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Old 09-11-2006, 02:50 PM - Thread Starter
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I am planning a drop ceiling in our 24.5 x 14.5 HT. Every conceivable pipe/drain/source runs across this ceiling, so we have no choice but to do a drop ceiling. I have run multiple searches, and the overwhelming issue with a black drop ceiling is where to buy the tiles and grids, and those that have listed sources were quite a few years old. I was hoping that those who have managed to find these tiles in the last year or so could please supply info on where you purchased the black tiles and/or black grid, and if there were any tricks involved. I have been to numerous HD/Lowes in and around Atlanta, and I am told these are available as special order in these stores, but no-one knows how to go about ordering them ($#^%##^). I really don't want to order the super duper fancy pricey acoustic tiles that are over $15 each for a 2x2, and then another gazillion in shipping, just the common-and-garden variety, such as Armstrong, etc. Any information would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
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Old 09-11-2006, 03:37 PM
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I simply spray painted white ones.

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Old 09-11-2006, 04:20 PM - Thread Starter
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I have heard that mentioned frequently on the forum, but this is from the Armstrong website:

"Will painting acoustical ceilings affect acoustic efficiency?

Yes. Armstrong acoustical ceilings can be painted using no bridging or porous paint that does not cover the holes, but expect a slight loss of sound absorption."

http://armstrong.com/resclgam/na...icle17697.html

I guess that means to retain the acoustic qualities you could have a black tile with white holes, very pretty!! It also sounds like lots of work too, and then the grids have to be painted.

It seems I may have stumbled across someone at HD who has actually figured out how to order the black tile. I'll post again when I have more definitive information.
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Old 09-11-2006, 06:03 PM
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This is a pretty common topic that comes up freq. both painting the titles and where to buy black tiles....sounds like you've found sources for the titles, but are suffering from sticker shock? I think in couple of the threads specific product numbers were mentioned for HD and Lowes to help in ordering...

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Old 09-11-2006, 07:08 PM
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Pagash:

Let us know what you find out about this. I had asked at HD and they gave me a quote of $65/case for Armstrong Fine Fissured #1728 (special ordered) in black. I guess this is in line with the rest of their special order tiles, but I still thought this was high (about $4 for each tile). There is no design to this tile, just a flat tile painted black. But you have to pay the piper, I suppose!

I don't want to paint the tiles either, although I will paint the gridwork with a flat black paint. HD told me the gridwork was available in black, but I would have to buy it by the case!!!!!!!

John
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:29 PM
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can't post links yet but google "ceilume tiles". Some of their stuff is available in black.
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Old 09-11-2006, 10:36 PM
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I guess that means to retain the acoustic qualities you could have a black tile with white holes, very pretty!! It also sounds like lots of work too, and then the grids have to be painted.

.


Look at the bright side......you would have the cheapest Star Ceiling in the whole forum....lol


My neighbor used a cheap flat black spray paint and let it soak into the tile by spraying about 15 inches away from tile. The holes were left open and it worked better than rolling latex. The issue was he only had about 8 tiles to do and it took 3 coats. To do a whole room might get spendy but you can by HD Flat black spray paint for .99 cents a can.....just a thought
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:26 AM
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When I painted mine (several years ago), I thinned latex paint and used an airless sprayer....looks fine.

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Old 09-12-2006, 04:49 AM
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I also used thinned paint and compressor spray gun, no problems. Everything in the room sounds exactly the same as it did prior to painting as well.

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Old 09-12-2006, 03:10 PM
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From Armstrong website's FAQ

Can acoustical ceilings be repainted? How?

Repainting recommendations for commercial mineral fiber and fiberglass ceilings as well as Optima and Painted Nubby wall panels; includes treatment for cut and tegular edge panels. Most Armstrong ceilings and walls can be repainted by spraying. For touch up refer to touch up paint.
Please Note: Vinyl or Mylar laminated products should not be painted.

Painting Precautions

Armstrong cannot guarantee that the published surface burning characteristics, fire resistance ratings, acoustical performance, dimensional stability/sag, or light reflectance will remain the same after repainting. Field painting will void the warranty.

Armstrong recognizes that ceilings are occasionally repainted and will make recommendations for the type of paint that may be used. Armstrong cannot be responsible for the finished appearance or performance for the field-painted acoustical material.

Spray Painting Method

When painting acoustical materials, the painter should be very careful that he does not close up the acoustical surfaces; perforations, fissures or the DuraBrite acoustical membrane on the Ultima and Optima products. It is through these openings in the surface that sound waves enter the body of the acoustical material and are absorbed. Care should be taken that these perforations are not clogged. At minimum repainting will result in a .05 to .10 reduction in NRC.

First remove loose dust from the material with a brush or vacuum cleaner attachment. Thin the paint only as much as necessary. If it is too thick for proper spraying, follow the paint manufacturer's recommendations for thinning paint. When spray painting, apply the paint with a stream directed perpendicularly to the surface of the material, moving the gun back and forth to get a uniform coating. Under normal conditions, one coat should be sufficient.

