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Ceiling Replacement Cost: Factors to Consider

How much does ceiling replacement cost? Ceiling repair or replacement can be a difficult and costly job. To help homeowners get a handle on the financial commitment they need to make, let’s understand the elements of a ceiling and see other factors that should be considered before making any ceiling replacements.

Ceiling replacement cost
Ceiling replacements carried out for a client

Average ceiling replacement cost

Replacing or repairing your ceiling can range from £400 to £1000. It depends on the size of the room and of the type of ceiling you want to install. Additionally, you’ll need to account for professional labour charges which can range between £150 – £200 per day.

The size of the area should be considered because this could influence the time that it takes to do the work. If you have plasterboard or other material you want to get repaired then it should be cheaper than if you need other material fixed, for example, lath and plaster. However, if you are dealing with an older house then it will cost more to do the repairs. 

Due to their delicate nature, some types of ceiling are more difficult to repair than plasterboard ceilings, especially if you are unable to get an expert to deal with the problem. In such cases, the ceiling replacement cost may be higher.

To determine the amount of time and materials needed to complete a repair, it’s important to take into consideration the state of the damage. More extensive damage may require more time and effort than a small puncture.

Finally, to repair ceilings you need the knowledge and skill of a professional. Not only will this cost you money should you decide to do it yourself, but it can take significantly longer. You will pay more for drylining compared to modern alternatives. However, each job needs to be quoted individually according to its specific needs.

Type of CeilingSize of CeilingMaterial RequiredCost to replace
Drywall (plasterboard)3.3m x 3m4-5 sheets 2.4m x 1.2m, 1-1.5 25kg bag plaster, scrim tape, services of a plasterer£200-£300
Lath & plaster3.3m x 3mCan be replaced with plasterboard or with services of a lath & plaster specialist£200-£300 or bespoke quotation
Dropped (suspended)3.3m x 3m30-32x replacement suspended ceiling tiles 600mm x 600mm£40-£70

Supply Costs

There are different types of plasterboards in a variety of shapes colours from the standard white to green and blue. It also comes in different thicknesses from 12.5mm to 25mm. The most common dimensions of the board is 2400mm x 1200mm, which costs an average of £6-7 for a 12.5mm thickness.

Scrim tape is a fiberglass mesh that is used to reinforce weak joints in the plaster before the final skim coat is applied. Use it to seal off cracks and gaps. A piece of timber batten of 25mm x 50mm will cost less than £1 per metre.

You might consider matching your drywall screws to the job you’re doing.The black phosphate drywall screws can be used on interior walls, and the anti corrosive bright zinc screws will be perfect for the exterior of your home. They can cost between £5-£10 for a box of 500.

A 25kg bag of plaster will cost approximately £5-£10.

Labour costs for ceiling replacement

An experienced plasterer will be able to estimate how long it will take to install a ceiling. It’s not a job for one person, so it’s important to consider staffing costs in your overall budget.

A professional plasterer can expect to be paid between £150 and £200 per day. A labourer will cost in the region of £90 to £120 per day. You shouldn’t pay any more than one day for a plasterer and perhaps two days for a labourer working flat out, if everything goes well and there are no hidden issues.

Additional costs

As you replace your ceiling, you might decide to change its color, add some decorative work etc. These can incur additional costs to replace the ceiling. For instance, the cost of hiring a decorator can be £130-170 on average per day.

There might be instances also where you would need to do some damage repair which require some plastering. When hiring a plasterer to complete a job, a £150-£200 per day cost may apply. Though not recommended, should you take the DIY route, make sure you have the necessary skills, as you can severely damage your home if not done correctly.

Reducing the ceiling replacement costs

You can save money by removing the old ceiling yourself. But do you know how to remove a ceiling? You need to know how to do it correctly or you’ll end up paying to get the job done properly. How much of the work you are willing to do yourself will depend on how confident you are about the task and whether you are actually going to save money by doing so or end up paying extra for a tradesperson to rectify any mistakes you might make.

Additionally, you’ll save money if you take the time to prepare the room in advance. For example, taking the ceiling down should take no more than two hours if no problems are encountered.

What could increase the ceiling replacement cost

Some common problems that may occur when replacing your ceiling include finding asbestos in ceilings or older homes. These can cause the ceiling replacement costs to increase. If this happens, you will have to hire a specialist to remove the asbestos before you can finish your specific ceiling replacement project. Other problems include removing plaster cornice and damaged pieces in specific older properties.

