removing popcorn ceilings

Is It Worth It to Remove Popcorn Ceiling Removal

Popcorn Ceiling Removal – Is It Worth It?

Are you wondering about your popcorn ceilings and if you should remove it?

Do Renovations Increase Home Value?

Homeowners are often asking value questions, they want to know the value of upgrades and renovations.  When we update and renovate our house, we not only want a new look at home, but we also want to know if we will increase the value of our home.  

There are a lot of things that go into the value of a home, things like the neighbourhood, square footage, the number of bathrooms and bedrooms and of course when the market is at.  Some of these things are not within our control, and some of them are.

Suffice to say YES for the most part renovations will increase your home value.  Or at the very least it will help make your house more attractive to potential buyers, and you’ll get an offer faster.

Are Ceilings a Big Deal When it Comes to Selling your Home?

People will argue this point, but at Bedrock Construction, we believe that every part of the home is important, and when it comes to increasing value homeowners should look at everything.

The ceiling itself will typically show the date of the home.  Houses that are built in different eras have finishes that reflect what was popular at that time.  As the house grows in age some of these things become dated.  Popcorn ceilings are definitely one of these things that people are considering when it comes to home improvement and to freshen up an old house.

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What are Popcorn Ceilings? 

Popcorn ceilings, also known as a stipple ceiling or acoustic ceiling, is a type of ceiling finish that was popular in residential construction from the 1950s to the 1980s. It is characterized by a textured surface that resembles the appearance of popcorn or cottage cheese. Popcorn ceilings were primarily used for their practical benefits, including noise reduction, the ability to hide imperfections as well as being cheaper and easier.

The typical popcorn ceiling texture is made by applying a mixture of paint and texture (often containing materials like Styrofoam or vermiculite) to the surface of the ceiling. This process creates a bumpy, uneven texture that helps to absorb sound and minimize echoes in a room.

While popcorn ceilings were once a common choice, they have fallen out of favour in recent years due to changing design trends and concerns over potential health risks. Popcorn ceilings can contain asbestos, a harmful substance that was used in some older versions of the texture mix before its health hazards became widely known. Asbestos-containing popcorn ceilings are a potential health risk if the texture is disturbed, as it can release asbestos fibres into the air, which can be inhaled and lead to serious health issues.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal - Bedrock Construction

As a result, many homeowners and property owners choose to remove popcorn ceilings to update the appearance of their space and eliminate any potential health risks associated with asbestos-containing textures. Modern alternatives, such as a smooth ceiling or different types of textured finishes, are all the rage and more commonly used in contemporary construction and renovations.

Popocorn Ceiling - Bedrock Construction

Popcorn Ceiling Removal – Is It Worth It?

The decision to remove popcorn ceilings is subjective and depends on several factors, including personal preferences, the condition of the ceiling, potential health concerns, and the overall aesthetic goals for the space. Here are some points to consider when deciding whether to remove your popcorn ceilings and if it is worth it:

  1. Aesthetics: Popcorn ceilings can give a dated and somewhat unappealing look to a room. Removing the texture and opting for a smoother finish or a different type of texture can significantly update the appearance of the space, making it feel more modern and visually pleasing.
  2. Health Concerns: If the popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, there is a potential health risk if the texture is disturbed during renovation or maintenance. Asbestos fiberes, when inhaled, can lead to serious health issues, including lung diseases. If you suspect your popcorn ceiling contains asbestos, it’s essential to have it tested by professionals and consider removal to eliminate any health hazards.
  3. Increased Home Value: Upgrading from a popcorn ceiling to a more modern finish can enhance the value of your home. Many potential buyers may view popcorn ceilings as outdated, and removing them can be a selling point and increase the resale value if you plan to put your home on the market.
  4. Improved Lighting: Popcorn ceilings tend to trap and scatter light, creating shadows and reducing the overall brightness of a room. A smoother or different textured finish can help improve lighting and make the space feel more open and inviting.
  5. Cleanliness and Maintenance: Popcorn ceilings are notoriously difficult to clean and can accumulate dust and cobwebs in their nooks and crannies. Smooth ceilings or ceilings with less textured finishes are generally easier to maintain and keep clean.
  6. Cost and Effort: Popcorn ceiling removal can be a labour-intensive and messy process, especially if it contains asbestos. The cost of removal can vary depending on the size of the area, the presence of asbestos, and the chosen replacement finish. It’s essential to weigh the cost and effort against the desired outcome.

Ultimately, whether to remove popcorn ceilings is worth it depends on your priorities and the specific circumstances of your home. If you’re concerned about potential health risks, want to update the look of your space, and are willing to invest in the removal process, then it may be a worthwhile endeavour. However, if the ceiling is in good condition, contains no asbestos, and you are content with its appearance, leaving it as is might be a reasonable option.

