Ceiling Panelling Cost

By Kim
Last updated 24th May 2023 - Reading time: 13 mins

Are you looking for information about ceiling panelling installations and the costs of this type of work?

In this article, we will go over everything you need to know about ceiling panelling, including the supply costs, labour costs, and any additional costs involved with this type of work.

ceiling panelling

Average Cost of Installing Ceiling panelling:

Depending on the complexity of the job, it usually takes: 1 – 2 days


How Much Does Installing Ceiling Panelling Cost?

We will also look at what's involved with installing ceiling panelling, the different types of ceiling panelling, and some tips on finding the right contractors to install ceiling panelling for you.

So, how much does a panelled ceiling cost?

Ceiling panelling can range in price, depending on the quality of the finish. Budget ceiling panelling can be purchased for quite cheap at around £12 - £50 per square metre.

Mid-range ceiling panels cost around £30 - £100and high-quality ceiling panels cost around £100 - £300.

The total cost of a ceiling panel installation will depend on the total area being covered. The larger your ceiling, the more you can expect to pay in material costs. Larger areas will also take longer to complete, so the labour costs will be higher for larger jobs.

The price will also be affected by the quality of the materials and your location in the UK.

Ceiling Panelling Prices

The table below shows the average cost of installing various types of ceiling panelling:

Budget Ceiling panelling £12 - £50
Mid-range ceiling panelling £30 - £100
High-end ceiling panelling £100 - £300
Oak ceiling panelling £300 - £400
Pine ceiling panelling £15 - £30
Bespoke ceiling panelling £100 - £300

Supply Only Costs

The installation of ceiling panels can be done in many ways. They are usually either screwed or stapled into place. You may also choose to use an adhesive to fit the ceiling panels in place. Many ceiling panel fitters use both adhesive and staples to fit the boards.

If you plan on installing the ceiling boards, you may be interested in learning how much the materials cost. In this section, we will go over the prices for materials for this type of job.

Ceiling panels may be installed directly onto plaster, artexed, or lath and plaster ceiling, as long as it is in good condition and is even.

If the room is a new addition or if it has been newly constructed, the cladding can be added over the plasterboard, which prevents the need to plaster. Plasterboard installation will cost around £7 - £20 per square metre.

The average cost of the ceiling panels themselves is around £30 - £50 per square metre. You will also need staples, which cost around £5 - £20. A tape measure costs around £2 - £6, adhesive costs around £1 - £5, and plasterboard fixings cost around £4 - £8.

Depending on how you’re fixing the ceiling boards, you may need some additional items. Below is a table showing the average cost for various supplies for this type of work:

Plasterboard £7 - £20
Ceiling panels £30 - £50
Staples £4 - £11
Tape measure £5 - £20
Adhesive £1 - £5
Plasterboard fixings £4 - £8
Joists £12 - £20
Ceiling battens £10 - £15

Additional Costs

You may need to consider several additional costs when installing ceiling panelling. Below is a list of the additional things that you may need to budget for with this type of work:

Painting a Room

If you are installing the ceiling panelling as a way of improving the overall look of the room, then you may want to consider also decorating your room in more ways. This could include painting the room. The average cost the paint a room is around £300 - £500. The price will depend on the room's size and the paint's quality.

painting a room

New Light Fittings

Once your interior cladding panels have been installed, you may then be interested in adding a new light fitting. Light fittings can vary in cost, depending on the style and quality of the light fitting you choose. The average cost of installing new light fittings in a room is around £80-£200.


If the room's walls and ceiling look a bit old, tired, and uneven, you may need to plaster the room before adding any additional décor. The price that you pay for plastering a room will depend on the size of the room. However, you can expect to pay around £400 - £1500 for this type of work.

Labour Costs and Timescales

If you are planning on buying the materials for the job separately and then hiring a contractor at a later date, then you may be interested in learning about the price that you can expect to pay for the labour side of the job alone. You may also be curious to learn about the timescales that you can expect with this type of work.

fitting panelling

You can expect a plasterer to charge around £150 - £200 per day and a labourer will charge around £80 - £100 per day. In most cases, if the job is quite straightforward and no issues arise, your ceiling panelling installation will take no more than a day to complete.

