The 10 Pros and Cons Of PVC Ceiling Panels You Need To Consider

Last Updated on December 22, 2023 by Web Operator

I recently decided I wanted to redo my ceilings. I didn’t want to spend too much, so I started to look at some of the ceiling options available, and I was pleasantly surprised at what I found. I chose to install PVC ceiling panels, also called vinyl ceiling panels. I wanted to know what I was getting myself into, so I looked at all the pros and cons of PVC ceilings.

PVC ceiling panels are becoming more popular, but there are some factors to remember. Some pros of PVC or vinyl ceiling panels include durability, versatility, and affordability. Some cons of using PVC/vinyl panels include; that they can warp under certain conditions and can leach chemicals into the air.

After doing some research, I found that PVC, also called vinyl flooring, is fast becoming one of the standard ceiling options. These ceiling tiles are easy to install and don’t require much maintenance. I decided to share some helpful information I found n the pros and cons of PVC ceiling panels.

Choosing What Kind Of PVC Ceiling You Need

pvc ceiling

When you are renovating your ceiling and thinking of installing PVC panels, there are two types of PVC ceilings you need to look at before deciding what type is right for your ceiling. The two types are:

Surface Mounted Panels

The surface mount panels are used when you put them directly onto the existing ceiling and where the distances are small and when you don’t have a lot of wires you need to hide. Surface mount PVC panels are easier to install than the suspended PVC ceilings as they can easily be put in place by adhesive or a staple gun.

Suspended Or Drop Ceiling Panels

Suspended PVC ceiling panels are also called drop ceiling panels or T-bar panels and are a little more challenging to install. You create a false ceiling/drop ceiling attached to the existing ceiling creating an extra space where you can hide all the cables or electrical wiring that can be quite an eyesore and install the panels over the false or dropped ceiling. 

Choosing between these two ceilings is crucial because they are fastened to the existing ceiling will change. The dropped ceiling tiles may have extra attachments to make it easier to fasten to the suspended ceiling, but it also makes removing this kind of ceiling more straightforward. You will also be able to sell them as secondhand PVC ceiling panels and get some return on your investment.

If you are tired of the look, you can remove them and replace them with new PVC ceiling panels of your choice. The PVC ceiling panels that are surface mounted might get damaged when you choose to remove them as you need to deal with the adhesive or staples, depending on how you installed them.

Pros And Cons To Consider Before Installing PVC Ceiling

pvc ceiling panel

PVC ceiling is made from polyvinyl chloride and has gained a lot of fans in the last few years as an alternative to gypsum and pop ceiling panels. There are quite a few reasons why this type of ceiling has become one of the go-to ceiling types.

PVC panels were initially developed in the 1970s as decorative wall finishes. It was revolutionary compared to the other options available at the time. The panels were lightweight and hollow, the pattern ideas were endless, and it became easier and less expensive to use PVC panels as an alternative to other wall decorative finishes.

As with all other products, there are advantages and disadvantages to using PVC ceiling panels; below is a list of what we will be discussing in further detail.

The Pros Of PVC Ceiling Panels We Will Discuss Are:

  • Affordability
  • Durability
  • Versatility
  • Maintenance
  • Waterproof
  • Ease of installation
  • Lightweight

The Cons Of PVC Ceiling Panels We Will Discuss Are:

  • It might look like plastic
  • The chemicals leaching into the air
  • It warps under extreme temperatures

The Pros Of Using PVC Ceiling Panels

pvc ceiling panel pro

When you decide you want to install PVC ceiling panels, the list of the advantages is long; here are some of the pros I found when using PVC ceiling panels:

1. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Affordable

PVC ceiling panels are the budget-friendly alternative to POP ceilings, gypsum ceilings, wood ceilings, and fiberglass ceilings. It’s because PVC ceilings are mass-produced; this brings down the manufacturing costs, making them less expensive than the alternative ceiling choices. 

Even if you want to buy high-end designs and styles, PVC ceilings will still be less expensive than the other alternative ceiling panels. 

2. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Durable

PVC ceilings are made to be durable and long-lasting. The Polyvinyl chloride used when making this ceiling alternative ensures these panels last between 10-15 years or longer. PVC ceiling panels won’t attract bugs like termites as wooden ceilings do, so they will last longer because bugs won’t be interested in the wood as a food source.

The panels get a tough top coating that helps prevent scratching and dents. PVC ceiling panels also won’t get brittle or corrode when you use chemical cleaners to wash them. They won’t quickly fade as the protective coating won’t let the chemicals seep into the panels. 

These panels come in thick and thin versions, but their thickness does not influence their quality and longevity. The thinner panels last just as long as, the thicker panels. They are also not created to look bulky, so you will see tile size panels or long thin panels make up the majority of the PVC panels available.

3. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Versatile In Design And Type

PVC ceiling panels are very versatile; you will find many different designs, colors, and themes to match whatever look you want to achieve. There are plain panels, classic or historical designs, or even geometric and exotic-looking designs that fit any theme or color scheme without breaking the bank.

