Cheap Ceiling Tiles Options

Cheap ceiling Tiles are an easy way to give any room a quick update for less than $1.00 per square foot in many cases.







2' x 2' / 2' x 4'

$.55 - $.65

Drop or Grid Ceiling

Not for damp or humid areas.

Mineral Fiber

12" x 12"

2' x 2' /2' x 4'

$.50 - $2.50

Drop or Direct Mount Ceiling

Not for damp or humid areas. 

Good sound absorption.


2' x 4'

$.50 - $1.50

Drop Ceiling 

Good sound control. 

Slightly insulative.


2' x 2' / 2' x 4'

$1.25 - $3.50

Drop or Direct Mount Ceiling

Suitable for damp or humid areas.


2' x 2' / 2' x 4'

$1.75 - $3.50

Drop or Direct Mount Ceiling

Suitable for all areas


20" x 20"

19.5” x 19.5”

$1.00 - $1.50

Direct Mount

Suitable for all areas. 


Inexpensive ceiling tiles are available in a variety of materials including fiberboard, mineral fiber, fiberglass, PVC, tin, and Styrofoam. You can find cheap ceiling tiles in all of these materials, but overall, fiberboard, mineral fiber, fiberglass, and Styrofoam are the least expensive.

Fiberboard Ceiling Tiles

Fiberboard is made from cellulose, a shredded wood product, combined with a binding agent, and then formed into tiles. The tiles are white or off-white, lightly textured and may contain small holes or perforations, which provide some acoustical properties, meaning they absorb sound to minimize echo. The material also offers a small amount of insulation value, though you shouldn’t count on them to keep heat in or out of a room. These tiles are often used in drop or grid ceilings in basements as an inexpensive solution to hide the ceiling infrastructure, such as ductwork, pipes, and electrical wiring.

Fiberboard Ceiling

Fiberboard is one of the least expensive types of ceiling tile. While fiberboard is the one of the cheapest ceiling tiles materials, it is not the most common because it is not durable and is susceptible to mold, mildew, sagging, staining, and water damage. Some fiberboard tiles have been treated to resist moisture damage and sagging but this will make the tiles slightly more expensive.

Fiberboard ceiling tiles would not be a good choice for a humid environment like a damp basement or bathroom.

Costs and Where to Purchase

USG makes a variety of fiberboard ceiling tiles in 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ sizes with costs between $.55 and $.65 per square foot for their Fifth Avenue and Radar profiles. Their Alpine profile features more acoustic properties and costs about $.95 per square foot, which is still pretty cheap – less than $200 for a 12x15 room. Fiberboard ceiling tiles can easily be painted. You can find these tiles, as well as other brands, at most big box home improvement stores.

Mineral Fiber Ceiling Tiles

Mineral fiber tiles are made from various recycled materials including paper, fiberglass, perlite, and mineral wool combined with binding agents and formed into tiles. The tiles are available in many textures from smooth to heavily textured. Because the tiles are wet-formed, they can be pressed to replicate the appearance of tin ceilings or heavy stucco. Many of the tiles are made with fissures or perforations to give them better acoustical properties.

Mineral Fiberboard Ceiling

Mineral Fiber tiles are not very durable and will absorb moisture in damp areas. When they do, they are  prone to mold, mildew and sagging. However, the tiles on the market today are generally treated with products  making them resistant to these issues – at least for a time.

Mineral Fiber tiles are very common and widely available. You can find them in 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ sizes for standard drop ceilings and in 12” x 12” sizes made to be mounted directly to the ceiling surface with an adhesive.

Mineral Fiber ceiling tiles can be used in almost any room, except a bathroom, as long as the tiles have been treated with a moisture protection product. These tiles can be painted with latex paints but paint will slightly reduce their sound absorbing abilities by filling some of the crevices.

Costs and Where to Purchase

USG makes a large variety of cheap Mineral Fiber ceiling tiles in 2’ x 2’, 2’ x 4’ and 12" x 12" sizes.  Costs for lightly textured tiles in their Budget Line, including the Stonehurst and Adobe profiles, range from $.50 to $1 per square foot.  Armstrong also offers a number of inexpensive Mineral Fiber ceiling tiles in all 3 sizes with costs from $1 to $2.50 per square foot.

