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Frequently Asked Questions

coffered ceiling, box beam ceiling


The following is a list of the questions we get asked the most about the Tilton Coffered Ceilings System along with their answers. If you cannot find the answer to your questions or concerns in this list please contact us via our Contact Form or by Phone or direct Email and we will be happy to provide the additional information you are seeking.

What material is the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System made out of?

The Tilton Coffered Ceiling System can be manufactured from a variety of materials with our standard options being:
  • MDF
  • Poplar
  • Clear Pine
  • Red Oak
  • Maple
  • Cherry
  • Mahogany
  • Walnut
  • Azek
See complete information on our Material Options HERE

What is MDF?

Like other engineered wood products, Medium Density Fiberboard, or MDF for short,  has a distinctively flat, dense surface that holds paint well. It doesn't move like wood, so its joints stay tight and paint doesn't crack, but the glory of MDF is its uniformity; it can be machined into every conceivable shape to create architectural details such as balusters or moldings. Unlike real wood, MDF has no knots, grain or warping that can make intricate woodworking difficult. While solid wood is better suited to structural applications such as floor joists, MDF tends to be more cost effective than solid wood so it's well suited to interior moldings, millwork and cabinetry.


For additional information on MDF see the Primed MDF page of this site

What is the lead time for a Tilton Coffered Ceiling System?

Typical production lead times for our coffered ceiling systems are 4 – 6 weeks for paint-grade and 6 - 8 weeks for stain grade from the date of order. Geometric and Bespoke designs may add to this depending on the complexity and size.

Can the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System be installed as a suspended type application?

No, our system has been designed as a permanent installation in which the coffer modules are secured by way of lag screws directly to the ceiling structure (i.e. the joists or other wood framing that can support them). The system can also be installed directly over concrete ceilings using masonry anchors with lag screws. See our Installation Videos for a complete overview.

How long does it take to install a Tilton Coffered Ceiling System?

Typical installations on an average size and height ceiling can be completed in 1 -2 days. We have found that using a calculation of 45 minutes per coffer is fairly accurate in estimating the time it will take two installers to complete a Tilton Coffered Ceiling System for the first time. Once you have had experience with installing our system you will find that installation times will begin to decrease as you become more familiar with the process. There are also several factors that should be considered when trying to determine the time it will take to install our system such as:
  • The overall skill level of the installers
  • The installers prior experience installing our ceiling system
  • The location and/or height of the ceiling being installed
  • The number of installers performing the work
  • The complexity of the design being installed
See our Installation Videos for a complete overview.

What is the cost per square foot for the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System?

Due to the many complexities and variables involved our coffered ceiling system pricing cannot be standardized or calculated on a per square foot basis. Please provide us with your ceiling dimensions and we will quote you project for you.

What happens if my ceiling or room is not perfectly square?

We all know that no room is ever perfectly square. To accommodate this inevitable circumstance the Perimeter Beam Boards of each Tilton Coffered Ceiling System can be scribed and/or tapered to the surrounding walls to account for differences between the perfectly square system and the imperfect ceiling and/or walls. Due to our proprietary design, every system we build has more than adequate space between the outermost coffer modules and the surrounding walls to allow for compensation in this manner. Furthermore, when utilizing the Perimeter Molding option for your project, any differences between the scribe or taper on the Perimeter Beam Board and the surrounding wall will be covered so they need not be perfect or tight to the walls. Alternatively, if you have opted not to include a Perimeter Molding for your project, then you will need to take extra time and care to ensure that your scribes and/or tapers are tight to the surrounding walls and visually acceptable. See our Installation Videos for a complete overview.

What are the standard or stock coffer module sizes?

There are no standard or stock sizes for any Tilton Coffered Ceiling. All of our ceiling systems are custom manufactured per order with the coffers being sized to fit the intended ceiling area perfectly.

Can I install the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System on an 8 foot tall ceiling?

Yes, our system can and has been successfully installed on 8 foot tall ceilings. While we recommend our shallowest 4" beam depth for these applications we have also completed projects on 8 foot tall ceilings with our 6" beam depth with compete satisfaction of the clients.

How are recessed lighting fixtures planned for and installed with the System?

