Ceiling FAQs from Armstrong

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Ceiling FAQs

Have a question about Armstrong Ceilings? Look here for the answer. You can also chat with a Customer Service technician.


Ceiling General

Q. Where can I buy Armstrong ceilings?

A. See where to buy ceilings near you.

Q. How can I get a brochure on Armstrong ceilings?

A. View or download an Armstrong ceiling brochure.

Q. Where can I find a copy of my ceiling warranty information?

Q. Is my Armstrong ceiling warranty transferable?

A. No, the warranty is good only for the original purchaser. More ceiling warranty information.

Q. What are Armstrong ceilings made of?

A. Mineral fiber ceilings contain at least 24% recycled materials, and some as much as 95%. They also contain renewable and natural materials: starch, perlite (a form of natural glass), and clay.

Durable plank ceilings are made from wood fiber byproducts. Coffered ceilings are made from high performance engineered resin, rigid PVC.

Metallaire™ ceilings are made of real metal. The Brass, Chrome, and Copper finishes are plated aluminum. The White finish is factory-applied powder coated steel, and the Lacquered Steel finish is factory-applied lacquered steel.

Note: Insulation must never be placed behind fire-rated ceilings, without prior approval from your building code official. Also, putting insulation on the back of fiberglass panels is not recommended.

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Q.How much will a new ceiling cost?

A. Costs vary according to product design and performance features. The cost for a new ceiling in a 10' x 12' room would range from $50 - $500. This figure does not include the cost of a suspended grid system or installation.

Q.Will the ceiling sag over time?

A. No, if the ceiling is installed according to its warranty. Armstrong ceilings are made to resist the effects of moisture. When properly installed under the right conditions, they remain level and flat.

We recommend using HumiGuard™ Plus panels or fiberglass panels in areas of high or seasonal humidity. They are guaranteed not to sag in all high-humidity room conditions – just short of standing water, direct contact with water, or other areas where condensation is likely.

Q. Do Armstrong ceilings protect against flammability?

A. Armstrong ceiling panels, tiles, and planks are fire-retardant and meet high industry standards for flame-spread ratings. See individual ceiling product warranties for specific fire ratings.

Ceiling Maintenance

Q. How can I replace a damaged tile?

A. Use the Identify My Ceiling tool to identify the damaged tile and find a replacement.

Q. How do I clean my mineral fiber ceiling?

A. Armstrong mineral fiber ceiling systems require no more maintenance than painted drywall ceilings. However, when maintenance is necessary, certain procedures should be followed to ensure continued high performance and attractive appearance.

Dust and loose dirt may easily be removed by light brushing or with a vacuum cleaner. Vacuum cleaner attachments such as those designed for cleaning upholstery or walls do the best job. Be certain to clean in one direction only. This will prevent rubbing dust into the surface of the ceiling.

After loose dust has been removed, pencil marks, smudges, or clinging dirt may easily be erased with an ordinary art gum eraser. However, a good grade wall cleaner may be preferred. Be certain to use fresh cleaner.

Armstrong mineral fiber ceilings may be cleaned with a moist cloth or a sponge dampened in water containing mild soap. The sponge should contain as little water as possible. After washing, the soapy film should be wiped off with a cloth or sponge slightly dampened in clean water.

Q. How do I maintain my fiberglass ceiling?

A. Vinyl-faced fiberglass ceilings are less affected by moisture and will withstand repeated washings with mild detergents or germicidal cleaners.

Q. How do I clean my WoodHaven plank ceiling system?

A. WoodHaven ceiling planks are virtually maintenance- free. Simply wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Q. How do I clean my Easy Elegance coffered ceiling?

A. Easy Elegance coffers and grid covers are virtually maintenance-free. Simply wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Q. How do I clean my Metallaire™ Ceilings?

A. Routine cleaning should be performed with a mild soap and water using a soft cloth or sponge – never use anything abrasive.

Ceiling – Installation

Q. Can I install an Armstrong ceiling as a do-it-yourself project?

A. Yes, most of our ceilings can be easily installed. See below for detailed installation instructions.

Q. Do I need to install insulation between floors?

A. Most ceilings are installed between floors that are maintained at the same temperature – making insulation unnecessary. Most basements are at least partly heated by heat flow through the ceiling from the heated space above. In that case, attempting to insulate the basement ceiling surface could actually reduce heat flow.

