How much does it cost to clean an acoustic ceiling?
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Acoustic Ceiling Cleaning Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Acoustic ceilings are secondary ceilings that are hung below the main ceiling. Over time, the tiles on these ceilings absorb dust, cigarette smoke, grease, bacteria, and other debris, which turns them yellow and brown and ruin their appearance. However, because of their design, acoustic ceilings need to be cleaned by professionals using a specialized approach.
The national average cost for cleaning a drop ceiling is between $70 and $130, with most people paying around $95 to clean a 130 sq. ft. acoustic ceiling with an organic enzyme cleaner. At the low end of the spectrum, cleaning an acoustic ceiling with an application of hydrogen peroxide would cost $46 for a 130 sq. ft. At the high end, you can pay up to $265 to have a professional clean a 130 sq. ft. heavily soiled acoustic ceiling with an organic enzyme cleaner.
Suspended Ceiling Cleaning Cost
|Acoustic ceiling cleaning cost
|National Average Cost
|$70 - $130
Ceiling Tiles Cleaning Cost by Method
The cleaning method used by the professionals will mostly depend on the condition of your ceiling. Some stains are harder to clean, requiring stronger cleaning solutions and a specialized approach. Two standard methods are used for cleaning acoustic ceiling tiles: with organic enzymes or by using hydrogen peroxide mixture.
|Cost per Gallon (Materials Only)
|Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner
|$20 - <$160
|Organic Enzyme Cleaner
|$40 - $200
Hydrogen Peroxide Cleaner
Hydrogen peroxide, better known as oxidation reduction, costs around $20 to $160 per gallon, with one gallon covering around 1,000 sq. ft. It’s a chemical cleaning method that is mostly used on porous ceiling tiles to lighten the stains. Once the chemicals are sprayed on, no scrubbing or wiping is required. The solution lightens any marked spots on their own.
Organic Enzyme Cleaner
Organic enzyme cleaners designed for cleaning drop ceiling tiles cost $40 to $200 per gallon, depending on the size of the bottle and the brand. One gallon of an organic enzyme cleaner typically covers an area of 1,000 sq. ft. The mixture is sprayed on the ceiling tiles and left to dwell and digest the bacteria, dirt, dust, and grime from the surface. Once they’ve set, the surface is wiped with a cloth or a sponge. Organic enzymes can be used on both non-porous and porous tiles. Non-porous tiles must be wiped or brushed after being sprayed. Porous tiles may be left alone after spraying.
Cost to Clean Stained Ceiling Tiles
Companies typically charge between $0.20 and $0.50 per square foot for cleaning acoustic ceilings. For cleaning a standard 130 sq. ft. ceiling, the labor costs would be between $26 and $65. This cost includes taping off walls and fixtures, covering the floors and furnishings with drop cloths, spraying the cleaner onto the ceiling, and any wiping, brushing, or other renewal methods necessary to remove the stains and clean the ceiling. In terms of time, ceilings typically take three to four hours to clean from start to finish.
|Cost (Labor Only)
|70 sq. ft.
|$15 - $35
|100 sq. ft.
|$20 - $50
|130 sq. ft.
|$26 - $65
|160 sq. ft.
|$32 - $80
|190 sq. ft
|$38 - $95
|220 sq. ft
|$44 - $110
Removing Water Stains From Ceiling Tiles
If there is any water damage on your ceiling tiles, the best solution is to replace that tile instead of cleaning it. Replacing tile costs $1.15 to $4.50 per sq. ft. Cleaning is not an option for water-stained ceiling tiles because tiles that have suffered water damage may present a potential biological hazard. Wet areas are a breeding ground for bacteria. So, before you decide whether you will clean or replace a tile, make sure to check the extent of the damage.
Clean Room Ceiling Grid
A ceiling grid, or also known as T-bars because of their shape, is the structure that holds the ceiling tile panels. If the material of the suspended ceiling grid is different from the ceiling tiles, they need to be cleaned using a different approach. However, in most cases, the ceiling grid accumulates all kinds of dirt, so they require cleaning and polishing. Diffusers and T-bar grids are typically polished by cleaning companies to restore them to their original shine.
