Mineral Fiber Suspended Ceiling

Suspended Ceiling 101: Mineral Fiber Tiles

Suspended Ceiling 101: Mineral Fiber Tiles

Since their introduction to the market, mineral fiber ceilings, or acoustical ceilings, have become a popular "go-to" suspended ceiling option for commercial and residential projects alike because of their excellent acoustical and other performance properties as well as their affordability.

What’s in a mineral fiber suspended ceiling?

These ceiling tiles are made from recycled newspaper, perlite, fiberglass, mineral wool, and binding agents, making them a highly reliable sound-absorbing solution. Because of their make-up, the tiles should be handled with care all the way from manufacturing to installation, and everywhere in between. It should also be noted that Armstrong Ceilings have never been manufactured with asbestos but care should be taken when handling old ceiling tiles from other makers.


Ceiling tile options

Mineral fiber ceilings have significantly improved in terms of looks over the years, replacing many alternatives like tin, gypsum, and even drywall for customers who need suspended ceiling solutions with acoustics, sag, and mold/mildew performance. Gone are the days of when fissured (or worm-holed) tiles were your only option - though you can still find them if you need some replacements. Whether your project specifications call for smooth or textured panels, square edge or tegular (stepped) edge panels, there are a variety of configurations and options available for just about every project.


Types of projects

Mineral fiber ceilings can be used in a variety of projects including: 

  • Patch & Match jobs in schools, offices, and small retail shops where the existing ceiling tiles have become stained or damaged over time. 

  • Full renovation projects that require an affordable suspended ceiling system where performance is paramount. 

  • Replacing the old tiles but keeping the grid - save time, money, and labor while giving your space a makeover with fresh new tiles. 

  • Convert a 24” x 48” suspended ceiling to a more modern 24” x 24” one. Why tear out the old grid system if you’re able to use everything that’s already there and click in additional 2-foot cross-tees to fit the fresh, new tiles?

Installing a Suspended Ceiling

Watch videos and learn how to install a suspended ceiling.

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Performance is important!

Have you ever noticed that suspended ceilings are everywhere, from your local barbershop to storefronts, and even in restaurants and office spaces? It’s because they perform! They help make those spaces more enjoyable thanks to better acoustics, moisture resistance, light reflectance, and even cleanability.

Acoustics - Noise is one of the most distracting issues within spaces no matter where you go: restaurants, grocery stores, offices, etc. Our suspended ceiling tiles are designed to handle sound absorption (less echos and feedback, also known as “NRC”) and sound blocking (noise traveling between closed spaces, also known as “CAC”). Not only is it important to control the noise in a space (sound absorption), but also it’s equally important to maintain privacy in areas such as classrooms, exam rooms, meeting spaces as well as offices (sound blocking). 

Let’s use classrooms as a short case study:  It’s necessary for controlling noise within a classroom setting since students only hear 25% of instruction being taught due to poor acoustics.* Noise creates stress, vocal fatigue, and classroom challenges. The key to solving the problem is better acoustics. Reduce the noise while maintaining privacy with acoustical mineral fiber ceiling tiles.

*ANSI STANDARD S12.60 ON CLASSROOM ACOUSTICS

Light Reflectance - With their high light reflective value, it's no wonder that acoustical ceilings are the ideal choice for suspended ceiling solutions - they create a more appealing and brighter space as a result. More light returned means a brighter space with less indirect lighting, reduced energy consumption and happier clients. A high light-reflectance ceiling can contribute to lower energy costs and consumption.

Moisture-resistance - With two areas of advanced moisture-resistance available in select panels, you can help be protected against mold, mildew, and sagging.

Cleanability - Cleanable ceilings are available for areas with highly demanding requirements for sanitary spaces such as healthcare, labs, salons, and food prep areas. Due to the differences in the finishes and textures, each product may require a different method of cleaning.

Fire Performance - Almost all Armstrong Ceiling panels, tiles, and planks achieve a Class A rating for flame/smoke spread, and are therefore suitable for use in most residential and commercial spaces. However, certain spaces require an even higher level of assurance. For example, for UL Fire-Rated assemblies, look for our Fire Guard items. Remember, UL tests entire systems. Look for both Fire Guard ceiling panels and grid main beams. Check with your local code officials to understand your project requirements. Find the fire classification on our Product Specifications page and as always, feel free to contact us if you have further questions.

PDF The difference between Class A and UL Fire-Rated Assemblies

Helpful Tools

We know that having the right tools for the job is critical to the successful completion of the project, which is why we provide plenty of tools and resources available to help you estimate, layout, and plan for your project.

  • Ceiling Replacement Finder - search for your existing ceiling item or send a photo to our TECHLINE experts for easy identification.

  • Drop Ceiling Calculator - lay out your space, give us dimensions, and we’ll provide a list of materials needed to finish your project.

  • Where to Buy - Most of our products are available at your local home improvement store, either in stock or via special order.

Whether you need to replace a few panels or complete a full renovation, Armstrong Ceiling Solutions has you covered.