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American pressed metal
ceiling tiles

A while ago I wrote about some quirky ideas for kitchen splashbacks on the blog and, in more detail, in my Insider column (published this Sunday coming). One of them was to use old-school American pressed metal ceiling tiles...
This battered beauty, £65 from Not on the High Street, is used alone, purely for decoration and, had probably been part of a painted ceiling. Giant as it is (these tiles typically measure 61cm x 61cm) that is one hefty old price. Buy in bulk, at the only UK supplier of reproduction designs, like the ones pictured below, and you'll pay loads less, though it depends of course what you want to use the tile(s) for. There are details of this supplier at the bottom of this post.

The splashback idea was something I'd read a lot about on Australian websites; here, I'd only heard of the tiles used as one-offs, as above, or as in the home of Mark and Sally Bailey – the couple behind the gorgeous Bailey's Home & Garden shop  – where they use one as a knife holder in their kitchen. Below, bottom image, and on the left hand side of the window, you can see the Baileys' tile in use. In the top left image, these are painted pressed tin tiles as a splashback in a kitchen, which I think looks really interesting and, top right, you can see the tiles in their more traditional form, unpainted and adorning a ceiling.

My interest in these tiles was re-ignited when I went to the opening of a new pub in my area – et voila: the bar was made from the very things. I love the look of it; judge for yourselves in the picture below.

As well as a kitchen splashback, the tiles would also make a great non-cliched feature wall, painted the same colour as the rest of the room, and matt, or an interesting kitchen island. Especially if you have a reclaimed wood worktop (try Retrouvius), for a bit of a cowboy look (for which, get some inspiration here).

There are very few places in the UK where you can buy the tiles; in fact, the only dedicated bulk supplier appears to be Andy Thornton, where they cost £16 a piece. Remember, as I said, that they are big beasts – each tile measures around 61cm square. And if you are only ordering a small quantity, you may need to wait a while for bigger order to tag along with, as they specialise in commercial quantities. They also supply the tiles in their bare metallic form, or they'll paint them for you (I think they powder-coat them, so it makes sense if paint is what you're after). I called the company and they say they are very much open to smaller orders, if you have the patience... and I think these unusual tiles are worth the wait.


  1. My favourite tin ceiling is at Casa del Popolo, in Montreal. It is the original ceiling, probably circa early 20th century? Or maybe late 19th? They used to be very common in Montreal. They can even be found on the outside of farm buildings throughout Quebec.

  2. Thank you very much for the share - they look fantastic in that setting with the bare bricks. Weird how they never took off in the UK, wonder why? I really wish I lived in Montreal, that bar looks like a nice place to be...

  3. Wow, great article, I really appreciate your thought process and having it explained properly, thank you!

    Metal suppliers

  4. I was reading a blog about some smaller pressed tin tiles
    So i did a search for the in the UK and found your post!
    Thanks for sharing Andy Thortons not to far from me, I love the idea as splash back!