How Much Does It Cost to Remove Artex?

The once very popular Artex coating was used in abundance throughout the 1960s, and 1970's across the UK as a decorative coat to walls and ceilings, most commonly to form decorative peaks on ceilings.

However, some Artex products have been discontinued for public use due to the original product containing a harmful substance called Asbestos.

Asbestos can cause severe lung and repository damage if inhaled; therefore, it has now been almost completely eradicated from homes in the UK.

However, some homes and buildings still have the now discontinued Artex substance on the ceilings and walls, which will now need to be removed for a variety of reasons from health and safety concerns to aesthetic issues such as cracking or flaking.

Removing ceiling artex

There are two options for dealing with Artex and ensuring its safety. The first is to completely remove the Artex from the walls to ensure that there is no Asbestos within your home, however, this can be expensive and time-consuming.

The second is an Artex coating and seal, which will smooth over the Artex substance to give you fresh walls, but this is only an option if the Artex contains no Asbestos following an Artex Sample Survey.

To give you an idea about the average durations and costs, take a look at the table below.

Cost to Remove Artex

Now, these prices do vary depending on a few factors. Of course, the bigger the surface area of the Artex, the longer and more expensive the job will be, so take this into consideration if you have large patches of Artex.

Also, consider the location of your home as different regions of the country pay more for tradespeople than others, mainly due to the population density and the cost of living in some areas.

For example, you're likely to pay higher rates in London and Manchester than you are in small towns and villages.

In the next few sections, we're going to delve deeper into the supply costs, the tradesmen costs and any additional costs that make up your overall Artex removal cost.

Job Description Duration Material Cost Labour Cost Average Total Cost
Asbestos Sample Survey 1 Day N/A £200 £200-£250
Artex Sealing/Coating 4-8 hours £150-£250 £150-£250 per day per labourer £225-£500
Artex Removal 1-5 Days £250-£500 £150-£250 per day per labourer £400-£1,950
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What are the Supply Costs of Removing Artex?

Tradespeople will require certain equipment and supplies to either remove or seal and coat your Artex ceilings or walls.

Typically, the removal of Artex surfaces will require steaming, scraping and cleaning tools, along with durable refuse sacks to dispose of the removed Artex safely.

Now, the coating and sealing of Artex will require different supplies depending on which of the two possible ways of coating and sealing Artex you decide to opt for.

The first is plasterboard to board over the Artex ceiling or walls, which is then covered in many layers of plaster to ensure a smooth surface.

Man removing wall artex

The second option is to use PVA to seal the Artex surface, before simply plastering over for a smooth finish.

Now, the contractor you enlist to carry out the job, whether it's a removal or a sealing, will be more than happy to purchase any supplies on your behalf.

However, you can usually get some great savings by shopping around for it yourself, simply because the contractor will have less time to hunt for deals and offers.

It would be best to speak with them first to ensure you know what supplies the tradesman will need and take their advice on specific products where necessary.

To illustrate the costs associated with the supplies only, we've created a table to outline the different supply costs below.

Cost of Supplies

Job Description Average Total Cost
Removing Artex on One Ceiling £100-£150
Removing Artex on Entire House £300-£500
Coating and Sealing Artex on One Ceiling with Plasterboard £100-£150
Coating and Sealing Artex on Entire House with Plasterboard £300-£350
Coating and Sealing Artex on One Ceiling with Plaster £100-£125
Coating and Sealing Artex on Entire House with Plaster £275-£325

What are the Additional Costs of Removing Artex?

Here is a list of some additional cost you might encounter when removing artex:

Artex Sample Survey

An Artex Sample Survey is carried out to test the Artex in your home to see if it contains Asbestos or not.

This survey costs £200 in total, but it may not be necessary to have carried out based on a few factors.

For one, if your Artex was installed before 1985, it will almost definitely contain Asbestos, so you will need this removed completely; therefore, the survey is pretty much redundant.

