Changing out Drop Ceiling Tiles

{Giveaway is Closed}

The winner is #164:  Lee in Ky!  Congrats, Lee!

One of the last things Dad and I did before my move in date, was change out the ceiling tiles in the den.  Well, most of them anyway. We still have to fix the ones where the light fixtures are attached and the ceiling vents, so there’s a little more to finish out before they are completely done. But, it’s amazing the transformation of just changing out the saggy old ceiling that was there since probably 1979, when the house was built.  It was a mess up there.


Here’s the old, saggy ceiling tiles, which were very yellowed and just plain disgusting.  I’m so glad I was able to change them out, they feel so fresh and clean  now.  Thanks to being part of Lowes Creative Bloggers team this month, we were given a giftcard to do any project we wanted to.  Bingo!  This was at the top of my list and I’m so grateful that I had enough to cover this.  Cost for the ceiling tiles was just under $250.   I think it was worth it to change them out, makes a huge difference.


I did go in and roll white ceiling paint over all the gridlines to freshen them up too.


Then, one by one, I popped out the ceiling tiles. They were very brittle from age and lots of gunk was on top of them. I wore my safety glasses to keep stuff from flying in my eyes.

removing ceiling tiles

My dad is a pro at giving directions, as you can imagine. Smile


I took them down and he toted them out of the house and stacked them up.

wearing safety glasses

Me and my safety glasses.

mom vacuuming ceiling

And pretty soon we had a bare ceiling with all the duct work showing.  We left up the light fixtures for now and will get those changed out soon. If the ceiling just had open wood up there, I would have considered painting it, but all the duct work is up there too, so I’d rather keep the drop ceiling for now.


There was so much debris up there that fell out every time I pulled out another one.  Lots of vacuuming going on afterward.

Armstrong ceiling tiles installed

And one by one, those ceiling tiles went back up. It’s a matter of just inserting them back into the empty space and letting them settle into place. Not hard, but takes some patience to get them all in place, since there are wires on many of the ends of the grids that you have to work around.  And the ceiling tiles are a little bit fragile, so you have to take care of the edges of them.


We went back after all the big tiles went in and cut these smaller pieces.  I took out the old ones and drew a template for the new ones from those.  We ended up getting out the table saw and it worked well for cutting these partial tiles nice and straight.  I popped them all back in one at a time.


And now I have a fresh new ceiling that looks tons better than the old.  No more sagging and yellow color.

Armstrong ceiling tiles

We will fill in those holes very soon and it will all be finished with clean new tiles.  So glad I decided to tackle this one now instead of later.  It will feel so much better. You can see the difference in color on that one to the left of the vent where the light fixture is now.  Much more drab and dirty.

I love the new clean ceiling that I got with these Armstrong commercial ceiling tiles. These are just regular commercial grade 2×4’ ceiling tiles, #933 if you’re looking at the store.  They were $37.00 for 5 boxes or more (contractor pricing).  We used 6 boxes to complete this project.

Thanks to Lowes for supplying the giftcard for October for this updating project.  It was the perfect finishing touch for my new den furniture.  It will feel so much better in there now. I love being  a part of Lowe’s Creative Ideas blogger team.

Here’s some great news too!  Lowe’s is giving away to ONE of my readers a $100 giftcard, so you can get busy on a project of your own.  Just leave a comment telling me what needs doing at your house. I’ll choose one winner at random in a few days.

Thanks for stopping by!

Giveaway is sponsored by Lowe’s.  U.S. resident addresses only, please.   I received a giftcard for my project, but was not compensated for this post and all ideas and opinions are my own. 

- Rhoda


  1. Amy Wenning says:

    I would love to strip and refinish some doors in my house with the Lowe’s giftcard. We live in an ~150 year old house and there are always projects to tackle.

  2. Denise Wilson says:

    We need to paint most of our walls in our house. Plus, we would love to get a storm/screen door for our front and back doors.

  3. Lorene Halfmann says:

    We are adding on a guest bedroom/bath as a DIY, and I would LOVE to have this Lowe’s card for things needed for this project! Thanks so much for sponsoring this giveaway, and BTY, your home looks AMAZING now! My gosh, you are so talented :)

  4. C. Wisener says:

    I’m redoing my kitchen as time and money permits. Been working on it for 8 months so far. Still need lighting ,and also back splash tile would be nice.

  5. I’d love to start on a mud room area in our garage! Bench to take off shoes, with storage underneath. Bead board back wall with lots of hooks for coats and backpacks. Fresh coat of paint on the wall and chalkboard paint on the door going into the house. I think our entrance from the garage should be just as fancy and functional as from the front door. I can just see it now…

  6. I need primer and paint for the den in my parent’s 50 year old house… like, yesterday, lol.

  7. Jennifer R. says:

    We would buy paint to create a more cohesive look for some of our furniture, LED light bulbs for our light fixtures, and materials to build a bookcase for our office.

