What is a Textured Ceiling?

Donn Saylor

A textured ceiling is a type of ceiling decoration that adds dimension, patterns, or designs to the surface of the ceiling. The effects can usually be accomplished with common tools like a roller, spray gun, or trowel. The most widely employed textured ceiling styles include three dimensional aspects that give a ceiling its own unique character.

A sea sponge can be used to create a textured ceiling.
A sea sponge can be used to create a textured ceiling.

Drywall or joint compound is first layered on to create a textured ceiling. How the texture material is applied determines the look of the finished product. Some materials may be thick, durable, and more resistant to spreading, while others might be lighter and easy to manipulate. Using a brush, knife, roller, sponge, spray gun, or combed trowel each produces a different effect when spreading the material. There are a variety of special tools on the market that create memorable textured ceiling styles; a stipple brush, for instance, will create a series of small "dots" while using a natural sea sponge can produce dramatic swirls and flourishes.

Soundproof tiles can be used in a textured ceiling.
Soundproof tiles can be used in a textured ceiling.

Bare hands and fingers are also often utilized to spread texture material onto ceilings. It may be messy, but the look can be assuredly unique. Using hands to smooth out the compound and fingers to etch designs often results in a rough or artistic look.

Before undertaking ceiling texture home improvements, many homeowners think long and hard about the design their ceilings will take. The work required is exacting and time-consuming, but the end result can be spectacular. The size of the room — larger rooms tend to benefit more from ceiling texture than smaller rooms — and finding the exact surface texture that will create the perfect look are just two of the considerations home improvement buffs typically keep in mind in this situation.

One of the most famous textured ceiling types is a popcorn ceiling, which was tremendously popular from the 1950s through the 1980s. It was typically sprayed on and saved homebuilders considerable time and money. The technique was also an easy way to quickly repair cracks, leaks, and other damage to the ceiling.

Ceiling tiles can also create an interesting ceiling texture, but they do not possess the customizing potential of drywall or joint compound. When compared to the time and sweat necessary to properly apply texture compound, many homeowners cite the ease with which ceiling tiles can be installed. Tiles are sold in an assortment of styles, colors, and designs; waterproof and soundproof tiles can also be obtained.

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