What is a Popcorn Ceiling & How You Can Get Rid of It for Good

What is a Popcorn Ceiling?

Across North America, there are quite a few properties that have what is known as a "popcorn" ceiling. Also known as "stipple," "acoustic," or even "cottage cheese," this textured style was quite popular in the U.S. and Canada starting in the 1930s, and it remained a common feature in homes right up to the early 1990s. However, as this texture has fallen out of favor since then (unless that is, the homeowner is specifically going for a "period" look), the common question is, "why were popcorn ceilings created in the first place?"

Pros and Cons of Popcorn Ceilings

The answer to that is manifold: popcorn ceilings were popular for their bright, white appearance and their ability to absorb sound and reduce noise. Another benefit was that popcorn texture did a great job of hiding imperfections in the ceiling surface. But, aesthetics aside, there were drawbacks to the popcorn ceiling. One was that they tended to collect dust and could stain over time from things like cigarette smoke. And to make matters worse, cleaning them was not an easy task. But the biggest problem with them was that they often contained asbestos fibers, a carcinogenic substance.

Popcorn Ceilings Can be Dangerous

When the U.S. passed an amendment in 1970 to the Clean Air Act of 1963, it forbade the use of asbestos in the materials used to make popcorn ceilings (amongst other things). Paper and Styrofoam materials were subsequently used in place of asbestos fibers, but the popularity of the popcorn ceiling dropped off significantly. However, not everybody rushed to have their popcorn ceilings removed, and some still liked the look and the acoustic benefits they provided.

Popcorn Ceiling Removal Experts

As drywall experts, PatchMaster has come across many popcorn ceilings. And while we have had to repair water-damaged ceilings and then recreate the popcorn texture to match the rest of the room (usually a bathroom, it seems), we also have been brought in to remove the popcorn and create clean, smoothed out, white ceilings in homes all over the United States and Canada.

In each case, our skilled technicians removed the texture* without creating massive amounts of dust, leaving completely smooth, white ceilings and leaving the living areas spotless—like the team and the popcorn ceiling was never there in the first place. Contact us today for a free consultation or call 1-844-PATCH-MAN (U.S.) or 1-833-WE-PATCH (Canada).

*Note: If your home was built before 1980 asbestos testing may be required and if asbestos is present, the popcorn texture must be removed by a licensed remediator.