Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...

 
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Old 12-12-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
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Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Just curious as to what methods you guys use to cut recessed tile accurately and efficiently?
Is there a special knife/tool that cuts the depth/width consistently?
Any insight would be appreciated!
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Old 12-12-2009, 03:37 PM   #2
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


I take it your talking about acoustical tile - a sharp utility knife works fine for me (score about halfway through from the face on the first cut and snap)

For square or rectangular holes - score through the top as above - push the blade through on the corners - flip over and cut through about halfway and push the piece out

Circular holes that have to be really clean - a rotozip with a circle cutting attachment

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Old 12-12-2009, 04:22 PM   #3
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Sorry I forgot to mention, I'm talking about the ones that sit recessed below the tees. The type that are are notched out around the perimeter.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:18 PM   #4
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Tegular tile is the name.

Yup, sharp knife and practice. Try to keep all the cutters against the wall, that way there is only 3/4" or 2" of exposure, and it can't really be seen
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:50 PM   #5
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan03 View Post
Just curious as to what methods you guys use to cut recessed tile accurately and efficiently?
Is there a special knife/tool that cuts the depth/width consistently?
Any insight would be appreciated!
I don't do a lot of accustical ceiling but every time I do those tile I say to myself that there has to be a better way.
I can do a decent job quickly with just a sharp knife and I don't see any other way to get it done.

I just completed a doctors office remodel. There were many small exam rooms and every room had an irregular shape. The rooms averaged 144sf and no room had more than two full tiles because of the odd shape and lighting. What a pain in the ass.

I need to invent a tool to make that easier.

Dave
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:54 PM   #6
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


You need a reveal edge or shadow line cutter. They are usually available wherever you are buying the ceiling tile. I have only done a couple of dropped ceilings but they required this tool which made it go much quicker and cleaner.
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Old 12-12-2009, 05:56 PM   #7
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Something like this:
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Yes!! That is what I need..I knew I have seen something like it before..
Now I just gotta find out where to get one?


Thanks for the help and input gentlemen!!
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:19 PM   #9
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Well -Damn,I just learned something too.

A helpful hint--Keep a little diamond sharpening stone handy--It's much faster to sharpen the blade than to keep changing them.--MIKE--
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Old 12-12-2009, 06:57 PM   #10
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


I did one about 6 years ago...I ended up using a table saw for the rabbets.

I remember not enjoying that project much!
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Old 12-12-2009, 07:41 PM   #11
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


You can make your own with a couple pieces of plywood. And a blade of course
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Old 12-12-2009, 10:44 PM   #12
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


and i been burning the edge of my finger as a rip guide all this time fer nuthin. gonna hafta go up to Jafco in south plainfield and get me a couple or three of those cutters so i can find one of them next time i do a ceiling with a reveal.

thanks
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Old 12-13-2009, 05:55 AM   #13
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlRemodeling View Post
Something like this:
I will have to get one of those.

Do you run that by hand or with a straight edge?

Do you use that to make the cut on the edge as well as the face?

Thanks for posting the picture

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Old 12-13-2009, 06:07 AM   #14
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Cro,

You use the tile as your straight edge and when I did it, I stood the tile on end to cut the depth of the reveal then laid it flat to cut the face. The guide works for both cuts.

My cutter has a guide that does not extend as deep as the one shown in the pic. Therefore I can lay it flat but this one looks like you would need to lay it on a stack of tiles or a bench. shouldn't be a big deal either way.
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:19 AM   #15
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Quote:
Originally Posted by AtlRemodeling View Post
Cro,

You use the tile as your straight edge and when I did it, I stood the tile on end to cut the depth of the reveal then laid it flat to cut the face. The guide works for both cuts.

My cutter has a guide that does not extend as deep as the one shown in the pic. Therefore I can lay it flat but this one looks like you would need to lay it on a stack of tiles or a bench. shouldn't be a big deal either way.
That sounds like it would work great if all walls were straight and square. Unfortunately that is seldom the case.

I would normally cut the tile to size, drop it in place and mark the track or wall angle location. Then take it back down and cut by hand. Often the cut is not parrallel with the cut end.

