Drop ceilings cost $4 to $20 per square foot installed on average, or $400 to $4,000 for a 100 to 200 square foot ceiling. During the installation process, drop ceiling installers mount the grid framework, which holds removable tiles that hide wiring, plumbing, and ductwork. Then they install the tiles, which come in various materials, colors, and patterns.
Drop ceilings, also called suspended ceilings or acoustic ceiling tiles, are made of a metal grid framework which supports panels or tiles. These easily removable tiles provide insulation, sound suppression, and cover wiring and ductwork. Modern acoustic tiles come in many colors and patterns, including a coffered ceiling appearance.
Yes, you can paint drop ceiling tiles, but it may void the warranty and cause tile sagging. Painting may also affect the tiles' fire resistance and sound suppression. Remember the following tips if you decide to paint your tiles:
Drywall ceilings cost $2 to $4 per square foot installed, so they are typically cheaper than drop ceilings. However, drywall is heavier, messier, and harder to install than drop ceiling panels. The easiest and fastest type of ceiling to install is a drop ceiling.
Drop ceiling tiles are made of many different materials, including:
A professional drop ceiling installer spends 2 to 3 days building the framework and installing tiles. Complex installations that require pipework, ductwork, or electrical modifications take longer than average.
You need at least a 3” clearance between the drop ceiling framework and the rafters. Pipes, ductwork, and lighting may require more space. Building codes that mandate a minimum ceiling height of 7' may restrict the drop height, especially in basements.
Search our list of drop ceiling contractors, then:
Find the best drop ceiling installer by asking the following questions:
Search, get cost estimates, contact pros, and book—all for free.
View profiles, read reviews, check qualifications, and see prices before hiring.
Ask questions, confirm their availability, and hire the right pro when you're ready.