How to Install Corrugated Metal Roofing on Ceilings

Sheila Tolerico

Corrugated metal ceilings are popping up across the country thanks to the growing popularity of green building and the interest in Latin American and Southwestern European cultures. In the U.S.

Corrugated metal

, they are installed for aesthetics, to achieve an Old World look from places that have used and still use corrugated metal roofs, to protect dwelling inhabitants from the elements, and on green building projects. It is an inexpensive, easy and effective style of roofing in many growing nations as well a developed nations. Installing corrugated metal roofing panels on the ceiling is a reminder of where we've been historically and where we are headed in the future.


Measure twice, cut once. Always check with your local building department for specific codes in your area before beginning any building project.


Use your safety equipment consistently.

Practice safety while on scaffolding and ladders.

Have a set of helping hands present to assist you. This is not a project that should be done alone.

    Determine beam material.
  1. Determine the material your ceiling beams are made of so you know what type of screws to use. If the beams are made of wood, you should use wood screws. For metal, you should use self-tapping screws. For concrete, tap con screws are best, but both the panels and beams will have to be pre-drilled for these. Be sure to use neoprene washers for each screw. Hex-head fasteners are recommended for use with all of these materials.

  2. Measure the ceiling.
  3. Measure the ceiling to determine the square footage. Square footage is determined by multiplying the length and width of an area. For example, if the ceiling is 10 feet by 12 feet, the square footage is 120 square feet. Once you have this calculation, you can determine how many panels and hardware you need. Depending on your design, add inches or feet to your calculations for any panels that will overlap. Take your calculations with you to your supplier, as they are usually happy to help with "do it yourself" projects.

  4. Note ceiling fixtures.
  5. Place the panels on the ceiling in the exact place where you'd like them affixed. Plan the installation to begin at the farthest point from the most visible area of the room, for example, a far corner away from doorways. Take note of the fixtures on the ceiling and trace lines where holes will have to be cut from your corrugated metal to accommodate these fixtures. Be precise so you don't make mistakes that could cost you a panel. The holes should be cut while you and the panels are safely on the ground.

  6. Cut out the tracings you have made on the panels for your ceiling fixtures by punching holes well inside the trace lines using a drill. Use these holes to make your initial cuts into the metal using the metal sheers. Continue to make small and careful cuts, working your way out to the trace lines. Work slowly as these cuts should be precise.

  7. Time to drill.
  8. Drill the screws into the corrugated metal panels onto the beams every 12 inches. The screws should be fastened at least 1 inch deep into the beams. Ideally, the wood beams will be located every 2 feet, or 6 feet apart for steel beams. Continue this process until all the panels are safely affixed to the ceiling.

  9. Seal the seams.
  10. Use 1/2-inch metal-to-metal screws to seal the seams of the overlapping panels. Their distance depends on your design and preference, as keeping wind and rain out is not a concern in this case. If you'd like the ceiling to look rustic, leave large gaps between the screws. If your goal is a clean-cut look, seal the seams closer together, using the same measurements between screws.