Ceiling - textured or smooth?

vanisleevtFebruary 21, 2010

We'll soon be at the time where we'll need to decide whether to texture our ceiling or leave it smooth.

Our house is fifteen years old and has textured ceilings like every other house of that vintage. The texture is knockdown style which we don't mind actually but here's the issue. Our house is open concept, even more so now since we removed a wall between our kitchen and family room. There were door ways leading from the hallway into the kitchen and family room which have also been removed. The dining room, living room and hallway are textured, the family room and kitchen were smooth. We must either remove all the texture and go smooth everywhere or match the texture and continue it into the kitchen/family room.

The kitchen look will be traditional, cream cabinets, java black soapstone and black walnut counters, oh and a cream AGA.


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I'd just go textured for consistency.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 5:06PM
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I agree with consistency. I am interested in seeing a picture of the counters. I
am getting cream colored cabinets and I am leaning towards wood countertops.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 5:21PM
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I can't disagree with consistency, but I'll tell you that I spent big bucks when I bought my house removing the knockdown texture that was everywhere but the kitchen and bathrooms (mudded and sanded).

The only thing I'm thinking of in suggesting smooth, since you say the texture doesn't bother you) is what do you do when the big kettle of spaghetti sauce erupts on your ceiling? Or the can of coke that gets dropped then opened? It's much much easier cleaning smooth.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 11:38PM
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I vote for smooth.

Textured finishes should be outlawed :)

Start with your kitchen and when you redo the other rooms, get smooth ceilings.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:56AM
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I also vote for smooth.

We have a similar situation. We took down walls but we maintained a small "header" b/w all rooms except the DR & kitchen...those were the only ceilings that were replaced...and we replaced them with smooth.

Yes, we now have a Kitchen & DR with smooth ceilings and the rest of the house has textured. But, I detest textured (difficult to keep clean b/c dust, etc. gathers on the texture and cannot be easily cleaned off) and plan to at least replace all the downstairs ceilings with smooth over time.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:50AM
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I vote for smooth.

We had the same situation of textured ceilings and an open floor plan. We went with smooth for the new kitchen ceiling and the difference with the adjacent area is not noticeable. However, we have a pine beam in the ceiling separating the kitchen from the dining area. Is there any sort of separation/transition in your plan?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:46AM
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i'm with pharaoh. jail time for textured. same goes for any faux finishing or stenciling.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:52AM
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I'd get it all made smooth, given a choice. You may find there is a huge cost associated with smooth ceilings compared to textured. Textured ceiling were invented to make the drywall finisher's job easier. It's much easier to apply a uniform texture to a ceiling than it is to make the ceiling perfectly smooth. I have smooth ceilings in my new house and just love them. Clean, crisp and easy to repaint when the time comes.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:03AM
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I agree with smooth. We got the texture (popcorn in our case though) removed as part of our remodel - love it smooth! We have an open area also and the living room still has texture at the moment. I'm debating if it's worth the money (and mess!) to have it removed eventually. There's a beam where the two ceilings join though so it doesn't look too terrible IMO.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:37PM
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I vote smooth. Even on one of those "get it sold" shows that repeat over and over and over on HGTV that I saw a part of this weekend, the homeowner removed textured ceiling and the realtor told them that by removing it, they added value. I am not one to make decisions solely based on resale value, but I just thought I'd throw it out there.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:51PM
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Beekeeperswife, Was the textured ceiling of the "popcorn" variety? Except for popcorn ceilings, which everyone seems to detest these days, preferences for wall and ceiling finishes are pretty much subjective, aren't they? I see that smooth finishes rule on GW, but I'm still seeing a variety of textures elsewhere. I have a 1940's-era home, with a lot of 'stomped' walls and ceilings. We're in the process of transitioning to a fairly subtle old world texture, which we love.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:09PM
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Well, we just put on a room addition and we have ours textured (knock down). I also vote for consistancy. I think it looks much nicer if things are the same throughout the house. And I don't mind texture. I like the look and use the wand on my vaccuum to clean any dust, etc that may accumulate. I guess I have never had anything splatter on my ceiling, but the knock down is rather smooth....I don't think it would be too hard to clean.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 2:12PM
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Textured or smooth may be a regional thing. I live outside of NYC and I can't think of any homes I've been in with textured ceilings. In this area, smooth would be a default choice.
You need to do what best suits you. :-)

