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Thread: flat ceiling or something else

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member vvmvvm's Avatar
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    Default flat ceiling or something else

    I have the apartment in 15 floor building 1975 year build. It has pop corn. I hate it and want to remove. Main problem is that texture was applied on the concrete slab (no drywall). Builder used plywood to form the slab and was not accurate enough (plywood prints on the slab have height drops up to 1 inch and filled with pop corn like substance).
    Talking with my neighbors who removed popcorn I found out:
    a. This is really hard work (if You do it yourself) or expensive (if hire somebody)
    b. It messy work and best way is to remove all furniture from the rooms
    c. The regular wet/dry pop corn scrapping with regular skin-coat plastering is not enough to hide height drops.
    d. may be I'm crazy but I could not find really perfect result (Every time I could find couple places with not perfect flat surface . Be sure I did not used microscope to find them) Windows in our building go up to the ceiling, and flat light parallel to the ceiling shows all level irregulars.

    They gave me two ideas:
    - To install drywall (It is require to install framing and drop the ceiling about 2 1/2"). This is well known way
    - To install stretch ceiling.

    Contractor who suggested the last way was very talkative about stretch ceiling advantages. Pictures he show me were very nice but...

    Did somebody have stretch ceiling in Your house and what do you think about this? Or may by somebody could suggest another way to eliminate my pop corn?
    Thank You

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There's more than one way to apply the popcorn. I removed it all from the ceiling on my first floor. It was relatively easy. The stuff became soft when sprayed with plain water, and then it just scraped off like it was putty. If it has been painted over, that certainly won't work!

    If there are any plasterers in the area, some of them are true artists, and can make a funky ceiling look glass flat and smooth.

    No idea what a stretch ceiling is...can you elaborate?
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Reach4's Avatar
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    Based on your post, I searched "stretch ceiling". Interesting. The idea of a shiny ceiling is novel, but I guess it would come in matte too.

    I would suggest asking to see a prior result in person with your contractor if you consider this.

    I don't know why you could not put 3/8 thick drywall on the ceiling without adding that much thickness. Wouldn't 1 inch or 3/4 inch furring strips give enough to screw into?

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member vvmvvm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reach4 View Post
    Based on your post, I searched "stretch ceiling". Interesting. The idea of a shiny ceiling is novel, but I guess it would come in matte too.

    I would suggest asking to see a prior result in person with your contractor if you consider this.

    I don't know why you could not put 3/8 thick drywall on the ceiling without adding that much thickness. Wouldn't 1 inch or 3/4 inch furring strips give enough to screw into?
    Florida building code prohibit use of any wood behind drywall in multifamily buildings. So 1 5/8 metal stud + 1/2 drywall and up to 1" space to level slab height drops left by builder. (

    ceiling foil comes in gloss, matte and satin in different colors. Manufacture gives 10 year warranty on foil. I saw couple commercial properties , finished with stretch ceiling. They looks grate, similar to pictures You can find in internet.

    But at home... I am looking for somebody who have it in his house and what he could say based on his own experience.

  5. #5
    DIY Junior Member DMF2007's Avatar
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    Default Help me with this research please

    Hey,
    I am working on a research about people's motivations for do-it-yourself wood projects. Please, could you participate in this short survey? Thank you!
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/QXQZBZ6

    Quote Originally Posted by vvmvvm View Post
    I have the apartment in 15 floor building 1975 year build. It has pop corn. I hate it and want to remove. Main problem is that texture was applied on the concrete slab (no drywall). Builder used plywood to form the slab and was not accurate enough (plywood prints on the slab have height drops up to 1 inch and filled with pop corn like substance).
    Talking with my neighbors who removed popcorn I found out:
    a. This is really hard work (if You do it yourself) or expensive (if hire somebody)
    b. It messy work and best way is to remove all furniture from the rooms
    c. The regular wet/dry pop corn scrapping with regular skin-coat plastering is not enough to hide height drops.
    d. may be I'm crazy but I could not find really perfect result (Every time I could find couple places with not perfect flat surface . Be sure I did not used microscope to find them) Windows in our building go up to the ceiling, and flat light parallel to the ceiling shows all level irregulars.

    They gave me two ideas:
    - To install drywall (It is require to install framing and drop the ceiling about 2 1/2"). This is well known way
    - To install stretch ceiling.

    Contractor who suggested the last way was very talkative about stretch ceiling advantages. Pictures he show me were very nice but...

    Did somebody have stretch ceiling in Your house and what do you think about this? Or may by somebody could suggest another way to eliminate my pop corn?
    Thank You

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member larry123's Avatar
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    Default

    Stretch ceiling. Good material. Easy to install. Fantastic look.
    Check http://ceilingusa.com

  7. #7
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    You do realize, don't you, that a 1975 popcorn ceiling probably has asbestos in it. If so, you cannot 'legally' just wet it down and scrape it off. If the concrete ceiling has "jogs" of up to 1", then you could not just glue sheetrock over it and expect to have a "smooth/level" ceiling.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

  8. #8
    ACO Shower Drain Sales johnfrwhipple's Avatar
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    Default

    Good point HJ. I was just about to say the same thing.

    Often it is easier and safer to just cover the ceiling with a new layer of 1/2" drywall. If you are doing lots of electrical changes get a sample tested. Then bring in the pros to remove it.


    jfrwhipple@gmail.com - www-no-curb.com - 604 506 6792

    Always get construction advice double checked by your local city hall. Flood Test Every Shower - Every Time.

  9. #9
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    You can get a test kit and have it tested for asbestos for about $15...might be worth it. Takes about a week to get the results after you mail it in. I've bought them at Ace Hardware, but I'm sure you can get them other places as well.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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