You may be able to save yourself some money on the labour costs by completing part of the work yourself. If your old ceiling needs to be removed, you could do this yourself to avoid paying additional labour fees for this part of the work.

Cost Factors of Installing Ceiling Panelling

Several things may affect the overall cost of installing ceiling panelling. Below is a list of the things that may affect the cost of this job:

Type of Ceiling Panelling

As we have mentioned earlier, there are many different types of ceiling panels, and they all come at varying costs. If you choose budget ceiling panels, the overall cost of the job will be much cheaper. However, if you choose bespoke, high-end ceiling panels, you can expect the overall cost of the job to be quite a bit more.

Location of Property

The location of your property will affect the overall cost of installing ceiling panelling. Those in the London area can expect to pay more for the labour side of the job than those in the North or different parts of the UK. This is because the labour costs in this area tend to be higher across the board than in other parts of the UK.


Number of Tradespeople

The number of tradespeople working on the job will also affect the cost. More people may be required depending on the size and type of panels that you choose. The more tradespeople needed for the job, the higher the overall price is likely for the work.

What's Involved in Installing Ceiling Panelling?

Depending on the type of ceiling panels that are being installed, the method for installing them may vary. However, most of the elements will be the same. Below is a step-by-step guide on installing ceiling PVC panels with start-finish trim.

fitting ceiling panel

If you are installing ceiling panels yourself, you should always refer to the manufacturer's instructions, as the installation methods can vary from brand to brand.

  • Measure the ceiling and then cut the back section of the two-part start-finish trim to length
  • Fix this back section to the perimeter of the ceiling with screws at a spacing of approximately 300mm apart
  • Measure the ceiling length as accurately as you can and transfer these measurements onto the panels with a pencil before cutting them to size
  • Cut the ceiling panels with a hand saw or table saw
  • Once the panels have been cut, apply a good amount of adhesive to the back and secure it in place on the ceiling with some screws at around 300mm intervals along the tongue section of the panel
  • Repeat this process for every panel, locking each of them into place with the next using the tongue and groove edges
  • Re-measure the perimeter and then cut and mitre the outer part of the start-finish trim
  • Click this trim firmly into place
  • Your ceiling board installation is now complete. You may add an optional layer of white silicone around the edges of the trim to remove any small gaps between the trim if your walls are uneven

Can I Install Ceiling Panelling Myself?

In some cases, you may be able to install ceiling panelling yourself as a DIY project, and, in other cases, you won’t be able to.

Lighter ceiling panelling options are relatively easy to install – especially if you choose tongue and groove clicking panelling. However, many ceiling panelling options are made from heavier materials such as wood. This makes the job much more difficult and requires more than one person to complete.

In most cases, people prefer to leave this type of work up to the professionals. This ensures that the job is done correctly and that every aspect of the installation is safe, meaning you won't have to worry.

Types of Ceiling Panelling

There are several different types of ceiling panelling to choose from. Below, we take a look at some of the most common ceiling panelling materials and the pros and cons of each type:

Polystyrene Ceiling Panelling

Polystyrene ceiling panels are the most common type of material for this type of work. They are available in a range of styles and thicknesses and tend to be lightweight and inexpensive. You can choose different effects such as moulded, smooth, plaster, woven, or more.

polystyrene panel

White is usually the most common option. However, you can also find various other colours, including faux wood effects. Alternatively, these ceiling panels can be painted in a colour of your choice.


  • ✔ Low in cost
  • ✔ Lightweight
  • ✔ Easy to install
  • ✔ Various styles to choose from
  • ✔ Can be painted


  • ✖ Not as attractive as some other materials
  • ✖ They are flammable

PVC Ceiling Panelling

PVC is a material with many benefits. It can be used to create beautiful ceiling panels that are lightweight, resistant to moisture, rot-proof, and resistant to mould and fungi. With this in mind, PVC ceiling panels are great for kitchens and bathrooms. This material is also easy to maintain and comes in a range of colours and styles.


