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The Rise and Fall of the Popcorn Ceiling

If the internet existed 40 years ago, there would have been an abundance of Google searches for ďHow to Install a Popcorn CeilingĒ. Your friends would be sharing pictures on Facebook of their new, textured ceilings, and Youtube would be filled with 100s of installers demonstrating how to add a popcorn ceiling. So what do you do now, years later, when your popcorn ceiling is a playground for dust, has more cracks than the Grand Canyon, or is as stained as a coffee filter? One growing trend is to replace it by adding ceiling tiles.

Covering a Popcorn Ceiling

So where do you start on a project like this? With a simple Google search you can find numerous articles on Removing a Popcorn Ceiling. However, what might appear to be the easiest method might actually lead to hours of headaches and frustration. So below weíve outlined the primary ways to cover your popcorn ceiling, along with the advantages and disadvantages of each. See which one is best for you!

Adhering Tiles Directly to the Popcorn Ceiling

This would seem like the obvious choice. You donít have to pay anyone to remove the popcorn, and you donít have any material costs other than the ceiling tiles and adhesive. However, you also have to consider the condition of the popcorn ceiling and also the unevenness of the surface. If the ceiling is starting to crack and fall off, do you really want to adhere your new ceiling onto an unreliable surface?

You may also be faced with dust residue on the popcorn, which will make it difficult to get a good bond between the actual ceiling and the tile. Also, even if the ceiling is in great shape, if itís not completely flat you will run into issues with the tiles not lining up properly.

So, while you should definitely consider adhering tiles directly to your ceiling, whether it will be a good choice for your project will depend on the condition of your ceiling.

Cover the Popcorn Ceiling with Sheetrock

At first glance this might seem like a big job. But if you apply sheetrock (or drywall) on top of your popcorn ceiling, you wonít need to worry about doing any finish work on this material: no taping seams or patching screw holes is necessary. Thatís because youíre installing ceiling tiles right over the top, and they will look great! So if you use sheetrock, screw it directly over the existing ceiling, and then apply your tiles to the new surface. You will spend about $50 on materials for a 12í x 12í room; but the amount of time you save during the installation of the tiles, and the peace of mind youíll have in knowing your tiles are installed on a permanent surface, will be worth the investment.

Removing a Popcorn Ceiling

If you have already received a quote on removing or repairing a popcorn ceiling, you know that it can get expensive. Usually, it isnít the removal of the popcorn that gets pricey - itís the refinishing of the ceiling that will take a chunk out of your budget. But, when youíre adding tiles you donít need to worry about refinishing; you can just scrape off the old surface and youíre ready to install! Plus, removing the popcorn is easier than it sounds (see the pro tip below), and by laying out tarps to protect your furniture, clean-up can be quick too.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Ė Pro Tip
If you are removing your popcorn ceiling, save time by getting the popcorn damp before you begin to scrape it off. Using a paint roller with a thick nap and a bucket of water, just roll the ceiling area and allow the popcorn to absorb the water. You will find it much easier to remove the popcorn ceiling after its wet; it should come right off with a wide putty knife.

The Next Step to Your New Ceiling

Hopefully weíve helped you determine which option is best for your project. But if you need more assistance just give us a call! Now itís time to pick the tile that will make your new ceiling sensational!