What Can You Do About Your Stippled Ceilings Slow Home Studio

What Can You Do About Your Stippled Ceilings Slow Home Studio

What Can You Do About Your Stippled Ceilings?

Posted on: August 24th, 2011 | 14 Comments

One of the most universally hated spec home details is the stippled ceiling. Also referred to as knock down, textured or popcorn ceilings, this is sprayed or trowelled on finish to a drywall ceiling that saves builders a lot of time and money because the ceilings do not have to be mudded, taped, sanded, primed or painted. However, what saves time and cost up front to the builder causes years of visual angst for the homeowner.

So, if you have stippled ceilings in your house what can you do about them?

Hi Li-Na Haha! Yes, we do seem to be going through a laundry list of hated home design elements at the moment. I wonder what we should do next. Any suggestions? Brass door knobs? Tile or hardwood installed on a diagonal? Exterior columns that dont touch the ground? Rounded drywall corners (I still cant believe this is an up-charge!)the list is endless!

Li-Na

Just off the top of my head, herere some of the items on my list:

1) Cabinet pulls installed right smack in the middle of cabinet doors. Why would someone think this is a good idea. I cant wait to get rid of the ones we have on our bathroom cabinets. I keep bruising my knees on them!

2) Potlights installed in rows (or a grid) with no thought on how the space will actually be used. I dont think many people need airplane runways on their ceiling.

3) Nipple lights! (Uhmam I allowed to use the word nipple on here, or will my post be flagged?)

4) The brilliant plans people come up with to make something unwanted better. E.g. a beam gets turned into an elaborate curved archway. Usually, such schemes just serve to highlight the initial problem.

5) Fake shutters! The ones that are very obviously way too small to ever completely cover the window in question.

6) Ugly bulkheads. I understand the need for bulkheads. But with a little effort and thought, a lot of them could be better integrated and might actually look like they were placed there for an aesthetic purpose as well. Instead, most are (to use a previous Matthews-Word-of-the-Day) a carbuncle.

7) Light switches/thermostats installed right in the middle of a wall when they could have done the job just as well off to the side.

Matthew, Ive only seen rounded drywall corners oncewhat do you have against them? According to some, no pointy corners is good feng shui? ;-) And please elaborate on your disgruntlement with diagonally installed tiledoesnt that make the space seem larger? *evil grin*

Steve, many thanks for posting the photos, especially the last one, which was the one I really wanted a closer look at. -)

P/S Surely exterior columns that dont touch the ground are a fluke and werent actually designed that way? Right?

Konkinsa

Came upstairs to watch my design lesson after a conversation with the drywallers about how to finish the ceiling in our addition.  What to do: orange peel or flat?   They said that almost all new construction is doing orange peel very light texture and they would spray it on which makes it lighter than rolling the texture on.

Then I watched the design lesson and I even took the laptop downstairs to show the taper the lesson.  He said that with the orange peel ceiling you dont have to paint it after hes done.  Well Ive made the decision to go with flat ceiling even though its only the basement addition.  Ill let you know how it goes.

Matthew North

Li-Na thats a great list! I had to laugh out loud at the nipple lights. They have been a source of much humor around here for years. Your potlight arrangement point is a good one a grid over an entire ceiling is an indication of someone who has not taken any Slow Home lessons in lighting design yet.

As for rounded drywall corners..where to begin. one of the best ways to make an architectural statement in a modest and cost effective way is to design the walls and ceilings in a home to be architectural planes expressing them as objects in a space as opposed to just boundaries of rooms. We try to do this in every house or renovation we design at Housebrand. This can be further enhanced through the paint color application, and is something we will be bringing up in future Design Minute episodes. The rounded corners are somehow perceived as a  faux luxury that dissolves the potential crispness of any architectural reading of the space. It also makes the baseboard and casing details all fuzzy and rounded.just gross in my opinion.

