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A ceiling is an overhead interior surface that bounds the upper limit of a room.  It is generally not a structural element, but a finished surface concealing the underside of the floor or roof structure above.

A cathedral ceiling is any tall ceiling area similar to those in a church.

A dropped ceiling is one in which the finished surface is constructed anywhere from a few inches to several feet below the structure above it.  This may be done for aesthetic purposes, such as achieving a desirable ceiling height; or practical purposes such as providing a space for HVAC or piping.  An inverse of this would be a raised floor.

A concave or barrel shaped ceiling is curved or rounded, usually for visual or acoustical value, while a coffered ceiling is divided into a grid of recessed square or octagonal panels, also called a lacunars ceiling.


A cove ceiling uses a curved plaster transition between wall and ceiling; it is named for cove molding, a molding with a concave curve.

Ceilings have frequently been decorated with fresco painting, mosaic tiles and other surface treatments.  While hard to execute (at least in situ) a decorated ceiling has the advantage that it is largely protected from damage by fingers and dust.  In the past, however, this was more than compensated for by the damage from smoke from candles or a fireplace.  Many historic buildings have celebrated ceilings, perhaps the most famous is the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo.


Acoustical Ceiling Tiles 

Acoustical ceiling tiles are great for noise reduction and soundproofing.  The soundproofing material is made from spun mineral wool fiber mixed with starch.  Your choices of different patterns and grid systems have increased tremendously. 

Acoustical Ceiling Tile Tips 

Planning is key when installing acoustical ceiling tile in your home.  Using a graph paper mock-up, create a layout with the widest borders possible and begin installing in the center of the room.  If using a suspended grid system to hold up the tile, first install the wall angle according to the manufacturer's restrictions.  Finish off your carefully installed tiles with the correct size of hanger wire, either 18 gauge for residences and 12 for commercial ceilings.  Stapled or glued ceiling tiles begin in the corner of the room, rather than the center, and can be easily cut to fit. 

Acoustical Ceiling Tile Manufacturers

So you're sold on installing acoustical ceiling tile in your home - now all you have to do is buy it!  Contact the following manufacturers for tile designs and purchases. 

Home Depot, Lowes, Armstrong.

Acoustical Ceiling Tile Properties

Acoustical ceiling tiles have come a long way in the past 35 years.  Not only are there more styles, colors, and choices, the actual materials are much better at controlling sound.  Many homeowners are turned off by acoustic tiles because they think of the ones they see in the discount department store ceilings.  These tiles are not the top of the line!  You must see the new tiles to believe them.

Highly decorated Moorish-style ceiling in Agadir, Morocco
Highly decorated Moorish-style ceiling in Agadir, Morocco