Finish a Basement: A DIY remodeling adventure!
Great home theater tips to help you design and setup your basement home theater!

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Visit our project planning page to learn how to prepare to finish your basement whether you're remodeling your basement by yourself, or hiring a contractor to finish your basement
Visit our design page to see how we created our basement design, and for tips on how you can design the basement of your dreams
Check here for information on the tasks you'll need to complete to finish your basement. Complete with the lessons we learned as we remodeled our basement, and tips to help you avoid some of the mistakes we made.
Whether you're designing a dedicated home theater, or creating a multi-purpose media room, check here for tips on selecting home theater components, and calibrating, and setting up your AV equipment
Check here to follow along as we complete our DIY basement remodeling project!


>Home >Our progress >Installing drop ceiling tile

Installing drop ceiling tile

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Installing the drop ceiling tiles was pretty quick and painless. The uncut tiles (full 24" squares) went in relatively easy. The only time this was a challenge was in the areas of the basement near obstacles (water pipes, ductwork, etc.) Those areas required careful maneuvering of the tiles to get them in place without damaging them.

How to install acoustic drop ceiling tiles. [Click to enlarge]

Cutting drop ceiling tiles

The tiles that needed to be cut required a bit more precision and care during installation. Because the tiles have a 'reveal' (beveled) edge, the installer needed to duplicate that edge when cutting the ceiling tiles.

After Joe measured and cut the tile to size with a carpenter's knife, he used the same knife and a straight edge to cut the bevel. Joe made it look easy and the cut tiles look as good as the uncut ones!

Drop ceiling tile installation tips

Installing acoustic drop ceiling tiles in insulated basement ceiling. [Click to enlarge]

  • Install the whole tiles first. Pick the ones with no obstacles near them to help you get the hang of maneuvering the tiles into place without damaging them.
  • Have your electrician cut the holes for recessed lighting when he installs the lights.
  • If tiles (even whole ones) are too snug, gently ease the track out of the way to help the tile slip into place. Don't force the tiles- you'll damage them for sure!
  • If you scuff the edge of white ceiling tiles during installation, you can repair the scuff by dabbing a little white caulk onto the scuff to hide it. You can also try white shoe polish- or even toothpaste (in a pinch).
  • When cutting tiles, don't cut to the size of the opening! Remember the tile needs to hang inside the track. This means you need to have about a inch on all side extra. Then you can cut the reveal edge.
  • Use a mask with a ventilator when cutting/installing tiles. This will prevent you from inhaling the shavings/debris that inevitably falls off.

Acoustic drop ceiling tile resources

Progress Topics

Priming the walls

Deciding on a paint color

Buying home theater systems

Painting basement walls

Insulating basement ceiling

Installing drop ceiling grid

Drop ceiling tile selection

Drop ceiling tile installation

Finishing electrical

Home theater wiring

Buying carpeting

Buying laminate flooring

Installing laminate & hardwood flooring

See also...
Phase 1: Basement prep and framing

Phase 2: Electrical and drywall




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