How to Cut Ceiling Tile?

If quarantine has taught people anything, it’s that you can do everything yourself if you put your heart to it. And these days picking up hobbies is quite common. In addition to that, those with the tools have been putting them to good use as of late. For instance, if you want to replace a broken ceiling tile, you might have to cut it. You might have the tools for it, but without the know-how, you might botch the task. If you want to know how to cut ceiling tiles properly, here is a descriptive and detailed guide for it.

Usually, people have the tools for the job at their homes. But usually, people hire outside help for the smallest of tasks. That is mostly because they are busy with other things. In addition to that, most people don’t know how to use these tools efficiently. When we are talking about cutting ceiling tiles, people will instantly think of something like a circular saw. Which is a hassle to use in all honesty, since it might be hard to operate. Plus not everyone has one in their home.

Why Cut a Ceiling Tile Yourself Instead of Hiring a Professional for the Job?

The biggest problem people have is, they hire others to do even the simplest of tasks. They feel it might be unsafe for them to do the task. And in all honesty, if there is a risk to life, you should prioritize your health over everything. But some tasks are too simple and there is no harm to your life in it whatsoever. Like cutting ceiling tiles to replace the broken ones. Because ceiling tiles are extremely easy to cut, all you need are very basic tools.

Cutting ceiling tiles yourself can save you time and money. And both of these are the most important commodities in anyone’s life. Besides, when you do things yourself it gives you a sense of responsibility. You feel fulfilled when you finish tasks yourself at home. So keeping all that in mind, we created a guide to help you out in your ceiling tile cutting journey.

How to Cut a Ceiling Tile – Using a Carpet Knife or Utility Knife

Everyone has a utility knife at home these days, it is such a handy tool after all. But did you know you can also cut ceiling tiles using a utility knife? But for even better results, you can even use a carpet knife. A carpet knife has a much finer edge to cut thick carpets. Depending on the availability, you can use either of these.

Step 1 – Measurement

First and foremost, you will need to measure out the space in which you need to install the tile. This is very important because if you do not measure properly, you might end up ruining the whole tile. If you end up cutting either more or less, you will have to buy a new tile which is a waste of money.

Step 2 – Draw Out Guiding Lines

You need to place the tile on a flat surface. Place it over a cutting mat preferably so that the surface of the table does not get damaged. Then you need lines according to measurement on the tile. Make sure to draw it accurately so that you know how much you have to cut.

Step 3 – Wearing Protective Gear

Usually, we advise people to wear all of the protective gear possible. But in this case, if you don’t have goggles and a mask, just make sure to wear a thin glove. This helps prevent the coarseness of the tiles from damaging your hand’s skin.

Step 3 – Using the Utility/Carpet Knife

If you have a carpet knife, that is well and good since it has a much finer edge. If you don’t we can work with a utility knife, which is easily available in almost every home. Since these acoustic tiles are not very dense or thick, they can be easily cut with a utility knife blade as well. Just that a carpet knife gives much finer results. Slowly guide the utility knife and cut straight through the line that you drew. Make sure you cut all the way through though.

Step 4 – Cleaning the Edges (Optional)

Once the tile has been cut, it is ready to be installed. But you can take it a step ahead and clean the edges of the tile that you cut. You can use any sanding paper for this purpose, just smoothen out the edges for a finished feel. But you can skip this step, this is purely for self-satisfaction.

How to Cut a Ceiling Tile – Using a Table Saw

A ceiling tile of less density and thickness can easily be cut using a utility knife. A carpet knife does an even finer job on a bit thicker and dense tiles. But if you want to use a table saw to cut the ceiling tile for accuracy purposes, you can do that too. You will just need a blade with a fine edge installed in the table saw though.

Step 1 – Taking Measurements

This step is important regardless of the tool you are going to use for cutting the ceiling tile. Use a measuring tape for the purpose of measuring the length and width of the space you need to install your tile in. After that, you need to draw the guidelines on the tile again. This step is also recurring regardless of the tool you use for the job.

Step 2 – Wearing Protective Gear

Since we are working with a power tool now, it is best that you wear all of your protective gear. Wearing gloves is a given, but you also need to wear goggles and a mask this time. You do not want dust or residue from the tile that you are cutting in your eyes or nose.

Step 3 – Change Blade

You need to ensure that you are using the right blade for the job. For this one, you need a super-fine blade, which means one with a lot of teeth. First, unplug your table saw, always ensure to unplug your power tools when changing blades or drill bits. Change your current blade to a super-fine blade then install it properly. Make sure to install it properly so there is no chance of injury whatsoever.

Step 4 – Cutting Tile

Slowly turn on the table saw, using guiding sticks to slowly push the tile into it. Make sure to use the guiding lines you drew to ensure that the measurements for the tile are perfect after being cut. Once you are done cutting the tile, turn off the saw and unplug it again.

These are the two ways you can easily cut a ceiling tile. You can cut any kind of acoustic ceiling tile without a power tool by using a fine edge from a carpet knife too. You can use a utility knife if you don’t own a carpet knife. We also discussed how you can use a table saw for the job as well.


Once you know how to use the tools at your home efficiently, doing any job becomes easy. Cutting a ceiling tile is no exception, as it is one of the easiest tiles to cut. It does not require any power tools and you can cut it without any problems. You just need to ensure that you follow proper measurements. Use things around you to your advantage and you will be able to do things yourself. You will not need to hire a person for a job as easily as this again.

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