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How Much Does It Cost To Install A Ceiling?

Most homeowners spend between $939 to $1,444 nationally.
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Many of us don’t look up when we walk into a room. That is, if you have a boring ceiling. To add some pizzazz to a home design, homeowners are installing beam, coffered or tray ceilings throughout the home. Before you do so, you must consider the costs of all ceiling installations.

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National Install a Ceiling Costs

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Median Cost


Minimum Cost


Maximum Cost
Average Range:


National Average Cost $1,310
Minimum Cost $59
Maximum Cost $3,247
Average Range $939 to $1,444
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How do we get this data? This info is based on 1839 cost profiles, as reported by ImproveNet members.

Table of Contents

  1. Ceiling Costs
  2. Drywall Ceiling Cost
  3. Drop Ceiling Cost
  4. Coffered Ceiling Cost
  5. Vaulted Ceiling Cost
  6. Beam Ceiling Cost
  7. Popcorn Ceiling Cost
  8. Tongue And Groove Ceiling Cost
  9. Tray Ceiling Cost
  10. Beadboard Ceiling Cost
  11. Drop Ceiling Vs. Drywall Ceiling
  12. Sheetrock Vs. Drywall Ceiling
  13. DIY Or Hire A Contractor?
  14. Find A Drywall Contractor

Ceiling Costs

All ceiling costs vary by the type of ceiling you choose and whether or not your hire a local contractor to install it. Nonetheless, whether you’re looking for the cost to drywall a ceiling, drop ceiling costs or any other ceiling project, the average cost to install a ceiling is $1,310. However, we have seen ceiling installation prices range from $600 to $1,800 (not including vaulted ceilings).

Ceiling Type

Minimum Cost

Maximum Cost

Popcorn Ceiling



Drop Ceiling



Drywall Ceiling



Tray Ceiling



Tongue & Groove Ceiling



Beadboard Ceiling



Coffered Ceiling



Beam Ceiling



Vaulted Ceiling



Ceiling Costs

Drywall Ceiling Cost

One of the most inexpensive ceiling options is drywall. Drywall ceiling costs range from $1.50/sf and $3.00/sf total. Easy installation keeps labor costs down.

Drywall panels cost between $40 and $60 per panel. Most drywall panels measure 4X8’ or 32sf. Therefore, on average, a 140sf ceiling would require five panels and cost you roughly $250 for materials alone. Add $1.50/sf - $3.00/sf for labor and you get your total drywall ceiling cost. To determine how much drywall you need, please see our drywall calculator.

Additional materials include lumber, screws and finishing materials. Furthermore, you must also consider paint, if you want to add a colorful element to the room. Finally, the thickness of the drywall is also a factor.

A drywall ceiling installation is a process that attaches pieces of sheetrock or drywall to the actual framework of the home. Drywall or sheetrock is a semi-permanent and partially durable material used across the home. Drywall is susceptible to peeling and cracking with age. Made of compressed gypsum, it’s very heavy, especially in the large sheets needed to cover an entire ceiling.

Although drywall can get expensive depending on the size of the room, it’s generally the preferred and most common type of ceiling.

Drop Ceiling Cost

If you’re looking for a very simple and cheap ceiling option, drop ceilings are for you. The average drop ceiling cost ranges from $1/sf to $2/sf. Drop ceiling installations are easy and the labor cost should be less than a drywall ceiling.

Drop ceilings are quite common in rooms with large ducts and HVAC piping. As the name suggests, drop ceilings come down and hide anything above. Therefore, drop ceilings, much like ceiling covers, are common in basements and additions. To be frank, you’ll more often see drop ceilings in commercial units, hiding all those wires above.

Drop ceilings are not as pretty as the other options below, but they provide a quick solution for a low ceiling installation budget.

Drywall Ceiling Cost

Coffered Ceiling Cost

When it comes to aesthetics, you won’t find a better option than coffered ceilings. Of course, that “wow” factor all guests get when they walk in comes with a price. Material costs alone for coffered ceilings range from $7 to $34 per board. Furthermore, professional installation is not nearly as easy as drywall or drop ceilings. All in, the average coffered ceiling cost is $25/sf.

Coffered ceilings can be placed in a grid pattern of squares or rectangles, or they may incorporate more interesting shapes such as octagons and circles. No matter what, they create an effect that mimics crisscrossing beams. Inside each panel, designs such as carved wood and crown molding create a more ornate effect specific to your home’s design.

Vaulted Ceiling Cost

If you feel cramped in your home, but can’t afford to move to a bigger home, vaulted ceilings are calling your name. A hot ceiling design recently, vaulted ceilings add light, depth, space and most importantly, value to your home. No ceiling option brings more value to your home than a vaulted or raised ceiling.

Nevertheless, you may be asking yourself, ‘how much does raising a ceiling height cost?’ Sadly, the answer is more than you think. The cost to vault a ceiling in an existing home ranges from $18,000 to $26,000. If you’re building a new home, your vaulted ceiling price should not exceed $8,000.

Vaulted ceilings cost more than the average due to the complexity. In an existing home, contractors may have to raise the roof, move entire HVAC systems, move electrical systems and much, much more. Installation time is long and complicated.

Nonetheless, no ceiling design transforms a room like a vaulted ceiling. If you have a smaller home, feel cramped and don’t want to move, a vaulted ceiling is a terrific choice.

