Exposed Beams add Architectural Detail
If you are tired of living with flat ceilings, take a look at how exposed beams change the look and feel of a home.
If your living spaces feel flat and boring, there is an extremely easy way to add detail, make a room feel visually higher, and bring life to a room. Exposed ceiling beams are a feature in farmhouse design, but they are also becoming a popular choice for homeowners wanting to add a little something extra to ordinary rooms.
Whether you want to rip out and replace the existing ceiling with a vaulted ceiling, or simply give a flat room new dimension, take a look at some beautiful houses and how exposed beams finish off these homes.
Want to remove the ceiling
When you are considering ripping out the boring flat ceiling and replacing it with a vaulted ceiling, before making any changes you need to inspect your roof construction. You probably don't want to go to the expense of replacing your roof, so you need to check how the beams support the roof and whether or not it would be feasible to move forward with the project.
If you have absolutely no idea whether or not your roof beams can be modified, you need to have a structural engineer come out and take a look. He or she will inspect the beams and make a recommendation on what would need to be done in order to remove the existing flat ceiling. With his or her recommendation, you can then approach companies specialising in ceilings to come out and give you a quotation. It is in your best interests to obtain more than one, and preferably three, quotations from installers, so that you can compare the quotes.
When opting to remove a flat ceiling and vault with wood beams, choose a finish (stain or paint) that complements other design elements and the style of the room.
Want to add beams to existing ceiling
For those that don't want to go to the expense of removing the existing (flat) ceiling. There are options to take into consideration for adding faux or solid wood beams to a flat ceiling:
- Fake Ceiling Beams
Installing fake or faux exposed beams means that you don't have to spend a huge amount of money to add exposed beams in any room in a home. There are suppliers who will install these beams, which are lightweight and made to look like faux wood or painted beams.
Alternatively, you can consider making your own fake exposed beams and there are plenty of how-to articles and videos out there on the internet. All you need is a lightweight material, such as styrofoam or polystyrene, as the main support and then clad this with 12mm thick PAR pine or your choice of wood finish.
Another option is to make the entire beam with a framework of PAR pine - leaving the inside empty with just added support along the total length. This latter option also lets you choose the thickness of the beams.
- Solid Wood Beams
Choosing to go with only solid wood beams may cost substantially more, as you need to ensure that these beams can be installed and supported on your existing roof framework. In many instances this may mean calling in a structural engineer to look over the existing roof framework and to offer advice on what needs to be done.
Choosing the right timber
PAR pine will offer you an affordable way to make your own faux beams to install as an architectural feature, and there are many options for staining in a particular wood stain, or painting the finish, to highlight your exposed beams. You also have the option to look for reclaimed timbers and have these milled into thin, straight and flat pieces to use as cladding to create your beams.
Whether you select PAR pine, reclaimed wood, or other wood species for your exposed beams, make sure to protect these with an appropriate sealer or finish.
Stained beams will add rustic charm to a cottage, country or relaxed modern home, while painted exposed beams will add detail without overpowering the room.
When it comes to deciding how to finish off your exposed beams, especially if you have made your own, take into consideration the dimensions of the room. You don't want dark beams in a room with reasonably low ceilings and beams painted in a light colour will lift and visually raise the ceiling. So take this into account before you make a mistake and have to rectify the problem.