Measuring and cutting the ceiling tiles properly is very important because you don’t want to mess up the ceiling design.

For those who love to do their household chores, repairing, and maintaining stuff, this article would be a great help. If you have a fiberglass ceiling you may find it dirty after some time.

Your inner craftsman raises a voice and says if you want to do it all by yourself. So here goes our set of steps that you need to follow to ceiling tiles and replace them efficiently.

To cut ceiling tiles you must have the following tools and things

  • Thin Work Gloves
  • Measuring Tape
  • A Pencil
  • Sharp Utility Knife or Carpet Knife
  • A Ladder
  • A Compass for Circular Cuts

Ceiling tiles come in different types like Acoustic tiles, Tin tiles, and wooden tiles. All tiles have different utilities that you can use to cut them. Tin tiles need to be cut by tin saws or snips. The wooden tiles are harder so they need saws to cut them.

Here we are taking the acoustic tiles or drop tiles which are easier to cut by you. Purchase some new tiles or you may have some left in your storage room.

Step 1: Wear your work Gloves

Get prepared for the work and wear your work gloves.

Do not use the surgical gloves but always use thin work gloves. These types of gloves are easily available from your nearby hardware shop.

The gloves will protect your hands from the rough texture of the tiles.

Step 2: Measure the tile space from Ceiling

Get your measuring tape or a ruler and measure the size of the tile from your ceiling.

Here you can use a tape measure and note down the width and length of the ceiling. Experts say its better to measure from the mid not from edge to edge.

Step 3: Mark the measurement on the ceiling tile

Use a light pencil to mark the measurement on the tiles that need to be cut. Always mark 0.125 inches less than the measured space. This will allow the tile to easily go up and fix it in the frame. If it will be the same size, it will not go up in the ceiling grid.

Step 4: Cut the Tile

Use a sharp utility knife or a carpet knife and carefully cut the tile on the measured marks. Grab the tile with your other hand and make deep cuts.

Try to hold your hand still and not swaying motion. This could affect the tile edges. Repeat the cutting process as the tile is completely cut.

You want the edges to be clean and neat so keep a straight, focused hand and keep cutting the tile. Follow the same process to the other tiles as well.

For wooden tiles, you may need to use a saw for cutting.

Step 5: Place it onto the Ceiling

Use a ladder to climb up to the ceiling and place the tiles one by one.

It is always helpful to have someone by your side to help you grab the tiles. If you are working alone take 2 to 3 tiles at a time as it is harder to place tiles.

The 0.125 inches less cutting will help you place the tiles in the frames easily.


For some frames or grids, you may require creating shadowing too.

For this, you need to mark the tile after putting it into the ceiling frames and cut halfway through the tile. Do the same from the sides as well. This will create a border-like look on the tiles.

Do this for all the other tiles as well. This will help the tile to fit into the ceiling girds properly.

Working with Circular Cuts

There may be some edges or designs that required you to cut the tiles in circular or semi-circle shapes.

You can measure the circular area and mark it on the tiles with the help of a pencil and a compass. You can use the utility knife to cut the tile.

There is always a smart option to use a rotary cutting tool that cuts deeply and finely.

Pro Tip to cut ceiling tiles

Always cut the ceiling tile on a flat wooden surface. Try not to damage anything underneath while cutting the tiles. Use your extra space like a garage or basement to do such stuff.

Follow the above steps to achieve great results in cutting the ceiling tiles. You may have to re-cut and fix the tiles at the start if you don’t measure the tiles properly. So be careful while measuring and cutting. If you cannot do this task all on your own you can always seek professional help.