How Much Does a Stretch Ceiling Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

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The concept of a stretch ceiling is not a new invention at all.

Its origin can be traced back to the ancient nations like Egypt, Greece, and Rome where bits of evidence were found.  Its modern version was introduced in the mid-1960s and quickly gained popularity in Western Europe.  In the United States, however, the stretch ceiling concept is relatively new.

A stretch ceiling is non-toxic, easy to install, doesn’t require any surface preparation and forms a perfectly flat surface.

This type of ceiling system will consist of two basic components:  a perimeter track and a fabric membrane that stretches out and clicks into the track, creating a new ceiling within hours.

How much does a stretch ceiling cost?

On average, it is best to plan on anywhere from $6 to as much as $10+ per square foot.  The cost will depend on the size of the room, the material being used, the complexity of the job, geographical location and professional if using one.  Since all jobs are relatively unique, consider getting multiple quotes from licensed and reputable contractors in your area at HomeAdvisor.com.

The estimates above should include the prep work, materials, fabric, labor and cleanup.

The Stretch Ceiling Store has a calculator you can play around with.  Simply input the room dimensions and the number of light sources to see what the price range may be.  A 100 square feet, for instance, could be about $500 to $800 total.

If you were to do the job on your own, the material can cost about $2 to $4 per square foot.  This will include the customized membrane fabric and the PVC perimeter track to fix it to the walls.

Stretch ceiling overview

During the process, the fabric canvas will be tightly stretched onto a  special frame that’s mounted across the room’s perimeter, but before it’s done, the room will be precisely measured for a perfect fit.  With these measurements, the fabric will be cut out at a shop and will be attached to a fixed PVC molding along the ceiling edges.  According to NY Ceiling, there are two frames a homeowner can choose from:  either an aluminum U-shape profile or a peg, where the fabric will be fixed to a self-locking device.  Once the installation is done, the room may need to be heated if a glossy-like material needs to be used.

The final install, if done properly, should create a smooth, mirror-like appearance.  As long as the material is of quality, it won’t crack, crumble and it’s resistant to mildew.  A good brand is also moisture proof.

Depending on the contractor’s experience, the job should take an average of three to six hours.

Depending on the brand of the material, the warranty can last anywhere from 10 to 15 years.

What are the extra costs?

The price estimates mentioned above will be for a simple stretch ceiling.  If you want an elaborate fabric or texture, then the price may increase.  For example, if you wanted to add an image to your ceiling, the customized print job could add to the price.

Light bulbs over 50 watts should be avoided to prevent overheating.  If an electrician has to cap or replace the lights to something more “stretch ceiling” friendly, then this can be an additional cost to consider.  This ceiling setup works best with optical fiber or LED lights.

Tips to know:

Aside from being an ideal decorative ceiling element, a stretch ceiling is also a suitable replacement for a sheet rock ceiling.

Stretch ceilings are perfect for both residential and commercial interiors because it has been known to surpass their ten-year guarantee without staining, fragmenting, or flaking.

If the structure of the house or building begins to leak, a stretch ceiling can hold water up to a certain amount before cracking.  This amount of water depends on the size of the room and the type of installation.

Unlike a traditional sheetrock ceiling, a stretch ceiling requires no prep work.

While a stretch ceiling is ideal for just about any room or scenario, it won’t work well if it’s exposed to weather cooler than 40 degrees Fahrenheit or in a hotter area such as a sauna.

How can I save money?

When hiring a contractor, always try to get at least three to five quotes before proceeding.  Don’t focus on the price, however.  Pay close attention to their work in the past and always make sure they are licensed and insured.


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