I am planning to replace acoustic ceiling tiles: some will need to be custom cut. The material is reminiscent of press-board and seems somewhat brittle. What is the proper tool(s) and technique (if any) to cut the material to required dimensions?

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1 Answer 1


The default USA maker (I don't know how far they extend worldwide, or who their competitors are locally but they are the only brand that comes to mind for this sort of ceiling in my head) of such ceilings says: Always cut ceiling panels face up with a sharp utility knife.

The maker of your panels suggests the same thing.

  • 1
    Fully agree a sharp blade is your friend
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 16, 2017 at 23:38
  • Excellent post: I appreciate going beyond call of duty with the helpful Armstrong instructions. Should I assume that the Armstrong instructions to cut the panels with a utility knife should be done before installing the panel? or did they really intend for installers to cut after the panel is hoisted into place?
    – gatorback
    Aug 17, 2017 at 13:00
  • I think they are simply illustrating "put the full size panels in place" and then "cut the border panels" - considering that they specify face up, they don't intend for you to cut them in place. If the grid is parallel to the wall you can hoist border panels and directly mark them, rather than measuring to cut, but given the tolerances are not that fine, and the grid is not always parallel (or the wall isn't) measuring and cutting is just fine. They DO want you to put the cut border panels in place and mark them if they also need the "recessed grid" cut. The panels in your picture don't.
    – Ecnerwal
    Aug 17, 2017 at 17:29

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