Importance of ceiling and its purpose

A ceiling is a structure with a flat or sloped upper surface that is normally constructed of masonry. Ceilings are frequently found in interior rooms, such as living rooms or bedrooms. They can be decorated to enhance the aesthetic appeal and functionality of a room. Ceilings are found in two main versions – suspended and cathedral – but can also be classified as flat or curved.

Ceilings are more than just the material that fills your house. They come in many shapes and sizes that can make a room feel cosy or open, traditional or modernised. Ceilings reduce sound transmission between floors and act as an additional barrier in the event of a fire. They also provide aesthetics, acoustics, ventilation and very often serve as the point of contact with the rest of the structure.

If you’re like most of us, whether upstairs or downstairs, the ceiling is probably the furthest thing from your mind. However, fashions in architecture and design have influenced the height, construction, and functionality of ceilings over the centuries. Not so long ago having high ceilings was a sign of affluence and prestige. Practicality and economics in modern times has meant ceiling heights were reduced to cut heating insulation and construction cost.

Materials used to make a ceiling

Lath and plaster ceilings are no longer used in new buildings. But older buildings, especially older homes, will most likely have lath and plaster ceilings.

However, recently, most homeowners or commercial buildings have considered installing new plasterboard or drywalls. This has grown in popularity due to the fact that it is much easier to install than plastering. Not only is it easy to work with but it will help to get rid of any unwanted sound transmission inside the structure. It acts as an excellent noise dampening material, especially when installed on ceilings.

They can be used as a cost-effective solution for building the interior walls and ceilings of residential and some commercial structures. Most homes have drywall or plasterboard ceilings and walls as it is a relatively cheap and effective construction material. Sheets are comprised of compacted gypsum covered in a thick lining paper and are attached to wall studs and ceiling joists with drywall screws.

Additionally, eilings are no longer restricted to be only rectangular arrays of wooden planks. Modern buildings have incorporated ceilings of all shapes and sizes into their design, while not completely doing away with traditional ceiling layouts. Ceilings made from metal grids are very popular with architects and designers of modern buildings.

Factors that affect ceiling replacement cost

Below is a list of items that could contribute towards the cost of replacing or repairing a ceiling:

Size of the Ceiling

When repairing or replacing your ceiling, the amount of time it will take will depend on the size of the repair. A large plasterboard ceiling replacement can be more straightforward and therefore quicker than a small lath and plaster replacement which is much more involved and time consuming. If you have a small plaster-on-board ceiling, replacement is straightforward and therefore quicker which results in a lower ceiling replacement cost.

Type of Material

Removing a modern plasterboard ceiling can be relatively straightforward to remove with just a few basic tools and a willingness to clean up afterwards. The same cannot be said for an old lath and plaster ceiling, which requires a lot more work and creates much more mess.

On the other hand, suspended ceilings seem to be the easiest to replace. It can be repaired with a screwdriver and a little skill. A suspended ceiling runs on wires, supports, and other components. It’s fast and easy to swap out the pieces and restore your ceiling to its original beauty. This will in turn reflect lower ceiling replacement cost.

Type of Repair

Whether it’s a plastering issue, cracked ceiling or water damage, the nature of the repair will determine how long it is going to take for the ceiling to be replaced. Accordingly, the cost could increase. What could seem as a small ceiling replacement job may escalate to a much larger repair. This is especially with water ingress from a roof leak or burst pipe. Water damage is a common occurrence, and one that can turn into a nightmare if left for too long. That’s why it’s always best to get on top of things as soon as you can. If ignored, the cost of ceiling replacement can significantly increase.

Condition of Ceiling

The condition of the ceiling is a key factor when it comes to a decision about a ceiling repair or replacement. You can see what you are dealing with only after you have removed the ceiling. To understand the condition of your ceiling, you need to learn if there is water damage, termite infestation, or mold on the surface of the ceiling. If not properly inspected, you may find a moisture and mold issue or evidence of previous water damage. In such a scenario, the cost could add up.

Type of Property

The cost of a ceiling repair or replacement in a period property will vary depending on your requirements. Care will need to be taken when repairing or replacing a ceiling due to lath and plaster walls and ceilings, ornate plaster coving and ceiling roses or ongoing structural issues existing in the property.