Many PVC types have been made to look like wooden ceilings, and if you buy ones with a duller finish, it would be hard to tell if you have natural or PVC ceilings because they resemble real wood so closely.

What makes these PVC panels so unique is that the panels you choose can also be customized. There are PVC panels that are made paintable, so if you don’t like the look or color of the panels after a few years or you are redecorating and choosing a different color scheme, you can paint the panels to fit the new look you have chosen.

4. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Easy To Maintain

The one thing I love about PVC ceiling panels is that they don’t require extensive maintenance to keep them looking great. I wouldn’t say I like cleaning my ceilings because it takes time, and getting up there and cleaning the ceilings isn’t always easy, but with PVC tiles, maintenance is not so hard.

Dust doesn’t cling to the panels, and all you need to do is take a cloth with soapy water and wipe the ceiling now and then. There is no other ceiling panel that is this easy to maintain.

5. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Waterproof

One of the best benefits of using PVC ceiling panels is it’s waterproof. The water can’t penetrate the outer protective coating. That means you won’t have to worry that your ceiling will be ruined if your roof springs a leak, as you can easily wipe them dry without the panels getting damaged. 

The other benefits of waterproof PVC ceiling panels are that they won’t rot like wooden ceiling panels if there is excess moisture or a roof leak, they won’t build up mold and mildew like other gypsum or wooden panels might. They won’t expand or contract when they get wet as wood and gypsum panels do.  

6. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Easy To Install

PVC ceilings are easy to install, and you can take it on as a DIY project as I did. Before starting, I took all the necessary ceiling measurements and cut the panels to the correct size. It ensured I wouldn’t have to worry about messy duty installation. Here is a quick guide to installing PVC ceilings fast and efficiently:

  1. You need to flatten the existing ceiling to ensure a smooth installation and avoid a bumpy-looking ceiling.
  2. Plan how you want the layout of the PVC panels to be, in what direction, and if you will be doing patterns or just straightforward installation.
  3. After figuring out the layout of your panels, you need to cut them to the correct size to fit the layout you planned.
  4. Clean up the area after you have cut the panels and wipe them free of dust and debris so the adhesive sticks to the panel and not the dust from cutting.
  5. Put adhesive on the full-size panels (not the border panels) and put them up; remember to press down on the corners to ensure they don’t lift. 
  6. Put adhesive on the border panels and install them.
  7. If your panels come with any joint strips, you install them after the border panels.
  8. After installing the joint strips, you can add the finishing touches like wedges, trim, or a wooden finishing border.

7. PVC Ceiling Panels Are Lightweight

PVC ceiling panels are made lightweight so that they won’t weigh down the original ceiling. That also helps when installing them as they aren’t as heavy or bulky as other types of ceiling panels are. The lightweight also helps so they won’t bend or warp with time as heavier ceilings can bow or sag as gravity takes its toll.

The Cons To Using PVC Ceiling Panels

pvc ceiling panel cons

The cons to using PVC ceiling panels aren’t as extensive as some other ceiling panel choices, but you still need to consider them to ensure you make an informed decision that is right for your home and your needs. Here are the cons to using PVC ceiling panels:

1. It Might Look A Bit Plastic

One of the drawbacks to using PVC ceiling panels is they might look like cheap plastic. When you decide to buy PVC ceiling panels, you need to ensure the protective top coating is more matte, textured, and less shiny. The textured matte finish on PVC panels looks well made and more expensive, while the shiny, sleek finishes tend to look plastic, fake, and cheap. 

The right kind of PVC ceiling panels will look natural and might be a cost-effective way to enhance the look of a room if you want to sell your home. 

2. PVC Ceiling Panels Leach Chemicals Into The Air

One of the main building blocks of PVC ceilings is phthalates; this gas is toxic and is released into the air over time. That is why it’s essential never to use PVC ceilings in places like the kitchen or patio ceilings where BBQ fires might influence the structure of the PVC ceiling.

PVC also releases another dangerous chemical into the air when it gets hot; traces of chlorine in its gas state is released over time, so when you decide to install PVC ceilings, consider how much warmth from the sun the room gets and if it’s used to make food or coffee.  

3. PVC Panels Warp Under Extreme Temperatures

PVC ceilings are waterproof, but they aren’t fireproof. These panels will warp under extreme temperatures. It’s important not to allow the ceiling to get exposed to extreme heat and as stated above, never use PVC ceiling tiles in a kitchen or near a fireplace. The heat will cause the panels to warp or melt and release the toxic gas into the air. 

Conclusion

PVC ceiling panels are all the rage right now because of their affordability and the expensive, elegant look it gives almost any room in the home. If you buy good quality PVC ceilings, they will last you at least 15 years. They are also rot, bug, and mold resistant. PVC ceilings have the added benefit of using PVC is they are versatile. 

You can buy PVC panels that you can paint, so you never have to worry about getting tired of the look of these ceiling panels. They have a few disadvantages that make choosing the suitable rooms to use very importantly. They leach chemicals into the air, especially if exposed to heat, so never install them in a kitchen or near a fireplace.

Photo of author

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.