What should I know about concrete ceilings?

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We are in the process of purchasing a 1987 condo in the panhandle of Florida. It is going to be a complete remodel... even the cabinets are original and in very sad shape.
While we are looking forward to this next project (we built our home in 2006) we have no idea what products can be put on a concrete ceiling. It is currently covered in the dreaded popcorn. I understand why popcorn was used that doesn't make us like it any better. We have every intention of removing it. My question lies after removal. I have no idea if it is cast concrete, beams or what. It is the penthouse so the actual building ceiling is above us. I have no idea how that effects us.
I was hoping we could remove the popcorn and do something similar to Spanish knife but on a larger scale (using a larger blade and a little less texture) My question is what product would be the best to use. What products should we avoid. Should we seal the concrete first. We have done plenty of DIY projects just never dealt with concrete ceilings before. Any advice or pointing me in the right direction would be highly appreciated.
Thanks so much in advance...
(for what it's worth the ceilings are rather low so any drop ceiling application is out of the question!)
Heidi
--
InsaneDIY


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wrote:

First, do you mean (I think) that your unit is the penthouse? If so, can you get onto the roof and get an idea of how thick the ceiling structure is? You at least don't have to worry about noisy upstairs neighbors, except when it rains really hard.
If the current ceiling isn't peeling or scaling, take a sample and have it tested for lead and asbestos before you do anything. If it is peeling or scaling, taake a sample and have it tested.for lead and asbestos before you do anything. No sense shortening a life that sounds like you are having fun. Once you (or your hired lead and asbestos experts) start scraping, you'll have a better idea af what you are dealing with. My guess is precasat concrete ceiling panels with the popcorn paint applied directly over the concrete, the popcorn hides a multitude of sins.
I'll let others here tell you which products stick well to ceilings, I have always just used mud to get a texture when I wanted one, and plain old off-white ceiling paint has always stuck to anything I ever painted, which includes a condo ceiling in Colorado, but it was a sheetrock ceiling. ,
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wrote:

I have no idea what "spanish knife" is. But if you're going to apply a decorative coating to replace the popcorn, I don't see any reason to seal the concrete first. I'd read the directions from the material manufacturer that you're planning to use. But then since you're here asking what material to use for "spanish knife", I'd recommend calling a pro.
I'd also say that if the condo was built in 1987 you should be OK with the popcorn not containing asbestos, but you might want to check further into when it was no longer used.
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wrote:

It's a penthouse, so what difference does the ceiling make with regard to noisy upstairs neighbors? The only upstairs neighbor is the occasional pigeon. And even if it does, how by going up on the roof does one figure out what the distance is or what's between there and the ceiling in their penthouse below?

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wrote:

So you think you understand why the popcorn texture was applied to the ceiling surface of the concrete plank flooring structure system ?
I think you have not the first clue as to why that particular treatment is applied to the exposed underside of the concrete plank flooring structure... The planks do not mate up perfectly flat and squarely to each other due to variations in the materials and they are often grouted together which looks rather "ugly" in an exposed situation... If the underside of the concrete was merely painted you would be able to see all of the detail of those grouted joints wherever they may be located.. Other ceiling treatment methods are not as effective at concealing all of that process as the popcorn texture is...
The popcorn texture is added to obfuscate all the imperfections that nit-picky people would otherwise go bat shit insane looking at and is a MUCH cheaper option compared with furring out a wall board ceiling system of any kind just to ensure the ceiling appears perfectly flat...
If you for whatever bat shit crazy reason need to have a ceiling treatment other than the popcorn texture, then leave what is there alone and fur out the ceiling with a system like the one made by Chicago Metallic Corporation and apply whatever treatment you like to the wallboard you hang from that grid... You will only find yourself nit picking the results of trying to apply a new treatment to the existing surface of the concrete planking and the grouting if and when you attempt to remove the popcorn texture wasting time and money only to give up in frustration and reapply the most hated popcorn texture because you will never get a perfectly flat appearance with any other method... Trust me, if there was a cheaper or better looking method of treating such ceilings that didn't take away from the ceiling height you would see it universally adopted by the hotel lodging industry which often utilizes concrete planking floor structural systems, but there isn't... You will of course reduce your ceiling height slightly by installing such a ceiling system, but it is a trade off between having those few extra inches of height verses how much you hate the popcorn..
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Evan,
Which one of these is correct?
A - Did you not read what the OP posted? B - Did you not understand what the OP posted? C - Did you simply choose to ignore what the OP posted so you could waste bandwidth by responding?
Show us where she said she wanted a "perfectly flat appearance".
You claim that she has "no clue" as to why the popcorn texture was applied.
I ask you this:
Do you have any clue what a "Spanish Knife" texture is?
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I'd like him to show us where she said the ceiling is "concrete plank", whatever that is. It sounded to me like the ceiling was just concrete, likely poured, which isn't unusual in some condos.
As for A, B, C, I vote all of the above. Another example of Evan taking a simple post and running away in some bizarre direction with it. It seems he's incapable of giving a direct, helpful answer. I'm surprised he didn't ask if she has the permission of the landlord or a building permit.

