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Modern Basement Drop Ceiling Tile Idea

Are you looking for an easy way to makeover your basement ceiling? I was skeptical at first, but drop ceiling tiles were a complete game changer.

Man installing Ceilume Drop Ceiling Tiles in basment.

*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read our full privacy policy.

Our Basement

One of the reasons we purchased our home was because the basement was a huge space. We knew this basement space was going to be needed one day with kids.

However, even though it was “a finished basement” there was a lot we needed to do to fully makeover our basement space. We knew we needed to do some research for DIY basement ceiling ideas.

Drop Ceiling Tiles We Used

Ceilume Stratford Vinyl Drop Ceiling Tiles are decorative tiles that fit in existing drop ceiling racks. They are made from an eco-friendly plastic material that can easily be put into any space to makeover your drop ceilings. We used the 2′ x 2′ tiles, but they also are available in 2′ x 4′.

How To Use

I was a little nervous to take on our huge ceiling project on our own. I did have over 1000 square feet by myself.

While I am a DIY Nut, my husband also normally helps me when needed. However, this was completely done by one woman in a few days on a ladder.

Easiest Way To Measure Ceiling Tiles

Some of your tiles will simply just be replaced by the new vinyl covers. We chose to keep our old ones in or soundproofing and just slip the new ones under the tile.

You will have to measure and cut the ones that are not full tiles in your basement ceiling already.

ceilume tile box on garage floor with old drop ceiling for cutting.
Here you can see the old tile on top of how the Ceilume tiles come packaged

We just lined up the old tiles with the new ones. Just be careful that you don’t cut too much away. You can always trim the new tile to fit, but can’t add back more.

How To Cut Ceiling Tiles

ceilume tiles being cut with scissors

Yes, using a good pair of scissors (these are our favorite) was such an easy way to cut the vinyl drop ceiling covers. You can see in the above image how the edge was clean and easy to cut.

Be Careful Around Relief Spots

You just have to be a little careful around the spots that have relief as you need to slowly cut those areas so that the edge doesn’t rip.

old drop ceiling tile in grid next to new vinyl drop ceiling.

Where can you buy Ceilume tiles?

It is awesome that you can find boxes of these tiles on Amazon. I just ordered one box on Amazon Prime first (try a 30-day Amazon FREE trial here).

I will link to other drop ceiling tile alternatives that you may want to consider at the end of this post.

Pros of using Ceilume Vinyl Drop Ceiling Tiles

  • Super easy to install I used my favorite brand of scissors to cut the tiles when they need to be a specific shape around the edges.
  • Great customer service: I did receive a few tiles that had damaged corners and they were easily replaced.
  • Over 40 decorative tile designs to choose from (We went with the basic Stratford Celiume Tile)
  • Easy to clean and Class A rated for Fire Safety
Drop Ceiling Makeover Ideas using ceilume tiles

Cons of using Ceilume Vinyl Drop Ceiling Tiles

  • The biggest con I noticed was that I needed to be 95% accurate in my cuts. If I wasn’t, then I had a few that I had to redo because it hung down after fitting in the drop ceiling track. (This only happened a few times though, because these are very easy to use).
  • Even though it was an easy DIY project, it still took a lot of time on a ladder with your hands above your head…
  • But on the plus side, then I guess I could say my drop ceiling makeover was also a great workout.
  • Cost, while still pretty inexpensive, depending on the design you choose could be more expensive than repainting old tiles.

What happens if you miscut a vinyl tile?

vinyl drop ceiling tile sagging after being cut wrong

In the above picture, you can see that the tile panel was cut a little too small and therefore was sagging. Our basement is large and I only did this a handful of times. If you are nervous, then you could always measure instead of using the old panel as a guide.

Cost and Where to find Ceilume Tiles

I am normally pretty good at math, however, I LOVED ordering these from Amazon because I could do it in stages and know that they would come in 2 days using Prime shipping. For my 1000 square feet plus of ceiling space, it was nice to just order the boxes of tiles as I needed.

Ceilume Stratford Vinyl Tile Review

We love that the clean white vinyl ceiling covers were able to really add to our basement makeover. That is a complete DIY win in my book! We were and are still very happy with the tiles.

Ceilume Vinyl Drop Ceiling Tiles used in drop ceiling makeover

Other Drop Ceiling Tiles & Stores To Consider

Since I am a DIY girl, I never purchase anything without comparing prices. Here are other brands of tiles I considered as well as other stores you can purchase Ceilume tiles at.


Ceilume Stratford Ceiling Tiles in DIY Basement Makeover

Home Depot

Need more ideas for that 5th wall? Check out this ceiling idea post for 9 amazing ceiling transformations that are more than just paint.

