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Old 07-19-2009, 08:24 AM   #1
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


How do I get a clean professional cut when cutting accoustic ceiling tiles. I have a few that need replaced. I've used straight edge razor and still not as clean as the ones that are in the ceiling when I purchased the home. They almost look like a machine cut them they're so perfect. Any ideas? Newer do-it-yourselfer.

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Old 07-19-2009, 12:08 PM   #2
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


That is how I cut them. A new blade, straight edge and a solid surface to cut the tile on. I make 2-3 passes on each cut.

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Old 07-20-2009, 08:37 AM   #3
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


Thanks - seems like a lot of tedious work. I was thinking of using a dremel.
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Old 07-20-2009, 10:11 AM   #4
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


I would only say tedious if you have hundreds of these things to cut.

Even then I believe your best option is a sharp utility knife and a straight edge.

This is what I use:
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:02 AM   #5
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


I also use a straight edge or framing square and box knife. I think you will find the dremil more trouble than it is worth. Change your blade frequently for cleaner cuts. The ceiling panels will dull blades fast.
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Old 07-20-2009, 11:14 AM   #6
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


Thanks to all! I only need to do about 6 cuts.
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Old 07-20-2009, 08:14 PM   #7
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


Remember to always cut the edge that will be at your outside perimeter if possible. People are less prone to stand flat against your walls and look straight up.

If you happen to get a little (and I mean little) knick in the tile, a quick dab of white out can do wonders.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:27 AM   #8
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


I always cut from the painted side in. If anything frays, it is on the backside and the clean cut edge is exposed. Cutting holes I use a hole saw and turn by hand to start with fragile tiles, or trace the circle or curve with a pencil then pre perf with only the knife tip, from the painted side.
A metal square or straight edge may scuff your painted surface if you slide it...I use a lightweight straightedge
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Old 07-21-2009, 09:51 AM   #9
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


The easiest way to do it. Cut your tile to fit in the grid, then put it in place, now take your knife and score your line to be cut> remove tile and cut that line. This way it will be right on to your grid. No need to measure and use a straight edge!
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Old 07-21-2009, 04:19 PM   #10
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


UH Chevy , how does that work along a wallyou can't cut your outer edge unless you flip the tile 180 and then if the wall is out of line so is your cut.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:31 PM   #11
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


my bad, I re-read everything. He just wants a good clean cut on his tiles. My method is for cutting border cuts in reveal tiles.
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Old 07-21-2009, 06:19 PM   #12
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Ceiling Tiles - Cutting accoustic tiles


Now isn't this coincidence, cutting and installing 2 x 2 drop-in ceiling tiles is all I did today and will do tomorrow. I learned years back NOT to use any power tools on these as it just makes to big a mess. I use the framing square and razor knife method, and as posted, change blades about every sixth tile or so. Me-I also like to spray the edges with KILZ in the spray can to sort of bond the fibrous cut edge and to give it some whitish color. Some of you may understand this-one reason I am having to replace these tiles in a business is that they are sagging very bad, not discolored at all, just sagging. Why, I know you asked. This is a house built in 1898 and had acoustical tile ceiling put in some twenty years or so ago when it became a law office. When I pulled out a good tile to see why the tiles were sagging, there lying on top of the tiles was the plaster from the original ceiling, about two feet above the tiles. The lath boards are still in good shape but the plaster has let go and fallen onto these ceiling tiles which cannot support the weight. I bet I removed a couple of hundred pounds of this broken plaster today. It's a shame, I'd rather see good finished plaster than those ceiling tiles any day. Thanks, David

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