As for tile on the diagonal..why would anyone do this? It is visually distracting. There is nothing worse than walking into a small mudroom or bathroom and looking down at the floor to see everything is on a 45 degree angle to the room. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it. Before installing floor tile, spend a few minutes and figure out the best installation pattern to minimize the cuts rather than just turning everything on an angle and hope for the best. The same goes for hardwoods floor too no real excuse for a diagonal installation unless there is an angle introduced into the geometry of the house for a good architectural reason.

Wow.Im on a rant this morning.

Matthew North

Li-Na

I find a lot of contractors and trades are really set in their ways and give me a lot of flak if I ask them to do something different. The most ridiculous incident was when I had asked to hang two things up but wanted them aligned on one side. The contractor asked me very indignantly, Why dont you just centre one over the other like everyone else??

URGH.

It was easy to stick to my guns in that instance because it was a tiny matter, but I sometimes find it hard to stand my ground when it involves bigger issues especially in the face of strong opposition (even though the only basis for that opposition is often: But Weve Always Done It That Way!)

In the back of my mind, Im always afraid that maybe the reason theyve done it the same way for years is because its the best way!

I really appreciate your (John and Matthew) willingness to share your knowledge and experienceeducation is a useful tool against the But Weve Always Done It That Way (TM) crowd!

No offense to anyone in the trades, I know there are really excellent, highly-skilled people out there, but Ive kind of had to make my way through quite a few doozies too. ;-)

Armstrong Residential Ceilings

Anonymous

Hi guys!  Sorry I missed this originally.  This is interesting as we are faced with this now

Scrapping is not an option in many homes due to asbestos in the popcorn texture (at least in USA pre 1990 I think it is?).  Our room has this issue.  The asbestos removal folks highly recommended encasing due to the high cost (actually they did not even provide one must be telling me something).

Adding a layer of drywall is also not ideal due to the loss of ceiling height (which is low already).

Painting is OK but yeah still there.  Slightest of knocks you get dust falling!

**********************************************

My contractor suggested we get it more smooth by applying a ski m coat with drywall mud.  They can make it seem more like the plaster walls in the rest of the home.

Wondering if you have tried this or have thoughts

What Can You Do About Your Stippled Ceilings?

Posted on: August 24th, 2011 | 14 Comments

One of the most universally hated spec home details is the stippled ceiling. Also referred to as knock down, textured or popcorn ceilings, this is sprayed or trowelled on finish to a drywall ceiling that saves builders a lot of time and money because the ceilings do not have to be mudded, taped, sanded, primed or painted. However, what saves time and cost up front to the builder causes years of visual angst for the homeowner.

So, if you have stippled ceilings in your house what can you do about them?

Hi Li-Na Haha! Yes, we do seem to be going through a laundry list of hated home design elements at the moment. I wonder what we should do next. Any suggestions? Brass door knobs? Tile or hardwood installed on a diagonal? Exterior columns that dont touch the ground? Rounded drywall corners (I still cant believe this is an up-charge!)the list is endless!

Li-Na

Just off the top of my head, herere some of the items on my list:

1) Cabinet pulls installed right smack in the middle of cabinet doors. Why would someone think this is a good idea. I cant wait to get rid of the ones we have on our bathroom cabinets. I keep bruising my knees on them!

2) Potlights installed in rows (or a grid) with no thought on how the space will actually be used. I dont think many people need airplane runways on their ceiling.

3) Nipple lights! (Uhmam I allowed to use the word nipple on here, or will my post be flagged?)

4) The brilliant plans people come up with to make something unwanted better. E.g. a beam gets turned into an elaborate curved archway. Usually, such schemes just serve to highlight the initial problem.

5) Fake shutters! The ones that are very obviously way too small to ever completely cover the window in question.

6) Ugly bulkheads. I understand the need for bulkheads. But with a little effort and thought, a lot of them could be better integrated and might actually look like they were placed there for an aesthetic purpose as well. Instead, most are (to use a previous Matthews-Word-of-the-Day) a carbuncle.

7) Light switches/thermostats installed right in the middle of a wall when they could have done the job just as well off to the side.