  8. I had concrete poured yesterday for a laundry room & will be needing flooring & lighting & everything else. Thanks

  9. We could use the gift card towards our master bath. We need to purchase new tiling for the shower. Always something to do.
    Thank you for the opportunity to win! By the way, I have enjoyed your renovating process and wish you all the best. Enjoy your new home!!!

  10. We just finished replacing our ceiling tiles too and I love love love my new ceiling …. we actually used sheets of plywood cut into 8″ strips and it is exactly what I hoped for. Now we have to hang the new light fixtures, purchase a ceiling fan (I’m in South Louisiana and we’ve got to have one) then start on the moulding. I’d use the gift card towards finishing my ceiling!

    • Would love to see pics of your new ceiling. My den/family room ceiling is stained really bad, from water leaks (which have been fixed) and needs to be replaced, looking for ideas. Anything would look better, but would like something that looks nice and not too expensive—–short on funds and not very talented when it comes to DIY projects.
      We’ve lived in this house since 1974 and never had any funds to remodel…don’t even know where to start, but very embarrassed to have people come into our home because the first thing that catches your eye is the horribly stained ceiling. So many things need to be done. Would appreciate a gift card from you & Lowes.

  11. I have by dying to spruce up our bedroom to make it more of a haven space. This gift card would definitely be motivation to get started!
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  12. Waco Bayless says:

    My front door is badly in need of being replaced before winter hits! I would use the money as part of the payment for that.

  13. Suzanne S. says:

    I would use this gift card to buy shelving boards for a hall closet project. Thank you

  14. You and your dad are doing a great job — that’s a big job!

  15. I’ve been following your reno from day one and its been interesting and educational for me. My daughter just closed on Monday on a old/new home and after seeing it completely empty is reminding me a little of your situation. Lots of work needed! So I would give a Lowes gift card to her for one of several fixes she will needing. Enjoy your beautiful home.

  16. Juliette Mariano-Carlson says:

    Planning to get pavers from Lowes to make a backyard patio to cover up the dirt. Lowes has the nicest pavers we’ve seen and we’d love to get this project started. Thanks!!

  17. We are in serious need of repainting all the bedrooms and ypdating the ceiling fans. Not sure which one I would tackle first, they’re both pretty desperate. And wow, what a difference those ceiling tiles made in your room. Great job!

  18. Gena in Texas says:

    We are redoing my grandmother’s house so there’s lots of ways to use $100. Maybe a new ceiling fan or some new blinds. Your house is looking great!

  19. I would love to make a cozy window seat/book nook for our basement playroom!

  20. Dawn Watson says:

    I would love to have the gift card to Lowes for my laundry room. I have no cabinets or shelves in there, and with four children it is not practical. Since this is “my space” I would love for it to be beautiful.

  21. I need to paint my laundry room and install some shelving. Thanks for the give-away.

  22. I need to build a shoe rack by the front door so there isn’t just a pile of shoes.
    What a great giveaway, thanks.

  23. Kerry Mohondro says:

    Need a new door handle for my sliding glass door, the handle actually broke off!

  24. Pam Munsterman says:

    I need to replace our screens! Help!

  25. I need to replace drywall. The toilet leaked in the bathroom and caused the drywall to mold. Now it needs to be replaced. This would be a huge help.

  26. I would use that Lowes gift to buy wood to make house shutter.

  27. We are remodeling our barn into a guest house for my mother in law to move into.

  28. I would love to be able to refinish our back deck-a couple of years ago, I started to stain it but it’s a huge two story deck. Needless to say, I only half finished it and hate the color that I had picked. Would LOVE to get this done!!

  29. I have several painting projects around the house… I’d use the gift card for paint and supplies. :)

  30. Tina Powell says:

    Amazing the difference your new ceiling tiles make!! I would love to paint our 20 year old builders grade master bathroom cabinets that are in awful shape. Some little upgrades to give that space some new life and oomph would be wonderful!

  31. My bathroom needs a facelift. Particularly the floor…and I’m in love with some slate tile at Lowes!! This would be the perfect fit!!

  32. I desperately want some new lighting for my bathrooms!

  33. I need to repaint my bedroom!

  34. I am beginning the process or remaking my bathroom. I need some paint and some wainscoting and a Lowe’s card sure would help with that. Oh, and some new lighting!

  35. We are about to start remodeling all of our bathrooms so any help would be appreciated.

  36. Now that it’s cooler out, I’d love to install a ceiling fan in our bedroom. It’s blazing in there in the summer!

  37. Sarah Dymond says:

    What doesn’t need to be done? LOL. I def need to replace a toilet or two at my new house. I can’t seem to get that nasty brown junk at the bottom out of it!

