How Much Does Ceiling Installation or Replacement Cost?

Typical Range:

$974 - $2,868

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,561 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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Updated September 30, 2022

Reviewed by Andy Kilborn, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

Ceiling installation or ceiling replacement costs typically fall between $974 and $2,868, or $1,912 on average. Costs depend on what style you want, such as tray, beam, and stretch ceilings. It costs about $1 to $3 per square foot for basic drywall builds, while coffered ceilings are around $20 to $30 per square foot. Vaulted ceilings cost well beyond the normal range, at about $25,000 and up.

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National Average $1,912
Typical Range $974 - $2,868
Low End - High End $275 - $6,500

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 1,561 HomeAdvisor members.

Ceiling Replacement Costs by Style

Expect to pay an average of $1,650 to install a 150-square-foot ceiling in each room of your home. The price per square foot falls in the $1 to $30 range. The type of ceiling you want is the most important factor in the overall installation cost.

"Replacing a ceiling can update the look or repair damage,” says Andy Kilborn, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Andy's Handyman Service in Des Moines, IA. “Make sure you get several quotes, as some local ceiling contractors don't work with all styles."

Ceiling Style Average Price per Sq. Ft. for Material and Installation
Tongue and groove $2 – $5
Tray $2 – $4
Stretch $6 – $14
Drop $5 – $28
Zip-up $7 – $15
Beam $7 – $20
Coffered $20 – $30
Vaulted $50 – $75
Cathedral $120 – $180

Tongue and Groove Ceiling Cost

Tongue and groove ceilings are approximately $300 to $750, or around $2 to $5 per square foot. This ceiling style features interlocking wood planks that are either stained or painted. They have a simple appeal that pairs well with most room designs and colors.

Tray Ceiling Cost

Expect to pay about $300 to $600, or $2 to $4 per square foot, for a decorative tray ceiling painted in a single hue or contrasting colors. Tray ceilings help make the space feel bigger while maintaining a rather minimalistic look. It has a recessed section at the center that sits about a foot higher than the surrounding ceiling surface.

Stretch Ceiling Cost

Expect to pay anywhere from $900 to $2,100 for stretch ceiling systems. Most installers charge about $6 to $14 per square foot, including labor and materials. The installation kit has a sturdy perimeter track that holds the decorative fabric membrane taut. They work well for covering popcorn ceilings without dealing with their costly and time-consuming removal.

Drop Ceilings

Drop ceilings cost $1,780 on average or $5 to $28 per square foot. Materials make up most of the cost since labor is $2 to $5 per square foot. This fantastic ceiling style can help you hide wiring, pipes, and ducts. You can even conveniently handle maintenance and upgrades by lifting the tiles out of the way. For those reasons, you would use them in basements with tall ceilings.

Zip-Up Ceiling 

Zip-up ceilings cost around $1,050 to $2,250 for a 150-square-foot space. The installation kit and labor are around $7 to $15 per square foot. These panels work best for outdoor living rooms and underdeck areas. They look great and channel water away from the space to keep it clean, dry, and comfortable.

Beam Ceilings

You'll pay around $1,000 to $3,000 to fit each room with beam ceilings. Although the price will vary from project to project, you can estimate $7 to $20 per square foot to compare costs to your other options. For this build, installers add timber to an existing room or expose the home's support beams. This style comes with a variety of personalization options, including the wood type and finish.

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Coffered Ceilings

Coffered ceilings cost around $3,000 to $4,500 plus the price of any extra accents you want, such as tin tiles, medallions, and recessed lights. Their square foot price falls in the $20 to $30 range. This style provides both texture and architectural elements and features a series of attractive crossed beams and panels. Personalizing the look with different wood types, finishes, and paint colors is easy.

Vaulted Ceilings

The price to raise your ceiling for a vaulted look is about $7,500 to $11,250 for a 150-square-foot room. Expect to pay about $50 to $75 per square foot for a project of this scope. Although it's one of the priciest upgrades you can do, the effects are quite dramatic, even when raising your ceiling just 2 to 4 feet.

Cathedral Ceiling

A cathedral ceiling comes at a much higher price of around $18,000 to $25,000 or $120 to $180 per square foot. With this style, the ceiling follows the slope of the roofline to create a much more dramatic look. This style adds both depth and light to the room and creates the illusion of extra space.

Ceiling Costs by Material

A basic flat ceiling costs around $2 to $20 per square foot when made of drywall or wood. The price includes materials and labor. Hanging a ceiling is more complicated than putting up drywall or installing a wood floor, but it takes about the same amount of time.

