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Acoustic Ceiling Costs: Drop Ceiling Materials, Labor & Installation Prices

Last Updated: October 20, 2023

Ryan Maguire
Fact Checked By: Ryan Maguire
15 Year Expert in construction, landscape design, home improvement and maintenance.

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An acoustic ceiling, or drop ceiling, is a beneficial ceiling system when you may need access to utilities that are located above. There are many different styles of ceiling tiles that can add an elegant look to your room. An acoustic ceiling system can be mounted on any type of wall – sheetrock, brick, concrete, etc. Most popular in commercial buildings, an acoustic ceiling can also be used in finished home basements and other rooms in your home. They give access to plumbing pipes, ductwork, and electrical conduits, all the while giving that finished look.

Acoustic Ceiling Tile Installation Costs #

Ceiling Tiles

  • Basic white tiles - $1 - $5 per sq ft
  • Decorative/specialty tiles - $5 - $10 per sq ft
  • High-end metal, wood, or mirrored tiles - $10 - $20+ per sq ft

Grid and Hanging System

  • Basic grid - $1 - $3 per sq ft
  • Commercial grade grid - $3 - $5 per sq ft


  • Basic install - $2 - $5 per sq ft
  • Complex design or height work - $5 - $10 per sq ft

Other Cost Factors

  • Permits - $50 - $500 (Not always required)
  • Special lifting equipment (when needed) - $300 - $1,000 per day
  • Removal of old ceiling - $1 - $3 per sq ft

Total Small Room Cost Example (12x12)

  • Tiles - $500
  • Grid - $500
  • Labor - $1,000
  • Total - $2,000

Acoustic ceiling tile installation costs range from $5 - $15 per sq ft for a basic tile and grid install. The costs go up significantly for specialty decorative tiles, height work, and complex designs. According to expert Ginny Bartolone at, the average drop ceiling installation cost will run around $2,000.

Acoustic Ceiling Installers on Project Costs #

Here are some real-world pricing examples based on quotes from contractors who have installed acoustic ceiling tiles:

  • "We recently installed a basic 12x12 acoustic tile ceiling for a customer for $1,200 in labor. The standard white tiles were $260."

  • "I charged a small office $2,100 for labor and materials to install a drop ceiling with nicer looking wood and metal blend tiles which cost $420."

  • "A customer wanted a higher end commercial look for their basement. We installed heavier vinyl-faced tiles for $3,500 total including $950 worth of the patterned tiles."

  • "We helped a restaurant install waterproof, washable solid plastic acoustic tiles in their dining area for a total of $4,600. The specialty tiles were $1,800."

  • "A large corporate office hired us to put in a decorative gradient acoustic ceiling. With custom painted tiles and installation, their total price was $8,200."

  • "We installed wall-to-wall mirrored acoustic tiles in a high-end hair salon for a total project cost of $5,500 including $1,700 in materials."

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