Premier Plastering Service
Seriously Smooth Plasterers
Premier Plastering Service
Seriously Smooth Plasterers
Artex is a type of interior plaster coating often applied to ceilings but also found on walls. Although the name is actually a trademark for Artex Ltd, it has been commonly used for any form of heavily textured interior plasterwork. It is applied with a thick raised effect to create decorative swirls and patterns, and was very popular in Britain in the 1970-80s. It is now generally considered to have an outdated look and many people who's houses still possess it want it removed and replaced with more modern styles of plaster.
Should I remove my Artex?
Most people these days want their Artex removed purely on stylistic grounds. Contemporary houses tend to have smooth flat walls and ceilings and the busy patterned look of Artex can make a room feel outdated. There are however more important reasons why Artex should be removed. The word itself is an acronym for Asbestos Reinforced TEXtured coating and up until 2000 it was made using white asbestos to strengthen it. If you have Artex in your house, don't worry you are perfectly safe, it only poses a potential risk when in it's powdered form. It is advisable though to not attempt to sand or drill it, and although it only contains the less dangerous white asbestos it is still important to use professionals when attempting to remove this product. Even modern, non-asbestos Artex can be hazardous to remove because of the dust particles and neither kind are recommended for removal by non-experts.
The choice to add asbestos was made because it's light, strong and has thermal insulation properties. The dangers of this chemical weren’t fully understood or acknowledged until many years after it had already been used in numerous properties. The company Artex Ltd stopped adding asbestos in the mid 1980s, but several other manufacturers continued it's use up until twenty years ago.
Removal of an Artex ceiling is covered by The Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012. This details the requirements for working with asbestos materials. There is more information available at the Health and Safety Executive website.
There are a variety of methods that can be used to remove Artex. DIY enthusiasts will find that searching on YouTube or Google will bring up many videos and guides on the different ways to do it. One method is to use heated wallpaper strippers to melt the Artex so it can be peeled away from the surface underneath. This is messy and time-consuming and is often tried by people looking to save money by doing it themselves. There are many risks involved with this process because there is a lot of potential to release asbestos into the environment. This has the possibility to endanger the health of everyone in the house. It is a legal requirement to notify the Health and Safety Executive before attempting to melt any form of Artex because of the dangers of this method.
This blog post has more information on removing textured ceilings.
Because of the danger and risk to health associated with asbestos it is therefore highly recommended that only trained professionals attempt to remove the Artex in your home. The Health and Safety Executive also advises home owners to only hire trained personnel rather than attempting to do it themselves.
The team at Plastering Rochdale are here to remove your Artex cleanly and professionally for a competitive price. We will also replace it with smooth modern plasterwork to give your home a wonderful contemporary look.
What are the options for professional Artex removal?
The simplest solution is to apply a new layer of plaster over the existing Artex to create a smooth even surface. This requires that the Artex is clean, dry and firmly bonded to the wall or boards underneath. This may be a problem though as Artex was often used in the past to hide cracks or damaged ceilings or walls. Therefore it is vitally important that a thorough inspection of the condition of the structure is conducted beforehand. The added weight of an additional plaster layer on a ceiling may produce disastrous results if the underlying Artex was not correctly bonded. Any loose plaster must therefore be diligently removed along with any prominent peaks in the Artex. Some peaks can stand proud by up to 10mm from the surface (occasionally more if the plasterer was a little too enthusiastic!), and these will be visible through a skim coat unless they are either sanded or scraped away beforehand. If the Artex contains asbestos this will be a potentially hazardous job as asbestos particles are likely to be released into the environment during this process.
Plastering over Artex is a relatively simple way to update a room but it nevertheless requires careful preparation and strict adherence to the regulations regarding working with asbestos materials. Plastering Rochdale will re-plaster your Artex for a great price and leave you free from the hassle and risks of doing it yourself!
This method requires the Artex ceiling to be covered over with layers of a bonding agent. Each layer is applied separately and needs to dry before the next one is added on top. Bonding layers are extremely sticky so will easily bond to the Artex. The final layer is smoothed, and then a layer of plaster can be applied to create a flat smooth ceiling.
This is a very safe method of covering your ceiling. The Artex is left intact, so there is no chance of releasing asbestos into your home but it does require your ceiling to be strong and in good condition beforehand.
Scrape, Sand and Skim
Where Artex needs to be removed it can be destroyed by chipping away with a knife until the surface is flat enough for a skim of plaster to be applied. Although this has the advantage of removing the majority of the Artex for good, it releases a lot of potentially hazardous dust into the environment which needs to be dealt with appropriately.
If you prefer complete removal of your Artex this is probably the best option to choose. Should you wish, the entire ceiling can be also removed, re-boarded and plastered. This is quicker than chiselling off the Artex but is likely to be more expensive.
This is a popular choice as it less time-consuming than other options and the result is a perfectly flat modern-looking ceiling. In this method, plaster boards are placed over the top of the Artex and fixed to the joists then sealed and plastered. As none of the Artex is removed there is no risk of releasing any asbestos into the environment. There is also the added advantage of being able to include things like added holes for light fixtures. This is particularly useful in kitchens and bathrooms where modern downlighters can then be installed. Plaster boards also offer additional sound and heat insulation by creating double thickness ceilings.
Although it is a fairly straight-forward process and doesn't involve the dangers of asbestos it is still a job best handled by professionals. Plaster boarding requires at least two people to handle the heavy sheets, and a skilled plasterer to ensure a perfectly bonded and flat surface on top for painting. Plastering Rochdale can plaster board your Artex ceiling for a great price leaving you safe in the knowledge of a job well done.
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