Last Updated on October 9, 2022 by Barry Gray
Using a wooden ceiling finish can add warm character to a space. From tongue-and-groove hardwood to exposed natural-wood beams, the variations are plenty.
In modern times, vinyl has been a good choice for a wooden finish. Although synthetic, it looks almost identical to natural wood. Vinyl is typically used on floors and sometimes walls.
However, can you use vinyl flooring on a ceiling? Vinyl flooring can look great on a ceiling, especially if done correctly. Some people use it as a feature on a tray ceiling, some use it on a coffered ceiling, and some use it on conventional flat ceilings.
Whatever your intention, keep reading to find out more about vinyl flooring for ceilings…
Types of Vinyl
Vinyl finishes come in various forms, sizes, thicknesses and styles. It can often be tough to choose what type of vinyl finish you want. Below is a list of popular vinyl types to use on a ceiling, along with a short description of each one.
Vinyl sheets are suitable for large surface areas. They are quicker to install and provide a good finish. There is a downside though – if part of the sheet gets damaged then you have to replace the entire sheet.
Depending on the size of the ceiling area, you will likely need the help of another person if you intend to install vinyl sheeting. I’m not a fan of using vinyl sheeting for a ceiling. Other than seeking the help of someone else, you will also need to be precise with the cut to ensure a neat finish.
I’m also not too confident that vinyl sheeting won’t bubble on the ceiling. Modern vinyl sheets don’t bubble on a floor, but with a ceiling it just might, depending on the adhesive’s strength. This could potentially be a messy option for a ceiling!
Vinyl tiles are the easiest to use on ceilings. You will, however, take slightly longer to apply a tile application as they cover less surface area than the other options.
The good news though, is that you can apply vinyl tiles completely on your own. They also provide a clean and neat finish for a ceiling. Vinyl tiles are available in a variety of visual finishes like ceramic, slate, and wood. Vinyl tiles are self-adhesive in most cases, so you won’t have to hassle with glue.
They are fairly cheap to buy – you can check out the pricing of some good quality vinyl tiles here (link to Amazon).
My favorite type of vinyl application for ceilings. Vinyl planks, just like its tile counterpart, are very easy to use and you can also do it yourself if the planks are a reasonable length.
I would advise asking a friend to help you with the planks – just buy him or her a pizza afterwards. You can absolutely install planks by yourself, but just remember that they are very flexible and wobbly. You will likely apply adhesive to the plank while on the ground and then climb up the ladder – this may cause the plank to slap against you with sticky adhesive. To avoid that from happening, just call a buddy over to help you out.
Personally, I would choose vinyl planks for my ceiling. They provide the best visual aesthetic in my opinion, especially when the elongated sides are going with the length of the ceiling – this also creates the illusion that your space is bigger than what it actually is.
Excellent quality vinyl planks are available on Amazon, you can check out their pricing here.
The wooden vinyl finish is the most popular style used. They come in a variety of shades and grains that looks just like the real thing.
However, you’re not limited to wooden vinyl styles only, as they come in many other styles too. You can find ceramic and porcelain finishes among many others!
Avoid Vinyl Flooring On Bathroom Ceilings
Avoid using vinyl on bathroom ceilings. Vinyl is much more water-resistant than laminate flooring, but that’s when they are used as actual flooring. The water-resistance factor doesn’t mean much when the vinyl is applied to a bathroom ceiling.
Vinyl is usually applied with adhesives which are generally very sensitive to moisture. This means that the glue will weaken in hot and humid conditions, which is often the case in bathrooms. Remember, hot air rises…
The only type of adhesives that will stay strong in these conditions are industrial-grade adhesives. However, these are extremely expensive and very difficult to work with.
The last thing you want is for sticky tiles falling on or around you after a fresh shower! I’d recommend rather using a wood finish porcelain or ceramic tile for your bathroom ceiling.
Different installation methods are used for the different types of vinyl. The sheets and planks will require a strong glue (like this one), and most tiles will be self-adhesive.
It’s imperative that you use a strong glue as the vinyl’s weight will try to pull it down but the glue will fight against gravity.
Below are a few basic steps that you can follow to install the vinyl on your ceiling…
Step 1 – Clean the Ceiling
Clean the ceiling’s surface! Make sure you wash it with a little soapy water and then dry it with a cloth. The ceiling needs to be free from any dirt, debris or dust so that the glue does its job properly.
Step 2 – Plan the Layout
Plan the layout for your tiles or planks. The easiest way to do this is by measuring the length and width of the ceiling with a tape measure (on all sides). Make a mark at the midpoints of these measurements.
Next, use a chalk snap-line to connect the marks so that they form a cross that intersects at the center of the ceiling. In case you’ve never heard of a chalk snap-line before – it’s a device that allows you to draw a consistent line between two points on a very large surface. Here’s a link to Amazon if you want to check it out. You will need another person to help you with this step.
Once you have the midpoint of your ceiling, you can later start by placing your tiles or planks at that point and working your way outward.
Step 3 – Apply the Vinyl
If you’re using planks, then start by evenly distributing the glue to the underside of the plank with a spatula. Be sure to apply the glue to a single plank at a time because you must stick the plank to the ceiling immediately after you apply the glue. This is another reason why I don’t like the sheets, as you have to be super fast with applying the glue, which tends to cause messy mistakes.
Most tiles are self-adhesive so you’ll just need to peel off the film on the underside of the tile and apply it to the ceiling. If the tile is not self-adhesive then simply follow the same step as described for the planks.
Use a spatula to firmly press the entire plank or tile to the ceiling, ensuring that all the glue makes good contact with the ceiling. I would prefer to use a wallpaper roller for this as the force is distributed more equally when rolling. The rollers are very cheap, and here’s a great one that I found on Amazon.
Check out the video below that demonstrates a simple installation of vinyl planks on a ceiling.