Coffered Ceiling Cost

Beam Ceiling Cost

If you prefer rustic or want to bring some wood into your design, beam ceilings are perfect. They don’t only add character and new interest to the room, but they’re also quickly becoming one of the hottest ceiling designs across the country.

With beam ceilings, you can either install new pieces of wood or expose the wood beams use to frame the home. Furthermore, beams are very common with vaulted ceilings.

Luckily, you have a few of options when it comes to beam ceilings, ranging from Douglas fir, redwood, oak, maple, elm and much more. Additionally, you can go with faux wood. Faux wood looks like real wood, is more durable than hardwood and resistant to water and termites.

Given how many types of wood there are and the possible lengths of wood beams, beam installation costs vary. You can find wood beams for as low as $100 per beam online. However, if you choose strong durable wood and professional installation, your beam ceiling cost will likely run between $1,000 and $3,000.

Popcorn Ceiling Cost

If you’re updating your ceiling design or intend on selling your home in the near future, we would not recommend a popcorn ceiling. In fact, as of 2014, it’s more popular to remove a popcorn ceiling than it is to install it. EPA standards and an outdated look stimulated this trend.

Nevertheless, if you’re interested in adding a textured ceiling to your home, the price is low. The cost to texture a ceiling ranges between $1/sf and $1.50/sf. As such, it’s the most affordable ceiling installation.

Again, despite the low cost, no designer in the world recommends a new popcorn ceiling and neither do we.

Vaulted Ceiling Cost

Tongue and Groove Ceiling Cost

Along the same lines as beam or vaulted ceilings, tongue and groove ceilings offer that rustic or traditional design you desire. Of course, material costs will certainly be more compared to drywall or drop ceilings. In fact, more often than not, material or wood costs alone are more expensive than an entire drywall or drop ceiling project.

Including professional labor and materials, tongue and groove ceiling costs range from $2/sf to $5/sf, with a majority of those costs coming from the wood. Furthermore, these costs do not include refinishing the wood.

Tray Ceiling Cost

Another popular trend in ceiling design are tray ceilings. As the name suggests, tray ceilings look like upside down trays. They are quite common in bedrooms and add about a foot of depth to your ceiling. Again, if you have a smaller space, tray ceilings, like vaulted ceilings, add visual space to the room (although not nearly as much as raised ceilings).

If a tray ceiling is possible, your tray ceiling installation price will hover between $500 and $3,000 per room or $2/sf to $4/sf. However, if your bedroom is on the second floor and you need to adjust your roof height, a tray ceiling can cost upwards of $10,000.

Beadboard Ceiling Cost

The final ceiling design we’ll cover is beadboard. Similar to tongue and groove ceilings, beadboard is made of wood and the panels line up right next to each other, going across the ceiling. Beadboards are relatively cheap, $2/sf to $3/sf, but labor and paint can increase the total beadboard ceiling cost to $5/sf to $6/sf.

Note that beadboard does not mesh well with water. If your home floods and water seeps into your beadboard ceiling, you’ll most likely have to replace it. As such, if you want a wood ceiling, we recommend tongue and groove.

Beam Ceiling Cost

Drop Ceiling Vs. Drywall Ceiling

Jumping back to our first two options, a popular debate has emerged in the ceiling industry: drop vs. drywall ceilings. Those homeowners looking to stay on the lower end of the cost spectrum should consider these both.

Drop ceilings are not only a more affordable option (usually half the cost), but also offer more design flexibility compared to drywall. To install a drop ceiling, a metal frame is used to hold up ceiling tiles normally made of a cardboard-type material. The tiles are prefabricated and simply drop in once the metal frame is assembled. A drop ceiling can be installed in one day by a general contractor and involves little to no finishing work. Drop ceilings are the preferred application in basements due primarily to how easy it is to access pipes, electrical work and air ducts above the ceiling.

Drywall ceilings, on the other hand, are still the most prominent option on the market. They may be more expensive, but unlike drop ceilings, you can paint drywall ceilings (just like any other wall). According to our interior painting cost estimator, you’ll most likely pay between $240 and $420 for professional painting services. Painting bedroom ceilings fall on the lower end of the range.

Sheetrock Vs. Drywall Ceiling

Earlier, we mentioned that drywall ceilings are made of drywall or sheetrock. More often than not, these terms are used interchangeably, but they are in fact different. As our friends at HomeAdvisor clearly stated, all sheetrock is drywall, but not all drywall is sheetrock. As such, sheetrock is a type of drywall. In fact, sheetrock is trademarked by the U.S. Gypsum Company (mentioned in drywall section earlier). Sheetrock comes in small pieces or panels and can be used in other applications as well.

Overall, because most people don’t know the difference, consider the two terms interchangeable.

Tongue And Groove Ceiling Cost

DIY Or Hire A Contractor?

More often than not, homeowners hire contractors to install, remodel or repair a ceiling. However, some ceilings are easier to DIY than others. For instance, if you have basic DIY experience, you can install drywall on your own and save hundreds of dollars in labor costs. The same can be said for drop ceilings.

However, for any other ceiling type, you should consider contacting a general contractor. Most contractors will bring a team of two or three to install a new ceiling. If you’re adding a vaulted ceiling, the general contractor will have to find a roofing, HVAC and electrical contractor to account for the entire project.

Find A Drywall Contractor

Say goodbye to boring ceilings. Researching the average ceiling costs is half the battle and that work is all done above. Now that you’re ready to tackle your ceiling remodel, let us help you find a local drywall contractor.

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