Most orders ship out free by tomorrow, May 20th


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!

Tiles to replace your "Popcorn"!

read more about each collection at the end of the article

A) Can I Adhere Tiles Directly to a Popcorn Ceiling?

This would seem like the simplest choice. You donít have to pay anyone to remove the popcorn, you donít have a big mess, 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 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?
  • Dust residue may be present on the popcorn, which could make it difficult to get a good bond between the actual ceiling and the tile.
  • Even if the ceiling is in great shape, it is not completely flat, which will cause issues with the tiles not lining up properly.

With the high likelihood of complications in mind, we do not recommend adhering directly to a popcorn ceiling. It can be done, but the time and cost of repair makes it too high-risk in our opinion.

B) Cover with Sheetrock or Furring Strips then Add Ceiling Tiles

At first glance this might seem like a big job. But if you apply sheetrock or furring strips (long, thin strips of wood, available at most hardware stores) 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 or furring strips, screw directly over the existing ceiling, and then apply your tiles to the new surface. You will spend about $50 (less with furring strips) 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, level surface, will be worth the investment.

C) Remove the Popcorn and Add Ceiling Tiles

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. IMPORTANT: Before removing the popcorn, make sure it does not contain asbestos as described in our asbestos ceiling article.

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!

ProLite Series:

These tiles are both elegant and resilient, ideal for basements, buesinesses, and food preparation areas. Made from PVC, they're washable, waterproof, mold and mildew resistant, promoting a healthy environment. And because they're stylish as well as sanitary, they are our top sellers!

Designer Collection:

These tiles add character to your environment, evoking vibes from the French Quarter all the way to Classic Greece. If you're looking to be transported to another world of culture and sophistication, these tiles are for you!