few sets of these tiles. You'd be amazed what people will pay for tin ceiling art. I'm sure that the price of tin factors into it, but the uniqueness of the design raises the price considerably.


Tin ceilings are beautiful, but I would not recommend installing one in your kitchen. I rented a home with one of these, and it gathered grease that had to be scrubbed off.

I cook a lot of things in oil, like fried chicken. I also make sausage and bacon for breakfast a couple of times a week, and a lot of grease comes off of these. I notice it most on my stovetop and the wall behind it, but I didn't really think of checking the ceiling, until I fell down one day and noticed it.

I slipped on a puddle of water and landed on my back. That was the first time that I had looked up at the tin ceiling since I had moved in, and I could see greasy spots all over it.

I had to climb a ladder and hang a bucket of soapy water from its edge. I handwashed each tile, and my arm was so sore by the time I was done!

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