  • ✔ Lightweight
  • ✔ Water-resistant
  • ✔ Rot-proof
  • ✔ Resistant to mould and fungi
  • ✔ Great for kitchens and bathrooms
  • ✔ Easy to maintain
  • ✔ Comes in a range of colours and styles


  • ✖ Can warp over time
  • ✖ Not the most attractive option

Plaster Ceiling Panelling

These ceiling panels are mostly chosen due to their aesthetic and can be made from either plaster or plasterboard. They are easy to install, lightweight, and can be cut very easily using just a knife and straight edge.

Depending on the brand, some plaster ceiling tiles are moisture-resistant and can provide soundproofing qualities.


  • ✔ Can provide soundproofing qualities
  • ✔ Easy to install
  • ✔ Lightweight
  • ✔ Some brands are water-resistant


  • ✖ They can be quite flimsy

Wood Ceiling Panelling

Wood ceiling panels are known for their style and charm. Most models are made from chipboard or MDF with a wood veneer. These panels come in a range of colours and can be made to look like all different types of wood species.

wood panel

They also come in a range of finishes, including matt, natural, or sating. These panels can be treated to resist water and come in various classes regarding their resistance to fire.


  • ✔ Charming and stylish
  • ✔ Come in a range of colours and styles
  • ✔ A range of finishes to choose from
  • ✔ They can be treated to resist water


  • ✖ They are mostly not very resistant to fire
  • ✖ They are not resistant to water unless treated
  • ✖ They are more difficult to install

Hiring Contractors for Installing Ceiling Panelling Checklist

There are many things you may need to consider before hiring a contractor to install ceiling panelling for you. Below is a list of some of the main things that you should consider when finding the right contractor for the job:

fitting ceiling panel
  • Does the contractor provide any guarantees with the work, and what is included in the guarantee?
  • How much does the work cost to complete? – Ask for a breakdown of the costs so that you can ensure you are paying a good price for each part of the job.
  • Is the contractor experienced in installing the type of ceiling panels that you require?
  • How much experience does the contractor have in installing ceiling panelling?
  • Will the contractor fix any issues that may arise?
  • Do you need to hire any additional contractors for different parts of the job, or do you need to provide anything for the work?
  • How long will the work take to complete?
  • Can the contractor provide any photographs of previous work?
  • Will the contractor take care of any relevant waste removal as part of the job?


How to panel a ceiling with tongue and groove panelling?
Start from one side of the ceiling and install the plank with the groove closest to the wall. Secure the first row with nails. Install the next row by sliding the grooved side into the tongue of the previous row.

Nail the tongue to the nailing surface. Continue this process on all rows. The tongue and groove system should easily slide and lock into place, creating a flush appearance all over.
What are ceiling panels?
Ceiling panels are sometimes also referred to as ceiling tiles. These are lightweight building materials that are used to cover a ceiling. The purpose of ceiling panels is usually to improve the appearance and the acoustics of a room. They are sometimes placed in a steel or aluminium grid to provide thermal insulation.
What type of ceiling panels is the best?
PVC ceiling panels are seen as the most durable and long-lasting. They can last for many years. They are not very brittle like some other materials, and so they are not prone to becoming damaged when handling or during the installation. PVC panelling is also relatively well priced.
How long does it take to install ceiling panels?
These timescales will vary depending on the type of ceiling panels and the size of the area. Tongue and groove panels can be easily clicked together within a matter of minutes. Other panels may need to be installed by a carpenter and could take several hours or a couple of days. Plus, the prep work on your ceiling could add on some additional time, depending on the condition of your ceiling.
What are ceiling panels made from?
Ceiling panels can be made from various materials, including recycled materials, processed materials, and natural materials. The most common ceiling panel materials are plaster ceiling panels, plasterboard ceiling panels, PVC ceiling panels, plastic ceiling panels and polystyrene ceiling panels.



Ready to get a price for your home improvement project?
Get started

Over 1 million homeowners and over 50,000 tradespeople
use MyJobQuote nationwide each year