“What ceiling texture would you like?”
I’m sorry, there are choices? Yes! There are tons of choices. And choosing the right one is important, because it can make a difference in price, durability, and looks of your remodeled space.
Let’s narrow it down to the four simplest and most common:
You’re very familiar with an acoustical popcorn ceiling. It involves a process of mixing tiny Styrofoam balls with paint, and then blasting them onto the ceiling. It’s quick, inexpensive, and actually does a pretty decent job in stopping sound from bouncing off the ceiling, and therefore helping with echoes.
Downsides – it doesn’t have any stain-blocking properties, so it can show pre-existing stains over time. It’s also hard to touch up. And, it is sharp, so it can collect dust and debris.
If you’ve visited any parade homes or model homes lately, you’re probably also very familiar with a knockdown ceiling. It too involves a spraying of types, but then using a knife to literally “knock down” the bumps. It literally looks like a knife cut through a heavy textured ceiling. After the knocking down, it gets painted with flat ceiling white.
Downsides – although more durable than acoustical popcorn, it is still a pretty strong texture, depending on the application. And it adds painting to the process, so it’s more expensive.
Smooth is smooth. The ceilings are treated the same way the walls are, with mud, sand, repeat. Then it gets painted with flat ceiling white. It’s a simple, clean, modern look. It’s also a simple texture to use in a bathroom or small area when the rest of the house is still popcorn. Smooth is so simple that it can compliment any other texture in the house, including popcorn. So, if you’re remodeling your bathroom and don’t want to convert ALL the ceilings in your house, smooth is a good, durable way to go.
Downsides – it’s typically the most expensive way to go, and it shows the most. If you have any inconsistencies in your ceiling, like most homes, you’ll see the waves and bumps. It’s the simplest and cleanest, but also the most unforgiving in an imperfect house (which is, like, all of them).
My personal favorite for remodels, but I’m biased. Orange peel is the silent underdog that’s got the best of all worlds. It’s the underdog because it might seem to look a little too much like acoustical popcorn. But, it’s not. Similar in process to knockdown, there isn’t actually a knockdown process for this texture, but it requires a little more time and a little more finesse. A light spraying of mud to create a subtle stipple makes it look similar to a flattened, subtle popcorn. The stipple is so light that from afar it can look a lot like a smooth ceiling, but up close looks a little more like popcorn. We like it because we do remodels. If you’ve got one room that’s popcorn, and one that’s orange peel, they won’t look so insanely different like popcorn and knockdown. And, if you have a large ceiling area and smooth won’t cut it, then orange peel will help hide the junk. It’s still durable, and still gets paint.
Downsides – it’s the most expensive of the bunch, but not by much!