There’s often confusion when searching for the cost of ceiling tiles and the cost to install drop ceilings. Ceiling tiles and drop ceilings are different terms for the same thing, and you might also see it called a suspended ceiling. Whether you want to install a new drop ceiling or you need your current ceiling repaired, you’ll want to know drop ceiling costs and the factors that alter those costs. Learn everything you need to know about drop ceilings, ceiling tile costs, and installation costs with this in-depth guide.
|What you can expect|
|Range per square foot:||$4.45||$6.19|
|Range for this type of project:||$1,334||$1,857|
Ceiling Tile Installation Cost
Cost of drop-in acoustic ceiling panel tiles, sized 24" x 48". Random texturing gives a varied appearance. The tiles are resistant to mold and mildew, ensuring longevity of the material. Rate is inclusive of local delivery, as well as standard excess for perfect installation and occasional repairs.
Basic Labor for Ceiling Tile Installation
Labor costs for thorough installation under standard conditions. This will start with a full assessment of the space. Your team will plan the layout, acquire appropriate equipment, transport materials, and execute preparation, installation and cleanup. The process involves cutting and fabricating tiles to fit the existing grid, fully customizing the project to accommodate ceiling fixtures.
Job Supplies for Ceiling Tile Installation
Standard supplies used in the installation process, such as fasterners, connectors, and materials to prepare and finish the surface.
Equipment Allowance for Ceiling Tile Installation
Equipment allowance for pneumatic finish nailer, 10" miter saw, electric jigsaw, 3" belt sander, 3-1/4" electric planer, and other specialty tools. This is assessed as a daily rental fee, while single-use equipment will incur separate charges.
|cost to install ceiling tiles|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per square foot||$0.94|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 300 square foot||$1,570.00|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 300 square foot||$1,312.54 - $1,827.46|
On average, a drop ceiling installation costs $1,500 for a 10’ x 12’ room. Ceiling tiles cost between $30 to $60 a case (the average being $45), but each case varies based on the type and size of the tile. Always make sure you’ve purchased enough tiles to complete the job. When considering your ceiling tile installation cost, remember that this average is affected by what type of tile you purchase, how you want those tiles to be attached, and the shape and size of the room.
A large portion of the cost for a drop ceiling is installing the gridwork for tiling, which costs roughly $70. The grid needs to be perfectly level, so if you’re planning some DIY work, consider purchasing a laser level. It also needs to accommodate vents, lighting, and any electrical needs for the room. As a result, the cost of installing a drop ceiling has a high labor factor. If done incorrectly, you might end up with an uneven ceiling or vents and lighting fixtures that don’t fit.
Your total project cost will depend heavily on the material that you choose. Ceiling tiles can be found in a variety of formats, ranging from standard fiberboard to metal.
Fiberboard tiles are vulnerable to moisture damage, so they’re not ideal in humid environments. That said, fiberboard ceilings are common due to their affordability and sound reduction. Fiberboard tiles cost between $1.80 to $6.60, depending on size.
PVC or plastic tiles are among the easiest to install, plus they resist stains and moisture. PVC tiles are generally better than plastic if you need them to support insulation, and they cost between $5 and $9 per tile.
Metal or tin tiles are a sleek and attractive option. The tiles cost around $12 to $20 each and have a range of finishes. Due to their cost, some people choose to use them as accent tiles to create the desired aesthetic without a large price tag.
Wood tiles can be quite beautiful and offer a lot of variety. Wood tiles cost anywhere between $8.66 to $68.00 a piece for oak or cherry, but prices vary depending on the wood you choose. Keep in mind that wood tiles are vulnerable to rot and warping in highly humid areas.
|Ceiling Tiles Type||Average Cost||Lowest Cost||Highest Cost|
|PVC / plastic ceilings||$7.00||$5.00||$9.00|
The average cost to install a drop ceiling is between $5 to $28 per square foot — and tiles are a major part of this cost. Insulating panels and ceiling gridwork are two more costly factors. Decorative grid rails raise the price, as can any ducting, plumbing, lighting, or electrical work required in the drop ceiling.
If you take out the cost of the ceiling tiles, labor tends to cost roughly $5 per square foot. Drop ceilings are often found in basements to hide ductwork or provide access to plumbing, and this work consists of installing the frame, then hanging the tiles from that frame. DIY jobs are money-savers, but depending on your skill level, you might spend a lot of time installing. For folks looking to have a professional handle the job, ensure you get several estimates from reputable companies.
A professional handyperson charges between $50 to $80 per hour for new drop ceiling installation or to replace specific tiles on your current drop ceiling. Expect licensed contractors to charge more, likely between $70 to $135 per hour. Licensed contractors charge more based on current demand, so if they are particularly busy, they may charge an even higher rate.
A professional should be able to complete 30 to 40 square feet of tile per hour. If you only need tile replacement, the total time to re-tile an entire drop ceiling is roughly six hours. If you need extra rail tape or covers, expect another six hours, depending on the project's scope. If your original tiles were damaged due to a water leak, fix the source of the leak before replacing the tiles.
There are several things to consider when getting a price for your drop ceiling, including:
The larger the room and ceiling, the more your project will cost for both materials and labor.
Fiberboard or PVC ceiling tiles will cost a lot less than metal or wood tiles.
A low-grade PVC tile will be less expensive than a higher quality PVC tile. The same applies to other materials, particularly wood tiles, which can fluctuate greatly depending on the type of wood you choose.
If your contractor has to work around other things like water heaters, plumbing, and vents, it may take longer to complete the job which will cost more. They may also need to cut certain tiles to fit, which is another additional charge.
In addition to the cost of the tile, there are other materials required to install a drop ceiling or ceiling tiles:
Many people decide that installing a drop ceiling is worth hiring a professional for, strictly due to the labor-intensive nature of the project. The gridwork requires precision, and ladders or scaffolding are generally needed to do the job. The complexity of ceiling installation drives most people away from installing drop ceilings as a DIY project. If DIY home renovations excite you and you’ve got the time, installation is a great project. If you need to move any ducting, plumbing, or electrical, it’s best to hire professionals.
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