Q. Can Armstrong ceilings be used in the bathroom?

A. Yes, if the bathroom is vented to the outside with a fan. Armstrong ceilings with HumiGuard® Plus offer extra sag resistance for use in areas of high humidity. BioBlock® treatment inhibits the spread of mold and mildew on the treated surface.

Q. Can I put insulation on the back of an Armstrong ceiling?

A. Only on Armstrong suspended ceiling panels that are at least 5/8" thick. You must use rolled insulation and install it perpendicular to the cross tees so that the weight of the insulation rests on the suspended grid system, and there is air space between the insulation and the panel. Ask your dealer for specific details.

Q. What kind of surfaces can I install Armstrong ceilings over?

A. Most Armstrong tile ceilings (including Tin Look paintable ceilings) and plank ceilings (including WoodHaven ceiling planks) can be installed over an existing ceiling that is in good shape. This includes open joists, drywall, plaster, and popcorn ceilings.

The 2’ x 2’ and 2’ x 4’ panels must be installed with a suspended grid system. This suspended ceiling system can be installed over any ceiling surface or open joists where hanger wires can be attached.

Q. Where can I install Armstrong ceilings in my home?

A. For most rooms, you can choose from our entire line of ceilings. For bathrooms or rooms that reach over 70% humidity, you should select a ceiling with our HumiGuard™ Plus feature. Learn more about Basement Remodeling.

Q. What is the minimum overhead distance required for a new suspended ceiling?

A. Armstrong suspended ceilings require a minimum of 3" of overhead clearance. If you’re installing recessed lighting, measure the height of the light and add 2" of overhead clearance. Fiberglass suspended ceilings require a minimum clearance of 2-1/2".

Q. Should ceiling materials adjust to room conditions (temperature and humidity) before installation?

A. Yes. Unpack ceiling materials 24 hours before installation to allow the product to adjust to normal room conditions. Do not install during excessively humid conditions. See specific product instructions for best results.

Q. Can ceilings be installed over embedded radiant-heat coil ceilings?

A. No. An appreciable loss of heating efficiency will result and the ceiling will not remain stable.

Q. Can a new ceiling be cemented directly over old ceiling tiles?

A. Only if the old ceiling tiles are in very good shape. Often, old ceiling tiles have deteriorated, and you can’t get an adequate hold for the new ceiling.

Ceiling – Lighting

Q. Can existing light fixtures be used with a new ceiling?

A. Yes. But you may have to remove the fixture to install the ceiling and then reinstall it over the new ceiling.

Q. How many fluorescent lighting fixtures will I need for a new ceiling, if they serve as my main source of light for my room?

A. The standard recommendation for 4’ fluorescent tube light fixtures is two for every 75 square feet of suspended ceiling.

Q. Can a hanging or swag lamp be used with an Armstrong ceiling?

A. Yes, if supported independently from the ceiling.

Q. If my ceiling question is not listed here, how can I get an answer?

A. Contact Armstrong Ceilings or call 1-800-233-3823.

Ceiling – Painting

Q. Can Armstrong ceilings be painted?

A. All Armstrong mineral fiber ceilings, rigid PVC ceilings, and StyleStix grid covers can be painted.

If you want to paint Metallaire products, we recommend using the Lacquered Steel finish for the best results.

If you want to paint WoodHaven® products, you will need to choose either Painted White or Beadboard style. The other finishes can’t be painted.

Fiberglass panels should not be painted.

Q. Can I paint the ceiling grid?

A. Grid can be painted any color or to mimic any metal – bronze, tin, gold, or copper. Latex or water-based paints are recommended.
  1. Install the ceiling material. Tiles and planks may be installed before or after painting.
  2. Using a paint roller with a 1/4" nap, apply two coats of paint, waiting 24 hours between coats.
  3. To achieve the look of green patina that develops on copper with age, use a small natural sponge to apply a stippling of dark green paint followed 24 hours later by a stippling of light green paint. Vary the placement of the paint and texture of the sponge to create an authentic look.
Note: For best results on 2' x 2' or 2' x 4' panels: If using a water-based paint, paint the back side of the panels with one coat of paint and let dry before installing to prevent cupping.

Painting Precaution: Armstrong cannot guarantee that the published surface burning characteristics, fire resistance ratings, acoustical performance, dimensional stability/sag, or light reflectance will remain the same after repainting. Field painting will void the ceiling's warranty.

