You’ve got a lot of options when it comes to ceilings. From an array of design styles and materials–you’ve got some tough decisions to make. But understanding your options is the first step to making the process easier and ending up with a choice you love.
Some materials work better than others in certain spaces. From sustainability to structural integrity to fire retardancy, your choice will depend upon your needs. Metal ceilings can cover all of your bases and deliver a look that you’ll love for a lifetime.
Choosing the right type of metal ceiling comes down to understanding both what they are and what you want. So if you’re interested in exploring the world of metal ceilings, read on. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about these versatile ceilings and set you on the right path toward a ceiling design that will turn heads.
What are Metal Ceilings?
As you may have guessed, metal ceilings are constructed with a variety of metal building materials. This includes beams, sheets, and a wide range of panels. Metal ceiling materials range from aluminum ceiling panels to steel ceilings. The style options are seemingly endless.
Metal ceilings are also strong and lightweight, and they are available in nearly any finish you can imagine. There’s a lot to love.
Let’s look at what makes this material a fantastic option for your next project.
Benefits of Metal Ceilings
There are several reasons to choose metal ceilings for your home or office. When compared to more basic building materials, they deliver on several fronts. They look great, contribute to structural integrity, and they last longer than many other options.
The first benefit your room will get from metal ceilings is an aesthetic bump. Metal ceilings are available in so many different shapes and finishes that they can accent any design. Plus, metal delivers a much more interesting visual appeal than drywall or plain panels. No matter how you’re designing your space, there’s a metal ceiling that ties it together.
Another way metal ceilings improve spaces is by making them sound better. If you know a thing or two about acoustics, this may seem counterintuitive since metal offers a hard, reflective surface. While these types of materials typically contribute to echo and reverberation, manufacturers have figured out the solution.
Metal ceilings are designed to enhance the acoustics in a room. Whether it’s due to diffusion or absorption, the design you choose can greatly affect the acoustics. We’ll get deeper into this a little later.
Metal ceilings are incredibly strong. This is why we typically seek metal when we’re after durability. Stone and concrete are very heavy to suspend in the air, which is why we opt for suspended metal ceilings when strength is a concern.
Metal also stands up to moisture much better than most building materials used in ceilings. It won’t soak up water and it resists mildew. Take care of it, and your metal ceiling will last a very long time.
Another reason metal is such an important structural element is that it doesn’t readily burn. That means it doesn’t contribute to fires and is less likely to fail in the case of a fire. As a result, it can give you valuable time to escape if you see or smell smoke. This is also a critical benefit if you have children or the infirm inside.
Different Types of Metal Ceilings
Within the world of metal ceilings, you have many great options to explore. Some metal ceiling types can be installed DIY, while others may require you to call in reinforcements. Some are great for acoustics, and others will require additional treatments to keep the space from getting too loud.
But the one thing metal ceilings all have in common is that they look great, so we’ll start there. Let’s take a look at impressive metal ceiling styles that suit homes and offices.
Linear Baffle Ceilings
A wonderful way to add visual length is through linear baffle ceilings. They not only make rooms look longer, but they also create depth and contrast. To top it off, linear metal ceiling baffles hide overhead ductwork and pipes nicely. They accomplish all these wonderful feats through their simple and timeless construction.
Linear baffle ceilings are created by suspending metal planks on the edge below the ceiling joists. You can hang them in continuous runs or as individual baffles to create something cool. They’re also available in different sizes and shapes, so you can incorporate them into nearly any design.
Linear baffle ceilings also provide some acoustic benefits. They redirect sound reflections into the space above and reduce some of the echo and reverb in the room. When you experience sound differences over flat ceilings, you may be surprised at how well they perform.
Open Cell Metal Ceilings
This is a great option if acoustics are at the top of your mind. Open-cell metal ceilings are kind of like linear baffle ceilings if the lines are turned and intersected and create polygons. Those shapes create chutes that funnel sound waves up into overhead space at different angles.
They’re also an incredibly cool way to add texture to overhead spaces. Creating a patchwork of contrasting shapes overhead adds an artistic touch to any interior. You can install an acoustic backing above the cells to increase acoustic performance.
Micro perforated Panels
Another type of metal ceiling that delivers on the acoustic front is the micro perforated panel. These panels are constructed of flat decorative metal sheets, perforated with thousands of very small holes. Those holes allow sound waves to pass through perforated metal ceiling panels but prevent many of them from returning. If you want to up your acoustic game, add the acoustical backer.
Micro perforated panels are available in nearly any color under the sun, and can even be printed on. You can even print wood grains if you want the performance of metal but the look of wood. This way you can have the best of both worlds. They also fit into standard T-grid systems, so this is a project you can tackle yourself.
Simply choose a height for your ceiling and suspend the grid to that level. You’ll suspend them with wires that attach to the structure overhead. Once the grid is in place, your panels will drop right in. It’s not incredibly difficult, but if you’ve never done it, you’ll want to do a little research. You can find basic instructional videos online, and a reputable retailer can show you additional tricks of the trade.
Decorative Metal Ceiling Panels
If you want something simple, decorative metal panels are another easy DIY project that delivers a classic look. You can use the same type of T-grid system to suspend them from the ceiling. The panels will sit right into the squares or rectangles you’ve created with the grid. That means you can get it done over a day spent with a few friends and a couple of pizzas.
They’re also available in a range of textures and designs from corrugated metal to ornate stamped panels. You can match every panel or you can mix and match to suit your style. Decorative panels are an easy way to find a unique look that accents your design.
Taking Care of Metal Ceilings
While metal ceilings don’t require a lot of maintenance, you’ll want to take care of them to keep them looking great. To keep the paint from peeling or staining, make sure to spot clean metal ceiling tiles as needed.
First, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t using any abrasives. A soft, lint-free cloth works best. Also, try to avoid any harsh chemicals. A damp cloth with gentle, diluted soap should suffice. Once you wipe down the spots, make sure to let them air dry.
If you are working with unpainted finishes, you may want to hit it with some glass cleaner. Wipe in the direction of any brush marks; and again, make sure to use a soft, lint-free cloth. Taking a little time to clean any dirt or debris will keep them looking great for a lifetime.
Use Great Materials
If you’re going to invest in a metal ceiling, it makes sense to use quality materials. Metal ceilings can last a very long time, and the materials you choose will set that timeline. Consulting with a reputable firm will ensure you get the best materials for your needs and your wallet.
Whether you’re looking for corrugated metal ceiling panels or micro perforated panels, we can help with the specifics. We know building materials, but we specialize in acoustics. So if you want to get the best performance, reach out for a consultation.