What Can You Do About Your Stippled Ceilings Slow Home Studio

Matthew, Ive only seen rounded drywall corners oncewhat do you have against them? According to some, no pointy corners is good feng shui? ;-) And please elaborate on your disgruntlement with diagonally installed tiledoesnt that make the space seem larger? *evil grin*

Steve, many thanks for posting the photos, especially the last one, which was the one I really wanted a closer look at. -)

P/S Surely exterior columns that dont touch the ground are a fluke and werent actually designed that way? Right?

Konkinsa

Came upstairs to watch my design lesson after a conversation with the drywallers about how to finish the ceiling in our addition.  What to do: orange peel or flat?   They said that almost all new construction is doing orange peel very light texture and they would spray it on which makes it lighter than rolling the texture on.

Then I watched the design lesson and I even took the laptop downstairs to show the taper the lesson.  He said that with the orange peel ceiling you dont have to paint it after hes done.  Well Ive made the decision to go with flat ceiling even though its only the basement addition.  Ill let you know how it goes.

Matthew North

Li-Na thats a great list! I had to laugh out loud at the nipple lights. They have been a source of much humor around here for years. Your potlight arrangement point is a good one a grid over an entire ceiling is an indication of someone who has not taken any Slow Home lessons in lighting design yet.

As for rounded drywall corners..where to begin. one of the best ways to make an architectural statement in a modest and cost effective way is to design the walls and ceilings in a home to be architectural planes expressing them as objects in a space as opposed to just boundaries of rooms. We try to do this in every house or renovation we design at Housebrand. This can be further enhanced through the paint color application, and is something we will be bringing up in future Design Minute episodes. The rounded corners are somehow perceived as a  faux luxury that dissolves the potential crispness of any architectural reading of the space. It also makes the baseboard and casing details all fuzzy and rounded.just gross in my opinion.

As for tile on the diagonal..why would anyone do this? It is visually distracting. There is nothing worse than walking into a small mudroom or bathroom and looking down at the floor to see everything is on a 45 degree angle to the room. It makes me dizzy just thinking about it. Before installing floor tile, spend a few minutes and figure out the best installation pattern to minimize the cuts rather than just turning everything on an angle and hope for the best. The same goes for hardwoods floor too no real excuse for a diagonal installation unless there is an angle introduced into the geometry of the house for a good architectural reason.

Wow.Im on a rant this morning.

Matthew North

Li-Na

I find a lot of contractors and trades are really set in their ways and give me a lot of flak if I ask them to do something different. The most ridiculous incident was when I had asked to hang two things up but wanted them aligned on one side. The contractor asked me very indignantly, Why dont you just centre one over the other like everyone else??

URGH.

It was easy to stick to my guns in that instance because it was a tiny matter, but I sometimes find it hard to stand my ground when it involves bigger issues especially in the face of strong opposition (even though the only basis for that opposition is often: But Weve Always Done It That Way!)

In the back of my mind, Im always afraid that maybe the reason theyve done it the same way for years is because its the best way!

I really appreciate your (John and Matthew) willingness to share your knowledge and experienceeducation is a useful tool against the But Weve Always Done It That Way (TM) crowd!

No offense to anyone in the trades, I know there are really excellent, highly-skilled people out there, but Ive kind of had to make my way through quite a few doozies too. ;-)

Armstrong Residential Ceilings

Anonymous

Hi guys!  Sorry I missed this originally.  This is interesting as we are faced with this now

Scrapping is not an option in many homes due to asbestos in the popcorn texture (at least in USA pre 1990 I think it is?).  Our room has this issue.  The asbestos removal folks highly recommended encasing due to the high cost (actually they did not even provide one must be telling me something).

Adding a layer of drywall is also not ideal due to the loss of ceiling height (which is low already).

Painting is OK but yeah still there.  Slightest of knocks you get dust falling!

**********************************************

My contractor suggested we get it more smooth by applying a ski m coat with drywall mud.  They can make it seem more like the plaster walls in the rest of the home.

Wondering if you have tried this or have thoughts


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