Restoration & Refurbishment Question

Adding lights to an artex ceiling

I have just bought a 1970's terraced property which is in need of some modernisation.
The majority of the ceilings in the property appear to have an Artex finish and apparently this could contain some levels of asbestos.
Am I ok to cut additional holes into these ceilings as I would like to put spotlights into many of the rooms but don't want to risk any problems thatare associated with dust etc. from Asbestos?
My intentions would be to then skim all the ceilings to cover over the Artex finish and I imagine this would be done once I have cut out the new openings for the lights.
Paul - Surrey

5 Answers

Best Answer

Personally i would remove these ceilings.Not only would it save time with regards to necessary electrical work,it would benefit you if you were to plaster over new board.Artex will probably need scraping,uni bonding or some other kind of preparation and seeing as this cannot 100% guarantee a perfect plaster finish,its hardly worth the hassle.plasterboard is cheap and you should be able to reboard the ceilings yourself if money is a problem.with regards to dust,tape up the door to the room where the ceiling is being removed (stops dust flowing through house),open the windows and wear a good quality mask and you will be fine.

Answered 1st Oct 2011

Roc builders

Member since 25 Aug 2011

My advice would have to be to scrape a sample into a small plastic bag and have it tested. Its not very expensive but at least you will know for sure. Asbestos can be harmful and you shouldnt run the risk without knowing for sure. If it is asbestos, consider overboarding the ceilings like you planned but overboarding on battens to leave a small void. That way you wont have to make a hole in the artex at all

Phil Routledge

Answered 1st Oct 2011

Right Surveyors North Midlands Limited

Member since 19 Sep 2011

I would very much doubt that the Artex contains any Asbestos. It is likely to have been laid over the original 1970's ceiling during the late 80's/90's to hide cracks(the problem at this time was most tradesmen were working abroad due to recession)so decorators had to make do!...the original plaster MAY contain trace amounts of asbestos...but this is only a minor possibility, being hyped via the media, established by surveyors disclaimers!!
I know of a great many tradesmen, who worked very closely with and around asbestos during the 50's-80's...and know of 1! who was unfortunate enough to contract Asbestosis! I have been checked myself and am all clear!...we used to fit 2-3 roofs a week with sheet material, constantly drilling it!
Dust control Moisture/Vacuum should be used, and dust masks should be utilized, but this is now standard practice, while drilling!

Answered 5th Oct 2011


Member since 19 Jul 2011

If you get one of those household spray bottles, and give the area a good spray with water you should be ok.
Use a cordless drill with the correct sized cutter on a slow speed, you can also spray on some water while cutting, dont spray the drill.
Be on the safe side and wear a dust mask.
You can plaster the ceilings after.

Answered 1st Oct 2011


Member since 29 Oct 2008

in my opinion if you suspect it to be asbestos get it tested and if it turns out to be hazardous, although costly I would get the ceilings professionally removed by an asbestos specialist this will make it easier to install the wiring for your spotlights, if its not hazardous then you've got the confidence to cut the holes for your spot lights & do the wiring from above ether way you get peace of mind and you don't put your health at risk

Answered 1st Oct 2011

Home Power Distribution Ltd

Member since 6 Feb 2010

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