If your Artex was installed after 1985, there's still a big chance that the Artex contains Asbestos, but it may not, so you may want to have a sample tested to see if you can have the ceilings or walls coated and sealed instead.

Of course, the Artex Sample Survey is in place for the health and safety of everyone, and you shouldn't have Artex walls or ceiling sealed and coated without checking if they contain harmful substances, as the consequences could be fatal.

If the survey's fee of £200 doesn't meet your budget, you can buy online testing kits which are a lot more affordable at around £30 per kit. While these kits aren't as accurate as the professional tests, they are better than no test at all!

Decorating

Once you've had your Artex walls either removed or sealed and coated, you may want to give your space a new lease of life by decorating.

Some fresh paint and wallpaper can really transform your space, and the old fashioned Artex will be but a distant memory.

White artex removal

It doesn't cost much to have your rooms professionally decorated, with a typical 13ft x 10ft room costing around £150-£200 to decorate, depending on where you live.

Decoration takes about two days in total, and with the addition of some new fixtures and accessories, your room will be completely transformed overnight.

Of course, these prices differ depending on your rooms' size and complexity, but if you want your entire home decorating, there are some fantastic savings to be enjoyed.

Region Cost Differences

Throughout this guide, we've mentioned that the price of trade work differs depending on where you live in the UK.

Big cities like London and Manchester naturally attract higher sums due to the cost of living in the areas, and the population density providing more customers to tradespeople.

In simple terms, tradespeople are in demand and therefore charge a little higher in those areas.

On the other end of the spectrum, in smaller towns and villages, there are fewer customers and more competition between labourers to be competitive with their pricing to win jobs.

This is standard across all industries, and if you live in these areas, you probably won't know much different.

We're going to explore the cost of labour for Artex removal in a little more detail in the next section.

Tradesperson Costs for Artex Removal

Removing Artex takes much longer than sealing or covering Artex, mainly because extra precautions must be taken for health and safety.

It is much harder to work to remove the Artex substance completely. Of course, once the Artex is removed, its then a case of smoothing over the surfaces with plaster, which only adds time to the duration of the job.

The typical tradesman will charge anything from £150-£250 per day, per labourer. This means that if it's a particularly tough job due to your rooms' size or shape, they made need to work as a two-person team, instead of one person. However, this will all be clear when you have the job quoted by the contractors.

We're going to look at the time it takes to remove or seal and coat Artex ceilings and walls in the next section which will help you work out how much you're likely to pay for contractors to complete this job.

Of course, please consider the points we've raised regarding your home's location and the impact that can have on the cost of contractors.

A good guide is to use the upper end of the cost scale given for big cities like London, and the lower end scale for more rural areas, with anything in the middle looking at around the national average.

How Long Does It Take to Remove Artex?

The time it takes to remove Artex can vary quite a great deal from a few hours to the best part of a week, and it's all down to different time affecting factors.

The first glaring factor is the size of the space you need Artex removing from.

A small box room will take just a few hours to a day, but an entire home will take much longer, and sometimes as long as a week.

This will, of course, affect the price too, and it's something that the contractor will be able to give you a clearer idea of at the time of quoting.

Another time affecting factor is the state of the Artex, as it's much easier to remove Artex that is already cracking, flaking and showing the wear of time.

In contrast, any Artex that is still holding firm will take a lot longer to remove. The clean up after Artex removal can take quite a long time, as the room can become quite dusty and messy, something which the contractor wants to be cleared in full and all the Artex bagged away before leaving.

Now, coating and sealing Artex ceilings and walls are much quicker, regardless of the method used. Scrapping and chiselling away at the Artex is quite a time and energy-consuming, so where possible, it's more cost-effective to opt for a coat and seal method.

This takes a few hours per surface, of course, the larger the surface area, the longer it will take to complete, and if you're using plasterboard to conceal the Artex, any complexly shaped rooms will take even longer again.

Types of Artex Removal

Here are some different ways that you can remove Artex:

Scraping Artex Cost

The first type of Artex removal is the complete removal of the Artex substance by any means necessary.

