About PVC, Vinyl, and Plastic Ceiling Tiles
PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) and vinyl are both plastics. Ceiling tile manufacturers use all three names for their tiles, but they are essentially, the same thing. For simplicity, we will call them PVC ceiling tiles throughout this review.
PVC decorative ceiling tiles are made by melting the plastic and forming it into tiles. PVC is thin, lightweight, very durable, and waterproof. They are available in a wide range of architectural styles and colors. PVC ceiling tiles are made in 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ sizes. These tiles are also 100% recyclable and most are Class A fire rated, though of course they will melt in intense heat.
PVC ceiling tiles can be used in many applications:
- Standard drop or suspended ceiling grids
- Direct mount ceiling grids (which is a grid system that is attached to the framing of the ceiling and does not drop down)
- Glued right onto the ceiling surface
Be sure to check the recommended installation method when purchasing ceiling tiles to assure they will work with your installation method, as not all tiles are made to be installed in the same way.
Top PVC Ceiling Tile Brand Reviews, Costs, Where to Purchase
Price Per Peice
2' x 2'
2' x 4'
2' x 2'
Decorative Ceiling Tiles
2' x 2'
MirroFlex Hand Painted
2' x 4'
2' x 2'
2' x 4'
2' x 2'
Woven looks,Stripes and Checkered
2' x 4'
- Decorative Ceiling Tiles
- U Décor
- Talissa Decor
Several of these brands also make Styrofoam ceiling tiles and are included in our Styrofoam Ceiling Tile Reviews.
Ceilume sells all types of PVC ceiling tiles including tiles for suspended ceilings, direct mount ceilings and glue up. The tiles are available in a wide variety of styles, from plain to ornate and traditional to contemporary. Profiles available:
- Standard drop ceiling tiles – 35+
- Glue-on tiles – about 20
- Direct mount tiles – 15
You can choose from a visually interesting array of colors, wood looks, and faux metals. With the suspended ceiling line, your options also include clear, frosted, and translucent PVC tiles, which allow light through. There are matching ceiling grid covers for many of the available colors.
Ceilume offers basic tiles in two thicknesses. The tiles in the standard line are 0.013” thick and the tiles in the Signature line are 0.030” thick. Tiles are sized at 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’. Costs range from $6.00 per 2’ x 2’ tile for plainer tiles, and up to $19.00 per 2’ x 2’ tile for ornate, thicker, and wood-look tiles.
Ceilume offers an acoustic ceiling tile rated at .85 NRC with a coffered profile available in many colors and in a few metal and wood-looks. These tiles are sized at 2’ x 2’ and cost between $28.00 and $39.00 per tile.
Ceilume receives excellent customer ratings for stunning appearance and being easy to handle and install. Amazon carries some of the Ceilume profiles, and all are sold on the manufacturer’s website.
Armstrong manufactures two profiles of PVC ceiling tiles, a shallow coffered tile and a deeply coffered tile, both available in white and black, and sized at 2’ x 2’. These tiles work in a standard suspended ceiling grid. Costs range from $10.00 to $17.00 per tile.
Armstrong customers give the tiles good marks for quality, appearance and packaging that prevents damage to these rather delicate products. Armstrong PVC tiles are available at Lowes, the Home Depot and other building materials stores.
Decorative Ceiling Tile
Decorative Ceiling Tile makes an impressive collection of PVC tiles in just about every imaginable style and color.
- 300+ profiles of drop-in tiles
- 200+ profiles of glue-down tiles
A sampling of the “looks” include those that are quite simple and understated to very ornate tiles. Browse antique and aged looks, contemporary styles, hand painted tiles, and tiles featuring a luminescent paint, called MirroFlex. Also featured are tiles that mimic a variety of woods and metals.
Most of the tiles are available in 2’ x 2’ sizes, with some of the profiles available in 2’ x 4’ sizes. Prices range from $12.99 per tile for the simpler profiles to $89.00 per tile for the very ornate, hand painted, and MirroFlex painted tiles. You might enjoy trying the MirroFlex ceiling tiles Visualizer.
Customers compliment Decorative Ceiling Tiles for appearance, ease of installation, and value – though $89 for the hand-painted tiles isn’t cheap. Some Decorative Ceiling Tile profiles are available at Amazon. Home Depot sells the Decorative Ceiling Tile line From Plain to Beautiful in Hours. The full selection is available on the Decorative Ceiling Tiles site.
uDecor offers a large selection of PVC ceiling tiles in a variety of architectural styles and colors. The tiles are available in 2’ x 2’ sizes and they offer drop-in, direct mount, and glue-down choices.
