Basement ceiling tiles - replacing?

I'm getting ready to sell my old house, down to the final handy-man type fixups. One problem is the ceiling tiles in the basement. The house is 50 yr old and I suspect these tiles have been there for a good portion of its history. The tiles are those square ones the consistency of heavy cardboard, with the little patterns in them, about 10-12" square. Several have been knocked off/removed during renovations, several are sagging down (I think dislodged when the electrician was running wiring above them) and a few have water stains from an old leak.
Warning - completely NON-DIY'er here... I found a box of replacement tiles. Is this something I could do myself? How are they held up? Could I get away with like super-gluing them in place? How to get the sagging ones down? Just cut? This is primarily in the back utility area of the basement, so while I want it to look good, I'm not hugely concerned about aesthetics... more wanting it to look well maintained.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Lee wrote:

Pull one of the loose ones down, and look closely at the edges with a flashlight. If these are the tiles I am thinking about, there is a tongue on two edges, and groove on the other two, or perhaps half-lap joints. The ones I have seen were held up with tacks, staples, or glue, such that each succeeding row hid where the previous row was fastened. Usually fastened to a lattice of furring strips nailed crossways under the floor joists, since those are not at regular 12" intervals.
Now I'll throw a monkey wrench in the works- some tiles of that vintage contained asbestos. I'm NOT saying it is a hazard, as long as the tiles are not breaking down into dust. But in a sale situation, you know how people get, and how disclosure laws are. I'm no tile expert- I don't know a quick way to tell if what you have is the ordinary (celotex?)kind or the asbestos kind. But if you have the energy and time, pulling it all down carefully and replacing with new tile, may be cheap insurance against questions. Do NOT have the old tile tested- if you KNOW it is asbestos, you have to disclose it, and usually have it removed by an abatement contractor. Don't ask, don't tell, etc. Just use common sense, a dust mask, and if you start breaking tiles, spritz it with water from a plastic spray bottle to reduce airborne dust.
Me personally? I'd patch it as best I could with the spares on hand, and play dumb. If there aren't enough matching tiles, I'd strip the utility room (including furring strips). Mechanical spaces shouldn't have anything in the way of where the pipes and such run anyway, IMHO.
-- aem sends...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
aemeijers wrote:

They did end up being the tongue & groove kind. I picked up some new Armstrong ones in almost the same pattern.... and then chickened out and hired a handyman to do it. He had to cut the ridge thing off of a few, but most of them just slid right in place. Having watched, I think I could do it myself the next time... except that fortunately I don't have a basement in my new house. Even though there are some noticeably newer tiles, it definitely looks better than the old brown water stains and missing tiles. (Oh, and I didn't ask what they were made of<G>). Thanks for the help.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.