How to Install Lap Joint Ceiling and Wall Tiles

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Lap joint tiles are mounted directly to a sound installation surface using adhesive. These styles have unique overlapping edges which make them simple to align and install, and require no extra pieces or accessories to cover the seams between tiles.

Check building codes as required.

  1. Prepare Installation Surface

    Substrates must be flat, clean, and sound. Remove ceiling texture like popcorn or install furring strips. Patching and sanding may be necessary if installation surface is damaged or uneven.

    Your hands, work surfaces, and ceiling must be clean and dry. Dust, oil, grease, and other contaminants can interfere with the adhesion of ceiling tiles and strips.

    Remove electrical cover plates, pipe escutcheons, and other trim and carefully store for later re-installation.

  2. Plan Ceiling Layout

    We love the proverb “measure twice, cut once.” It’s important to accurately lay out your ceiling (or wall) and double-check your layout before cutting tiles and permanently affixing them!

    Draw a layout of ceiling; it may be helpful to use graph paper. Measure and draw locations of walls, hallways, closets, doorways, and ceiling-mounted lights, vents, speakers, fans, and other fixtures. Once you have a basic ceiling plan, decide how you want to lay out ceiling tiles.

    For most installations, try to create even borders around the perimeter of the room. In some cases, you may want to start at a location that will minimize the number of tiles being trimmed. In others, it may be desirable to center tiles around important ceiling fixtures or other features.

    After you’ve double and triple-checked the layout for accuracy, snap two perpendicular chalk lines, forming a cross at your starting location. Keep in mind that rooms are rarely square and chalk lines may need to be adjusted.

  3. Before You Begin

    Ceiling tiles may come out of the box with a bit of a static electricity charge, which can attract dust and debris from construction and remodeling projects. We strongly advise you to finish sawing, drilling, sanding, and sweeping, and then clean room thoroughly before installing tiles.

    Don’t worry, our tiles don’t create dust of their own, and once they’re installed the static charge will dissipate.

    We also highly recommend pre-testing materials before starting to ensure the best results for your specific installation.

  4. Install Tiles

    Apply a 1/8 in. bead of adhesive along the perimeter of the backside of your tile. Add another bead along the center of the tile going in both directions. Make sure to place beads of adhesive where the tile will make contact with the installation surface once installed. Add an “X” of adhesive in the center of each major design feature that will make contact with the installation surface once installed.

    As you are applying your adhesive, remember, it isn’t how much adhesive you use, but that you use the right amount in the right places.

    Position ceiling tile about 1/4 in. offset from chalk lines and press it against substrate using light to medium pressure. Slide the tile into place against the chalk lines, allowing adhesive to spread. Press and rub firmly over the glued areas to smooth out any bumps in the adhesive and to seat the tile into place.

    Apply adhesive to your second tile and tilt it into place, overlapping the edge pattern of the second tile with that of the first. As you press the tile into place, wiggle it a bit to allow the adhesive to spread and to encourage tiles to nest together. Press and rub firmly over the glued areas, smoothing out any bumps in the adhesive and seating the tile into place.

    Repeat with remaining tiles, proceeding from one tile to the next adjacent tile. Spend an extra 15 seconds or so holding down the corners of each tile where they overlap. This will encourage overlapping corners to lie as flat as possible.

    When you reach border areas where less than full-size tiles are required, simply measure from the edge of an installed tile to the wall (make sure to take the tile overlap into account) and cut tiles to size with scissors or snips. Adhere tile to ceiling with the cut edge toward wall.

    Use a soft, damp rag to wipe up any excess adhesive while it’s still fresh.

  5. Cleaning

    Your new tiles require no special cleaning agents - just wipe them down with a soft, damp rag. Small, stubborn spots can be handled with an all-purpose cleaner. Tiles are 100% waterproof so there is no risk of water damage during cleaning.

    Do not use cleaners containing organic solvents or other aggressive ingredients as they may affect the surface appearance of tiles. Examples of these types of cleaners include chlorine bleach, liquid grease remover, strong detergents, and nail polish remover.

We Are Here to Help!

We hope that the information above is clear and provides the answers to any questions you may have along the way, but if it does not, please do not hesitate to contact us directly for help.

  • Hours: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM, Pacific Time
  • Phone: 1-800-557-0654
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