How much does it cost to remove popcorn ceiling?
How much does it cost to remove popcorn ceiling?
$1 – $2 per square foot (removal only)
$2 – $6 cost per square foot (removal with texturing & painting)
$2,000 – $9,000 average total cost
Average popcorn ceiling removal cost
Removing popcorn ceiling costs $2 to $6 per square foot or $2,000 to $9,000 on average with refinishing. Scraping the popcorn texture costs $1 to $2 per square foot, while retexturing and painting the ceiling cost $1 to $2 per square foot each. Most contractor quotes include texture, paint, or both.
|National Average Cost||$5,500|
|Average Range||$2,000 to $9,000|
Cost to remove popcorn ceiling by size
The following table shows the popcorn ceiling removal cost for various project sizes:
|Size (square feet)||Average total cost|
|500||$1,000 – $3,000|
|1,000||$2,000 – $6,000|
|1,500||$3,000 – $9,000|
|2,000||$4,000 – $12,000|
Popcorn ceiling removal cost calculator
The following table shows the main cost factors related to popcorn ceiling removal. Removing popcorn texture that contains asbestos will cost more.
|Factor||Average cost per square foot|
|Popcorn removal||$1 – $2|
|Texture||$1 – $2|
|Paint||$1 – $2|
The following factors affect the total removal cost:
Job complexity – Professionals may charge more for high ceilings or painted popcorn ceilings, which require more time and effort to remove.
Asbestos – Some popcorn ceilings installed before 1986 contain asbestos, which is toxic and must be disposed of properly:
Method – Some contractors use a basic telescoping scraper to remove the popcorn, and others use specialized sanding equipment with a vacuum attachment. The latter method typically costs more but is less messy and takes less time to complete.
Furniture – Popcorn ceiling removers typically cover everything with tarps or plastic sheets to prevent damage and mess. Moving furniture beforehand prevents tripping hazards and gives them more room to work. Ask your contractor if they charge extra to move furniture.
Resurfacing – Ceiling texture costs $1 to $2 per square foot, depending on the type. Common ceiling textures include orange peel, sand, knockdown, lace, and smooth. Most contractors include retexturing the ceiling in their popcorn removal estimates, while some charge extra.
Painting – Ceiling painting costs $1 to $2 per square foot, including labor and materials. A 12’x12’ ceiling costs $150 to $300 to paint. Ask your popcorn removal contractor if they include painting in their estimate.
Repairs – Ceiling repair costs $50 to $100 per square foot or $200 to $500 for minor repairs like small holes or cracks.
Popcorn ceiling removers typically charge $15 to $50 per hour per person for labor. The removal project may take 20+ hours for 500 square feet on average. During that time, the contractor will:
Cover your floor and any belongings.
Spray the ceiling enough to dampen the popcorn but not so much that it damages the sheetrock underneath.
Remove the popcorn texture.
Dispose of the debris.
Ceiling replacement costs
Installing a ceiling costs $2 to $40+ per square foot, depending on the material. If you choose to replace or upgrade your existing ceiling, you’ll pay extra:
DIY popcorn ceiling removal
Removing a popcorn ceiling yourself costs $100 to $500 for materials and equipment. This may include scrapers, a ladder, protective gear, and tarps. Ceiling paint, texture, and the applicable supplies will increase costs. Trash removal costs $150 to $350 if you need a pickup from a junk removal service.
Removing a popcorn ceiling is simple but messy and potentially dangerous. You may be able to do it yourself, but professionals have the materials and experience to get it done quickly and safely.
Popcorn ceiling removal FAQs
What is a popcorn ceiling?
A popcorn ceiling, also called an acoustic ceiling, is a common feature in older homes. This type of ceiling has a sprayed-on foam texture that looks like popcorn or cottage cheese.
People favored this ceiling type from the 1950s to 1990s because it’s cheap, fire-resistant, hides imperfections, and muffles noise. However, popcorn ceilings have since fallen out of style and often contain asbestos, which prompts many homeowners to remove them.
Does removing a popcorn ceiling increase home value?
Removing popcorn ceiling tends to increase a home’s value because a popcorn ceiling:
Makes the home seem outdated
Reduces air quality by trapping dust and allergens
May contain asbestos, which is toxic and carcinogenic
Traps light, making your home feel less inviting
Chips, flakes, and stains easily
Is susceptible to mold and mildew
How long does it take to remove popcorn ceiling?
Removing popcorn ceiling takes 1 to 5 days on average, depending on the ceiling size and the removal method. Professionals who use sanders with vacuum bag attachments typically complete the job faster than those who use hand tools and have to clean up debris afterwards.
What do I do after removing a popcorn ceiling?
After removing the popcorn ceiling, you’ll need to refinish the ceiling. This includes adding texture, paint, or both. If you prefer a smooth texture, the contractor can add a layer of joint compound to the drywall and smooth it out.
Getting estimates from popcorn ceiling removers
Before hiring a popcorn ceiling removal company near you, be sure to:
Get at least three free quotes to compare.
Examine reviews and pictures of projects on HomeGuide and Google.
Choose a licensed, bonded, and experienced company.
Get a written estimate, contract, and warranty before the removal starts.
Follow a payment schedule instead of making a large payment upfront.
Ask about asbestos testing.
Questions to ask a popcorn ceiling remover
Ask these questions to find an experienced, knowledgeable contractor to remove your popcorn ceiling:
How long have you been removing popcorn ceilings?
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Does this quote include prep and cleanup?
Do you charge extra to move furniture out of the way?
Do you charge extra for retexturing or painting?
Will you hire any subcontractors for this job?
How will you protect my home or possessions from damage?
Will you test for asbestos before starting the removal?
Are you licensed for asbestos removal?
How long will the project take?