Q. Will painting acoustical ceilings affect acoustic efficiency?

A. Yes. Armstrong acoustical ceilings can be painted using non-bridging or porous paint that does not cover the holes, but expect a slight loss of sound absorption.

Easy Elegance Coffered Ceilings

Q. What type of lighting can I use with Easy Elegance Coffers?

A. Easy Elegance coffers and border panel ceiling products work best with modern lighting choices such as Compact Fluorescent Lighting (CFL) and Advanced LED lighting, which operate much cooler than other lighting options.

You must maintain a 1/8" gap or larger around all recessed lighting fixtures. Follow the lighting manufacturer's recommendations for all lighting, making sure that any fixtures are supported by your t-bar, drop ceiling grid, or the framing structure above it. Caution: these panels should not be used with any lamp that will generate surface temperatures exceeding 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Q. Can I paint Easy Elegance coffers?

A. All Easy Elegance products can be painted with latex paint before installation. Make sure your ceiling panels are clean and dry, and experiment on a sample with your paint color before painting the ceiling in its entirety.

Q. Are Easy Elegance Coffers fire-rated?

A. All Easy Elegance products meet residential building codes for safety. They are Class A. They are approved for residential use only.

Q. Are your ceiling tiles moisture resistant?

A. Our rigid PVC ceiling tiles are extremely moisture resistant. In fact, they are unaffected by humidity, and will not absorb water at all. They are moisture, mold, and mildew resistant on the treated surface.

Q. Can I cut the tile to fit the perimeter of my room?

A. We provide an Easy Elegance border panel that is designed to coordinate with the coffers and can be cut with scissors to fit along the perimeter of your room when a full panel can’t be used.

You can also choose to install a drywall perimeter as a border in your room – eliminating the need to cut ceiling panels. Refer to the installation instructions for more information.

Q. Can I mount Easy Elegance coffers directly to my ceiling?

A. No, our lightweight designs are made exclusively for grid mount/drop ceiling applications.

Q. Will air flow cause my tiles to lift out of the ceiling grid?

A. For normal installations most designs do not require hold-down clips. Hold-down clips are only required in extreme conditions. If there is a rapid change in the air pressure above and below the tiles, they may move. You can purchase hold-down clips (Item #UHDCA) if you feel that you will need them for your ceiling tile installation.

Q. Where can I buy Armstrong Easy Elegance products?

A. Find a Store
Find our products in a store near you

Q. Where can I find black grid?

A. Black grid kits are available at retail locations that offer our Easy Elegance black coffers. Ask for Item #6357BL.

Q. How do I clean my panels?

A. Simply wipe clean with a damp cloth.

Q. Why is the border panel visual different than the coffer?

A. The Easy Elegance border panel was designed to coordinate with the coffer, but still maintain its structure after cutting it to fit in the border area. Easy Elegance border panels can also be used in a full ceiling application, especially where height clearance is an issue.

StyleStix Grid Covers

Q. Do they fit all grid systems?

A. StyleStix is designed to fit grid face measuring 15/16˝ wide. This is the standard grid measurement in most homes. We recommend that you measure the face width of your grid before purchasing StyleStix to be sure they’ll fit.

Q. What if my current ceiling system is 2' x 4'?

A. StyleStix is made for a 2' x 2' ceiling suspension system, but you can easily convert your 2' x 4' system by purchasing 2' cross tees and snapping them into place.

Q. Can I paint StyleStix?

A. Yes, with latex paint.

Q. Do StyleStix come in any other colors?

A. No, but they can be painted with latex paint.

Q. Do I have to remove my ceiling panels to install StyleStix over my grid?

A. No, StyleStix can be snapped into place while your ceiling panels remain in place

Q. Is StyleStix moisture-resistant?

A. Yes, they are moisture, mold and mildew-resistant. In fact, they are not affected by humidity, and will not absorb water at all.

Q. Can I mount StyleStix directly to my ceiling?

A. No, StyleStix is designed to fit over standard metal grid systems.

Q. How do I cut StyleStix?

A. Using a miter saw or hack saw.

Q. Can StyleStix be used with ceiling panels having a reveal (tegular) edge detail?

A. Yes, StyleStix work with almost all types of ceiling panels that fit 15/16˝ metal grid.

Q. Where can I buy StyleStix products?

A. Find a store near you.