  38. We are replacing our bathtub and putting in a tile shower surround – the gift card would really help with that. Thank you for the opportunity, Rhoda!

  39. Let’s see….we need flooring, trim drywall, paint and bathroom fixtures still. Thats all…LOL Lowe’s is getting lots of our money lately. LOVE LOWES though!

  40. I would freshen up my laundry room with new paint and a new shelf or two.


  41. Where to start?? We are currently working on bookshelves for our home office. Next…since we have a newly empty nest…we are renovating the beat up rec room into a more grown up area! So many options there. Want wainscoting, paint, carpet and light fixtures!! Can’t wait to get started!!

  42. My kitchen cabinets are soon getting a refinishing/redo. I saw some new knobs and handles at Lowes’s that would make a perfect finishing touch! I’d love the giftcard to help with those.

  43. Sheila Hill says:

    Time and three dogs have destroyed plastic (looks like wood) blinds in our breakfast area. New ones would really look better and keep the afternoon sun out. Now, we keep them raised.

  44. Your ceiling looks so much brighter now. Good job! I would use a gift card for my daughter who just bought her first home and is on a tight budget. There are a lot of things she wants to do to her home. I think that she would either use it for paint or a new light fixture. Something to make it feel more like home.

  45. I would LOVE a gift card to switch out the 30-yr-old brass boob light in my kitchen!

  46. Love your new home! Beautifully done! I would give the Lowes card to my son & daughter-in-law for some home improvements.

  47. Sharon Lynn says:

    I would love to help my parents with some things around their home.

    Congratulations on your new home :-)

  48. I need an area rug for my living room, would like to repaint the old bathroom cabinet and add new handles, have a piece of funiture I’d like to redo, tons of projects that the gift card could work towards, I’d just have to make the decision of which to start with. Thanks!!

  49. Teela Falgoust says:

    Changing out these tiles sure does make a difference and I know you’ll be happy to have tackled that project sooner than later. I love how your new home is turning out and can’t wait to follow along as you decorate. I’m always so excited to see a new blog post from you. If I won I would use the giftcard toward getting a new vanity for my bathroom or maybe a new rug for my living room.

  50. Like you, Rhoda, I’m always working on some DIY project at my house and I go to Lowes at least a couple of times a week. I would LOVE to win a $100 giftcard!

    Can’t wait to see more pictures of your new home now that you are all moved in! Congrats……

  51. Wow, we have so many basic maintenance needs we would love to win this gift card to help with expenses! Thanks for sharing!

  52. Amanda R. says:

    We need window coverings and a gift card would help with that! Can’t wait to see the finished house! :)

  53. Kristen Mc says:

    we are building a new home, so there’s lots to do! we need to build a work bench in the garage… we need materials and tools! thanks for the giveaway! paleblueapron at gmail dot com

  54. charisse andrews says:

    I would use it to purchase some pine tongue & grove boards to finish off my garden house walls.

  55. What a difference the new tiles made! Looks like a whole new room.
    Debbie :)

  56. It looks wonderful! I’ve enjoyed watching the transformation of your new home! I love that you are all doing it yourself with your friends/family! It’s a hard decision to decide what needs fixing in my house, since it’s in a half remodeled state since I was laid off my job after 15 years a few years back. The new job can’t touch the pay so the house stays untouched and undone for now! But it would be nice to atleast get a toilet or flooring for the bathroom that has been missing all of that for years now. Let me tell you, the 3/4 bath we’ve been sharing as a family is just a bit cozy to say the least! LOL! Keep up the great work!

  57. We have two sliding glass doors in our home that are very scratched up from the previous owners dogs. We would really like to replace them. The gift card would help cover some of the expense!

  58. I would love a new front door for our home…they say the front door is the first impression people have of your home…and ours is very old an unappealing. :)

  59. We need new flooring in our kitchen, could also replace sliding glass doors which are so fogged up and woodwork in our 97 year old house needs painting. Whew! We need a gift card, also need you and your parents but know you three need a much deserved rest.

  60. April was in CT now CA says:

    I’d love to spruce up our master bedroom, paint would be a great start!

  61. We could really use new carpet in our master bedroom, so I would use the gift card to help with that.:)

  62. i would love to buy some laminate flooring to put over the yucky old linoleum in our rental apartment kitchen! fingers crossed :)

  63. lori hibbard says:

    Wow! Your house all ready looks amazing…can’t wait to see you add to your decor. Would love love love a Lowe’s card so that the Hubby can tackle a much needed painting job while he job hunts!

  64. Tania Luna says:

    Loving watching your house become a home! Looks beautiful!! Would love to update my dining room that is now dark and unused!!

