Q: Can ceiling panels be installed using glue?

A: Yes, but we only recommend glue applying 12"x12" tiles. The recommended adhesive is W.W. Henry #237 Acousti-Gum.

Armstrong's 12" x 12" K4C4 concealed ceiling tiles can be adhesive applied to a drywall or cured concrete ceiling. Adhesive will not properly stick to a tile if not primed. All Armstrong 12" x 12 K4C4 products, are factory primed. Here are a few installation tips:

  • Be sure the ceiling area is clean, sound, and free of grease and dirt before attempting to apply tile to it.
    Concrete: New concrete should be well cured and cleaned off with a sizer or an acid neutralizer, such as 10% zinc sulfate solution.
  • Painted Surfaces: Avoid applying tile to a newly painted ceiling. If there is an existing painted surface be sure it is well bonded. If the paint is flaking or peeling it must be removed.
  • Wood Surfaces: The ceiling surface should be comprised of a material that is not effected by changes in temperature and humidity, such as concrete or drywall. DO NOT glue tiles to plywood or other surfaces that will expand or contract with changing environmental conditions.
  • With a putty knife, apply the acoustical cement or adhesive to the tile in small dabs (about the size of a walnut) approximately 3" in from each of the four corners. 12" x 12" tiles should have four dabs and 12" x 24" tiles should have six dabs. As the tile is pressed to the ceiling, the adhesive will spread and cover an area of about 3" across and 1/8" to 3/16" thick. The recommended adhesive is the W.W. Henry Company #237 Acousti-Gum.
  • Do not butter too many tiles in advance, as a skin will form on the adhesive dabs and weaken the bond.
  • Level tile by inserting a 1/16" thick fiber spline approximately 3" long at each corner ( works out to one spline for every tile.)
  • Use a 48" to 72" straightedge and press to the face of the installed tile to help level the ceiling.
  • If a trim is needed at the perimeter use one of the Armstrong Slip-On Wall Moldings. These moldings are 10' long and have a 15/16" flange and are available in thickness' of 1/2" (#7841), 5/8" (#7842), and 3/4" (#7843).


Special Note: Condition area to be installed, materials, and adhesive at 65 degrees F or over for 24 hours before and 24 hours after installation. To assure a good bond, tile must primed or "buttered" with the adhesive in areas to receive dabs. Do not bend tile during installation. The "spring load" will cause the adhesive to release. Avoid working with warped tile, as the same problem will occur. On surfaces which were previously tiled, do not place new adhesive on top of old adhesive. For painted or sealed surfaces, install a small test area and observe after 12 hours. Loose or soft paint must be removed prior to installation. Apply exactly the amount of adhesive recommended. Too much or too little will interfere in adhesive performance. Use only the size dabs recommended and in the positions recommended. Do not apply adhesive to the center of tile.

For additional information on glue-up applications for acoustical ceiling tile we recommend referencing the CISCA Ceiling System Handbook which has a complete chapter on this procedure.

Back to FAQs