Real Metal Ceiling Tiles Vs. Faux Metal Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles are a popular choice for enhancing the look and feel of a room. They are available in a variety of materials, styles, and finishes.

One of the most popular options is metal ceiling tiles. Metal tiles provide a sophisticated and unique touch to any space.

However, when it comes to metal ceiling tiles, you have to choose between real metal and faux metal. Let's explore the differences between real metal ceiling tiles and faux metal ceiling tiles to help you make an informed decision.

Real Metal Ceiling Tiles

rusted metal ceiling tiles

Real metal ceiling tiles are made of high-quality metal like tin, aluminum, and steel. These tiles are durable and long-lasting, making them a perfect choice for high-traffic areas. They are more resistant to water damage, making them ideal for bathroom and kitchen spaces. They are also easy to maintain and can be cleaned with a damp cloth.

Faux Metal Ceiling Tiles

Faux metal ceiling tiles are made of materials like PVC, polystyrene, or aluminum composite. These tiles are designed to mimic the look of real metal tiles at a fraction of the cost. Faux metal tiles are available in a variety of patterns, designs, and finishes, making them a versatile option for any space.

The Differences Between Real Metal & Faux Metal Ceiling Tiles

Resistance & Longevity

For resistance & longevity, real metal ceiling tiles are the winner. They are more resistant to water and sun damage. They won't fade over time and won't tear. Real metal tiles will keep their look for significantly longer.


Many times, faux metal ceiling tiles will cost less than real metal ceiling tiles, depending on style, vendor, and quantity.

Our research found faux metal ceiling tiles ranging from $2-$5 a square foot, where as real metal ceiling tiles from Dakota Tin are $5-$7 a square foot.

real metal ceiling tiles


Real metal tiles are the most eco-friendly of the options. They are recyclable and in some cases, are even upcycled to begin with, cutting down on material creation and manufacturing processes.

Unique Styles

Faux metal ceiling tiles come in more varieties of patterns and colors than real metal tiles.

But real metal ceiling tiles still have plenty of options to choose from with patterns and colors. Some barn tin tiles offer unique options, like the logos of old barn tin roofs or pressed designs, and can offer some naturally unique features with rusting variations. In addition, real metal tiles can have several color options available depending on the manufacturer.


Both faux metal and real metal ceiling tiles offer about the same level of ease in installation. Some metal ceiling tiles can be cut with tin snips if needed (although they can sometimes need a circular saw to cut thicker pieces with a clean cut). 

However, with real metal tiles, always remember to wear gloves! Real metal means real sharp edges.

Both options also use the same type of ceiling grid system, so there is no additional work with adjusting ceiling grids with either one.


So Which Should You Choose?

Choosing between real metal ceiling tiles and faux metal ceiling tiles ultimately depends on budget and quality. One of the biggest advantages of faux metal tiles is their affordability. The biggest advantage of real metal tiles is they are durable, long-lasting, and eco-friendly, making them an excellent investment for commercial spaces, high-traffic areas, and when you value quality over price. 

Regardless of which option you choose, metal ceiling tiles can enhance the look and feel of your space, creating a one-of-a-kind design.

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