Cover a Popcorn Ceiling with Ceiling Tiles: Make Your Old Ceiling Look Brand New

Written by Milan Jara on 10th Aug 2012

Many of our customers ask us what they need to do to replace an entire old popcorn ceiling. With decorative ceiling tiles, it’s easier than you might think. If you have an old popcorn ceiling, there’s no need to remove and replace the entire ceiling—all you need to do to make your home or business look fresh and well cared-for is to cover a popcorn ceiling with ceiling tiles!

Problems With Popcorn Ceilings

Popcorn ceilings were originally intended to absorb sound. While this can work well for a large, empty room, if you have drapes, carpet, and furniture in your room, it really isn’t necessary. Not only do they look dull and boring, but popcorn ceilings can flake and create dust that often aggravates allergies and asthma. Even worse, many older popcorn ceilings in buildings erected before the late 1970s contain asbestos, which is known to create serious health problems.

If Your Ceiling Contains Asbestos

Even if your ceiling contains asbestos, you don’t necessarily have to remove it unless it is crumbling or flaking. If your room was built before 1970 and the ceiling is flaking or crumbling, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends that you wear protective clothing and a respirator while you carefully wet and scrape a small sample and send it to a local professional laboratory to see if it contains asbestos. If it does, some states allow you to remove it yourself, while others require you to use a certified asbestos removal company. Check your state’s regulations for requirements in your area. If your ceiling is strong, is not flaking or crumbling, whether or not it contains asbestos, there is no need to remove it—you can simply glue up ceiling tiles right over the old ceiling and cover a popcorn ceiling with ceiling tiles!

Getting Started

Before you begin, if your ceiling is stained or damaged, you will want to make sure that whatever it was that damaged the tiles has been repaired. There’s no sense in fixing a water-stained ceiling if there’s still a pipe leaking water or a hole in the roof above it. Then you will want to treat any residual mildew with an anti-fungal substance and allow it to dry out until the mold and mildew are completely gone.

Choosing from Our Great Selection Might Be the Hardest Part!

Meanwhile, while you are fixing the underlying damage, you can decide what type of material to use and which design to select from our large selection of styrofoam glue-up tiles.

Victorian Glue-up Styrofoam Ceiling Tile

From the simply classic 82 Circles and Stars tile, to the versatile 74 Coronado, to the intricately engraved 14 Victorian, there is sure to be a glue-up tile design that you will love.

We even offer matching or contrasting crown moldings to carry your decorating theme throughout the room or building. And don’t forget to order a few extra tiles in case of accidental damage during or after installation. You can use our online estimator to find out how many tiles you will need.

Glue and Caulking

The type of glue you will need depends on the material you have selected for your tiles. We have had great success with Acryl-Pro Ceramic Tile Adhesive, and some of our customers have reported good results with Power Grab and Liquid Nails. You can also experiment with other adhesives. If you find another one that works well for you, let us know! You may also want to select a material to use for caulking between the tiles, but most of our customers say our tiles fit together so seamlessly that they don’t need to use it.

How To Cover a Popcorn Ceiling with Ceiling Tiles

You can check out the online “how to” video, use our online utility to calculate how many tiles to order, and get valuable tips at our “How to Cover a Popcorn Ceiling” page.

There’s no reason to let the thought of a lot of work prevent you from covering up an old, unsightly popcorn ceiling—most small rooms can be easily finished in less than a day.

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