Spray painting will result in a more uniform coating on embossed or irregular surfaces. For best results, panels should be removed from the grid suspension system, laid flat for painting, and allowed to dry thoroughly while still flat before reinstallation. This method eliminates the costly operations of masking walls and covering furniture. It also provides for easier cleaning and/or repainting of the grid while the panels are out being repainted.

With the computerized color matching systems now available, it is recommended that a sample of the ceiling panel to be color matched be taken to the paint store.

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Old 09-13-2006, 06:05 AM
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I bought black tiles directly made by Armstrong.
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:29 AM

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Getting them from lowes custom order. Hopefully I get to use the compressor and such to paint them.
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Old 09-13-2006, 06:37 AM
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Steve,
If you are custom ordering them why do you need to paint them? I thought that was the point of ordering them black?

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Old 09-13-2006, 01:22 PM
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If you are ever in the Charleston, WV area, we have an awesome place for drop ceilings. Charleston Acoustic. Their Black Rails are the same exact price as the white ones you find from Lowes/HD. They have black acoustic tiles as well for no more than normal white ones. They even have tiles made of rigid fiberglass covered with some cool 'stuff' for sound absorption in black. They have some awesome 3-D type tyles where one tile sits in on the rails, it's beveled upwards, and another tile fits inside that (multiple colors if you like). I highly recommend this place for anyone who is in driving distance or in the area.

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Old 09-13-2006, 03:36 PM
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http://empirewest.com/store/seri...4/CategoryID:2


click on Ceilume Smart Ceiling Tiles & Ceiling Panels on top of page and then click on a style. It will show you if it comes in black..
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Old 09-13-2006, 03:50 PM
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E-b-a-y has black tiles. Just put accoustic foam or dampening in the search.

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Old 09-16-2006, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KERMIE View Post

http://empirewest.com/store/seri...4/CategoryID:2


click on Ceilume Smart Ceiling Tiles & Ceiling Panels on top of page and then click on a style. It will show you if it comes in black..

Can you use recessed lighting with these tiles? Has anybody had any experience with them?

John
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Old 09-20-2006, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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OK, so I finally was able to place an order for the tiles. What an ordeal. For anyone that is interested these are a special order item from HD, Armstrong Fine Fissured Ceiling Tiles 24 x 24 x 5/8. $61 for 64 sq ft (1 box), and you have to order by the box. HD SKU # 985-821 Armstrong model # 1728ABL. The black grids were ridiculously expensive, and you have to order such large quantities that we could have put up 3 ceilings, so we are going to paint the white grid with black latex paint, and call it a day. I hope that this will help someone else who is in the same predicament.

Cheers.
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:19 AM
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Any pics of those tiles yet Pagash?
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:43 AM
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I was looking for black tiles and was having trouble finding them so I decided to paint them. Ultra flat black from HD applied with an HVLP spray gun. Don't know how much impact it has on sound absorbsion as these tiles don't do much for sound anyways, the insulation above the tiles is what does the most for sound blocking.

I was going to paint the rails black too but this actually looks pretty good. Here's a photo taken during construction after the tiles were installed. Night and day for the quality of the picture, no more light wash effect.


Check out my theater.... http://members.shaw.ca/taiser
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:34 PM

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Getting them from lowes custom order. Hopefully I get to use the compressor and such to paint them.

I got the Ceilume ones instead.
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:43 PM

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Quote:
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Can you use recessed lighting with these tiles? Has anybody had any experience with them?

John

Not sure but they are used with sprinkler systems.
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Old 10-26-2006, 05:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Any pics of those tiles yet Pagash?

We're still a few weeks out. Hopefully we'll start drywall next week (that's the only thing we'll contract out). We are finishing a 1700 sq ft basement, with the HT just one of 4 spaces, so it's taking a lot of time. I'll have to start a consrtuction thread sometime soon.

Cheers!
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Old 10-26-2006, 06:47 AM

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Pagash. What material is your grid? If it is PVC, they recommend we use Crylon paint for them instead of latex.
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Old 10-28-2006, 07:08 AM
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Just chiming in here on this thread.

I received my Armstrong black ceiling tile (2 x2's) from Home Depot this week. I had already purchased the gridwork and painted it black with flat black spray paint. Pagash is right...they could get black gridwork, but you would have to buy it by the case, enough for a few rooms! Spray painting took a couple of days, and wasn't hard at all. Just a word of advise...make sure you get all fo the edges of the gridwork, not just the face. I missed a few spots and you can notice the missed spots when the tile is up! Touch-up time....

The tile comes painted with what appears to be black latex paint on one side and the edges. Each tile is separated from the others by a piece of paper. It is NOT black all the way through, as we noticed this when we cut the holes for the recessed lights. If it chips, it will show white!

