April 14, 2021

Foam Tiles Offer a Beautiful Way to Cover Up Out of Style Popcorn Ceilings

Goodbye Popcorn Hello Elegant New Look

Popcorn ceilings or sprayed acoustical ceilings were quite common and popular from the 1950’s onward. They are characterized by their rough, bumpy surfaces. These days, though, they have to a great extent, lost their appeal. If you’re got a popcorn ceiling, you’ve really got two choices: take it off, potentially a messy job, or, cover it up.

One solution for concealing these pebbly overheads is decorative ceiling tile. These are available in several different materials, but one type that’s particularly easy to install is polystyrene foam tile. This material is lightweight, thin, and can be easily cut and handled.

Decorative Ceiling Tiles, an online source for foam tiles, offers a wide variety of styles and patterns. For this project, I settled on a simple, yet elegant, design called Chestnut Grove.

The first step in any decorative ceiling tile installation is to decide on the layout. Room size and shape, the location overhead fixtures and vents, and openings into adjacent rooms are some of the things that need to be taken into consideration.

In this project, I started at the middle of the room which I located by finding the center of opposite walls and striking a chalk line. The point where the lines intersected marked the center of the ceiling. From there, I worked outward toward the walls.

The tiles are held in place with an Instant-grab adhesive applied to the back in quarter-sized dollops. When the tile is pressed against the ceiling, these small mounds flatten out filling the uneven surface.

Once all the full tiles have been installed, there will typically be a remaining space or border around the perimeter of the room which will require partial tiles. Cutting is extremely easy using a sharp utility knife and straightedge.

Foam ceiling tiles can be painted with any water-based paint or ordered prefinished from the company.

Although decorative ceiling tile installations do not require it, I decided to install polystyrene crown molding where the ceiling meets the wall. This added a bit of formality to the look and also served as a border to the ceiling in much the same way a frame defines the edges of a piece of art.

This is one of those projects that has a double benefit – it eliminates an unsightly ceiling while at the same time adding an elegant detail to the room. Be sure and watch the video for a demonstration of the complete installation process.

Posted in: News Projects Parts of the House Ceilings Texture Walls Trimwork & Molding Woodworking & Workshop Molding & Trim Work
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