  65. The ceiling looks so much better! And I have a very long list of how to put that Lowes card to use, starting with my master bedroom remodel …



  66. Our kitchen doesn’t have any upper cabinets or storage above the counters (previous owner took them). I’ve been wantinf some white wood shelves for the kitchen since we moved in.

  67. How is it that you manage to look glamourous…..even when you are rocking saftey glasses! Love the new dropped ceiling and I know you are so happy to be home!

    Okay….now…..what would I change around my house? Hmmm…..I think I would add more molding. What is a house without a little more bling :)

    Have a great day rock star!

  68. We’re working on plans for a built-in office desk!

  69. We need new ceiling tiles in our playroom. You’ve motivated me to get it done soon!

  70. I would love a new side entry door. Mine has absolutely had it!

  71. there is always something around this newly purchased house that needs a trip to Lowes to accomplish. if i had to say right now, then i would choose curtain rods for curtains not yet purchased or made but soon to be!

  72. I love your “new” home! What a fantastic job you did and the fact that your dad and mom were so involved made the whole project even more fun to follow. I have to say, that of all the home stores, Lowe’s is the absolute best! A side story, my brother-in- law and his family were having a rough time and had no money for a Christmas tree a few years ago, I called the local Lowe’s on Christmas Eve to see if there were any trees that could be donated to the family. Not only did the manager donate a tree to them, he delivered it personally! I am a customer for life! As for the project I am finishing, I just replaced all the flooring in my home with laminate (all by myself) and I would love to put up new baseboard mouldings (the old ones came down and were not worth saving). As a single mom doing these projects a little help goes a long way. Thanks for all the inspiration!

  73. I just moved into a 100 year old cottage one week ago and I cant wait to get started. First off, painting my sewing/crafting work room is a must, but next I’m tearing into the ground floor bathroom! I can’t even begin to think about the basement bathroom yet?! Luckily most of my work to come is all cosmetic, the fun part!

  74. I need to replace 2 light fixtures.

  75. Wow! What great work you’ve done to transform your new home! Bravo! I so admire your talent and spirit – you GO, Rhoda!
    (I’d love to add some hanging storage and shelving to my closet.)

  76. Everything you have done looks amazing. I have enjoyed watching your house evolve into your HOME. God is so good!
    We just arrived home from CA where we were helping our kids plant a church. ( Our son-in-law is the pastor.) Anywhoo, we arrived home to SC to a refrigerator that had stopped working, a horrible smell in the house and wood floor beneath it with water damage. All the hardwood flooring had to be replaced. After seeing your new floors we had hand-scraped wood floors put in with the 3″, 5″, 7″. Love, love them! Thanks for all the posting you do. You’ve been in my prayers.
    Had to buy new frig, also.
    The gift card is a wonderful giveaway.

  77. I’m still needing floor covering for our bedroom. Am redoing our bath at the moment, taking off old wallpaper. Now to fix the wall where I tore the sheet rock up trying to get that off. Would love to have a card from Lowe’s to finish some of these projects with!
    That was so sweet of them to do that for you!!! Can’t wait to see how you’re going to decorate it all up now. It’s all looking good. Have really enjoyed the journey with you although I didn’t do any of the work. I know it’s a load off you though almost being done now.

  78. I need so much work done I hardly know where to start! My house needs painting desperately so I would most lilkely use a gift card to buy paint for the living room, dining room and kitchen.
    Thanks for the opportunity, Rhoda, and I have certainly enjoyed watching the transformation of your home. It is quite inspiring!

  79. Thanks for the awesome giveway Rhoda & Lowes! Where couldn’t I use that gift card? Lol. Actually, we are just finishing up our first floor remodel and have changed all but one light fixture (all from Lowe’s coincidentally!), so I guess I would definitely put it towards replacing that fixture with something beautiful. Thanks again! Jane

  80. I have about 15 projects going on at my house right now, so a gift card to Lowes would help with any of those. But I LOVE your new backsplash and think it is about time that I tile mine too (I never did it 2 years ago when we DIYed our “new” kitchen).

  81. Hi Rhoda!
    We always have a project going on — and that always involves Lowes. I think that is our second home. :o) Next on the agenda is the redo of the master bath. Big project. Whew!

  82. We are renovating our 100 year old house! It’s taking forever due to everyday life & oh…no money! lol :-)

  83. A gift card would be a good start on so many projects on my list….paint all my doors black, tile the bathroom floors, new backsplash in kitchen and paint my hallway. Thanks for the chance!

  84. JK Reynolds says:

    I could so use the Lowe’s gift card to help with storage and get my garage organized. Thanks : )

  85. I would definitely use the gift card for paint. I have 2 bedrooms that desperately need to be painted.

  86. We need to buy tools for our first house!

  87. Starting a bathroom reno. Could use any help

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