Knock Down Vs. Smooth Ceilings (How To Choose?)

Renovating a home can often be a costly affair, especially if you have not mapped out a clear plan of action. Without a plan, you may need to chop and change ceilings until you find the right fit to suit your budget and style. You will need to decide which ceiling is more suitable? Knock Down Vs. Smooth Ceilings

The choice between Knock Down and Smooth Ceilings depends entirely on the task at hand and what finish you hope to achieve. Knock Down ceilings are excellent at hiding imperfections, offering a textured finish. Smooth Ceilings are ideal for making a room appear visibly larger.

The opinions of many designers have varied over which ceiling is more suitable. A few factors will need some consideration. These factors include the cost and features and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Knock Down Vs. Smooth Ceilings

We will make a comparison between both ceilings. The sole decision rests entirely on the factors that may appeal to you the most. Below are some of those comparisons.

Knock Down Vs. Smooth Ceilings: Features And Texture

A ceiling adds to the aesthetics of a room, helps minimize sound, and contributes to the room’s overall ambiance.

The number one reason for choosing knockdown ceilings over the smooth ceiling is their ability to hide defects such as cracks and other drywall imperfections. The process of achieving a knockdown ceiling texture typically involves two processes.

  • The process of spraying joint compound on the ceiling.
  • Using a trowel to spread blotches of the mixture on the ceiling and then a drywall knife lightly scrapes off the mix, giving it a textured effect.

The installation of these ceilings is also known to make a larger room feel much cozier and minimize sound.

Although creating some textures is more straightforward than others, creating a smooth ceiling involves spreading several layers of thin joint compound and then smoothing each layer by using a drywall knife. 

It may be easy to believe that this is a simple process; however, it involves spreading on at least 3 to 5 layers of the mixture and then smoothing each layer in isolation, hoping that you will achieve that desired smooth finish. 

The perfect scenario may be reaching the desired smooth results in just one or two applications; sadly, this is not always the case. Applying too much joint compound on any given ceiling spot can result in an uneven texture ruining the desired effect. 

Which to your demise means that you will have to start the process again? If you are a D.I.Y. enthusiast, you might want to rethink taking on this project. An experienced drywall taper with years of experience should install this ceiling.

Knock Down Vs. Smooth Ceilings: Cost

Cost does play an important role when planning. With the vast array of ceilings on the market, you could be setting yourself up for a massive bill without a budget. Does the question now lie on which one of these ceilings is more cost-effective?

Knock Down Ceilings are the ideal choice to mask imperfections. As a result, it requires minor sanding and skimming, cutting down on time usually required for these projects, which means faster turnover and less money spent on huge contractor bills. A D.I.Y project will also help put more money in your pocket.

On the other hand, smooth ceilings require extra labor to skim the ceiling and then complete the process by sanding to achieve the desired smooth results. This process is not only costly but also time-consuming.

The Advantages Of Knock Down Ceilings

A popular choice amongst many, knockdown ceilings have notable advantages. I have highlighted the main benefits.

  • Knock Down ceilings have two simple application processes to achieve the desired texture effect. The simplicity of these applications does not require any intense training, making it easy enough for a beginner D.I.Y enthusiast to put his skills to the test.
  • Since there is less time wasted on sanding and skimming, you can complete the project fraction of the time. You can invest more time enjoying the authentic ambiance that this ceiling creates.
  • Knock Down ceilings do not require the application of many products, making it a very cost-effective solution. Since you can complete it a fraction of the time, you will pay a contractor less. For the budget-conscious, it is a dream come true.
  • Although you cannot compare knockdown ceilings to soundproofing, the texture of the ceiling helps minimize the overall sound within the room and from other rooms.

The Disadvantages Of Knock Down Ceilings

knockdown texture

Although knockdown ceilings are popular among designers and homeowners, they have a few disadvantages. Below are some of those disadvantages.

  • Due to the textured appearance, knockdown ceilings tend to collect dust and dirt, which results in more frequent cleaning.
  • If a room is smaller and more closed in, a knockdown ceiling may cause one to feel more claustrophobic.
  • Duplicating the exact texture created on the initial ceiling may prove challenging if you have no option but to repair part of the ceiling.
  • Some older homes are fitted with asbestos; adding this textured knockdown effect can be a health hazard.

The Advantages Of Smooth Ceilings

If you are looking for a smooth ceiling to match contemporary furniture pieces, there are some notable advantages.

  • Nothing is more rewarding than looking up at your ceiling and seeing sheer smooth elegance. If you are successful in achieving this result, then kudos to you. 
  • The flatness of the ceiling creates an illusion that the ceiling is higher than it really is. If you have a small room with large furniture, a smooth ceiling creates an illusion of more space.
  • Cleaning and repair of a smooth ceiling are easily achievable. If you do not want to be bothered with maintenance, this should be your ceiling of preference.

The Disadvantages Of Smooth Ceilings

Smooth ceilings seem to be a less popular choice amongst many. Here are some of the reasons for this.

  • Many applications are required to achieve a smooth desired effect, and in the end, no matter how much joint compound is applied to try to cover up those joints, there is no guarantee that you will achieve a flawlessly smooth finish.
  • It is best to engage the help of an experienced joint taper to achieve a smooth finish; however, their expertise often comes at a price, which can result in substantial capital outlay, not making it a very cost-effective project.
  • The application process itself is time-consuming.
  • Smooth ceilings tend to reflect sound more efficiently, often resulting in an echo within the room. Compared to textured ceilings, the sound seems to pass through a lot easier through smooth ceilings.
  • Imperfections like dents and scratches are more clearly visible on a smooth ceiling.


Deciding between a knock-down ceiling and a smooth ceiling may seem daunting. The final choice depends entirely on the cost, style preference, and how well the ceiling blends in with the rest of your furniture.  

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Barry Gray

Hi, I’m Barry. I’ve loved woodworking and bringing things back to life for more years than I care to remember. I hope my passion for tools comes across loud and clear in everything you read here on The Tool Square.