The Cost Of Removing Artex

All you need to know about removing Artex including costs of materials, labour and time frames.

The Cost Of Removing Artex

What the job entails

Artex is a water-based plaster-like covering that was used extensively to decorate ceilings back in the 1970's. It has a rough textured finish usually with swirling effects and at one time it was considered high fashion. It looks very dated today and is a pain to repair and clean, so most people just want to get rid of it. Essentially, there are five main ways you can get rid of Artex: by scraping and sanding, covering it with plasterboard, plastering over it, steaming then doing a scrape and sand, or to use chemical treatments, such as the popular Eco Solutions X'Tex. The best option for removing Artex will depend on a number of factors, such as the age and condition of your ceiling. Another important consideration is that up until 1999, in the UK, Artex was made with asbestos to strengthen it. Asbestos fibres are extremely toxic and dangerous, so do not sand down or scrape artex ceilings without first checking with an asbestos specialist to ensure it is safe. Only those trained to safely remove asbestos should attempt to do so. If you think you may have asbestos and are unsure what to do, you can contact your local council for help and advice.

No matter which of the 5 methods you choose, there will be a need to prepare for the inevitable mess that will follow. if doing this yourself you will also need safety goggles, dust mask, rubber gloves, plastic sheeting, drop cloth and a step ladder. Prepare by moving all the furniture into another room or at least moving it out of the way by stacking it in the middle of the room and then cover all non-removable items with plastic sheeting and lay down a drop cloth on top of carpets and paper on any hard flooring. Protecting everything with sheets and covers not only protects your possessions and flooring, it makes the cleanup operation at the end of the job so much easier and quicker.

Scraping and sanding is a messy and slow process, but it can be completed by one person without much in the way of skill required. Scraping artex ceilings that have been painted is a very tough job and you can often damage the ceiling. Covering with plasterboard is much less messy but is also no simple task and it involves some skill. Ceilings. Therefore, instead of repeating the whole method here, please check out this post. Wet plastering will also avoid the time and hassle of scraping the artex off. However, it is still a very messy job, but still cheaper than dry lining with plasterboard. Using a steamer is almost as messy and time-consuming as scraping and sanding. But you should be able to strip the artex without damaging the ceiling. Using chemicals such as Eco Solutions X-Tex is one of the quickest and easiest ways to remove artex as the scraping off is much easier once the chemicals have done their job.

So which method is best? It really depends a lot on the time and money you want to spend and your level of DIY skills. One critical factor depends on whether your artex ceiling contains asbestos. As if it does, you have to hire trained asbestos professionals to remove it or cover it with plasterboard, none of the other options are safe.

The Cost Of Removing Artex

The cost of removal is largely based on the type of Artex; whether it contains asbestos or not. If the Artex does contain asbestos, this should be handled professionally, to ensure that it is removed safely. This should be checked before any other work is completed. If you are unsure if the Artex contains asbestos, you should have testing conducted professionally first. The health risk of asbestos should not be underestimated.

Generally, sealing up with plasterboard/plaster/other materials are the cheapest options to deal with Artex, usuallly between £150-250, including labour. It also tends to take the least time, typically between 4-8 hours depending on the area being sealed. Meanwhile removing the Artex using steam or chemical treatment (such as the aformentioned Eco Solutions X'Tex) to dissolve the Artex, are the more expensive options. Depending on the chemical treatment, this can cost between £250-500 for one average sized ceiling typically and generally takes several days to be completely removed correctly, depending on the size of a ceiling.

Below are some estimated costs of hiring a specialist to remove artex.

Job Description Avg. Cost Duration
Remove Artex from Single ceiling £200 1-3 Day
Remove Artex from Entire House £950 1 Week or more


Cost Breakdown

Individual costs to remove Artex with Asbestos from one average ceiling (roughly 20 square-metre area) - Total Cost: £200

25%

Materials
£50

75%

Tradesmen
£150

0%

Waste Removal
£0

FAQ's

You cannot confirm asbestos by sight or smell, as the fibres are too small, so the only way to be certain is by hiring a professional that uses laboratory testing. If you have recently purchased your house the surveyor should have investigated the possibility of asbestos and advised you, but if you are renting then this is your landlord's responsibility.
No - you can plaster over it if you prefer as long as there is no asbestos. In fact, if you don't mind the looks, then there is no need to do anything about artex at all, as long as it does not contain asbestos. However, if you are selling your house it will be a more attractive option if the artex is removed.
Not since the 1970's. It is still available today, but not a popular choice for homeowners. You can still cover your ceilings with artex if you prefer, but this will likely to put off potential buyers when you come to sell.
When artex was first popular the full dangers of asbestos were not fully understood, so asbestos was used to harden artex. Even after the dangers become apparent, asbestos was not actually immediately outlawed, so cheaper artex products sourced overseas were still used for some time.
If you have confirmed there are no asbestos concerns, then you can simply seal up the cracks in the short term, but long term you should really consider getting the artex removed.
Yes - as long as it is safe from asbestos and you have the skills, patience and fitness to do so! But it a horrible job best left to professionals.
It is simple, but not easy. This job can take quite some time and requires a lot of patience and general fitness, it can't be hurried without damaging the ceiling.
That really depends on whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, and whether it contains asbestos. You should probably seek advice from a professional to decide on the best way forward. If asbestos is present then you NEED to consult a professional.