removing popcorn ceilings

Is It Worth It to Remove Popcorn Ceiling

Is It Worth It To Remove Popcorn Ceiling?

Are you wondering about your popcorn ceiling 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.

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What is Popcorn Ceiling? 

A popcorn ceiling, 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 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 favor 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 fibers into the air, which can be inhaled and lead to serious health issues.

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 smooth ceilings or different types of textured finishes, are more commonly used in contemporary construction and renovations.

Popocorn Ceiling - Bedrock Construction

Is Removing a Popcorn Ceiling Worth It?

The decision to remove a popcorn ceiling 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 removing a popcorn ceiling 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 fibers, 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 removing a popcorn ceiling 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 endeavor. 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 Have Popcorn Ceiling Removal?

The total cost of removing a popcorn ceiling 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 the texture is between 1500 – 2000 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.

This cost typically doesn’t include refinishing the ceiling after.

How Much Does it Cost to Remove Popcorn Ceiling 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 texture 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

In Calgary, a lot of people followed the trend of having popcorn ceilings.  If you are buying a home 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 the textured ceiling, but Bedrock Construction can help you with the 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 removing the popcorn texture from your existing ceiling, you have several finishing options to choose from. These options will help you achieve smooth ceilings and updated look. Here are some common ceiling material finishing options:

  1. Smooth Finish: If the underlying ceiling is in good condition, you can opt for a smooth finish. This involves sanding and repairing any imperfections, then applying a coat of primer followed by a couple of coats of paint. The result is a clean, modern, and flat ceiling.
  2. Knockdown Texture: A popular option, the knockdown texture 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 creates a textured but subtle and visually interesting finish.
  3. Skip Trowel Texture: This texture gives a more rustic, hand-troweled look. It involves applying joint compound in a skip-trowel pattern and then smoothing it out partially, leaving some texture behind. The result is a more organic and textured finish.
  4. Swirl Texture: Swirl texture is created using a swirling motion with a trowel or brush. This creates a pattern of swirls on the ceiling, providing a unique and visually appealing finish.
  5. Stomped Texture: Also known as a slap brush texture, this finish is achieved by using a specialized brush or stomping brush to create a pattern of random, circular marks on the ceiling.
  6. Venetian Plaster: For a more elegant and upscale look, you can opt for Venetian plaster. This involves applying multiple layers of plaster with a trowel, resulting in a smooth, polished finish with subtle variations and a marble-like appearance.
  7. Painted Texture: If you prefer to have some texture but not as pronounced as popcorn, you can use textured paint. There are various types of textured paint available, including sand or popcorn-like finishes, which can add some visual interest to the ceiling.
  8. Beadboard or Wood Paneling: Alternatively, you can cover the ceiling with beadboard or wood paneling to give it a different look and add some architectural interest.

When choosing a finishing option, consider the style of the room and your personal preferences. Additionally, ensure you prepare the ceiling properly before applying any new texture or finish by cleaning, repairing, and priming the surface as needed.

The work involved after the popcorn ceiling is removed is sanding the ceiling flat and making sure that the imperfections are fixed. A paint grade ceiling, which is just a flat white ceiling may require additional layers of mud and sanding to make it flat and seamless. Then the ceiling will need fresh paint to match your desires.

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.