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Why is PVC a Better Material than Mineral Fiber for Drop Ceiling Tiles?

What are the pros and cons to PVC and mineral fiber acoustic tiles?

First, a little background,

Drop ceilings are the norm wherever a ceiling system is needed under a space that requires ongoing access for maintenance.  This includes access to heating and air conditioning (HVAC), and duct work. sprinkler systems, electrical and plumbing for the floor above.  They are quick and reasonably inexpensive to install. They can also add sound absorption.   They are also a great solution for residential basements, as they have the same maintenance needs as commercial spaces.  Anyone who is handy and likes a DIY project can install one.

PVC Pros

  • Incredible variety of designs. You don't have to have a boring ceiling!
  • Ceiling tiles are frequently installed in basements where moisture, dampness and condensation from pipes can affect the tiles. Traditional mineral fiber tiles tend to absorb moisture and become breeding grounds for mildew, bacteria, fungi and microbes, and will stain or sag.
  • PVC is much better for overall longevity, stability and cleanliness of the product.   Our material has UV additives as the same resin is used for exterior siding and rain gutters.  This is important, as any UV light coming through windows or from florescent lights can yellow PVC that does not have UV additives.  Being an exterior grade also means that it is very stain and chemical resistant.  You can clean it with any household cleaner or disinfectant.
  • The extreme lightness and flexibility makes them super easy to place in the grid.
  • PVC tiles make no dust or mineral fiber particulates when trimmed or adjusted in the grid.  "Ceiling tiles are typically made with mineral wool, fiberglass, gypsum, perlite, clay, cellulose or starch.  The Dangers of Tile Dust - These respirable dust particles can penetrate deep into the lungs and cause disabling and sometimes fatal lung diseases, including silicosis and lung cancer, as well as kidney disease."  from Https://askingalot.com  - Wear a particulate respirator risk your future heath.
  • Mineral fiber tiles are easy to dent, chip or scratch, so you will likely have some waste by the time you have a perfect installation.  You will also have to thoroughly clean the area (and yourself) of all of the dust created in dealing with mineral tile.
  • If access is needed to the infrastructure above the tiles, they are easily moved aside without breaking or crumbling and creating dust.
  • You may not have to dispose of the mineral tiles if you are doing a remodel, as there are a number of options for re-using these to add sound absorption to the Brutal tiles.
  • PVC has a Class A Fire and Smoke rating.  See our ASTM E84 Test Report - This means that they don't make a fire worse.

PVC Cons

  • PVC tiles have a higher up- front cost, but the Brutal ones are definitely worth it!
  • PVC tiles may hide a water intrusion issue a bit longer, as some water may collect (in a bowl- shaped configuration) for a while before it causes the tile to distort and or fall out of the ceiling grid.  Any raising of the edge of a tile indicates a force applied on the upper surface of the tile in the form of water collection or something heavy touching.  The water collection may result in mildew. Mineral fiber tiles will show where there is a leak or condensate issue much quicker.
  • PVC tiles have a temperature limit of 120 degrees F.  Anywhere it gets hotter (near exhaust stack, hot air ducting), the tiles will sag over time and distort.  Here, mineral tiles win out.
  • Brutal tiles are very thin but hold their shape indefinitely in a grid.  Any forces placed on them by lighting fixtures will cause them to distort and not look optically right.  This will ruin the whole effect of the light and shadow of the composition.  All lighting must be supported from above.
  • Mineral fiber tiles are better for noise absorption, but many options do exist for placing mineral fiber tiles above Brutal PVC tiles, which makes them better together.
  • Mineral fiber tiles are non-combustible.

 

 

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