Why Are Ceiling Tiles Perforated? (Types, Pros & Cons)

Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray

perforated ceiling tile

If you have ever handled any renovations, you will realize that the more projects you undertake, the more knowledge you develop. I have always been a hands-on person who will embrace any D.I.Y. project, but I have always delayed because my curiosity levels seem to heighten. I need to understand the reasoning behind everything. The latest being, Why Are Ceiling Tiles Perforated?

Perforated ceiling tiles help absorb the sound waves and reduce the amount of noise in a room. You will find them installed in places like offices, conferences, and schools. However, recently there seems to be a trend of more people installing them in homes to minimize the sound levels.

If you ever look up at the ceiling and find perforated tiles, you will notice the unique appearance of punched holes at random spots on the ceiling. Ever wondered why? Discover why ceiling tiles are perforated and the differences between perforated and unperforated ceiling tiles.

Why Ceiling Tiles Are Perforated? 

To understand why ceiling tiles are perforated, you have to identify the materials used to manufacture a ceiling tile. There are three types of perforated ceiling tiles;

Metal Perforated Ceiling Tiles

A perforated metal tile is a sheet metal that a machine has punched to make openings.

Plastic Perforated Ceiling Tiles 

The plastic perforated ceiling tile consists of durable A.B.S. plastic, P.V.C. sheet, and HDPE sheet. The colors can vary from white and black or other required colors. The hole size and hole space may vary.

Fibreglass Perforated Ceiling Tiles

Fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles are also known as acoustic ceiling tiles. It comprises fiberglass, acoustic foam, polyester, and other sound-reducing products.

How Do Perforated Ceiling Tiles Absorb Sound?

Vibrations cause sound; this sound moves away from the source in all directions, forming sound waves. When sound waves contact an area, the sound gets absorbed, passes through the area, or bounces and deflects the area.

Perforated ceiling tiles absorb the sound and prevent the sound from bouncing around. The perforations or holes increase the amount of tile surface and trap sound waves. The vibrations of the sound waves are absorbed by the perforations and dispersed through the ceiling material.

Advantages Of Perforated Ceiling Tiles

The advantages of perforated ceiling tiles vary, depending on the type of tile. Let’s explore some of those advantages;

Metal Perforated Ceiling Tiles

metal Perforated Ceiling Tiles
  • Moisture Resistant
  • Mold Resistant
  • They do not crack or warp, making them quite durable and robust.
  • Metal Perforated ceilings have zero maintenance or repair as peeling does not occur.
  • They are fire-resistant.
  • It is easy to install metal perforated ceiling tiles, making them ideal D.I.Y. projects.
  • Metal perforated ceiling tiles come in a wide variety of patterns and designs to suit the aesthetics of your home.
  • Metal perforated ceiling tiles are versatile and can be used in kitchens, dining rooms, bathrooms, offices, or recreation areas.

Fibreglass Perforated Ceiling Tiles

  • They are typically made of glass fibers and polymers, making them environmentally friendly.
  • They are lighter in weight, making them ideal for mounting on ceilings.
  • They are not prone to aging and sagging, making them highly sustainable.
  • Fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles are non-combustible.
  • These tiles are excellent for sound absorption.
  • Fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles are cost-effective.
  • These ceiling tiles are ideal for irregular ceiling surfaces.
  • Fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles have excellent characteristics that provide reliable stiffness and tension-compression strength.
  • These tiles are composed of polystyrene or polyvinyl chlorine materials, making them maintenance-free.
  • They are lightweight, which means they can affix to any ceiling without taking up too much space.
  • They install easily; all that is required is some adhesive.
  • Recycled or reclaimed glass fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles offer excellent noise reduction and light reflection.
  • Fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles are ideal for use in a wide variety of offices and residences, adding to the room’s ambiance.

Plastic Perforated Ceiling Tile

  • Plastic perforated ceiling tiles are non-corrosive.
  • Perfect for ceiling grid systems.
  • It is aesthetically pleasing.
  • They are available in various colors, giving you the flexibility to match your ceiling tile with the rest of your décor.
  • The perforated panel directs return air and heat escape to the plenum.
  • The plastic perforated ceiling tile is highly durable, made from P.V.C. sheet, A.B.S. plastic, HDPE sheet, P.P. sheet.
  • The holes’ size, distance, and thickness of the plastic perforated ceiling are manufactured according to the client’s requirements.
  • Plastic perforated tiles are very flexible and easy to cut.
  • They are 100% recyclable, making them the perfect choice for environmentalists.
  • Plastic perforated ceiling fans can be stuck on existing tiles.
  • Plastic has a smooth surface, making it a better bond surface for the gloss. Since it is glossed, you will not have to paint over it.
  • Most plastic has a natural hypoallergenic element making it the perfect choice for allergies.
  • Plastic perforated tiles do not produce or retain dust.
  • These perforated ceiling tiles are cost-effective and range from $35 to $55 on average.

Disadvantages Of Perforated Ceiling Tiles

perforated ceiling tile cons

Metal Perforated Ceiling Tiles

Although there are not many disadvantages associated with metal perforated ceiling fans, one of the main disadvantages is that it is not cost-effective. The investment can be pretty substantial, especially the cost of the protective coating that protects the metal ceiling tile from corrosion.

Fibreglass Perforated Ceiling Tiles

Fiberglass perforated ceiling tiles are produced with formaldehyde binder, they create a health hazard during installation and removal. These microfibres that fall into the ground need to be specially removed using a vacuum. These microfibers can irritate the respiratory system. Prolonged exposure can have long-term health effects. 

Plastic Perforated Ceiling Tiles

  • Plastic perforated ceiling tiles do not act as good sound barriers.
  • They have a low fire resistance; plastic can warp and burn very quickly.
  • In fires, plastic perforated ceiling tiles can emit toxic fumes.
  • Plastic perforated ceiling tiles have a lower lifespan than other tiles— 10 years on average.

Differences Between Perforated And Unperforated Tiles

Perforated Ceiling TilesUnperforated Ceiling Tiles

It focuses on the acoustics of the ceiling panel, mainly sound absorption.

Unperforated ceiling tiles offer little or no sound absorption.

Perforated ceiling tiles can be costly.

Unperforated tiles are cost-effective.

The punched holes on the tile do not make them as aesthetically pleasing to look at.

The smooth flat unperforated files make them more aesthetically pleasing to look at.

Perforated tiles have a limited product range

Unperforated ceiling tiles offer a wide product range.                                                                            


Perforations found in the tiny pinholes create a surface area within the face of the tile, which helps create a platform for absorption of the sound waves allowing them to be trapped and absorbed within the tile.

Although the vital factor for acquiring a perforated ceiling tile is sound reduction, there are other notable advantages. 

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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.