Sound panel question

sort of…

My basement ceiling has these little sound squares, installed in about 1965 or so I would guess. I want to tear them out and get rid of the flat ceiling, make the ceiling a bunch of little triangles, sort of like a mini Sun studio. So I went to tear out a couple of squares from a corner, just to see what’s involved, and it’s easy enough to pull them down, they were just put up with little nails, but they make all sorts of dust when I rip them out. Then I got to wondering, do these things have any harmful substances in them, like asbestos? How would I find out about something like that? They seem to be made of pressed together cardboard fibers or something like that, and sort of disintegrate when I pull them down. Anyone know about this sort of thing?


If those little ceiling tiles are like the ones in my parents house, (built 1967) they are essentially cardboard. It is doubtful they contain any asbestos. Asbestos was widely used for high temperature insulation and in some exterior roofing products. Still, I would be paranoid about it and try to check it out further before tearing it out. Check your Yellow Pages under Insulation Contractors. There’s probably something there about asbestos removal companies and such. They will probably only charge a minor consulting fee just to check it out for you. Better to be safe than sorry.


Thanks TG, yes, they seem to be essentially cardboard. Before I shell out money for the pros I’m going to see if I can find out what they are made of. But that is a very good suggestion. Hmm. Perhaps I could just take one over to them and have them tell me what’s in it.

Ooooh, I’m cheap, ain’t I?

Quote (TomS @ Nov. 12 2004,14:07)
Ooooh, I'm cheap, ain't I?

Nuttin' wrong with that bro'!! :) :)

I hope its just paper. If it is, wear yourself a good mask to filter that crap outta your life gas. I once spent about two hours under the stage at our church pulling cables. I was too stupid to have a dust mask on. Took two weeks, a shot and a whole bottle of little pills to get over the nasty URI I got from that little job.

Good luck!


If you want, send me a sample from the tiles and I’ll get the chemical composition for you. It might take a couple weeks, since I’d need to schedule it into my workload.

Don’t quote me on this, but I think it’s ceilo-tex. same composition used for drop in ceiling tiles today.
Wear dust mask and have goggles on for your eyes!

Found this st the housedetective web site
Look carefully at the ceiling. Is it sheetrock, plaster, homosote, celotex, masonite, plywood, matched tongue-and-groove, or open joist? What are the acoustic ceiling tiles or suspended ceiling tiles made of? Your home inspector should be able to identify the material by its color and texture. Even if the tiles are painted, the color is sometimes visible at a seam. Brownish colors usually indicate compressed wood or cane fiber. White or gray can sometimes indicate asbestos fiber. In order to properly identify asbestos, you need a special asbestos inspector’s license.

I know if it’s celotex it’s nasty so wear protective mask and goggles, if it’s other you may have to have a pro crew come in to dispose of.
May be better to be safe than sorry dude!

Oh…and nuttin wrong with cheap!!!:D

Well, I’m nearly certain that it’s wood or cane fiber. Weekend, that is very, very generous. I have PMed you. :)