How Much Does it Cost to Remove Popcorn Ceilings?

The total cost of remove popcorn ceilings and finishing it in another way will largely depend on the type of finish that you want once the texture is off of the ceiling.  The average cost of removing popcorn ceilings is between $1,500 – $2,000 and will likely run in the $1 to $2 per square foot range.  This of course is dependant on how open the area is, how many hallways, how many walls and how many light fixtures and ceiling fans are along the entire ceiling.

This cost typically doesn’t include refinishing the entire ceiling afterwards.

How Much Does it Cost When Removing Popcorn Ceilings in Canada?

It depends on if you are going to do it yourself or if you are going to hire someone to do it for you.  There are tools that you can purchase at Home Depot or rent that can make the job a little easier for you.  It will also depend on if there is asbestos in the material, if there is the removal and disposal of the textured ceiling will be more expensive because of the asbestos.

Like we mentioned above the average cost is between $1 and $2 per square foot. This is, however, if everything is normal. If there are additional expenses for things like asbestos or other complications you could see that raised to $4 per square foot.

Popocorn Ceiling - Bedrock Construction (1)
After a popcorn ceiling removal – leaves the space looking clean and seamless


Popcorn Ceiling Removal Calgary

Popcorn Ceiling Removal - Bedrock Construction (1)

In Calgary, a lot of people followed the trend of having popcorn ceilings.  If you are buying an old house that is more than 10 years old you are likely going to find this type of popcorn texture on your ceiling.  Homebuilders still do it today mostly because it is an inexpensive way to finish the ceiling.

There are a number of ways to remove popcorn ceilings, but Bedrock Construction can help you with the home improvement process and make sure that the finish you want is achieved.

What are the Finishing Options After the Texture of the Popcorn Ceiling is Removed?

popcorn textured ceilings paint grade

After the popcorn ceiling removal process, you have several finishing options to choose from, all aimed at achieving smooth ceilings and an updated look while ensuring the drywall and ceilings are properly covered and protected from dust. Here are some common ceiling material finishing options:

Smooth Finish: If the underlying drywall ceiling is in good condition, opting for a smooth ceiling finish is ideal. This process involves sanding the ceiling to remove any dust or imperfections and then applying a coat of primer followed by a couple of coats of paint. The result is a clean, modern, and flat wall and ceiling surface.

Knockdown Texture: This popular option involves applying a thinned-down joint compound or drywall mud to the ceiling and then “knocking it down” with a trowel or other tools. This technique creates a textured but subtle finish that adds visual interest without the heaviness of popcorn texture.

Skip Trowel Texture: Offering a more rustic, hand-troweled look, this texture involves applying joint compound in a skip-trowel pattern to the ceiling and then partially smoothing it out, leaving some areas textured for a more organic finish.

Swirl Texture: Created using a swirling motion with a trowel or brush, swirl texture adds a unique pattern of swirls to the ceiling, making it visually appealing and distinct.

Stomped Texture: Achieved by using a specialized brush or stomping brush, this finish creates a pattern of random, circular marks on the ceiling for a dramatic effect.

Venetian Plaster: For those seeking an elegant and upscale look, Venetian plaster is an excellent choice. It involves layering plaster with a trowel to achieve a smooth, polished finish with the appearance of natural marble.

Painted Texture: For a subtle texture that’s less pronounced than popcorn, textured paint can be applied. Available in various finishes, including sand or popcorn-like textures, it adds visual interest to the ceilings.

Beadboard or Wood Paneling: To give the ceiling a completely new look and add architectural interest, covering it with beadboard or wood paneling is an attractive option.

Regardless of the chosen finish, it’s crucial to prepare the ceiling properly by ensuring it’s clean, the drywall is repaired, and the surface is primed to cover any imperfections. This preparation might involve additional layers of mud and sanding, especially for a paint grade ceiling aiming for a flat and seamless appearance. Finally, applying fresh paint will help match the ceiling to your desired aesthetic, fully transforming the space after the popcorn texture is removed.

Bedrock Construction Ltd. Calgary


When it comes to popcorn ceiling removal, Bedrock Construction stands out as the premier choice in both residential and commercial construction. With an impressive track record since 1991 and an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, we have earned a reputation for excellence.
Bedrock Construction’s dedicated team is accountable and meticulous in every aspect of our work, ensuring that each project is completed to the highest standard. Our commitment to cleanliness and organization means that the removal process is not only efficient but also leaves the space spotless. For a seamless and stress-free popcorn ceiling removal, Bedrock Construction is the trusted name that clients turn to time and time again.