Antique Tin Ceilings Information and History

Today, many of us do not consider ceilings to be part of the interior design of our homes. This has not always been the case. During the Victorian era, ceilings were an integral part of houses. The very wealthy incorporated ornate plastered design work into their homes' ceilings, making their ceilings part of the "art" of their houses. Many people who wanted to include intricate designs on their ceilings could finally install them with the introduction of tin ceilings during the mid-1800s.

Tin ceilings were made in a stamping, or hammer, press. After the tin was laid on the bottom die, the ram, or the top part of the press, was lifted by rope or chain and then dropped onto the tin, smashing the metal with the chosen pattern. Tin ceilings, or the panels and tiles which made up tin ceilings, were painted and then installed. These tin ceilings were lightweight, easier to install than plaster and, best of all, affordable to many.

The popularity of tin ceilings started to wane during the 1890s, heralding a period of bleaker ceilings. Many of us have ended up with popcorn and drop ceilings. Fortunately, tin ceilings are becoming popular again.

If you are interested in installing tin ceilings into your home, you have a couple of choices. Modern manufacturers are replicating Victorian ceiling patterns, usually using aluminum instead of tin. Today's tin ceilings, and they are still called that regardless of the metal used, are lighter in weight and easier to install than the old ones. Many people are using unpainted tin ceiling panels on the walls of their kitchens as well as on their ceilings as architectural accents.

You can also occasionally find actual Victorian tin ceiling panels in antique stores or in other places where you might purchase antiques. Sometimes a commercial building or old home is torn down and the tin ceilings are salvaged. These are truly wonderful finds.

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