Popular methods are either steaming to loosen the substance for it to be scraped off easier, or straight up chiselling and scraping.

This is the only method for Artex that contains Asbestos, and the likelihood is that your Artex does contain Asbestos.

If you're unsure, it's best to either test a sample using the Artex Sample Survey test that costs £200 or by using a home testing kit that costs much less at around £50 and is available online.

You shouldn't coat and seal Artex unless you are completely sure it contains no Asbestos, as the consequences could be drastic.

Artex Chemical Removal Cost

Instead of using the steaming and scraping method, you can buy chemicals that breakdown the Artex and make it easier to scrape from the walls. This is called X-TEX, and it has become a very popular product.

Man removing chemical artex

It's water-based, non-toxic and non-flammable making it a very safe option despite it being a chemical. Simply apply the X-TEX liberally to the walls with a paintbrush, wait for it to loosen the Artex and then easily scrape it away.

It also removes the possibility of sending Asbestos particles into the atmosphere of your home.

Plasterboard Sealing and Coating Cost

If your Artex doesn't contain any Asbestos after checking a sample of the substance, you can seal and coat it instead, to give you a smooth and clean surface.

There are two methods for this, the first being plasterboard sealing and coating. This is where plasterboard is fixed in place over the Artex and is held in place with plaster.

Plaster is then coated over the plasterboard to give it a wonderfully smooth finish, ready to be decorated in whichever style you like.

Plaster Sealing and Coating Cost

This coating and sealing method involves coating the surface in many layers of plaster until the newly plastered surface is completely free from any blemishes and is completely smooth.

This is usually the preferred method of coating and sealing Artex, as it doesn't involve any big pieces of plasterboard to fit into the home.

It's also a lot quicker, so the tradesman can have a few rooms completed in quick succession. Before any plaster can be added to the Artex, a layer of PVA will be added first to act as the sealant and give the plaster something to hold.

FAQs

Q: How to cover Artex wall without the need for plastering?

A: You can use plasterboard pieces to cover and seal an Artex surface and apply plaster to that, which removes the need to plaster over the Artex itself.

This is a popular method to coat and seal Artex surfaces, and if this is the method you wish to have done, make sure your contractor knows this at the first opportunity.

Q: What is the best way to remove Artex?

A: X-TEX has become the preferred option for removing Artex in recent years, with the wet chemical substance making scraping the Artex easier and safer, as it stops any possible Asbestos particles from being plunged into the air in the room.

You can pick up a 2.5L tub of X-TEX from any good DIY store, and that will be more than enough for a large surface of Artex.

Q: Can you remove Artex yourself?

A: Artex needs to be removed as it was typically used with Asbestos. Asbestos is a dangerous substance that can cause lung and repository illnesses, so it's best to leave this job to professionals.

Contractors will most likely use Personal Protective Equipment when they remove or work with Artex surfaces, as Asbestos has a habit of breaking down into a very fine powder and hanging in the air, which can be dangerous when inhaled.

Q: Is Artex illegal to use now?

A: You can still buy Artex quite freely in DIY stores, and even though it's fallen out of favour for other substances, it is now safe to use.

This is because the use of Asbestos in Artex has been banned since 1985, so any new Artex purchased now will be completely safe to use.

Q: Why was Asbestos used in Artex?

A: Asbestos was used with Artex as a strengthening agent to ensure that the Artex was strong once it was dry and had set on ceilings and walls.

While this made Artex a very durable material to use on your home, it was detrimental to people's health when Asbestos broke away from the Artex and was plunged into the air.

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Author: Josh C

I’ve been a writer since I left the military in 2013 after joining straight after High School. I have written for a wide variety of industries, in a vast array of styles for everything from recruitment, property and everything in between. As well as being a full-time copywriter, I’m also a freelance sports journalist and a fiction writer. I’ve been shortlisted for a few fiction prizes and my first novel should be released early next year dependant on the publisher’s timeline. I also have an Honours Degree in English and Creative Writing.