Technical Procedures Disclaimer
Prior to inclusion in GSA’s library of procedures, documents are reviewed by one or more qualified preservation specialists for general consistency with the Secretary of Interior Standards for rehabilitating historic buildings as understood at the time the procedure is added to the library. All specifications require project-specific editing and professional judgement regarding the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers are to serve as a general guideline and do not constitute a federal endorsement or determination that a product or method is the best or most current alternative, remains available, or is compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards. The library of procedures is intended to serve as a resource, not a substitute, for specification development by a qualified preservation professional.
We’ve reviewed these procedures for general consistency with federal standards for rehabilitating historic buildings and provide them only as a reference. Specifications should only be applied under the guidance of a qualified preservation professional who can assess the applicability of a procedure to a particular building, project or location. References to products and suppliers serve as general guidelines and do not constitute a federal endorsement nor a determination that a product or method is the best alternative or compliant with current environmental regulations and safety standards.
REATTACHING LOOSE OR FALLEN TIN CEILING PANELS
A. This procedure includes guidance on resecuring tin
ceiling panels that have worked loose or have fallen.
B. Metal ceiling panels are typically 2'-0" x 8'-0" and are
nailed to wood furring strips which are, in turn, nailed
to the ceiling joists of an existing ceiling.
NOTE: The following manufacturers listed below are potential
sources for replacement panels, where existing panels can not
A. W.F. Norman Corporation
B. Classic Ceilings
C. Entol Industries, Inc.
A. 1" long flat head nails as required
B. 3" long flat head nails or 2-1/2" drywall screws as
C. Wood shims as required
D. Glazing compound or latex caulk
A. Hammer and/or screw gun
B. Heavy gloves and protective gear
C. Scaffolding/working platforms
NOTE: BEFORE RESECURING ANY CEILING PANELS OR FURRING STRIPS,
IT MAY BE USEFUL TO UNDERSTAND HOW A METAL CEILING IS
A. Tin ceiling panels are typically 2'-0" x 8'-0" and are
attached to an existing ceiling by nailing the panels to
1"x2" furring strips.
B. 1"x2" furring strips are typically attached to an
existing ceiling using 3" flat head nails or 2-1/2"
NOTE: FURRING STRIPS MAY BE SHIMMED AT VARIOUS LOCATIONS
TO ENSURE THAT THE CEILING WILL BE AS LEVEL AS POSSIBLE.
1. Furring strips are first nailed perpendicular to
the ceiling joists and spaced 24" on center.
2. Additional 1"x2" furring strips are then installed
parallel with the ceiling joists (and perpendicular
to the furring strips installed in #1 above) and
spaced 8'-0" on center to provide nailers where the
ceiling panels overlap. These secondary furring
strips are typically 22" long (if 2" furring is
3. Finally, intermediate furring strips are nailed
perpendicular to the ceiling joists (as in #1
above) to make the overall spacing of furring
strips in this direction 12" on center. These
intermediate strips are typically 94" long (if 2"
furring is used).
4. 2'-0" x 8'-0" ceiling panels are then nailed to the
furring strips in an overlapping position using 1"
flat head nails.
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Check for loose or missing nails used to attach the
ceiling panels to the furring strips.
1. Hammer nails securely back in place as required.
2. Replace missing nails with 1" flat head nails.
Nail at beads/buttons along furring strips as
required to re-secure the panel.
B. For panels that have fallen: Check to see that the
furring strips are level and secure; check to see that
wood shims are still securely in place.
1. Shim behind the furring strips as needed before
nailing to level it with the rest of the strips.
a. Use a good straightedge to align the strips.
b. Use the claw of a hammer to pull high strips
down into the same plane as the lower strips.
c. Install shims between the furring and the
ceiling as required.
2. When the strip is in line, drive all nails home
using 3" flat head nails.
3. Reattach tin panel to furring strips as described
above in Section A.
a. Drive the nails to one side of the bead.
b. To line up the next sheet, overlap the beads
with the previous sheet (the way a ball and
socket fit). Nail directly through the beads
on the overlapping sheet.
C. For gaps where edges of panels overlap:
1. Hold the flat head of a 3" nail against the edge of
the metal and gently tap the tip of the nail with a
2. Fill any remaining gaps with glazing compound or