Wood Ceiling Cost

Wood ceilings are around $2 to $20 per square foot, depending on the type of wood you want to use. Expect to pay anywhere from $750 to $3,000 for each 150-square-foot room.

Wood Type Average Price per Sq. Ft.
Poplar $3
Pine $3
Oak $4
Cherry $7
Walnut $8
Mahogany $10
Purple heart $12
Zebrawood $20

Drywall or Sheetrock Ceiling

Installing a drywall ceiling costs around $300 to $400 for a 150-square-foot room. Expect to pay about $2 to $3 per square foot for labor and materials. Standard, smooth drywall ceilings are the easiest and least costly to install. They look great in any room, especially when painted the same color as the walls.

Plaster Ceiling

The cost to install a plaster ceiling ranges from $390 to $800, or $600 on average. Variations in price depend on the type of plaster, finish, and texture you choose as well as the ceiling height. If you plan on adding an ornamental design or have unconventional vaulted or slanted walls, rates may reach as high as $4,400.

Ceiling Replacement Cost Factors

Replacing a ceiling could reach $4,500 or more, depending on the design and materials you pick. Several factors can impact this cost, including demolition, removal, trim, texture, paint, lights, and fans.

Demolition and Removal

Expect to pay up to $1 per square foot for the cost of interior demo work. Your installer must remove the old ceiling materials and throw them out at the dump or recycling facility. After that, they can easily install your new ceiling using the materials and design you choose. If you want more height in the room, expect to pay around $9,000 to cover the cost of raising the ceiling.


The cost to install trim to your ceiling is $1,310 on average, though prices can range anywhere from $200 to $5,200. These decorative woodwork elements give a room a put-together look, hide gaps, and provide minor structural reinforcement. Looks range from simple designs to styles like crown molding, with the cost to install crown molding at $1,230 on average.  

Texture and Paint

The average cost to texture a ceiling is around $1 to $2.50 per square foot. Complex textures will cost more. The cost to paint a ceiling is the same, at around $1 to $2.50 per square foot, though painting larger areas will bring down your costs. Due to extensive setup, prep, and cleanup, most painting contractors will charge a minimum of $200 to $300, regardless of the project size.

Lights and Fans

There is a wide range of costs to install a lighting fixture in your ceiling, from as little as $75 for a single fixture up to $2,600 for a heavy chandelier. The average homeowner spends about $530 on light fixtures. The cost to install a ceiling fan is $250 on average, with higher prices for hard-to-access spaces or fans requiring a complex installation.

DIY Ceiling Replacement vs. Hiring a Pro

In many cases, ceiling replacement is a lengthy, complex DIY that requires specific tools and experience to get right. Mistakes can lead to visible seams, bumps, or lines. Depending on the type of ceiling you want to install to replace your old one, this may be a job best left to the pros. You can hire a ceiling contractor to ensure that the job gets done right the first time.

Some ceiling types are easier to install than others. For example, if you want to replace your ceiling with a simple, affordable drop ceiling, that may be a project you can tackle yourself. Likewise, if there’s only minor damage to your drywall ceiling (smaller than the size of a softball), you may be able to patch it on your own without hiring a local drywall contractor.

Know your skill and comfort levels before attempting any DIY ceiling replacement tasks.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are tray ceilings outdated?

No, tray ceilings aren’t outdated. In fact, they can have an upscale, contemporary feel when designed correctly. Using mixed materials, like putting tongue and groove ceilings in a recessed area, can make the whole room look stylish and modern. You may wish to hire a local interior designer to help you determine whether a tray ceiling will fit into the architectural profile of your room.

How long does replacing a ceiling take?

Replacing a ceiling takes one to three days between removing the existing ceiling and installing the new one. Replacement is a good option when dealing with major repairs such as water damage, large holes, or bulging seams. If the repairs needed are only minor, ceiling repair is also an option that will likely take only a few hours in comparison.

How do I know if my ceiling needs replacing?

To know if your ceiling needs replacing, consult an expert. If you notice cracks, water damage, bubbling, mold, or discoloration, call a pro immediately to prevent them from worsening. A pro will assess any damage to estimate ceiling repair costs.

What looks like minor damage can be deceiving. Ceilings can conceal bigger problems and may go from sagging to collapsing without repairs or replacement. Repairs work for minor cosmetic damage, but extensive damage requires replacement.