Plasterboard vs skimming over artex

(27 Posts)
PurpleDaisies Fri 28-Oct-16 20:23:40

We have a house full of artexed ceilings which obviously aren't staying. Today a plasterer came round to quote for the first room we're dealing with and he basically said plastering over artex (after sealing it) usually doesn't last properly so the only sensible way to deal with it is to put up plasterboard instead then plaster that. We'd lose a centimetre or two of room height and it costs more. I'm not sure what the best course of action is-we have a LOT of ceiling that needs sorting over time. Does anyone have any wisdom to share?

Ruhrpott Fri 28-Oct-16 20:32:59

We have plastered over ours and so far it has lasted over 4 years with no problems. I would suggest finding another plasterer

superking Fri 28-Oct-16 20:35:25

We had ours skimmed a couple of years ago. We had a few plasterers give us quotes and none suggested using plasterboard. I would definitely get a few more quotes if I were you!

DanaBarrett Fri 28-Oct-16 20:36:33

Had mine skimmed over ten years ago now. No issues so far...

bluemarble Fri 28-Oct-16 20:36:45

Depending on the quality of the artex you may not be able to skim over if it starts to crumble (which I had happen so had to switch to board)

Also some artex contains asbestos and therefore the safest option is to board & then skin.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 28-Oct-16 20:37:39

Bollox, we've had wedding cake icing artex skinned over and it's lasted 10 years so far!

It DOESN'T last if you use an inexperienced plasterer, I'd find someone else tbh.

SpeckledyBanana Fri 28-Oct-16 20:38:53

How old? Our mid-80s artex contains asbestos. We've just had a ceiling replaced. We have decided to quietly ignore the rest as they're in good nick and we're now broke.

Cassimin Fri 28-Oct-16 20:40:01

Our was plastered over about 20 years ago. No problems at all.

PigletJohn Fri 28-Oct-16 20:42:08

How old is the house?

Is the old ceiling cracked and saggy? Is it L&P or plasterboard?

Has anyone smoked in the house and left a film of tar on the ceilings?

Mistoffelees Fri 28-Oct-16 20:45:45

I've been googling this since we moved in to our house in July as all if the ceilings are artexed and I hate it! Depending on what you read some plasterers recommend skimming and others are insistent boarding over it will last much longer. It is also possible to remove it but as pp states older artex can contain asbestos so this must be done very carefully. One forum I found suggested having it tested and then seemed to imply that some insurance companies would pay for it to be sorted but unless it's damaged it's apparently harmless so can't see that this would be a likely outcome.

SpeckledyBanana Fri 28-Oct-16 21:03:28

Re: insurance - if the ceiling contains artex and is damaged e.g. by water/ a foot through it and it has to come down, they'll have to do it properly so you'll get it replaced.

I have no idea why we didn't claim on our insurance, apart from a vague wish to not have increased premiums. Fools.

Because they did a full enviromental clean, my kitchen was lovely and clean, though, even behind the radiator grin

PurpleDaisies Fri 28-Oct-16 21:07:22

Hmmm, thanks for the opinions. It sounds like we're looking at more quotes.

The house is 1970s and there are a few cracks but no sagging. No smoking damage as far as I can tell. It's quite a deep ridged pattern (hideous). Does the cracking mean it needs asbestos testing?

SpeckledyBanana Fri 28-Oct-16 21:20:14

The asbestos content in artex is very low, but there is no agreed safe limit in air,in current UK H&S law. I have a past exposure so am a bit twitchy about the kids, so we went by the book and got a removal company in.

But this all kicked off because our builder is reputable and insisted on testing before he started work. I was surprised by the result as asbestos in artex was banned in 1984, so the house must be slightly older than we'd thought. Other trades, I've stopped them pulling down ceilings for this reason (long and dull story) and they look at me funny when I say why.

Long and short of it is that standards (and whether your contractor has had a bit of Asbestos Awareness training) vary. So you will find plasterers who'll sand down anything, and others who won't (even while simultaneously telling you that they're being very cautious).

If ours was friable, I'd get someone in to have a look at its condition with an expert eye.

Testing cost us £70, BTW.

19lottie82 Fri 28-Oct-16 22:04:26

I did a city and guilds in plastering last year and was always told not to sand down after unless you have had it asbestos tested, but you can skim over it no problem, I've never heard anyone say it won't last.

Mistoffelees Fri 28-Oct-16 22:13:47

I've also read that if you do go for the skimming option it is advisable to tell anyone you sell the house to in future in case they start drilling into the ceiling for whatever reason and release a load of dust containing asbestos

PigletJohn Fri 28-Oct-16 22:14:03

Old L&P ceilings may fall down with the extra weight and disturbance of reskimming, but a 1970's house will be Plasterboard so this should not apply, unless perhaps the house has been damp or leaky and the nails have rusted. 1970's artex is liable to contain asbestos, though it is not considered much of a hazard unless you start sanding or scraping it. You can send off a sample to testing laboratories for a modest charge.

I hope the cracks you mention are in straight or rectangular lines, in the joints between the boards, which will have been placed square-on to the walls of the room. The boards will have been 8ftx4ft, though very easy to cut to fill gaps.

IMO screwing a new layer of boards up and reskimming is a superior job, it will reduce noise transmission noticeably, and I imagine will improve fire resistance, but in your case I can't see that it is actually necessary.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 28-Oct-16 22:27:08

Yes,skimming over is fine over suspected asbestos as you're just covering it up.

I was also led to believe this was far safer than removing it.

PurpleDaisies Fri 28-Oct-16 23:19:21

Thanks everyone-piglet the cracks sound exactly as you describe. We're actually under the flight path so reducing noise transmission is a big bonus.

I think for now we'll use the guy who exclusively does boarding and reskimming (and comes highly recommended by friends) for the couple of small rooms we can sort out right now and look at getting the big rooms skimmed as a cheaper option.

I really appreciate all the advice.

OrcinusOrca Sat 29-Oct-16 11:24:03

If it's really thick artex I think they recommend plasterboard sometimes instead. But most stuff can be skimmed over. Our house is 1920's so we could lose a couple of cms without it being too bad but I'd still rather not.

My master bedroom, hall and landing, bathroom and kitchen are artex. Spare room and living room not, I think previous people must have been doing it in stints.

AndWhat Sat 29-Oct-16 16:26:17

We've just had 1 ceiling done for
£240. 2 plasterers ummed and ahhhed but said they wouldn't do it, next door got theirs done 8 years ago with no problems so far.
It has made such a difference to that 1 room (only 6 rooms to go now!)

Mistoffelees Sat 29-Oct-16 16:34:35

Does anyone know how much it would cost, if it's even possible, to remove it? We were thinking of knocking through a wall and both rooms either side are artexed, no idea when so it may well contain asbestos. Also plaster boarding wouldn't work as the window in one of the rooms goes up to within about an inch of the ceiling.

SpeckledyBanana Sat 29-Oct-16 17:43:02

15' by 9' room, ceiling taken down completely was GBP 750 + VAT. Then GBP 400 + VAT for new one to go up.

19lottie82 Sun 30-Oct-16 09:09:00

Speck that was to remove ceilings containing asbestos tho?

If you got the ceiling tested and the results were negative removal costs would be minimal.

19lottie82 Sun 30-Oct-16 09:11:17

Mist you could still put plasterboard up between window and ceiling. 1" is plenty of room to slide in plasterboards, secure them and skim over.

Mistoffelees Sun 30-Oct-16 10:27:08

Thanks both!

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