Besides solid colors, they also offer faux metals, wood, and marble tiles. Some of their more unique choices include digitally printed tiles that provide a stained glass appearance and tiles printed with outdoor scenes. Scene choices include trees, a beach, an underwater scene, a waterfall and a sky. The entire scene can be printed on one 2’ x 2’ tile or spread over multiple tiles, up to twelve 2’ x 2’ tiles.
Single tile prices range from $6.00 to $10.00 for the simpler tiles, $10.00 to $15.00 for the wood-look and printed scene tiles, and $18.00 to $22.00 for the stained glass looking tiles.
Customer reviews for uDecor are excellent with comments including how the tiles transformed the room, how they provided a rich appearance, and how they were fairly easy to install. The tiles are sold exclusively online at uDecor.
Talissa Décor also offers a huge variety of decorative PVC ceiling tiles in 2’ x 2’ sizes for both glue-up and drop in installation. There are over 120 profiles with each available in multiple color choices. Some of their more unusual styles include a variety of woven looks, those mimicking marble and wood, faux distressed tin, stripes, and checkered patterns.
Prices range from $8.95 per tile to $12.99 per tile, which is one of the more affordable price ranges in this category of ceiling tiles. Customers rave about Talissa Décor ceiling tiles for their realistic appearance, beauty of the faux wood and metal tiles, the ease of installation and exceptional customer service. When you’re buying ceiling tiles online and you have questions or concerns, quality customer service is a huge bonus. Some of the Talissa Décor profiles are available at Amazon. The company website offers many videos that offer inspiration and how-to advice.
Pros of PVC Ceiling Tiles
Versatile – extensive choice of styles and colors
- Water and humidity resistant
- Easy to maintain
- Relatively easy to install
- Installation choices – glue-on, direct mount, drop-in
Cons of PVC Ceiling Tiles
- May release small amount of VOC’s into the air especially if they catch on fire
- May warp at high temperatures (over 120 degrees)
There are three methods of installing decorative PVC tiles and not all of the tiles can be installed using all 3 methods. Before purchase, you will need to check if the tiles can be installed by the method you will use.
Drop-In method is dropping or laying your tiles into an existing standard drop ceiling grid.
A Direct Mount grid is where the grid system is directly mounted to the ceiling and is not suspended. This system uses much less height than a suspended ceiling. Many of the tiles used in the drop-in method can also be used in the Direct Mount grid system.
Glue-on ceiling tiles are applied directly to the ceiling with an adhesive. The ceiling should be dry, free of peeling paint or stucco, and large cracks or holes should be filled. Use an adhesive recommended for PVC tiles.
PVC decorative ceiling tiles can be applied to walls adding a unique design statement to your room. Tiles can be glued or nailed to the wall. Following is a video showing how to nail faux tin tiles to a wall.
PVC ceiling tiles are easy to clean. Dust them with a soft brush or vacuum with a brush attachment as needed. For heavier dirt, add a small amount of regular dish soap to a damp cloth and wipe the tiles.
Can PVC tiles be installed over a popcorn ceiling?
Yes, fill any large holes or cracks, remove any peeling material, and make sure the ceiling is dry and free of dust and debris before you begin.
Can I paint PVC ceiling tiles?
Yes, most decorative PVC ceiling tiles come already finished, but they can be repainted with any water based paint. If your tiles feature a deep relief pattern, a paint sprayer will make the job easier.
Can PVC tiles be installed in areas with high humidity?
Yes, these tiles are water and moisture proof, and can be installed in basements, bathrooms, and even in showers. You will need to make sure the ceiling is completely dry at the time of installation.
Can PVC ceiling tiles be used outdoors?
Yes they can, but they might fade in constant direct sunlight and become brittle where winter temperatures often stay below the freezing point.
Is installation difficult?
Installing drop-in ceiling tiles is very easy. Simply remove the old tiles and lay in the new tiles. Installing glue-on ceiling tiles is slightly more difficult. You will need to center the tiles on the ceiling and you may need to cut some tiles for vent openings and light fixtures. You may also need to cut some tiles to fit against the walls.
Following is a helpful video featuring installation for both Drop-In and Glue-On installation methods: