Bricks & Sticks: Ceiling Options

Real estate ads and builders brochures often contain ceiling descriptions other than the standard eight-foot flat types that are found in many homes today. Understanding the options you have, especially when building a new home can create a unique space for your family to enjoy.

Tray: A stepped ceiling, where as the design moves further away from the sidewall, the ceiling continues to rise to a higher flat surface. Common in master bedrooms, living and dining rooms. Tray ceilings add an architectural look. Tray’s are typically recessed and require additional framing to support the structure.

Vaulted: Common styles include; angled, barrel and groin. An angled vault is the most typical, one or both sides of a ceiling slope upward towards the peak.Angled vaulted ceilings are popular in most living spaces including sunrooms and master bedrooms. A barrel is distinguished by it’s circular shape and add drama to long hallways. and a groin vault is the intersection of two barrel vaults at a right angle. Groin vaults are common in classical Roman architecture, but are seen today in foyers and breakfast rooms.

Exposed Beam: A beam that is structural or non-structural that is not covered with drywall, tin or wood. Styles include; hand-hewn, faux-wood and recycled finished beams that create an old-world feeling. Typically found in living, family, dining and breakfast rooms.

Domed: A round spherical-shaped ceiling that is supported only by it’s base. Recessed coves can accommodate uplighting. Found in classical buildings such as state capitals and in colonial-style homes. Domed ceilings can be plaster or pre-cast fiberglass.

Coffered: A boxed wood ceiling composed of twenty-four in squares surrounded by wood beams. Popular in dining rooms and libraries. Common period designs include Arts and Crafts, Georgian and Victorian. Common materials cherry, oak and mahogany.

Cathedral Ceiling: A blend of a double-angled vault with exposed beams.

Dropped Ceiling. The common application for dropping a ceiling below the structure is to cover heating and plumbing supply lines. Also used in renovating spaces where the original ceiling height is not visually pleasing or energy efficient.

Enjoy more Bricks & Sticks by Mark Nash. Topics include Ceiling options, Interior Lighting and Staircases.

© Copyright 2006 Mark Nash