Updating Your Home: Should You Plaster Over Your Artex Ceiling?

If your home was built or decorated in the 1970s or 80s, the chances are that you’ve got at least one artex ceiling. They’re basically textured ceilings, usually with round or dimpled patterns. Artex is actually the name of a product, but the term is used to describe ceilings made with other, similar products.

Although many people keep their artex ceilings, lots of homeowners decide to remove or cover them. To do this you can plaster over your artex ceiling, replace it or create a false ceiling.

Here’s how to work out what’s the best option for you:

Find out if it contains asbestos

Before you do any work on your artex ceiling, you need to find out if it contains asbestos. If you know that it was built sometime after 1999, don’t worry, it won’t contain asbestos. But if it was built before this date, there’s a high chance that it might. This is because asbestos used to be an essential part of artex ceilings before the UK government outlawed it in 1999.

If you think your ceiling might contain asbestos, you need to get it tested. Make sure you find a testing professional who’s UKAS-accredited to do this – that way you’ll know they’re safe and competent. To get asbestos testing quotes from up to 4 accredited professionals, just fill in the form below.

What to do if your artex ceiling contains asbestos

Removing an artex ceiling that contains asbestos isn’t 100% essential if you can find a way to cover it without damaging it. However, most processes, like putting plaster over your artex ceiling, will involve scraping or weakening it in some way. This could expose harmful asbestos fibres and release them into the air, which is very dangerous.

So, if you want to do work on your artex ceiling and find out that it contains asbestos, it’s best to get it removed by licensed professionals. If you’re looking for local asbestos removal quotes, just fill in the form below.

It’s also worth remembering that if you don’t want to pay for an asbestos professional to remove your ceiling, you don’t have to. As long as it’s in good condition and you leave it alone then it should be safe. But you will have to accept that your artex ceiling is here to stay.

Should you replace or plaster over your artex ceiling if it doesn’t contain asbestos?

If your artex ceiling doesn’t contain asbestos, you’re free to decide how best to tackle it. There are 3 main options to choose from:

1. Scrape and skim

If your ceiling isn’t too thickly textured, you can scrape off the protruding pattern as much as you can. Then cover it with a couple of layers of PVA and skim a coat of plaster over the top.

2. Create a false ceiling

Another option is to create a false ceiling below your existing one and cover it with plasterboard. This is a good option if your ceiling is too thickly textured to skim over.

3. Remove and replace

If skimming isn’t an option and you don’t want to reduce your ceiling height, a third approach is to completely remove your artex ceiling and replace it. This will probably be more expensive than your other options but can turn out to be the best long-term solution.

So, if you’re not sure whether you should plaster over your artex ceiling, follow these steps and you should get the answer. If you’re still unsure what to do, get in touch with a plasterer for advice and quotes.

Fill in our form and we’ll find you up to 4 local professionals, so you can compare prices and get the best quote.

(Featured image: Kevin Doncaster)

Evy Coe

Evy Coe works for Quotatis as a Content Marketing Executive. She writes about a range of different new and existing products to inform and advise customers. To learn more about Evy, visit her Google+ profile.

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