Who Invented Popcorn Ceiling? [Why, When & History]

You may know that popcorn ceilings have a pattern of bumps and grooves that resemble popcorn. When painted white or another light color, it looks as if the ceiling is covered in tiny pieces of popcorn. But do you know who invented popcorn ceilings?

Popcorn ceilings were invented by the British company Artex in the 1930s. The company first developed a new way to create a pebbled or swirled texture on ceilings, then brought it to America.

I hope you’ll have a better understanding when it comes to this topic after reading this article. Check all the interesting details below!

Also Read: Inventions of the 1920s

Who Invented Popcorn Ceiling and Why?

who invented popcorn ceiling

Popcorn ceilings are a popular alternative to plain yellow or white ceilings. 

They were first invented in England in the 1930s by Artex, a British firm that made popcorn ceilings.

The ceilings were popular in the 1970s and 1980s, but they now are more often considered an eyesore. 

They can be hard to remove because they’re made of a plaster-like substance that was sprayed on, similar to stucco. 

These ceilings were popular in Europe, especially in England and France.

They were used in restaurants, hotels, and even the homes of the wealthy.

Because popcorn ceilings are so textured, they have a tendency to collect dust and dirt particles over time.

Popcorn ceilings were created for two reasons—to cut down on perceptible noise between floors in a multi-story building and to hide seams and imperfections.

The ceilings were also designed to be easy to install and low-cost.

The problem with popcorn ceilings is that they are not conducive to modern decor, and many homeowners want to remove the ceilings altogether. 

Removing a popcorn ceiling can be difficult and time-consuming.

When Did Popcorn Ceilings Start and Become Popular?

It’s hard to tell precisely when did popcorn ceilings become popular. Popcorn ceilings are a product of the mid-20th century. 

They were definitely around in the 1940s and 50s, but they didn’t become super-popular until the 60s and 70s.

The reason for the popularity of popcorn ceilings is that they are cheap and easy to install. 

They were a great solution for builders who wanted to save money on labor costs and materials.

In addition, they are quite durable and last for decades without needing any maintenance or repair work.

 Popcorn ceilings are easy to clean and maintain.

They don’t get dirty easily, so you can simply wipe them down with a cloth or vacuum them occasionally.

Why Do Popcorn Ceilings Exist?

Ever wonder why popcorn ceilings exist?

The first reason why popcorn ceilings exist is that they’re a relatively inexpensive way to make a space look more appealing.

The texture of the popcorn ceiling makes it easy to paint and decorate, which means you can change up your colors or add wallpaper without having to worry about damaging the ceiling.

The second reason why popcorn ceilings exist is that they’re extremely durable. 

A layer of plaster on top of the foam provides a protective barrier so that moisture doesn’t seep through.

Another reason why popcorn ceilings are so popular is that they’re easy to install: no special tools or expertise are required.

Last, but not least is soundproofing. The foam used in popcorn ceilings is very effective at insulating against noise. 

This makes it a popular choice for homes with young children or pets who are easily distracted by outside sounds.

What is Popcorn Ceiling Made of?

Popcorn ceilings are made of tiny particles of vermiculite or polystyrene. 

The type of material used in the popcorn ceiling depends on its intended use and desired appearance.

Vermiculite is crushed mica, which is a natural mineral that looks like tiny pieces of glitter. 

Vermiculite has a high iron content, which gives it its golden color and makes it easy to produce a uniform texture on ceilings. 

Vermiculite also has good insulating properties, which makes it especially useful for commercial buildings where energy efficiency is important.

Polystyrene is also called “expanded polystyrene” or “foam,” and it’s a plastic polymer made from petroleum products such as gasoline or natural gas byproducts.

Polystyrene is also used extensively in commercial buildings due to its insulating properties. 

However, because it’s not as durable as vermiculite, it tends to be used more often for ceilings in residential homes rather than commercial buildings.

Why is Popcorn Ceiling Bad?

The main issue with popcorn ceilings is that they contain asbestos. 

Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and it has been linked to mesothelioma and lung cancer.

The problem with asbestos-containing materials like popcorn ceilings is that they can be inhaled or ingested. 

Inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause lung disease, including asbestosis, which causes scarring of the lungs and interferes with their ability to take in oxygen.

If you have asbestos-containing materials in your home or workplace, you should avoid breathing their dust.

History of Popcorn Ceilings

History of popcorn ceilings

The history of popcorn ceilings is a long and interesting one. 

It all started in the 1930s when Artex Ltd. in the UK began using a similar method to apply plaster to walls.

In the 1950s, the technique spread across Canada and the US In the 1950s, the technique spread across Canada and the US to become a popular way to decorate. 

It was used in houses, schools, and hospitals throughout the 20th century. 

Popcorn ceilings became a global trend by the 1970s. 

The reason why people loved them so much was that they were easy to install, and they made any room look more interesting and unique. 

They also had a practical use—they helped to insulate homes in the cold winters.

The 1980s saw a ban on popcorn ceilings in many countries due to asbestos content, but it has since been re-released as an acceptable product for construction purposes.

Even today, popcorn ceilings are a great way to give any room a unique look and feel. 

They can be painted any color or left white for a more classic look.

It’s also important to note that this type of ceiling is not fireproof, so it should not be used in any areas where there is high heat or flames.


Below you can find answers to the most common questions when it comes to this topic.

Are popcorn ceilings making a comeback?

Popcorn ceilings were very popular in the 1970s, but modern homeowners tend to find them dated and not aesthetically appealing.

What are people replacing popcorn ceilings with?

The most common ways of removing popcorn ceilings include scraping them off, covering them with a new layer of drywall, or covering them with plaster to create a textured ceiling.

Do popcorn ceilings from the 80’s have asbestos?

In the past, before the 1990s, popcorn ceilings were often made with asbestos. Asbestos is a dangerous substance that has been linked to health problems such as lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Is it safe to live in a house with popcorn ceilings?

If popcorn ceilings are asbestos free they are safe for living.

Why did they stop making popcorn ceilings?

Popcorn ceilings are stopped from making when asbestos was banned.

When asbestos was banned?

The use of asbestos in ceiling coverings was banned in 1973, but older products may still be installed in homes.


I hope we answered some of the questions you had about who invented popcorn ceiling. 

This is just a glimpse into the history of where it was invented, so if you’re interested to find out more about it, feel free to ask questions in the comments section and I’ll respond shortly.