I have no clue either, which is why I limited my answer to saying that whatever coating is put on there, I don't see the need for a sealer and would just follow the product directions. I'm assuming spanish knife is some kind of freeform troweling done in stucco like surfaces and probably popular in FL and rarely seen in these parts, NJ.
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wrote:

2nd column, 4th one down
http://www.drywallschool.com/textures.htm
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Nonsense. There is no danger at all taking this stuff down, even if it does contain asbestos. It's probably (marginally) safer to take it down, anyway.
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On Jul 13, 5:58pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Yeah, no danger or risk to you sitting behind your keyboard. Asbestos presents no danger unless it's airborne, so that last sentence of yours shouldn't have probably, marginally or safer, since the stuff will become airborne and particularly since the OP is talking doing the work themselves. And there are other risks besides health.
You're suggesting that a condo owner act as if the condo is a single family home that he owns, and it isn't. If another condo owner reports him for removing the stuff, the FL DEP and the condo association won't really care if he claims, "But I didn't know it contained asbestos!" http://www.dep.state.fl.us/air/emission/asbestos/faq_asb_regulation.pdf The single worst thing the OP could do is to start the removal and find out, oops!, I'm busted. That was one of the reasons I suggested he talk to the building manager.
Trimming the first hundred irrelevant lines of a quoted post to add only two is considered by many to be a sign of good breeding. Giving good advice is considered a sign of knowing what you're talking about.
R
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I would like to have some definitive info on when the change was made, either a law or a trade association bulletin or something definite. That is why I cautioned the OP in the first response to his posting.
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If it's got paint on it, it's very unlikely to be come airborne. To take it down, you saturate it with water. It's not going to magically go airborne when it's sopping wet.

Nonsense. He owns the inside of the unit.

You're an idiot.

What a moron.
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It just takes a while more, loopy limey.
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On Jul 13, 8:41pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

Where in that FL state citation above does it say what you posted:
"> Nonsense. There is no danger at all taking this stuff down, even if it does

There is no danger only if it's taken down correctly and the appopriate regulations are followed. With that not stated, it sure sounds like you're green lighting just doing whatever with it. It's kind of like someone asking about taking out a structural support and someone telling them "There is no danger in taking that down...." And not including "As long as it's done properly, all regulations are followed and some alternate means of carrying the load replaces it....."
And they damn well could wind up sued, with a valid case, by other homeowners and/or the condo association. It's a penthouse. Suppose they listen to your advice, just go ahead and do it, and track the crap through the hall and elevator? Some of it gets into a common HVAC system? The condo association could clean up the mess and present them with a bill for tens of thousands of dollars.


As usual, quick with the name calling.
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Even if it contains asbestos, which as you point out would be quite unlikely, it poses no danger at all, either up or taking it down.
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On Jul 13, 8:42pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

And your reference to support that would be? My understanding is that if it contains asbestos and you want to remove it, there are very specific procedures that need to be followed. Just sitting there, undisturbed, it's fine. But when you start scraping it off, that is a whole different story, because now the asbestos will become airborne. Also, I would find out the regulations specific to the state where the work is going to be done.
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On Sat, 14 Jul 2012 08:10:38 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

When it's wet it's not going airborne. If it's sitting there it may shed, if it's gone, it won't. It really is that simple.
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On Jul 14, 12:44pm, " snipped-for-privacy@att.bizzzzzzzzzzzz"

R
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As simple as yours? Well you said it.

No thanks deserved for forgeries. You really are an asshole.
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Oren wrote:

The REAL question is why the OP couldn't figure out how to pick up the damn phone in the first place. Ignorance is one thing, but stoopid is another kettle of fish.

Excellent! Another one of the click-through-site idjits bites the dust. That DIYbanter site is for noobs, gets paid for the work that we do here for free (entertainment included!) and they don't seem to understand BANTER when they see it! Sheesh.
R
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