by Ravi Backerdan on October 25, 2022


Why was Popcorn Ceiling Popular?

Known by many names such as stipple ceiling, stucco, or acoustic ceiling, popcorn ceiling is the type that can be done using two treatments: spray-on or paint-on. Popcorn ceiling gets its name from its texture created using styrofoam or stucco, giving the painting style its familiar bumpy surface resembling popcorn. And therefore, the name popcorn ceiling. 


When was popcorn ceiling popular?

Now to answer the question: When was popcorn ceiling popular? Popcorn ceilings were trendy from 1945 to the early 1990s. Their popularity was because builders used them in house constructions as they were cost-efficient and time-saving. 


Another reason for their popularity was their ability to hide imperfections easily, and they were especially an excellent choice for reducing ambient echoes and noise. There was a time when popcorn ceilings were visible in almost every house of the United States in the 1970s. But their popularity soon began to diminish. 


Around the mid-2000s, popcorn ceilings came under tremendous scrutiny across North America for a component used to make paint called White asbestos, which is commonly acknowledged as a cancer-causing toxin. This led multitudes of homeowners to question; Are popcorn ceilings toxic? 


In the pre-1970s, paint companies used asbestos in making paints. This component was identified as hazardous to the environment. 


The fibers in the asbestos mineral are categorized as dangerous and can prove to be extremely harmful if inhaled. They may even lead to serious health risks, which motivated governmental agencies like the Clean Air Act in the United States to ban it in ceiling treatments.  


According to “Throughout the 1970s, the Environmental Protection Agency began heavily regulating asbestos in different use cases in materials. Eventually, that led to a ban on asbestos-containing spray-applied surfacing materials, aka sprayed-on popcorn ceilings.” As a result, by the early 1980s, the United States decided to ban asbestos-containing products.  


As soon as its adverse impacts on health were recognized, America experienced a trend towards more modern clean-lined design features. The century began contemplating the pros and cons of popcorn ceilings soon. 


Let us see how considering popcorn ceiling pros and cons may help you in your next project: 


Cons of Popcorn ceilings


  • Repairing is not easy: One of the significant drawbacks of selecting popcorn ceilings for your house project is their tendency to pose challenges in repairing any damage. They are hard to maintain and require you to demolish the entire surface of the intended wall or ceiling to rebuild it perfectly. In the process, you end up redoing the whole portion from scratch to avoid inconsistencies. 


  • High maintenance cleaning: Uneven, bumpy popcorn ceiling surface makes it hard for even professional contractors to clean the entire surface. Although, hiring professionals, in this case, is the best option as removing the popcorn ceiling or hiding the popcorn ceiling is not like any of your DIY projects. It needs special equipment and materials to complete the task. 


  • Toxins: Perhaps this is one of the most valid points that you should consider in this rundown of the pros and cons of popcorn ceilings. And we would suggest you question whether popcorn ceilings are toxic before you choose to ask your interior painting service provider to apply this style. Even the air we breathe isn’t pure 80% of the time. And there are a great variety of options available in the market. 


Pros of Popcorn Ceilings 


  • Cost-efficient: The biggest advantage of popcorn ceilings is that they are easy to install and available at low prices. 


  • Hides imperfections: Popcorn ceilings hide imperfections that flat non-textured finishes fail to cover. They make the wall surface look flawless with an equal ripple-like styling. They can cover up leaks, damages, cracks, and poor artistry.


  • Helps dampen noise: Popcorn ceilings are an excellent choice for their noise-dampening trait. They are especially well-suited for multi-story houses where the goal is to mute noises to the upper level. 




Popcorn ceilings were an attractive option for a ceiling covering, but modern-day interior designers are experimenting with newer designs today. And the popcorn ceiling is certainly not amongst those recent trends. Other than that, it is a brilliant idea to weigh the disadvantages that have led to the idea’s unpopularity so quickly. 


Popcorn ceilings may be beneficial in hiding imperfections, deaden noises, and are less costly, but it is difficult to repair them, hard to clean, and honestly outdated. We highly doubt you would not end up with a few scratches on your body while attempting to remove the popcorn ceilings.


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