Can You Cut Plastic Ceiling Tile Without Cracking It?
Hard plastic acrylic ceiling tiles can be light diffusers or decorative printed panels. Acrylic ceiling panels can be difficult to cut without cracking or breaking them, as they are made of a stiff, hard plastic. By scoring the acrylic panel several times to create a snapping guide line, which works somewhat. The best way is to use a high tooth count circular saw, 140 or higher. This method will give you smooth, straight edges that are not cracked.
Measure the dimensions of the ceiling where the hard plastic panel is going to be installed, such as over a fluorescent light ballast. Add 1/8 inch to each side and then transfer these dimensions to the hard plastic ceiling panel with a metal straight edge and a pencil. The extra 1/8 inch will allow the panel to sit in the railing of the ceiling tiles grid or the fluorescent light fixture trim for a professional looking installation. If you are replacing old panels, use them as a template. Place them on top of the new panel and mark with a marker.
Place the hard plastic panel on a flat work surface. Take your time and follow the line slowly with your circular saw. It is ok if you do not follow the line exactly. There is a little room for error.
Clean of the saw dust from the panels using a shop vac, brush, or broom of some sort.