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Cost to Drywall a Ceiling

Our page on the cost to drywall a ceiling shows that the cost to drywall a ceiling per square foot is roughly $0.40 – $4.30 per square foot.
Low Cost$0.40 to $.060 per sq. ft.
Average Cost$2.25 to $3.15 per sq. ft.
High Cost$3.20 to $4.35 per sq. ft.
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Expect the cost to drywall a ceiling to be slightly higher than our Average Drywall Installation Cost for all surfaces. This is because hanging drywall on a ceiling is more difficult than installing it on walls.

Drywall ceiling cost is $2.25 to $4.35 per square foot for professional work. Cost depends on drywall type, thickness and texturing. Most homeowners pay an average of $2.80 for ceiling drywall, or about $1,100 for a 400 square foot room.

Whole-house ceiling drywall is typically  installed when the rest of the drywall is put up. However, in remodeling/damage repair situations, installing ceiling drywall in an entire 2,000 square foot home will cost $4,500 to more than $10,000.

On this Drywall Price Guide page, you’ll find the answer to a common question – How much does it cost to drywall a ceiling? Ceiling drywall cost per square foot is included along with sample costs for various room types.

For most projects, the cost covers a single room, perhaps a room where popcorn ceiling has been removed or a ceiling damaged by a roof leak. By the way, if the damage is localized, you might ask how much does it cost to repair drywall ceiling? See our Drywall Repair Guide to compare costs with replacement in the entire room. And finally, if you’re remodeling a basement and ditching a drop ceiling for drywall, here are Costs to Drywall a Basement.

Cost factors are discussed below that allow you to narrow your estimate – will it be lower, about the same or higher than the average cost to drywall a ceiling of about $2.80/square foot? If you want exact pricing, we recommend getting free drywall price estimates using our quick, no-obligation form.

Cost to Drywall Ceiling

A chart that shows cost to install drywall ceiling below mixes in cost factors to enable you to better “guestimate” what your price will be.

But here are average costs for common room types and sizes.

  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in an 80 square foot bathroom: $290
  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in a 150 square foot office: $425
  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in a 225 square foot bedroom: $650
  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in 300 square foot kitchen: $975
  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in a 400 square foot master suite: $1,300
  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in a 600 square foot living area with vaulted ceilings: $2,100
  • Average cost to drywall ceiling in a 13-stair stairwell: $275

Factors in the Cost to Drywall a Ceiling

Both material costs and the labor cost to hang and finish drywall ceiling applications enter into an estimate.

The cost to drywall a ceiling are dependent on:

Drywall Type: You might be surprised to learn how many options you have in terms of drywall types – Standard, sound control, moisture-resistant and fire-resistant drywall are all used on ceilings depending on what room the ceiling is in.

Drywall Thickness: While thinner drywall is available, beefy 1/2″ and 5/8” drywall is used on ceilings because it is less likely to sag.

Who Installs the Drywall: This is one of those jobs in which labor is the bulk of the cost. There’s a 70% or higher cost savings for doing it yourself.

New vs Replacement Drywall: The cost to replace drywall ceiling is higher due to the labor needed to remove the old material and the cost to dispose of it. Even if you DIY, you might have disposal costs if the amount of drywall is large. Drywall removal by a contractor with disposal typically runs about $2.25 per square foot, so might drive total cost beyond the ranges given here.

Amount of Drywall: Ceiling drywall cost per square foot is higher for small jobs like bathrooms or very small bedrooms than for larger jobs like an open floor plan living area or “bonus” room. Of course, total cost tends to rise with the amount of drywall installed.

Complexity of the Work: Job difficulty is impacted by the number and type of light fixtures, obstacles like drywall around ductwork and similar. The more objects to work around, the higher the cost.

Ceiling Height: Ceilings up to 10 feet are considered standard. Cost rises for 2-story and vaulted ceilings due to the additional equipment required to reach them and the increased time they take to complete.

Finish Type: While a textured ceiling might look like more work, it actually comes at a lower cost than a finished ceiling. Texturing happens in one coat – and the “mud” or drywall compound used is cheap. A finished ceiling takes 2 or 3 coats of mud that are sanded after each coat dries, often overnight.

Where you Live: Live most goods and services, the cost to drywall ceiling surfaces rises or falls with the local cost of living. If you live on one of the Coasts, prices will be higher than large metro areas elsewhere (average cost) and rural areas (lower cost).

Ceiling Drywall Cost Comparison

Here’s a table that puts some of the leading cost factors into perspective along with low/average/high costs for drywall on a ceiling.

Cost to Drywall 500 Square Feet of Ceiling
Low CostAverage CostHigh Cost
$1,115 – $1,475$1,500 – $1,725
Per sq. ft.Per sq. ft.Per sq. ft.
$2.25 – $2.95$3.00 – $3.45$3.50 – $4.35
Cost Factors
Drywall TypeStandardStandard or SpecialtyStandard or Specialty
FinishTexturedTextured or SmoothSmooth
HeightUp to 10 FeetAnyLikely vaulted/2-story
ObstaclesFewModerateModerate or Many
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Average Cost to Drywall a Ceiling by Ceiling Size

We provided a short list above showing the cost to install drywall ceiling material for a range of room sizes and types. Here’s more information on low, average and high costs for those rooms. The cost factors listed above answer the question how much does it cost to drywall a ceiling in a bathroom, bedroom, living room, etc.

Average Cost by Ceiling Size and Type
80 sq. ft. bathroom ceilingTotal Cost
Low$245
Average$290
High$335
150 sq. ft. office ceilingTotal Cost
Low$360
Average$425
High$480
225 sq. ft. bedroom ceilingTotal Cost
Low$540
Average$650
High$715
300 sq. ft. kitchen ceilingTotal Cost
Low$840
Average$975
High$1,060
400 sq. ft. master suite ceiling
Total Cost
Low$1,175
Average$1,300
High$1,485
600 sq. ft. open living areaTotal Cost
Low$1,750
Average$2,100
High$2,380
StairwellTotal Cost
Low$235
Average$275
High$330
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Here is a review of the cost factors for the low/average/high ranges in the chart above.

Low: Standard drywall, or possibly moisture-resistant drywall. Usually a textured ceiling of standard height, so that no extra equipment is required to reach it. The ceiling will have one fixture or less per 50 square feet in most cases.

Average: Standard or specialty drywall or a textured ceiling, but usually not both. Usually standard-height ceilings, but its possible to get an average cost range for a vaulted ceiling up to about 15 feet if the drywall installation is easy and the surface is textured rather than sanded smooth.

High: The job will include several of the factors that raise cost  starting specialty drywall such as fire-resistant, sound-dampening or mold-resistant drywall. It will almost certainly be smooth rather than textured, and it could be a high vaulted or two-story ceiling.

Ready for Estimates?

Feel free to request written estimates that cost you nothing – and carry no obligation to accept any of the estimates. It will give you the chance to talk with drywall contractors in your area about your job, get their advice for the best and most cost-effective approach and receive written pricing.