The 9 Things To Do With Old Ceiling Tiles (Unbelievable Ways)

Last Updated on August 9, 2023 by Web Operator

best glue ceiling tiles

Your ceiling tiles look old, and their original quality luster has faded away. Perhaps you are considering replacing them altogether. Even if you decide to do this, consider the different options. Here are 9 things to do with old ceiling tiles.

  1. Refurbish old ceiling tiles
  2. Repurpose ceiling tiles
  3. Use old ceiling tiles for crafts
  4. Recycle old ceiling tiles
  5. Donate old ceiling tiles
  6. Sell old ceiling tiles
  7. Tell friends about the ceiling tiles
  8. Make a small house with ceiling tiles
  9. Hide existing ceiling tiles

Our modern throw-away society is quick to discard good material. Old ceiling tiles can be used for many purposes, even if they are badly damaged or broken. Exploring the alternative uses for old tiles could help others, the environment, or even save you money! 

1. Refurbish Old Ceiling Tiles 

No matter what your tiles are made from, any stains or mold on them indicate a leaking roof that first needs to be addressed before you start refurbishing the ceiling. Ensure the walls are solid with no crumbling cement, cracks, or gaps. The surfaces should be clean and solid.

Can Mineral Fiber Ceiling Tiles Be Painted?

With a soft cloth, clean your tiles, or use an upholstery vacuum cleaner to remove dirt.

Consider changing the aesthetics, especially if there are marks or slightly damaged tiles that need to be hidden. Some ideas in design that have an easy application are:

  • Beadboard or fiberboard planks
  • Metallaire panels applied to your existing ceiling
  • Decorative tiles applied to the existing ceiling

Metal Ceiling Tiles Date Back Almost Two Centuries

Two common problems with old pressed metal ceilings are rust from water and paint deterioration.

  • Clean the tiles gently using the correct chemical according to the metal type and keep them rust-free.
  • Use a paint remover.
  • Any seriously damaged section you will need to replace. There are metal ceiling manufacturers that still make tiles.

Gypsum Ceiling Tiles Are Common

Gypsum ceiling tiles are made from the same material as dry-walling. This material is easily repaired, even if it has holes in the tile. See how to do this below. Be aware that your gypsum tiles may contain toxic asbestos and, if inhaled, can get into your lungs. Wear protective glasses, a mask,  and gloves. 

Wood Ceiling Tiles Are Valuable

Wood tiles are likely made from good quality wood like oak. Preserving the wood will make them last longer and will always look good.

  • Remove dirt and build-up on the wood tiles using the right wood-based cleaning solution; an alcohol solution can also work.
  • Resurface the wood with a stain or varnish, or even give it a layer of paint if you want color added.

2. Repurpose Your Old Ceiling Tiles

Perhaps you want to do away with the old ceiling altogether. After dismantling the old ones, consider the original purposes for which they were designed in the first place. Doing this could give you ideas on how to repurpose them and bring new life.

Ceiling Tile Insulation Properties Control Temperatures

Your tiles, more than likely, have excellent insulation properties. Consider using them as wall tiles in a cold room that needs a thermal solution.

The Aesthetic Of Ceiling Tiles Add Atmosphere

Tiles with decorative features can be used in rooms that need a bit of character added. A short row of tiles on a wall could create a significant difference in a room or even outside on a patio, balcony, or veranda. Take care to protect them from the elements. You could even paint tiles into colorful arrays.

The Acoustics Of Ceiling Tiles Stop Noise Level

Music lovers and party animals, to name a few, can emit high noise volumes, which affect others in the household. There are also noise levels outside, like traffic on a busy road. Positioning your tiles in strategic places will help tone down the noise level. 

3. Use Old Ceiling Tiles For Crafts

Think of objects in the office or home you need but haven’t gotten yet. Even gifts you could make that are not only useful but homemade. People usually love these. You could put a simple ceiling panel to good use in the hands of an artist.

What your ceiling is made from would determine the ease of cutting their shape and the materials you will need to put them together. A bit of paint and artwork will make them look appealing. Some creative craft ideas include:

  • Boxes of different shapes and sizes to hold anything from jewelry, stationery, paper holders, garage tools, kids’ toys, and the like.
  • Coasters and plate holders, whether for hot food taken off the stove in the kitchen or hard tablemats.
  • Pot plant holders.
  • Candleholders or lanterns.
  • Backing boards for artists to paint on.

4. Recycle Old Ceiling Tiles

You can take them to a recycling facility in your area, provided they do not contain asbestos. This is harmful to humans and can cause cancer and lung disease.

5. Donate Old Ceiling Tiles

Many disadvantaged communities would love to have your tiles. A charity organization will find a home for them or provide information on whom you could give them to. They are needed in areas like:

  • Schools 
  • Hospitals
  • Nursing homes
  • Recording studios
  • Up-and-coming artists
  • Underprivileged private homes

6. Sell Old Ceiling Tiles

Selling your old tiles on a local community platform is another way to get rid of your tiles and make some cash to fund your new tiles! Take photos and upload them online as used ceiling tiles on a marketplace like Facebook, a community board, or a local newspaper.

7. Tell Friends About The Ceiling Tiles

Give your old ceiling tiles to a friend. Tell some friends. Someone will soon contact you to take them off your hands. The grapevine is a powerful medium, and it is free.

8. Make A Small House With Ceiling Tiles

Are you any good at construction? Perhaps you know someone who needs a house for their child or dog. You could consider making either a playhouse or a kennel for those cold winter days and nights. They would love you for it.

9. Hide Existing Ceiling Tiles

Maybe removing the old tiles is too costly or too much hassle! You could leave the old tiles and cover them up using conventional methods. The product you choose will determine the price. Here is some information:

  • Corrugated tin is an easy installation process.
  • Some drop ceilings are pretty cheap to install.
  • Panels and beams are also considered easy to put up.
  • More expensive ceilings are tongue and groove.


There are many possibilities available to you before throwing your old ceiling tiles away. These can range from making them look new to adding a different design or paint, or for a different purpose. 

Be creative and make them into crafts or construct a playhouse for your child or a pet kennel. Give the ceiling tiles away to a friend or donate them, or recycle the tiles. Selling them as a used product in your community can get some cash in for new tiles. 

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.