Q: What do I look for when installing a tin ceiling? – Joan, Kent, Ohio

A: Tom Silva replies: In my opinion, you look for somebody to do it for you. Or else you look for Band-Aids — tin is very sharp and you're definitely going to get a lot of little cuts. That aside, the hardest part about it is the layout. You've got to be so careful, because if the details of your ceiling layout are off, the whole project won't work out right.

Start in the center of the room and work it out so that it's balanced on each side. Then look at the type of moldings and how you transition from the wall to the ceiling. The simplest is doing a wood crown molding, but you can also get involved with fancy crown and metal moldings. If you want a contractor to do it, you'll have to find a specialty contractor, because not a lot of guys will do it. I would say it's probably going to cost you two to three times what a good plastered ceiling would, since it requires covering the whole ceiling with plywood for a good nailing base.

There are a few companies that advertise tin ceilings. You can give them the dimensions and they'll be able to tell you what they have to offer. There are also companies out there that make wallpaper that simulates tin ceilings, so you have a few options. Good luck.
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