Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Kitchen Ceiling

My kitchen needs a lot of work.

For the most part the room is 1924 original.  There were some ugly prefab oak cabinets installed on one wall, but they are now long gone.

What I am left with is a room that is in some desperate need of sprucing up.  The cabinets need to be reshellacked.  Walls need to be wallpapered and repainted (paint and wallpaper already purchased).  Trim needs to be replaced in areas where it is missing.  The dingy-oh-so-attractive accoustic ceiling needs to be replaced.  1980's fixtures need to be replaced (already purchased).  And the floors need to be refinished.  Eventually a matching cabinet will need to be added to one of the bare walls.

First things first.  I decided to start from the top down.  A few weeks ago, I tested the ceiling for asbestos.  It's hard to tell how old it is, but it has been painted many times and is about an inch thick.  I've never seen anything like it before.  Tests came back negative.

So, we spent some time at Menards researching options this past weekend.  Menards was not my first choice, but after contacting a number of tin ceiling companies by phone I was left somewhat frustrated by their lack of customer service.....and reluctant to do business with them only to find myself midway through installation with a problem....sitting for hours in phone hold hell.  So, this brings us back to Menards.

Here are the options:

1.) Real tin ceiling.  Pros:  it's historically accurate.  And as much as I try to not to be obsessive, this appeals to my purist side.  Cons:  It is the priciest option at $4.25/sq ft.  It also is the most hassle to install.  Special order.

2.) Press & Stick Thermoplastic Tin Replica.  Comes like tin sheets, but is high-impact plastic.  Truth: This one isn't going to crack it for me regardless of its pros.  I just can't bring myself to hang something with "peel & stick" in its name.  I just can't do it.

3.)  Armstrong's Tin Tile.  I initially poo-pooed this one, but it has been growing on me.  They are lightweight ceiling tiles with a tin-style design stamped on their surface.  Pros:  Easy to install.  Painted they almost look like the real thing.  Fire retardand.  Easy to replace.  Least expensive option at $1.27/sq ft.  Cons: Not tin.  Disappoints the purist side of me.  Rationalization:  I could actually get the ceiling done using this route.  And as my mom pointed out, if it turns out I don't like it......I can easily pull it down and put up the real thing in a year or so.        


mer10ant said...

have you tried your local salvage yard? both of ours have lots of tin ceiling tiles salvaged from buildings in the area. I dont know how big your ceiling is, but there's every possibility you could find what you need while meeting both of your key criteria: vintage/original and cheap.



stuccohouse said...

I'm a regular at my local salvage places :-)  I did look for tin there for a while.  A few topics kept rearing their ugly head:  1) the old tiles are usually from commercial buildings and tend to have bigger squares and the designs much more pronounced...which seem like they might overpower my smallish ceiling.  2) Many of them were in pretty dented condition which seems like it would make reinstalling the wood moulding a nightmare. 3) they would need to be stripped and repainted - which might send me over the edge. 4) the vintage tin is thick - is this a pain for a newbie to cut?

My house is a bungalow.  Depending on who you talk to - a tin ceiling is appropriate or it isn't.  I figure I'm using it for its intended purpose - to cover a destroyed ceiling.....but I've been trying to keep the design as low key as possible.

If there is anyone out there that has used a vintage tin ceiling.....and my listed fears are full of crap/irrational.....let me know!!

Whew, can you tell I have been thinking about this way tooo much?!

cw2smom said...

Congrats on being an Editor's Pick...I am glad I found you.  You have a nice journal here.  Regarding the ceiling tiles....I have several boxes of Armstrongs sitting here and can't wait to get them put up.  They were a special order from Lowes.  We didn't know that you also have to order the special framework that is used in installation.   Now I must order that...drat!  Good luck with your decision.  Lisa @ Wearin' My Heart

hestiahomeschool said...

We need a tin ceiling, too, ASAP since my daughter put her foot through the second floor ceiling chasing an escaped gerbil...sigh...

Come visit our daily blog ! http://journals.aol.com/hestiahomeschool/HomeschoolingJournal

jlshultz said...

Does anyone have the stock number for these Armstrong "tin type" tiles?  I have been trying to order the 1240 tiles but no one carries them and will not order them without the SKU number.  (Home Depot, Lowes, etc).

stuccohouse said...

I bought a couple of the tin type ceiling tiles at Menards. The SKU on the sticker on the back is:  42369 18203.  Menards carried them in stock.  If  you live anywhere near a Menards, I noticed they are on sale this week for $.89/square - the info listed in the ad is "#1240.  517-1947."  Hope this helps.

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