Dave
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Old 12-13-2009, 07:51 PM   #16
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


I use a irwin blue blade standard utility knife with a straightedge.
Use your measurements, On the edges that you cut go back and cut a line usually 1/4-3/8 using the blade one notch from empty and cut the top of the tile where it will be shown. using a straight edge to keep it straight. Usually make two cuts on this piece. One to do your relief cut and the second to cut down through the material.

After that increase the length of your blade by another notch and then hold the knife on the ground sideways and then cut along the side of the tile cutting out your recessed.

That Is the way I do it and get perfect results.
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Old 12-16-2009, 11:28 PM   #17
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


that would have been a nice tool doing the 1200 sq ft basement I just did.
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Old 12-17-2009, 04:27 AM   #18
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Quote:
Originally Posted by crovello View Post
That sounds like it would work great if all walls were straight and square. Unfortunately that is seldom the case.

I would normally cut the tile to size, drop it in place and mark the track or wall angle location. Then take it back down and cut by hand. Often the cut is not parrallel with the cut end.

Dave

The last one I did had one existing basement wall that was NOT square with anything and we ran into the same problem and the tool still worked fine. We cut it to overall size/shape and then use it make the shadow line cuts. You will have to use a regular knife to cleanup inside corners but otherwise it should be good to go.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:54 PM   #19
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


Hi all. Long time lurker first time poster. Great sight will introduce myself after post.

I have been doing ceilings non stop for some some time now. The way we do it when dealing w reveal cuts is with a two man team. Thers a guy on the ceiling, he throws numbers and does the reveal cut score.
Im usually on the ground as cut man altough we have been mixing it up lately. im assuming your working with a 2x2 tile.

Top guy will throw a number say 16.25. This measurment will be from the inside of the wall angle to the outside of the paralell T

I will pull 16.25 with my tape and w my tape hand as a guide score the whole tile w my tape. I will then cut on the scored line. 2 notes here this will take some practice to get as good as a straight edge and If u decide to do this, tape up your guide finger as the tile will rip u up pretty good after a few cuts.

hand the tile back to top man or go back up to the ceiling and drop the tile. have the factory reveal edge dropped and place your cut edge in the wall angle. AFter making sure your factory reveals are square take the blade and score the tile along the wall angle. As previously mentioned by another poster there is a chance the wall is not square. do not worry about this as the wall angle is hugging the curve of the wall as well. When scoring the tile u dont need much just enough for the cut man to see and follow as a guide. I cant stress how important it is to have this score dead on w the wall angle for the entire run of the tile.

Pass the tile back to cut man or come back down. ideally u have a little work bench set up. i work off of 2 horses w the box of tile on my right and a tile I use as a cut board on my left. u will want a cut board. place the tile your cutting on the cut board. depending on what type of grid your using 1/2" or 9/16" you should have any where from .25" -.5" of tile from where you first cut to where the new score mark on the tile is. With your blade follow the score mark on the tile. Take it slow at first untill you get the feel of cutting in the score. You want to go about half way into the tile. Again youll get the feel for it depending on what your using. Now the trick. you will see the two facory edges on the ends of your cut edge. lay your knife onto its side and with a little bit of angeling your blade should line up almost perfectly w the factoy lips. Pull your blade down the entire length it may take a few strokes to get through. never force the cut material out if it doesnt just come out you may have to go a little deeper on the top or the side. again you will be able to feel where you will need to go deeper. The cut board will act as the guide for your knife wich is primarily why i use it and i prefer a tile because its smooth and flat.
Another few notes, if you cant be spot on with the depth of the reveal cut it is better to be a little on the deeper side. as you have 3 other sides holding the tile up and going a little deeper will allow you to place the tile w perfectly even reveals all the way around. it is important to have sharp blades in your knife for both the score man the cut man as a dull one will just pull the tile apart rather then cut it. We also find it nice to keep baby wipes on hand as they clean the tiles beautifully should the become smudged and we use them to keep the hands clean so we dont smudge them.
I know its long and does go through every step but i tried to be as clear as i could. As long as I was able to get all my points through as i clearly as i tried to, this should work perfectly for you. These cuts do take time and there realy is no shorter way if you want the reveal to come out smooth
Good Luck
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:35 PM   #20
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Re: Cutting Recessed Ceiling Tile...


I use a dado blade and spray paint.

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