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Change is the one thing you can rely on to happen in the home design space. Sometimes a trend comes along and becomes so dominant that practically every home adopts it. But when you think that trend is here to stay, something else comes along to bump it off its perch.

That is what happened to popcorn ceilings. Back in the 1970s, popcorn ceilings were the rave. If you didn’t have it in your home, people viewed the property as void of an essential design element. But today, they have fallen so much out of favor that almost no one wants them so if your property is a rental or you are planning on renting out your home this is something you should pay attention to.

  • What are popcorn ceilings?
  • What do they do?
  • Why don’t tenants want them in a rental home?

Popcorn ceilings and their benefits

Popcorn ceilings are textured ceilings with the appearance of popcorn. They started to gain popularity in the 1950s and reached the height of their fame in the 1970s. Before the waning of their appeal, popcorn ceilings saw widespread adoption for two main reasons:

  • Popcorn ceilings are incredible at hiding imperfections in the ceiling. Due to their textured appearance, popcorn ceilings are perfect for disguising the dents and ripples that appear on plasterboard. They also do a decent job, hiding cracks, leaks, or other imperfections.
  • But the more important benefit of popcorn ceilings lay in their superior acoustics. Popcorn ceilings are also called acoustic ceilings for this reason. They improve a room’s acoustics by absorbing ambient sound and echoes. As a result, they were preferable in multi-story homes and apartments.

If popcorn ceilings are so beneficial, why have they fallen into disfavor?

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Why tenants are tired of popcorn ceilings

Popcorn ceilings are so old that prospective buyers will often walk out of open houses if they spot that cottage cheese pattern on the ceiling. Renters also reject an otherwise perfect rental property for similar reasons. What is so wrong with having a popcorn ceiling in your condo, apartment, or multiunit complex?

1.     Popcorn ceilings [often] contain asbestos

Popcorn ceilings were originally made with asbestos: a known cancer-causing agent. The risk of asbestos exposure is the main reason popcorn ceilings started to lose their attraction. Although this risk only exists if the ceiling is damaged and the asbestos gets airborne, the mere possibility of this happening is enough to scare potential renters from leasing a home with a popcorn ceiling.

2.     Popcorn ceilings interfere with the lighting

Popcorn ceilings introduce harsh lighting into a room. The textured surface of the ceiling scatters the light that hits it in a thousand different directions. That makes it hard to control the lighting inside rooms with this textured ceiling. Popcorn ceilings are a huge nuisance if you try to soften the lighting inside a room; the light will bounce around the ceiling and create unpleasant shadows.

3.     Popcorn ceilings are prone to discoloration

Popcorn ceilings tend to ruin the interior décor of tenant’s apartments because they become discolored over time. These stains are ugly and damaging to the overall appearance of the home. Moreover, they are hard to remove. Even if the tenant finds a way to remove the stains, they are likely to return after a short time.

4.     Popcorn ceilings are a dust magnet

Popcorn ceilings are efficient at trapping dust and dirt. Dust and small debris floating inside the home clings to the textured surface of a popcorn ceiling. That can pose a health risk for everyone living in the house, particularly people sensitive to dust. Popcorn ceilings are a huge problem if a tenant has allergies, asthma, or respiratory illnesses.

5.     Popcorn ceilings are hard to clean

In addition to their tendency to get dirty, popcorn ceilings are a pain to clean. The rough surface of the ceiling means you can’t dust or vacuum it effectively. That is one of the reasons why popcorn ceilings are unsuitable for use in bathrooms and kitchens.

6.     Popcorn ceilings will disintegrate

Apart from the risk of asbestos exposure which becomes a real possibility when the popcorn ceiling starts to disintegrate, the white flecks from the ceiling will disfigure the home. No tenant wants to have white flecks raining from the ceiling and coating their belongings all day. That is not only a cleaning nightmare, but it will make the home unattractive.

7.     Popcorn ceilings are hard to fix

Even though you can cut out a section of the ceiling if it is damaged and replace it with another piece, it is almost impossible to make the new piece match perfectly with the existing ceiling. The best way to fix a popcorn ceiling if it is damaged is to replace the entire ceiling. No tenant wants the potential cost of repairing the whole ceiling if it is accidentally damaged.


Croc Painting uses an effective house painting process, provides color consultation, popcorn ceiling removal and more! We meet with homeowners every step of the way.

We are now serving clients in Phoenix East Valley, Scottsdale and Paradise Valley. Schedule your free quote now to learn how the Croc Painting Company can help you improve your curb appeal and over-all value of your home.

Croc Painting Company, LLC

1501 E Baseline Road Suite 111
Gilbert, AZ 85233
Phone: (480) 800-8499

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