Process of replacing a ceiling

Over time, natural disasters, pollution, and even regular wear and tear can cause your ceiling to lose its luster. If you are facing a new ceiling cost, you might be wondering what goes into the job of replacing a ceiling. It is usually easier to replace an entire ceiling than it is to fix or improve one. Knowledge of how to do either will help you get the job right. Here’s a simplified version of the process.

Replacing a Plasterboard Ceiling

Water damage is one of the most common causes for plasterboard ceiling replacement. If water has caused the ceiling to blister or crack badly, or when it has started to sag, or when it has started to lose its strength and become wet in certain areas, then this signals that it’s time for a replacement. Plasterboards are a popular choice due its affordability.

Replacing a Lath and Plaster Ceiling

Replacing a lath and plaster ceiling with a plasterboard ceiling or by replicating the existing ceiling is no easy task. There are plenty of components to take into consideration, including space may be an issue, which means it’s not as easy as replacing drywall.

In order to take the lath and plaster down, an electric saw or hand saw will be required. This can result in dust being released, so care must be taken to minimize the risk of dust being disturbed and distributed into the room and property.

Additionally, it is essential to remove all furniture from the room and tape up internal doors in preparation for the work. In addition, ensure that you have taken all safety precautions when removing a lath and plaster ceiling.

Replacing a Dropped Ceiling

This is the fastest and cleanest of all ceiling replacements. The gridwork will remain in place, so it is simply a matter of swapping the new tiles for the old, leaving you to focus solely on the cost of replacing ceiling tiles.

If you opt to remove the entire dropped ceiling and replace it with fixtures specific to your project, then existing grid work has to be removed as well.

Benefits of Replacing a Ceiling

Your ceiling is often an extension of your walls and floors, and it may become subject to the same structural and maintenance issues. Even if your ceiling crack appears cosmetic and superficial, it can develop into a major problem, causing greater financial expenses.

The advantages of high quality ceiling repairs are three-pronged. Firstly, the ceiling serves as the protective cover of beams, pipes, and cables. A cracked or sagging ceiling is an indication of an existing problem with the roof. Secondly, a good looking ceiling provides aesthetic value that can increase the desirability of a property. Finally, a new coat of paint can help get rid of all manners of problems including cracks in the paint finish, mold growth, and even fire damage.

Whether it’s the ceiling cracking or the ceiling sagging, there are always issues that would otherwise not have been detected that can cause roof leaks, faulty pipes, and structural problems. The appearance of a ceiling will benefit from being repaired and getting a new coat of paint, and it will give your room an immediate improvement.

Cost of Removing a Ceiling

Removing plaster ceilings in homes for any reason requires an experienced specialist to avoid damage to the home or personal injury. Some reasons why you may choose to remove a ceiling:

  • Water damage
  • Replace old art that are attractive with more modern designs
  • Lath and plaster ceilings in unlisted properties to be replaced with cheaper and more modern materials such as plasterboard.

Removing a ceiling can be a complicated job that requires a level of expertise. A skilled tradesperson with the right tools and experience will have the best chance of getting the ceiling down without causing damage to your property’s structure. The average cost per day for a tradesperson to remove a ceiling will be around £150-£200.

There will of course be waste involved in a ceiling removal and a lath and plaster ceiling is particularly dirty and dusty to rip out. We recommend disposing of this waste via a skip, which will cost £200-300 per week.

Furthermore, removing asbestos is an important step in making your home safe to live in. You can leave it until the next homeowner, but then you run the risk that they will not know about it and it will be weeks if not months late. Our cost to remove asbestos is on average £50 per square meter, and includes all labour and disposal costs.

Finding professionals to replace a ceiling

Ceiling replacement is a complicated task and should only be undertaken by a highly experienced and qualified plastering contractor. It is essential for safety and peace of mind that the job be carried out correctly. 

The best way to avoid nasty surprises, such as a plaster cracks or costly errors, anyone can do their own minor repairs on a ceiling. When a more serious job is called for, a licensed plasterer will be required. Professionals will arrive with their equipment and materials to deal with all that’s involved in the job.

If you are looking to remove your old ceiling and install a new one, then please get in touch with our plasterers in London at Ralph Plastering for a free, bespoke quotation today!

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