Ceiling Tile Cleaning Companies
Acoustic ceiling tile cleaning professionals will either charge a flat rate per square foot or an hourly rate. The flat rate ranges between $0.20 and $0.50 per sq. ft. If you’re charged an hourly rate, individuals would typically quote $25 to $40. Cleaning companies charge a rate of $40 to $50 per hour for cleaning services.
The more common practice is a rate per square foot, as the size of the ceiling often determines the time required to clean it. Different types of ceiling tiles require different cleaning approaches, affecting the overall cleaning cost. While you can hire individuals for a lower cost, the service you get from them is not the same as with cleaning companies.
Companies often offer more add-ons and options, as well as customer support if you’re unhappy with the service you received. Some of the more popular acoustic ceiling cleaning companies that offer their services in several states are Apollo Pro Cleaning & Restoration, Caruso Cares' National Ceiling, Wall & Lighting Network, Cleaning Specialists of America, Imperial Cleaning, Ceiling Ease and Clean Ceiling Plus, Inc.
Ceiling Tile Cleaning vs Ceiling Tile Replacement
Many years ago, the only way to deal with a stained or dirty acoustic ceiling was to replace it. Many people simply chose to pull down the affected tiles and put up new ones because cleaning was often ineffective.
Now, however, cleaning your ceiling is much more cost-effective. Cleaning a 130 sq. ft. acoustic ceiling costs between $26 and $65, while replacing it costs way more, around $1.15 to $4.50 per sq. ft. or $150 to $585 in total. The big discrepancy between the costs is that commercial ceiling tile cleaning requires much less equipment and time than replacing them, which drastically lowers the overall cost.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Ceiling Tiles Painting
Painting a drop ceiling costs around $1 to $3 per sq. ft. Over time, water stains, smoke, or other airborne chemicals may get stuck on the ceiling tiles, making them look dirty. When this happens, homeowners often decide to repaint the ceiling tiles that look worn without replacing the whole construction. Painting an acoustic ceiling tile is also done to make a quick and affordable change to the interior look of a room. Typically, only the grid rails are painted, while the tiles are replaced with a new color, which is why the cost is so much higher than the cleaning cost. You can paint the ceiling tiles as well. However, keep in mind that this may void the ceiling guarantee. If something happens to the ceiling tiles after painting them, you wouldn’t be able to receive a refund.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Cleaning frequency. The cleaning process needs to be repeated regularly to maintain the tiles in their ideal condition. Ideally, you should clean your acoustic ceiling once every few months or whenever you notice dust or dirt starting to accumulate. If you clean your drop ceiling tiles often, there will be less dust and dirt accumulating.
- DIY. You can regularly clean and maintain your drop ceiling with a simple duster, cloth, or a vacuum cleaner. Put on some safety glasses, a dust mask, and climb on a ladder high enough to reach the ceiling. Wipe the ceiling tiles with the duster, vacuum them, or use a gentle solution to clean harder stains.
- Always get at least three estimates. To ensure you’re getting the best rates, get at least three estimates before settling for a cleaning company. Each company offers different services at different costs and uses different cleaning methods, so researching before making a final decision guarantees you’re getting adequate service for your drop ceiling.
- Your location affects the cost. Depending on your location, the cleaning company considers any travel expenses, affecting the final cleaning cost.
- How to clean drop ceiling tiles?
You can clean a room’s ceiling panels with a duster, vacuum cleaner, or cloth by using a chemical solution.
- How much does it cost to remove the acoustic ceiling?
The cost of removing acoustic ceilings is typically between $0.85 and $1.50 per sq. ft, or $110.50 to $195 for a standard 130 sq. ft. acoustic ceiling
- How much does an acoustic ceiling cost?
The average cost to install a suspended acoustic ceiling is $1,400 for a 130 sq. ft. textured ceiling panel with L-style trim, including installation costs.
- How much does it cost to remove a ceiling?
The average cost to remove a ceiling is $0.85 to $5 per sq. ft. The exact cost depends on the type of ceiling that is being removed.
- How do I remove dirt from my ceiling?
To clean room ceiling tiles, you can wipe them using a vacuum with a soft brush, a damp cloth, or a higher-quality duster. This process removes the loose dust or dirt from your ceiling and protects it from any potential cleaning damage.