Sunday, July 13, 2008

Tin Ceiling Ordered

After conferring with friends and colleagues I placed an order for a tin ceiling to go in the butler’s pantry. I’m going with American Tin Ceiling even though I despise their web site.

Originally the plan was to go with all panels and forgo any filler around the edges. The room is 8’3” X 10’6”. The panels are 2-feet square and it seems that that should just about work. The gaps at the edges would be covered by the cornice. The panels most likely have a little over-lap though, so I would loose a few inches. The big concern is the 10’6” length. If I loose a half inch per panel that pushes that gap out to about 9-inches (4.5 and each end). To cover that I would need to go with a larger cornice and I think the scale would look wrong for the room.

The filler is actually the same size as the panels so it seems like it would be a wash. However, there is a trim piece that covers the gap between the panels and the filler. The idea is (fingers crossed) that I can play with this at the edges to make it so the filler can actually fill the space it needs to. I’m not sure if that makes sense, or not.

Anyway, I’m going to do a 1X3 wood cornice, like the one I used in the bathroom and laundry room, which I will buy locally after the tin is up. If the wood cornice won’t cover the gap, I can always go back to a larger tin cornice. One way or the other it will get finished, but this way I don’t need to order a tin cornice now only to find out I don’t need it.

The big debate was about the finish. To be sure, “tin ceilings” are not really tin, they are tin plated steel. You can also get aluminum, but you pay more for that. Tin ceilings can rust and oxidize if left unfinished. The basic, unfinished tin panels run $7 to $9 each, depending on where you buy them. The one aluminum panel I saw was $14 and powder coat is $16. After that, prices for different plating and faux finishes rises quickly, ranging in price from $23 to $49 a panel. Of course, you can finish them yourself, but you really need to do both sides.

If you clear-coat the panels you might be able to get away with one pass per side. If you paint then it is primer and then paint, and most likely multiple coats. Perhaps if you live in a dry climate and you put in the ceiling up in a dining room or something you can get away without doing both sides. I live 8 blocks from the coast in a damp environment (Think Pacific North West). Not only that, but this room is below a bathroom. I would be one over-flowing toilet away from rusty seams showing.

Gary went to the trouble of sealing his seams with clear caulk after he applied a clear-coat. Very wise, but for me, it just seems better to go with a powder coat finish. Not only for protection, but also because I really don't want bright, shiny tin. I’m sure it looks great in many applications, but it is just a bit much for me. It looks too new.

So I went with Antique Sliver in Satin powder coat. It should (fingers crossed) look like a tin ceiling that has been installed for several decades. Still metallic in color, but not bright and shiny, and it will be very durable. Delivered to my door the total comes to $410. The panel below reflects the Antique Sliver powder coat finish I'm getting. The filler is unfinished tin. You can see the difference.





StuccoHouse said...

Very nice!

Derek said...

Powder coating is going to be a better finish than you could do yourself, it's a lot more durable. I was thinking of doing a wood cornice when we do our tin ceiling in the kitchen, I'm sure I've seen it done like that before somewhere.

Anonymous said...

i think you made the right choice in the color and moisture-proof criteria. i don't think $410 is to much to spend to get it just right -- you've earned a treat.

Sandy said...

I love tin ceilings. Sigh.

Becky said...

You and my husband have the same taste in tin ceilings. He chose the ceiling for our kitchen and it is the same pattern and filler. The only difference is he picked the egg and dart for the molding.

Greg said...


Obviously, your husband is a man of great intellect and impeccable taste.


Jayne said...

I really like the tin ceiling you chose. It'll be beautiful.