Ceiling texture and finishing

Ceiling texture and finishing


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What is ceiling texture?

When asked what type of finish you’d like to have for your ceiling, what we’re referring to is the look and/or texture you would like created. There are many options to choose from, but the most common textures are popcorn, knockdown, and smooth. 

Ceiling texture, while perhaps the most overlooked aspect of a home’s appearance, can often make the biggest impact. While you may not realize it when you first walk in; ceiling texture instantly gives the impression of a property being either dated or fresh and modern. New paint and fresh decor can easily be overshadowed and spoiled by an old or poorly installed ceiling texture.

Whether patching a popcorn ceiling or applying a completely new texture to your room, our experienced installers are capable of meeting your needs.


Types of ceiling texture


Starting back in the 1970’s a popcorn ceiling texture was far and away the most popular texture in  new and renovated residential properties. Popcorn texture is applied by machine, typically needing only one coat, and requires no painting once applied. Being both economical and simple to install; it was preferred by builders and homeowners alike. While popcorn from the 70’s often contained asbestos fibers; since the early 80’s the texture has been made with paper or Styrofoam. It remained popular until the early 2000’s when it began to fall out of style in favor of knockdown texture. Advantages of popcorn include ease of installation, lower cost, and possibility of matching better than other textures when repairs are done. Disadvantages include dirt and dust collection, the absorption of light from the room, and being considered dated.

Popcorn ceiling texture


Since at least 2010 knockdown texture has been the standard for residential construction and renovation when it comes to ceilings. Being applied by hand or machine, drywall mud is shot onto the ceiling in clumps that form something resembling stalactites from a cave. The texture is then “knocked down” leaving a clean and stylish look behind. Knockdown has the advantage of using less material and requiring less time to install than smooth ceiling, but will still require painting after application just as smooth ceiling will. It also does an excellent job at hiding poorly installed or older settled drywall surfaces. Worth noting is the inability to match knockdown if and when repairs are needed on a ceiling. Experienced installers can try their best, but it will always be apparent where knockdown has been redone after the fact.

knockdown ceiling texture


Just as popcorn ceiling can give a room the feeling of being out of date and dark, a smooth texture can give the feeling of clean and bright. A layer of drywall mud is applied across the entire surface of the ceiling. Once dry it is then carefully sanded to give a uniform smooth look. Most people don’t realize it but achieving a nice smooth look is an art and requires either lots of time and redo’s or a highly skilled and experienced installer. Due to the increased material and time needed smooth texture is more costly than knockdown, but the loos is unmatched. Advantages include adding light to a room, an ultra-modern look, and the best ability to be matched if repairs are ever needed. The disadvantages of smooth would be cost and difficulty. If the surface of the ceiling is uneven in any way, it will be difficult to hide and is likely to be visible with smooth texture.

Smooth ceiling finish

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