Office Interior Design: Alternative Suspended Ceiling Tile Patterns And Materials

There are a variety of options in ceilings tiles. Tips for choosing the right colors and pattern.

You push your chair back from the desk, lean back and stretch your shoulders, rotating your head around, then up and down, up... don't you get tired of seeing that boring white ceiling? Row after row of perforated white squares running up and down and all around the room. Didn't anyone in the planning phase have a bit of imagination? For a busy office, probably not. But if remodeling is in the future, check out some of the refreshing options and drop a word or two in the most influential ear.

What is up there, anyway? It's a suspended ceiling, a series of grids that are suspended overhead, dropped down from the original ceiling. The grids allow panels to be dropped in to complete the ceiling. Panels have noise reducing properties and are usually white to reflect light. So there are real reasons for those monotonous white ceilings. But change is good.

There are far more choices in drop-in panels than one would think. Most dark wood colors like cherry or mahogany are too dark for office use, but light shades of maple would be acceptable. Such wood-look patterns and colors are featured on panels that have a raised border all around with another square in the center, a square on a square. This panel also is available in shiny mirror finishes of gold and silver. The same shades are obtainable in flat surface panels.

Even more attractive are drop-in panels that look like sculptured plaster. Think of those ornate high ceilings in classic old houses, with the swirls and leaves and rosettes. These panels are insulated, lightweight, and come in white. But the white looks good on these.

Tin is a look that has been around since the 1800's. Tin drop-in panels would add so much character to a room, with the stamped patterns of swirls, diamonds, leaves, or squares. Copper or deep bronze are often the first colors that come to mind with this material, but there are also shiny metallics, silver shades, and good old white. These are gorgeous panels. The 12" x 12" panels will have sixteen, four, or just one stamped impression per tile. There are so many options to choose from with these panels. Extremely striking are the several shades of red, probably too dark and totally inappropriate for an office, unless there are many windows as well as an off-beat staff.

Think of those same pressed tin patterns in a light weight plastic. These panels can be painted and there are strips available to cover the exposed grids in the suspended ceiling. Because of the very light weight of these panels, a weighted layer to hold them in place is necessary. Using the panels that are being replaced will work and is also cost effective.

So don't let the contractor throw away those old panels. They can be placed on top of any the new panels to increase the noise barrier and increase insulation. They will be almost necessary if tin panels are used because tin is just that, tin. Well, it's actually tin-plated steel. But it has no sound proofing or insulating properties. Offices are designed for function, to create an environment that is conducive to work. But function can also be attractive and unique. So think color and pattern for your office ceiling. Not outlandish but pleasing to look at when you take that needed stretch.

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