Great Lakes Tin Lay-In Installation Guide

Suspended Panels

READ this entire installation guide before beginning your installation.

If you have doubts about doing this installation, you should contact a qualified contractor, carpenter or professional installer.

Due to manufacturing variations, we cannot guarantee an exact color match from lot to lot. Prior to installing Great Lakes Tin tiles in your ceiling, please unpackage & lay out all purchased product to ensure color consistency. If you encounter unreasonable color variation, please give us a call at 1-800-434-3750 (7am-4:30pm CST, M-F) so that we may assist you with your project.

ACP, LLC is not responsible or liable for any labor costs or damaged product incurred as a result of improper installation. All product defects are covered under our 5-year limited warranty.

Tools and Items You Will Need:

  • Tape measure
  • Tin snips
  • Steel straight edge
  • Leather work gloves

Installation Tip

Tip: The deep indentations in the Saginaw, Niagara, Toledo, Rochester and Toronto styles prevent them from being cut in the middle properly and are not recommended to be used as a border panel. Accordingly, these styles look best when the Chicago panel style is used on the perimeter of the room. All other styles can be cut and used as a border fill panel.


  1. Determine the number of tiles required. When installing in an existing suspended ceiling, count the number of whole panels and border panels needed. If installing with a new grid system, complete the grid layout plan according to the manufacturer’s directions and determine the number of whole and border panels required.
  2. To install the border panels, measure the distance from the center of the T-bar and the closest edge of the wall molding. Measure and cut panel to this size. (Caution: When cutting the tin tile, be careful of sharp edges to avoid injury – use gloves). Tilt on an angle and insert the new tile. If installing with an existing ceiling panel, place the Great Lakes Tin tile under the remaining tile.
  3. Working across the room, install the full panels using the same technique.
  4. Clean up. Once you have your ceiling installed, the panels can be cleaned with warm, soapy water. Never use abrasive cleaners or anything with chemicals, as these may damage the finish on the panel.

Painting Ceiling Panels

If you choose to paint your metal ceiling, be sure you use an oil-based primer and paint as the steel will rust if a water based product is used. Unfinished steel must be cleaned with wax and grease cleaner before painting.