Cityceilings recently completed a “popcorn ceiling” job in Staten Island, NY. I spoke with the company representative about the details of the stretch ceiling installation at 145 Lincoln ave, Staten Island, NY- see it on the Google Map.
V: Andrey, how long have you been installing stretch ceilings?
A: About 2 years.
V: How easy was it to learn the trade?
A: I am a professional carpenter, so it was pretty easy for me to start installing stretch fabric ceilings.
V: So, tell me about this job you did Staten Island, NY. Was it an apartment building or a house?
A: This was an apartment building with concrete slab ceilings, painted with popcorn ceiling paint.
V: Andrey, did the customer test popcorn ceiling for asbestos?
A: No, they did not test the acoustic textured paint for asbestos. Their apartment building with popcorn ceilings was built in the late 80′s. Asbestos was phased out by then.
V: Ok, that makes perfect sense. Do you know why your customer decided to install stretch fabric system instead of scraping popcorn ceiling or covering textured ceiling with drywall?
A: #1: This was a cosmetic renovation with all of the furniture in the apartment. Above all, the customer did not want the mess, which would have been created by scraping popcorn ceiling.
#2: They wanted to level the ceiling as much as possible and traditional framing method with drywall would have cost twice as much and would have turned the apartment into a construction zone for weeks. Stretch ceiling was the best value, fast and clean installation.
V: How many Sq. Ft. was the installation? How many rooms?
A: The total area was 900 sq. ft. 4 rooms, kitchen plus a small hallway.
V: What kind of stretch ceiling products did you install? What kind of track and material?
A: We used a combination of Mainstay Ceiling AND Universal track and Mainstay Premium wide-span fabric for stretch ceilings.
V: What was the lighting situation like? Did you install any new lights or re-use old locations?
A:We used old electric box locations in the bedrooms because they were in the middle of the rooms, and clients wanted to install chandeliers at those locations. However, in the living room, kitchen, dining room and hallway, the original lighting was inadequate and clients wanted to upgrade to new recess lighting. We installed a total of 25 LED pot lights in the living room, hallway, dining room, and kitchen.
V: What challenges did you have?
A: Hmm… The non-technical challenge: we had to work around the wallpaper installers and their schedule. First, we came to install the stretch ceiling track, then, wallpaper guys came in and started hanging wallpaper right to the edge of the track. They finished halfway and realized they ran out of wallpaper. The paper was out stock, we all had to wait for them to finish to proceed. This affected our schedule and other projects.
The technical challenge was very uneven popcorn ceiling. There was almost 4 inch drop from one end of the room to the other side. If we just leveled the ceiling, it would have shortened the ceiling height in the critical places.
V: So, what was the solution to this?
A: We followed the ceiling line in the critical places along the windows, etc and leveled the ceiling everywhere else. This produced a twisted effect. The ceiling became like a propeller-shape, but it is unnoticeable to the eye and in fact helped to split the difference and keep max ceiling height.
V: WOW. This is true ingenuity. This was only possible with the stretch ceiling technology. No other ceiling system makes it possible.
A: Actually, this was only the beginning of another, larger challenge. The LED pot lights had to be installed throughout this area with the twisted ceiling and it made it very difficult to hide the fact that the stretch ceiling was “twisted”.
V: RIGHT! It is easy to install the pot lights in the flat ceiling, but how did you do it in your case?
A: We created a way to adjust the level of every LED light. That R&D process took the longest!
V: What did you learn in the process? What are your ideas for the future?
A: I want to use 3D printing to create these kinds of customizable support structures for LED recess lights. If there′s enough demand, it is very doable.
V: This is exciting. Thanks for sharing this. How many days did the job take and how many people did you have working on the project?
A: Always 2 guys. 3 days for track installation, 3 days for lights, 4 days for fabric.
V: Can you share with us the price?
A: $9,000 including all lights, ceiling materials and labor
V: Thanks for sharing that! What did the customers like the most about the product and service?
A: The customers were extremely excited about the visual transformation that took place. The “Wow” factor, I guess. They promised us a great review on Yelp.
V: What would you do different or better next time?
A: 3D-printed LED light support frames.
V: Thank you Andrey for the interview and the photos of your project, which you provided for our customers and readers of our Blog.
This interview was conducted by the founder of Popcorn Ceiling Solution, Victor Rakovich on October 19, 2016.