The average ceiling inside US homes has a popcorn-like texture to it. And while plenty of residences feature smooth ceilings, textured alternatives continue to be far more commonplace. But what does this texturing add, and does a ceiling benefit from it?
Not every ceiling needs to be textured. Flat, smooth ceilings can be just as durable and attractive as textured ones. The primary reason why many residences have textured ceilings is cost. Popcorn ceilings are cheaper to install and can hide many construction flaws, resulting in lower overall costs.
This article will explore whether every ceiling needs to be textured and what benefits texturing might provide. I’ll also discuss the potential advantages of having smooth ceilings and the process of transitioning from textured ceilings to smooth ones. Let’s begin!
Common Reasons Ceilings Are Textured
To find out whether all ceilings should be textured, let’s find out why ceilings are textured!
Fortunately, there are only a handful of reasons why a contractor or homeowner might apply texture to their ceilings. Below are some of the common reasons ceilings are textured:
Textured Ceilings Can Cover Flaws – As devious as it might sound, some contractors choose to install textured ceilings to hide construction flaws. Landlords might also opt for textured ceilings to hide signs of damage, such as cracks, water stains, or signs of termite infestations.
Textured Ceilings Can Help Reduce Construction Costs – In addition to hiding flaws, textured ceilings can also help lower construction costs. The cost to install a popcorn ceiling, for example, is often slightly less than the cost to install a smooth ceiling. That said, some higher-quality textured ceilings can be far pricier than flat ceilings.
Texturing Ceilings Can Make Them More Soundproof – An utterly flat ceiling doesn’t have as much material on it as a textured one. Those living in multi-floor homes or apartments may choose to texture their ceilings to make them more soundproof.
Some People Find Textured Ceilings Attractive – Some homeowners choose to texture their ceilings to increase their home’s decor and achieve a specific type of aesthetic. For example, a swirl texture is far more eye-catching than a flat surface.
Crown molding or other ceiling accouterments can elevate an ordinary room into an opulent, refined living area. As such, textured ceilings aren’t always used to hide flaws or reduce costs. Sometimes, they’re installed for decorative purposes or to increase property value.
Reasons Some People Prefer Non-Textured Ceilings
Textured ceilings can increase soundproofing, cover flaws, increase a room’s attractiveness, and lower construction costs. So why do some folks prefer smooth or non-textured ceilings?
Many homeowners or landlords may choose to install a smooth or non-textured ceiling because of the following reasons:
Non-Textured Ceilings Are Easy To Clean – One of the most common complaints lobbied against textured ceilings is that they’re challenging to keep clean. Ceilings that feature little divots and grooves can quickly collect and hold onto dust. On the other hand, smooth ceilings don’t attract nearly as much dust and are easy to wipe clean.
Non-Textured Ceilings are Easier to Paint – Painting a textured ceiling often requires plenty of time and energy. Getting the new paint into every nook and cranny can easily take several hours or days. But adding a fresh coat of paint to a flat ceiling is simple, fast, and convenient.
It’s Easy To Repair Non-Textured Ceilings – If a textured ceiling develops cracks, sealing them can be a time-consuming pain in the neck. But when your ceiling is flat, repairing various types of damage is far more manageable. As such, those with smooth ceilings may be able to make simple repairs without professional assistance.
Some People Prefer Smooth Ceilings to Textured Ones – Not everyone appreciates the look of a textured ceiling. While crown molding can make a living space look more stately and luxurious, that aesthetic isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Some prefer the sleeker, modern, and more minimalistic look of smooth ceilings.
Different Ceiling Textures
Though popcorn-textured ceilings might be the most widespread type of textured ceiling, several other types are worth mentioning. For example, many ceilings are textured using drywall mud or excess paint.
Some of the most common types of ceiling textures include:
- Skip Trowel
- Orange Peel
The majority of these texture types exist for aesthetic purposes. They’re designed to improve the look and ambiance of a room. However, some are utilized due to their cost-saving features or ability to hide flaws.
Tips on Removing Texture From a Ceiling
The best way to remove texture from a ceiling depends on the type of ceiling you’ve currently got. Popcorn ceilings, for example, can be transformed into smooth ceilings with the help of a shaving tool, a sander, and some fresh paint.
However, if your textured ceiling has an orange peel or a skip trowel design, you may need drywall mud (also called joint compound) in addition to a scraper and some fresh paint. If you’ve never refinished a ceiling before, it might be best to reach out to professionals for assistance.
Still, if you’re determined to complete a DIY ceiling-smoothing project, you’ll want to do the following steps:
- Determine the type of texture your ceiling has.
- Create a plan for removing that specific type of texture.
- Gather your materials and supplies.
- Scrape away excess ceiling material.
- Apply drywall mud if necessary to fill in small holes or gaps.
- Use a sander to ensure the finished surface is smooth.
- Paint the ceiling with fresh paint to protect the new ceiling surface.
Popcorn ceilings tend to be the easiest to transform into smooth ceilings. However, if you’re working with a thicker textured ceiling, be sure to check out this video by the Vancouver Carpenter about skimming textured videos to a flat finish:
Not every ceiling needs to be textured. In fact, high-quality ceilings with few craftsmanship errors are often smooth and texture-free. Popcorn ceilings or other types of textured ceilings often hide imperfections such as cracks or water stains.
Additionally, textured ceilings tend to be far less expensive to install. As such, they’re a go-to choice for contractors looking to reduce overall construction costs.
Smooth ceilings are easier to clean and repair, and they can also increase a property’s value, which is why many people are choosing to get rid of their home’s texture ceilings.
- Bob Vila: All You Need to Know About Popcorn Ceilings
- Family Handyman: Drywall Texture Types You Need to Know
- YouTube: Vancouver Carpenter | How to SKIM TEXTURED CEILINGS FLAT!!! (orange peel)
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