How-To FAQs

Why did we choose Ceilume tiles?

When I searched for products that I thought would help me easily redo our basement, I came across several different vinyl drop ceiling panel ideas. After my research, I decided to give the Ceilume tiles a try.

How has our drop ceiling tiles held up?

We did this DIY project over 7 years ago. We have not had to replace a single tile (except the one I cut improperly to begin with). Our ceiling does not sag and the tiles are still a bright white color.

Follow us on Pinterest, Youtube or Facebook for more DIY inspiration!

Read more>>> See how this ceiling also looks in our DIY homeschool and craft room for our children.

basement drop ceiling being replaced

Remember I stated that my husband didn’t think we needed to do anything to our old, moldy drop ceiling? While guess what?

After I completely finished our DIY drop ceiling makeover on my own, he told me I was right and it was totally worth it.

old drop ceiling tile in grid next to new vinyl drop ceiling

How To Replace Drop Ceiling Tiles Using Ceilume Vinyl Tiles

Learn how to use Ceilume tiles to makeover your drop ceiling in your basement.
Print Pin Rate
Course: DIY Home Ideas
Keyword: basement ceiling ideas, Ceilume Strarford Tiles, drop ceiling, Drop ceiling makeover, vinyl tile covers
Prep Time: 1 hour
Active Time: 1 day
Total Time: 1 day 1 hour
Author: Erin
Cost: Varies based on size


  • Scissors


  • Take out old tile.
  • If cutting is involved, line up the old tile and use a good pair of scissors to cut the vinyl.
    woman cutting Ceilume Stratford tiles
  • If no cutting is involved, then place the new vinyl tile in the grid. In our basement, we chose to keep the old tile up there for soundproofing reasons.
    man putting in new drop ceiling tiles
  • Add the new ceiling tile back into the grid.
    Man installing Ceilume Drop Ceiling Tiles
  • Optional: You can cover your current grid with this product.


  • There are other brands of drop ceiling tiles you could try.
  • They come in different designs and sizes to fit your drop ceiling grids.
  • Our ceiling has not sagged at all with leaving the old tiles.
Tried this Tutorial? Tag me Today!Mention @theDIYNuts or tag #thediynuts!

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Friday 20th of August 2021

Would these work for a "cottage cheese" ceiling (I don't currently have tiles)? Or what would you recommend for that?


Saturday 21st of August 2021

Hi Leona. You would have to install a track to install the drop ceiling tiles. It would honestly be cheaper to scrap off the cottage cheese. There are some good tutorials out there on how to do it. Just make sure you are doing it safely and don't have asbestos in your ceiling.


Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

Did you leave in your old ceiling tiles?


Wednesday 4th of August 2021

Hi Megan. I did leave the old drop ceiling tiles up there for soundproofing. I also thought it made the vinyl tiles "sturdier". We haven't had an issue yet with doing it this way and this DIY project was done over 6 years ago. Good luck with your basement projects!

Paul Chalmers

Thursday 11th of February 2021

I love your basement with the updated drop ceiling and thin tiles. Question: Could the grids be then covered with the armstrong clip on Stylestix covers, as my grid is rather dirty? Or would it push up the tiles so that they were not flush. Or could I hold up the new thin tiles with the covers, to avoid squeezing in the tiles below the old fibreglass ones, as I only have a little wiggle room above the tiles.


Saturday 13th of February 2021

Hi Paul. Since we did not use the grid covers I cannot answer this based on personal experience. However, when I was decided if I was going to keep our current off-white ceiling grid, I looked into that product and it appears that they would just clip. From the images I have seen, the tiles still rest in the grid and the Stylestix hang down in your space. You may also want to check out this item and read the q and a's to see if this might be a cheaper option. I would love to know what you find out.


Monday 24th of August 2020

Did you have an issue with the weight of the old tiles being too heavy for the new tiles? I’ve been reading that leaving the old tiles above the new (for sound and insulation) can cause you to lose the relief.


Saturday 29th of August 2020

Hi Lorra. I was nervous about this as well. I would say our ceiling still looks the same as it did when these pictures were taken. So the relief design on the drop ceiling tiles has held up in my opinion. The only place we had a problem is where I had to cut the tiles and made one too small and the drop ceiling tile didn't completely fit in the track. That small one sags, but not because of the tile above it, but because of my mistake.


Sunday 21st of June 2020

What adhesive did you use?


Monday 22nd of June 2020

Hi. I did not use adhesive to attach the ceiling tiles but rested them in the hanging rails (drop ceiling system) that we already had in place.

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