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My Magical Ceiling and Floor Makeover

Written by Candace Ord Manroe

I’m the first to admit I’m not much of a DIY-er. Not that I lack the desire; it’s the ability part that escapes me. But I do have to share a couple of makeover products that make it look easy even for someone with two left hands like me. How do I know they work? Because I had them installed in my home—so quick and easy I MIGHT have been able to do it myself.

The first is my new white-painted WoodHaven Laminate Ceiling Planks from Armstrong. My 1960 walk-out ranch still had its ugly, light-absorbing popcorn ceiling.

In two days, start to finish, installers laid the Armstrong planks directly over my old ceiling. I would have been skeptical of such a major transformation occurring in such a short time had I not witnessed it firsthand.



The results are amazing. Now my ceiling reflects the light, instead of absorbing it. Now my living room sports charm and character, instead of looking like the ho-hum dated spec house that it is. Now I migrate to the living room instead of the family room or bedroom to snuggle up with a book; now I play the piano more, inspired by my environment; now the living room is my favorite venue for watching TV.  Who knew a ceiling could increase a room’s livability so much?

Besides the easy, quick installation, what I like best about this product is its price—$2.99 a square foot, versus the higher cost of real wood. But honestly, these painted planks look like real wood.  No one can tell that it’s laminate (and trust me; my friends are discerning).

Being a bit of a tree-hugger, I also I love the eco-friendly attributes of my WoodHaven ceiling. It consists of 98 percent recycled material as a fiber source, leaving trees in the ground where they (mainly) belong.


I  chose  the painted white finish to work with  my bookcase addition, but 17 finishes from bamboo to weathered are available. Each plank features a tongue-and-groove beveled edge and measures 5” x 84” x 3/8”. A beadboard style is available, too, but I decided streamlined planks worked better with my home’s linear and not truly vintage architecture.

So that was makeover product number one. With my ceiling looking so buff, my floors needed a lift. My home’s builder got things backwards nearly 50 years ago, laying hardwood floors in all the bedrooms, and carpeting the living room. I’ve replaced the carpet three times, but even my latest frieze was looking tired from the romps of a golden retriever, a yellow lab, and the late “Duster” kitty (who lived to be almost 22!).

My hardwood floors in the bedrooms show signs of abuse from kitty claws and doggy toenails, so I didn’t want to take that route. Armstrong again provided me with the solution: a Grand Illusions Laminate Flooring in pale Canadian maple. Installation, start to finish, including carpet tear-out, took just two days. Price excluding installation: about $2.32 per square foot.


Installation was easy with a “Lock & Fold” system that requires no glue and goes right over most existing floors. The floor doesn’t have the phony wood look I hate about most laminates, and it makes the room appear larger. It resists stains and is easy to clean up.  Like the ceiling, it reflects the light.

But that’s all I the time I have to share now. The work day’s done, and my character-laden living room is calling. Even if I didn’t do it myself.

For more information about an Armstrong ceiling, call an independent dealer or special order from Lowe’s, Menards, or The Home Depot. For flooring, visit for the closest independent dealer.



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