If you have the time, you could save some $$ painting the tiles yourself. I chose to get them pre-painted and spent about $180 extra.

The tiles look great when they are up and I am very happy with them. Now on to putting the batting up (Linacoustic is done) and ordering fabric! Woo Hoo!

John
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Old 11-21-2006, 05:35 AM
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Hi guys

I am currently shopping for my acoustic tiles... I have been looking at these two models:

Armstrong Optima (model number 3159) which is 1.5" thick
Armstrong Painted Nubby (model number 3102) which is 1" thick

The Optima has the best acoustic properties except for low frequencies where the Nubby is better. Here's the data:

Optima (the 1" thick one): 0.65 at 125 hz, 0.91 at 250 hz, 0.84 at 500 hz, 1.01 at 1000 hz, 1.02 at 2000 hz and 0.97 at 4000 hz
Painted Nubby: 0.78 at 125 hz, 0.98 at 250 hz, 0.85 at 500 hz, 1.00 at 1000 hz, 1.02 at 2000 hz and 1.00 at 4000 hz.

I assume the 1.5" thick Optima does a somewhat better job thant the 1" thick one, but I don't have the numbers to compare it to the Painted Nubby.

Also, the Optima has a better light reflectiveness coeficient, which is probably bad for a home theater, right? The Painted Nubby being cheaper, I am planning on choosing it.

Does anyone think that the whole process is rubbish or have I made the correct assumptions and analysis? Any ideas? Since both only come in white, should I definitely paint them? They don't have to be black, right, only need to be dark?

Thanks!
Guy
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Old 12-08-2006, 06:33 PM
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You can do recessed lighting but it has to be supported by the grids not the tiles. They are very thin? Was wondering myself in anyone has any experience with them. WIll a big subwoofer rattle them?
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Old 05-24-2007, 12:55 PM
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I am looking to put ceiling tiles in my basement. The basement is broken into a few rooms (Playroom for the kids, guest room, storage/workshop and the future theatre room). Right now the theatre room is just going to be a second den/tv room. Does anyone have any comments on the best tiles to put in? I was leaning towards the ceilume tiles. BTW, they have a good site @ ceilumegallery.c

Does anyone know how the sound will deflect/absorb with these tiles. Ideally, I would have black accoustical tiles for this room and white strafford tiles for the rest of the rooms. But I am not sure I can sell my wife on the black tiles as well as using different tiles in the different rooms.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks!
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Old 05-25-2007, 06:31 AM

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob lev View Post

I am looking to put ceiling tiles in my basement. The basement is broken into a few rooms (Playroom for the kids, guest room, storage/workshop and the future theatre room). Right now the theatre room is just going to be a second den/tv room. Does anyone have any comments on the best tiles to put in? I was leaning towards the ceilume tiles. BTW, they have a good site @ ceilumegallery.c

Does anyone know how the sound will deflect/absorb with these tiles. Ideally, I would have black accoustical tiles for this room and white strafford tiles for the rest of the rooms. But I am not sure I can sell my wife on the black tiles as well as using different tiles in the different rooms.
Any feedback would be appreciated.
Thanks!

The ceilume are rated at about an average sound absorbing amount if they have the back panels added. (70-75 rating?) Without that your looking at some high absorbtion but not much. The tiles will not rattle if they are secure between the runners. Putting them at the wall in corners can be dangerous to rattling with little effort if they are cut down to fit as in my case. The smaller they are cut, the more likely they are to rattle. You can fix that by decoupling the runners from the walls somehow (i put carpet between the runner and wall)..and if your really concerned, just secure the ones around the walls with some window/door transparent sealant where bending in the tiles shape occurs. If the 4X4 feet squares fit without being cut, I don't think you would have any problems.

As for reflections..I am not sure. I have never successfully ran any reflection test in the room yet. I have not finished room treatments. I just have tons of carpet, textured walls, some crude bass traps inside speaker platforms at the rear, and the tile ceiling. Excluding the center channel, my automatic set up calibrates all my speakers the same equal distance (my goal in the design of the room) every time if thats any consolation. I don't hear any reflections that I am aware of.

They will not rattle, look great if installed without them being loose. Without the back panels added to the tiles, your only looking at about a 35 percent sound absorbtion. (check specs)
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Old 05-25-2007, 07:13 AM

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In the illustration bellow..let's say that the blue shades represent the edge of the negative space of the tile. This way you could see it. When there is a negative area on the side of the tile where you cut it because of the pattern, that area can move up and down by pushing up on it.. The reason it moves is that unlike the other runners the L shape runner is not a C shape and nothing prevents the loose part from moving up. That loose piece, if not treated so that it is secure, can vibrate resulting in a noisy tile.



I hope this helps and doesn't make it confusing. Depending on how a drop ceiling works, or what runners you use (these were ceiling link direct mount) it may not even matter. If the tiles are not cut they were not flimsy enough to vibrate for me.
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