The best way to plan for and install recessed lighting fixtures (i.e. hi-hats, pot lights, can lights etc.) with the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System is to run the rough wiring for these fixtures prior to installing the system and without mounting the fixtures themselves and leaving enough slack to allow for the fixtures to be centered perfectly in each coffer.
The ¾” thick integrated ceiling panel in each coffer module is then drilled with a hole saw for the size fixture being used and "renovation" or "old work" type fixtures are then wired and secured into the ceiling panels in the same way that they would be secured into the drywall of a typical ceiling.  

How are hanging light fixtures used with and attached to the System?

All hanging fixtures (i.e. chandeliers, ceiling surface mounted lighting) use a hollow threaded rod and/or machine screws for installation of the fixture to the electrical box so you would install the electrical box as you normally would and depending on how much deflection there is in the ceiling and how much you need to adjust the coffer modules off of the ceiling as a result you would simply use a longer threaded rod or machine screw to accommodate the difference.   

Can accent lighting be used with the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System?

Yes, accent lighting (i.e. rope lighting, back lighting) can be used with our system. Upon request we can set the crown molding with a reveal down from the ceiling panel to allow for accent lighting to shine out from behind it to illuminate the ceiling panel. The accent lighting of choice would need to be installed in the field which is easily done prior to installing the beam bottom boards of the system. In other words you can route all of the wiring for the accent lighting in the cavities of the beams before capping them off with the bottom boards.    


Do you offer any larger beam sizes than what is listed on the beam options page?

In short, yes, we could make our beams in widths wider than the maximum 12 ¾” listed on our site, but we have sized the depths and widths of
our beams according to industry standard S4S sizing which is readily available in lengths of up to 16’ from any supplier (i.e. 1x4, 1x6, 1x8, 1x10 and 1x12). However we can certainly provide wider beam stock which would be custom ripped from ¾” sheet material such as MDF or Plywood. The limitation here would be in the lengths available which we would typically offer at 8’ maximum.

Can the coffer modules be made in shapes other than square and rectangular?

Yes. Please see our Geometric and Bespoke Collection Designs for examples of the many shapes we can make our coffers in.

Will the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System work on a vaulted, cathedral or splayed ceiling?

Absolutely. We can design your ceiling system to work on any vaulted/cathedral/splayed ceiling or on flat ceilings that are surrounded by a vaulted/cathedral/splayed ceiling on all or some sides. See example drawings here of how our system works with these types of conditions.

How are your raised and recessed ceiling panel options constructed?

All Tilton Coffered Ceiling system raised and recessed ceiling panels are constructed using a true 5 piece 'frame-and-panel' construction which consists of the 4 individual sides of the frame plus a floating central panel.  This is the same type of construction used on high-end cabinet doors, authentic paneled wainscoting and traditional paneled interior doors

Can the Tilton Coffered Ceiling System be ordered without any ceiling panels so that the existing ceiling shows inside of each coffer?

To truly understand the Tilton Coffered ceiling system is to understand the proprietary design of the integrated ceiling panel and the many advantages it offers over all conventional installation methods. As a result we do not offer our coffered ceiling systems without the ceiling panels. The panels are an integrated part of each coffer module and essential to the pre-assembly design and process.

Are Tilton Coffered Ceiling Systems available pre-finished?

We currently do not offer any pre-finishing options for our coffered ceiling systems. We only offer pre-priming at this time. With our pre-priming option your ceiling system will only require minimal preparation prior to applying the finish of your choice.

Can Tilton Coffered Ceilings create a custom design for my coffered ceiling project?

Absolutely. In fact, every coffered ceiling system we manufacture is custom designed to fit each ceiling and to meet the satisfaction of the client.

Can you install my ceiling system for me?

Most Tilton Coffered Ceiling Systems are installed by the building trade professionals that purchase them for their clients or by the contractors/carpenters of the homeowners who purchase them for their personal homes. To find a Trade Partner in your area to help you with your project use the Trade Partner Locator found HERE or contact us by phone or email and we will be happy to assist you. Likewise, if your contractor or carpenter has any questions about the installation process please have them call or email us for assistance. Also, see our Installation Videos for a complete overview.