Pros & Cons of Popcorn Ceilings

Pros & Cons of Popcorn Ceilings

Love them or hate them, one of the biggest remodeling requests that we receive day to day centers around popcorn ceiling repair and removal. In a future blog we’ll delve a little more into ceiling texture options and pros and cons of each, but in this installment, let’s focus in on popcorn (also known as “acoustic”) ceilings.

Popcorn ceilings have been around since the 1930’s, but what we’re seeing is that in the Tampa Bay area, popcorn ceilings were very much in favor in the 70’s and 80’s. They were an inexpensive option for builders and allowed them to cover wide areas of ceilings quickly and easily. And a large number of the houses we work on (especially in Pinellas County and Hillsborough County) were built in that timeframe.

As a company, we’ll admit that we lean towards being anti-popcorn in the long-term, but there were good reasons that popcorn was a popular interior ceiling choice and why it still does get chosen by homeowners even today.

Pros:

  • Popcorn is usually “blown” on using a machine that can cover a large area quickly and fairly cheaply. It covers the drywall on the ceiling entirely and does not need painted initially.
  • The heavy texture of popcorn provides a sound dampening effect and is the reason they are also called “acoustic ceilings”.
  • The dense texture of popcorn can hide ceiling imperfections such as uneven drywall and allows builders and homeowners not to spend as much time and money on drywall preparation.
  • Also, it’s just a matter of personal taste.  Some folks just like the look of the texture.  There’s nothing wrong with that as long as you know and accept the drawbacks of popcorn ceilings.

Cons:

  • The primary complaint we hear about popcorn ceilings is that they hold dirt and are hard to clean.  The nature of the cottage cheese like texture makes these ceilings hold onto dust, cobwebs and smoke.  Then cleaning them is difficult as too much pressure can cause chunks of the ceiling texture to fall down.
  • The next concern is maintenance. When sections of ceiling get damaged by water or just fall into disrepair due to time, wear, and tear; it can be difficult to match the popcorn texture that was used and patches often stick out like a sore thumb.
  • Painting popcorn ceilings is difficult and is often a challenge, even for the most dedicated DIYer.  Popcorn normally cannot be rolled or brushed with paint, it must be sprayed using a spray gun to ensure that the texture isn’t damaged.
  • Lastly, in general popcorn is widely viewed as old-fashioned and many homeowners tell us that it makes their homes feel outdated.

What does popcorn removal and ceiling repair entail?

Premier Painting and Coating has time proven process for removing popcorn and replacing with a clean and timeless texture and paint that makes any home feel new.

Our drywall and texture specialists start by preparing the rooms to be serviced by covering all walls, floors and doorways with plastic sheeting.  In cases where the home is occupied, we move furnishings to the center of the rooms and fully cover them in plastic to provide protection.

Once a room is fully protected, we spray down the popcorn with a water solution to loosen it and hand scrape the ceilings to ensure minimal damage to your ceilings so that more repairs aren’t required prior to retexture and paint.

Once the popcorn is removed, our texture specialist applies the customer’s preferred texture type to the ceiling and it is allowed to dry prior to painting.

Some things keep in mind when have popcorn ceilings removed:

If you plan to change out lighting fixtures, you’ll want to think about lowering your current fixtures to ensure that the texture under them gets done as well.

If your home has wallpaper or border on the walls, the popcorn removal process could cause minor damage to those as tape is utilized to hold plastic sheeting to the walls.

It’s not common, but be prepared for surprises. Popcorn was sometimes sprayed on to cover imperfections in ceilings.  Once removed, you may find issues is your ceiling that you’ll want to address.

Popcorn ceiling removal is messy business. Make sure that your service provider is a full-service company, is licensed, and has a solid track record of providing quality work products and cleaning up after themselves! 

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