How to install a tin ceiling

Attaching the panels to the ceiling

The easiest way to install tin panels it to first install a ply on the old ceiling. You can also use timber battens but building a ply is easier.

You don’t need to worry much about the installation as most suppliers and manufacturers will give you direct instructions for the fitting.

If you are lucky and you have timber ceilings, then you can just nail the panels directly to it. If not, just use the instructions, or you can call a professional.

Center lines of the room

Tin ceiling panels need to be installed in a square. This may be a problem, as there isn’t a room that is perfectly square. You will first need to find the center of the room. Divide the ceiling into 4 equal parts. This way the discrepancies will be almost gone when you go to the edges.

Cornice first

After marking the lines of the ceiling, install the crown cornice. Most of these cornices have flanges along one side of the length and they need to be fixed by the ceiling.

Before applying the panels, lay some pieces on the ground to accommodate yourself with the pattern. Also, be sure to paint them before the installation.

Main paneling

For the first part you can use some tacking nails that are longer and can be removed more quickly if partially nailed. After you have all in place and you are content with the pattern, then you can remove the tacking nails and replace them with smaller ones.

You should start nailing the panels from the center of the room and then continue to the edges. Be consistent with panel lapping. If you’re using small patterns then you should continue nailing right out to the cornices – they need to fit tightly up against the crown.

If the pattern is larger, you will have to stop before the cornices so that the molding strips and border panels can be fitted. These patterns will also require a filler panel around the edges. The edge panels need to be compliant with the rest of the ceiling panels. This is not an easy task, choosing the right edge.


Some of the accessories are corner attachments – that can help you hide rough cuttings, and rosettes – place them in the junction of the molding strips.

If you’re not on a budget, you can consider buying some ceiling medallions. These are simply works of art and they are hand made.

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