Mineral Fiber ceiling tiles can cost more depending on the thickness of the tile, the texture, and level of moisture and stain protection that the tiles have been treated with. For instance, the Armstrong Tincraft profile tile, which has been embossed to replicate the look of an antique tin ceiling, costs around $6.50 per square foot.

You can find selections of USG, Armstrong, and other brands of Mineral Fiber ceiling tile at most home improvement stores.

Fiberglass Ceiling Tiles

Fiberglass ceiling tiles are another inexpensive choice and are made from glass fibers encased in resins and formed into tiles. Fiberglass tiles provide insulating properties and are very good at absorbing sound. They are maintenance-free and durable, but careful, or professional installation is necessary to prevent the fiberglass material from breaking loose.

Fiberglass Ceiling Tiles

Fiberglass tiles are easy to find but there are not as many styles available as there are with some of the other materials. Tiles are mainly white and lightly textured. Fiberglass is usually selected when thermal or acoustic properties are desired. Most Fiberglass tiles are available in a 2’ x 4’ size and for installation into drop ceiling grids. Because Fiberglass tiles are laminated with vinyl, painting them is not recommended.

Costs and Where to Purchase

Most inexpensive Fiberglass ceiling tiles cost about $.50 to $1.50 per square foot. Prices can go up to $8.00 or $9.00 per square foot for very thick tiles that are designed to provide outstanding sound absorbing performance.

Armstrong is the largest provider of residential fiberglass ceiling tiles but there are other brands including Top Tile. Fiberglass tiles can be found at all major home improvement retailers.

PVC Ceiling Tiles

PVC, vinyl, or plastic ceiling tiles are very versatile and are another inexpensive choice. PVC tiles are used in standard drop or grid ceilings or mounted directly to the ceiling with an adhesive. PVC ceiling tiles are made by melting plastic and forming the plastic into tiles. Tiles are produced in a wide range of styles including panels or coffered tiles to deliver the look of an antique tin ceiling, and in traditional and contemporary designs too.

pvc ceiling tile

PVC tiles are available in 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ sizes and are most often sold painted and finished, but you can also purchase them unfinished and paint them yourself. These tiles are lightweight, durable, and waterproof so they can be installed anywhere in the home including damp basements and bathrooms.

Costs and Where to Purchase

The cheapest PVC tiles will start at about $1.25 per square foot depending on the color and finish. You can find any style or color, including coffered, paneled, faux metal, and faux wood looks in the $2.50 to $3.50 per square foot price range.

These tiles are available at most home improvement stores but there are also many on-line retailers that carry large selections at inexpensive prices including Ceilume, UDecor and Talissa Décor.

Tin Ceiling Tiles

Tin ceiling tiles are made from tin plated steel and can be used in drop ceilings or nailed to the ceiling over a plywood substrate. The steel is pressed or embossed to create a wide variety of designs from very ornate to simple styles. The tiles often come painted but you can find fairly inexpensive unfinished tiles which you can paint yourself.

Tin Ceiling Tile

Tin ceiling tiles are available in 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ sizes. These tiles are very durable and can be used anywhere in the home as well as outside.

Costs and Where to Purchase

Unfinished tin tiles are the cheapest and start at about $1.75 per square foot. Finished tiles start at about $3.50 per square foot.

You can find these tiles at most home improvement stores but American Tin Ceilings offers low prices and a wide variety of styles and finishes.

Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles

Styrofoam (or polystyrene) ceiling tiles are another good choice if you’re looking for cheap ceiling tiles. They are made of foam and are lightweight and waterproof. These tiles are usually available in a 20” x 20” or 19.5” x 19.5” size and are installed with an adhesive directly to the ceiling. They can easily be installed over a popcorn ceiling.

Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles

Styrofoam ceiling tiles are made by pressing or molding the foam and are available in many styles from very ornate, to traditional coffered and paneled looks, to simple and contemporary designs. These tiles generally come in white but can be painted with any water-based paint.

Because Styrofoam ceiling tiles are waterproof, you can use them anywhere inside the home although they are susceptible to scratching and denting.

Costs and Where to Purchase

You can purchase Styrofoam ceiling tiles in white, solid colors, faux metal, faux wood, and faux stone finishes for about $1.00 to $1.50 per square foot. Some retailers offer hand painted tiles which can cost $2.50 and above per square foot.

Styrofoam tiles are available at Home Depot and other home improvement stores. Many on-line retailers carry large selections at good prices including Talissa Décor and Antique Ceilings.

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