Updating an Old Ceiling

Updating an Old Ceiling Without Tearing it Down
Updating an Old Ceiling Without Tearing it Down

Updating an Old Ceiling Without Tearing it Down

Repair or replace an old ceiling with ease. Many solutions are available for your needs and style.

Model #: 1140

5" x 84" WOODHAVEN Classic White
Homeowners and contractors alike know how quickly and unexpectedly something needs to be repaired in a home. Tackling a ceiling repair or replacement no longer needs to feel like a burden. In fact, with all the solutions available today, you may even look forward to your next ceiling project. 


First and foremost, repair any underlying issues, such as leaks or electrical problems. Make sure to check for mold and mildew if any moisture has permeated the ceiling. If mold is present, have the mold remediated professionally. For best results with surface mount products, make sure the existing ceiling surface is smooth and flat. Once the prep work is complete, the fun begins.

Just Replacing Panels

Is your old basement ceiling starting to sag or developing a stain? Save your hard earned money, and opt to replace the affected panels. Simply remove damaged panels from existing grid and replace with the appropriate size panel(s) that match. With a wide selection of suspended ceiling panels, you can match to random patterns, fissured panels in black or white, smooth looks, and much more.

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Upgrading A Drop Ceiling

Dropping ties with an old drop ceiling is easy. For a quick update, pop old tiles out of the ceiling grid and replace with fresh ones. If your grid holds 24" x 48" tiles, try a "scored" product that's designed to look like 24" x 24" panels. With this style, you won't need to purchase additional cross tees - just pop out the old ceilings and place in the new. 

If you want an updated drop ceiling with sag, mold, and mildew resistance AND acoustical properties to reduce noise, you can choose from a variety in designs, sizes, and materials - just pop out the old ceiling tiles and replace with the new. 

Coffered ceilings bring a new level of architectural interest to your space. Mineral fiber styles are available to create this look, but the real drama starts with plastic (PVC) coffers. Set the mood and make a statement with black, or lighten and brighten with white panels. With shallow and deep coffer styles available, you can create a pattern reminiscent of a wave, or stick to a more traditional look. Grid moldings and a drywall border add that custom design feel without the hefty price tag.

Is That a Drop Ceiling? 

Technically, no. But it is attached to an old drop ceiling grid! Wood look planks can be installed over standard 15/16" grid systems using special clips. It's an incredible transformation for very little effort. The best part is all the finish choices! Cool grays and whites work in coastal or farmhouse styles. Warm golds and knotty pines lend a ski lodge vibe that works with many tastes. Learn more about retrofitting wood look planks on an existing ceiling grid.

Covering Existing Ceilings

Whether you have an unsightly popcorn ceiling to hide or damaged drywall, skip the mess and choose a simpler solution. Add continuity to your home by using the same wood look planks you installed in your basement ceiling grid to cover another ceiling upstairs. No need to fret about tearing down the existing ceiling, just use a surface mount installation system. Other ceilings, like metal tiles pressed with unique designs, can be nailed to drywall or plaster ceilings using coordinating cone head nails. 

Expand your direct apply options with 12” x 12” tiles that also keep installation simple. Keep the room refreshingly white with a twist of vintage tin looks or mimic the look of custom plaster patterns. If these textures have you interested, but you are tired of white ceilings, create your perfect aesthetic by painting before installing. 

Final Thoughts

With such a variety of stylistic options available today, you can certainly find the look you want on a budget that doesn’t break the bank. When unexpected damage strikes your ceilings, or you're just over them, feel at peace knowing that replacing a few panels, an entire ceiling, or even covering up damage is easier and quicker than you imagined.