Return to the Home Decorating & Design Forum | Post a Follow-Up

1940's ceiling panels... what are these called?

Posted by mclarke (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 15, 12 at 10:15

We have a cottage in Connecticut that was built in the 1930's or 1940's. The ceilings need to be painted.

BUT. The ceilings are made of panels. Four feet by ten feet. A few years ago, we had to replace one, and we were told that these panels are actually a kind of heavy cardboard, popular at the time.

The guy told us the name of this material, this cardboard -- but now I can't remember what he called it.

Does anyone know?

I'm going to cross-post this question in the Renovation Forum, but I bet you guys have the answer before they do... : )

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: 1940's ceiling panels... what are these called?

Google Homasote or Masonite. Both might fit your description. I know we had homasote ceilings in the attic of our last house. Good luck!

RE: 1940's ceiling panels... what are these called?

They're still popular now - i've installed them; basically a substitute for the usual drywall panels, but they don't need the laborious drywall mud/dry/sand/tape process. Great soundproofing and fire retardant. I don't understand why more people don't use them. Actually I do - it's expensive.

RE: 1940's ceiling panels... what are these called?

Hi Mclarke.

It's too hot in Chicago for me to work up a sweat with unnecessary typing, so I'm recycling my answer to a similar question from five years back.

Or you may have walls of Celotex, an early green building material developed back in the 192Os. It was fabricated from the waste products from sugar refining, chopped, washed, compressed & molded into a variety of surfaces and textures & profiles.

It was an excellent product, dense, strong & termite-proof, and it also had good insulating & sound-deadening properties, which is why it ended up in a ton of nightclubs & theaters & old-fashioned open-plan offices, and a few years ago, they restored a huge arched ceiling of the stuff at one of the historic convention halls in (I think) Atlantic City. To me, this is a product that's unique enough to show it off, rather than to try to disguise it as Sheetrock, but then, that's just me and everybody knows I'm weird.

RE: 1940's ceiling panels... what are these called?

I forgot to attach this 1930 shot of the Celotex President's handsome office atop Chicago's Palmolive Building, an Art Deco landmark by Holabird & Root.
Naturally, that's Celotex on the ceiling. And on the walls. A cheap, design-on-a-dime fix the stuff was not.

RE: 1940's ceiling panels... what are these called?

Wow! Thanks, everyone!

And Magnaverde, I appreciate the photo. I wish my ceilings looked like that!

No, Homasote is the word I was trying to think of, and I never would have remembered it on my own.

Now I can research how best to paint it.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Home Decorating & Design Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here