Stretch ceilings – advantages and disadvantages and useful installation tips
- Cost30-60 EUR/m² (the price can also be significantly higher for special requests)
- Duration1 d
Repairing an old, damaged ceiling usually costs a lot of money and takes a lot of work. A stretch ceiling could be the optimal solution for it.
By the way, you can also find decoration ideas here.
What is a stretch ceiling?
A stretch ceiling is basically a second ceiling covering the initial ceiling. Sounds a lot like a suspended ceiling? Absolutely correct. The crucial difference is that a stretch ceiling leaves the initial ceiling entirely intact. This can be a decisive advantage, especially in rented flats.
The use of a stretch ceiling with textiles is one of the oldest interior design techniques. Hanging fabric under the ceiling has been popular in many countries over the centuries, even millennia. The ancient Romans used silk, the Egyptians preferred to use flax, and the Armenians used cotton.
The stretch ceiling eventually fell into oblivion, but it was rediscovered in the 20th century and is now celebrating its great comeback. It is a quick and easy way to conceal unsightly old ceilings and visually enhance the room.
Stretch ceilings made of PVC can be used almost everywhere. They are waterproof, which is especially crucial in rooms with high humidity, such as in the bathroom. This prevents moisture penetrating the ceiling, which in turn inhibits the growth of mould.
Stretch ceilings also have an antistatic coating that prevents dust accumulation. Which is why they are particularly popular with people who suffer from allergies. Likewise, they are also often installed in children’s rooms. Other advantages: They are low-maintenance, easy to install and can even positively affect the acoustics and sound insulation of the room when used in conjunction with insulation material.
Here are all the advantages of stretch ceilings at a glance:
- PVC is considered a low-inflammable material (DIN 4102)
- Heat insulation thanks to air cushion between the stretch ceiling and the old ceiling
- Antistatic and water-repellent
- Individual freedom of design and high-quality appearance
- Suitable for all rooms
- Easy to clean (normal washing-up liquid is sufficient)
- Cost-effective and lightweight alternative
The advantages of using a stretch ceiling outweigh the disadvantages, but it does have a few disadvantages. You can only install the stretch ceiling once and have to replace the entire material, for example, if you need to perform maintenance work on wires/lights in the ceiling. Therefore, you should think carefully about when you need to access the wires/lights in the ceiling next time. Stretch ceilings are also limited in size. Depending on the manufacturer, they can be used to cover a maximum of 50 to 100 square metres.
What types of stretch ceiling are there?
Stretch ceilings can be adapted to your own taste. Tap into your creative side – the sky’s the limit! The most popular types of stretch ceilings are:
- 3D stretch ceilings
For this type, a 3D image is printed on the film, creating an illusion of depth. Other popular motifs are outer space or a sky with sun and clouds. With the right motif, a 3D stretch ceiling can have a particularly impressive impact and fits in perfectly with modern interior design.
- Stretch ceiling with mirrors
The surface of a stretch ceiling with mirrors reflects the space beneath it, which can lend to a quite high-class and luxurious feel. Here again you have the choice between countless colours and variations.
- Matt stretch ceilings
In contrast to the stretch ceiling with mirrors, a matt stretch ceiling features a non-reflective material. White is by far the most popular option, although again there are many other colours to choose from.
Stretch ceilings are quite handy. You can customise the look of them to suit your own preferences, and you’re not just limited to PVC when it comes to materials either. You can choose between matt and glossy PVC materials for your stretch ceiling. Plus, there are also specially woven versions and even a translucent ceiling made of fabric.
Let’s get started – step-by-step instructions
Measuring the room
Make a sketch in advance and measure the room. Remember to add at least 20 cm for the PVC film for your stretch ceiling, so that it can be easily held in place later. Take the size of the room for the necessary fastening profiles and make sure that there is an allowance for cutting.
Sawing and fastening profiles
You need to cut the fastening profiles to fit the corners of your ceiling at an angle of 45 degrees. It’s best to use a hand-held circular saw or section shears to cut the profiles. Screw the profiles to your ceiling using the pre-drilled holes and use an additional screw for the ends of each profile.
Raising the stretch ceiling
We recommend asking someone to help you when raising the stretch ceiling. Start in one corner by attaching the stretch ceiling with an installation spatula. Make sure it protrudes at least 10 cm on all sides. You should only press the material lightly here, as we will remove it from the profile again in the following steps. After you have finished one side, do the same on the opposite side and then on the two remaining sides.
Attaching the stretch ceiling
Hold your installation spatula at a 45-degree angle (approximately) and press the fabric of your stretch ceiling into the installation profile. In this step, it is important to get the right angle; otherwise, you will damage the material. First, you only press on the material. Here again, start in one corner and work your way around little by little.
When you have finished the entire ceiling, start again in the middle of one side and work your way to the corner. Loosen the pressed in material, pull the ceiling taut and reattach the material. After you have done this step on all sides, repeat the process until your ceiling is completely taut. A stretch ceiling with PVC can be easily heated with a hot air gun so that it contracts and tightens more easily.
Remove excess material
Use a box knife to cut off the excess material. Leave 3–4 mm of material. Then work the rest into the profile with the installation spatula.
Congratulations! Your old ceiling is already a thing of the past, and you can enjoy your new customised ceiling covering.
Need more inspiration for DIY furniture? You’ll find what you’re looking for here.