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 6:04PM
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Smooth!!! Only reason to go with texture would be to economize, but if you can swing it, go with the smooth.
We built in 1985 and are glad we ignored our drywallers pleas to put "just a little" texture on the walls. We have smooth everywhere. Textured and popcorn will date a house, but smooth is timeless... I think!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 6:56PM
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I am going with a different kind of texture. To fit in with the old victorian country idea I ahve anaglypta wallpaper that looks like tin tiles.
You can also get them in plastic or pseudometal and all are paintable.
When i was growing up we had real tin tiles and I absolutely love that look so did a lot of research on it.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:49PM
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I've always suspected ceilings that aren't smooth are hiding settlement issues. That's the case in my neighborhood of 1960's ranches. Those with smooth ceilings have had less settlement than those with something to hide. However, maybe this all depends on where you live.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:23PM
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Go with smooth all the way. You will later want to smooth the rest of the house. It is easy to do... spray water on an area of the ceiling and then scrap with a scraper. If you have someone to hold the shopvac close to the ceiling the cleaning is limited. You than have to have the ceiling plastered and voila no more texture!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:41PM
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Well I definitely appreciate the comments. Which ever way we go it has to be all smooth or all texture as there is no separation anymore since the walls were removed. I hear it's quite easy to remove the knockdown and I'm willing to do it, DW is leaning texture everywhere though. It is her kitchen, I'm just the guy that makes it happen. We're in the PNW and I agree that texture is regional although it is declining here too.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 10:58PM
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popcorn ceilings are really easy to remove. Just spray some water on them and scrap the popcorn off. Knockdown is a different story though. Knockdown is made of drywall mud that is applied. The only way to "remove" it is to either sand it off or apply more mud over it and smooth the new mud. Skim coating the knockdown is probably the easiest way, but not normally something that is an easy DIY. It takes a good drywall finisher to slick a ceiling, which is why it has a texture in the first place.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 7:26AM
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jcla-not sure if it was popcorn or not, but it seemed to be.

I know what you mean about the beautiful textured plastered walls. We used to live outside Akron Ohio, and there were some homes where the plaster work was incredible. I still remember one house, in the dining room were floor to ceiling trees made out to the plaster pattern. Each room had a different pattern to the plaster. It was gorgeous.

I think that particular show was trying to update a 70's or 80's house.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 9:24AM
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Re: popcorn ceilings being easy to remove, just wanted to chime in that ours definitely wasn't! Not sure if it was painted before or what, but our contractor said it was the toughest popcorn he's ever had to take down. His guys worked at it for days. I hope no one else has such bad luck with their popcorn of course, but it's something to keep in mind.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 2:56PM
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Ours is knockdown not popcorn. I have an area that I can test before making the final decision. We'll see how it goes.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 3:25PM
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we have the same situation. We have headers at the doorway to the kitchen/great room - but we still have opted for textured to be consistent throughout the house. I have taken an orbital sander 60 grit to all the adjacent walls to flatten down the texture as much as I can (hallway, foyer). Will prime and paint with flat paint. I think it will look great.

Good luck on your decision!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 3:36PM
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popcorn texture was brought out in the early 50's to help control loud sounds in early open spaces with extreme noise levels.ie:malls and schools. Not to make things easier for the drywaller.
Before you make up your mind consider floors and solid
surfaces that echos noise. Slick drywall will not absorb sound only reflect it back, un ilke popcorn texture. So if your house is full of the sound living you may not want slick finishes

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 5:58PM
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I have textured ceilings throughout my 23 year old loft style house. I'm in the process of removing it. It's not hard but very messy. It honestly makes my rooms look even larger therefore making the mess worthwhile. The smooth ceilings definitely makes the house look more updated. Because my house has a lot of open spaces, we're getting some soundproofing panels to help absorb sound. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2013 at 12:24AM
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We had stamped ceilings. I COULD NOT stand them! For one, they gathered dust in the ridges and started to look dingy, secondly, the stamps on the first floor were a different pattern than on the second floor. And thirdly, honestly the stamps on the first floor looked exactly like pot leaves lol!! Oh my gosh, awful.

We have 8' ceilings in some areas of our house, and 17' in others. Paid to have them smoothed. We love them! It honestly made our 8' ceilings look taller, cleaner and brighter. We only have the office, dining room, and one bedroom to go!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 12:57AM
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