A Strong Built Beam Ceiling Design – Different Types of Beam Ceiling

Having a strong house is very important to be safe and secure. Building a house requires a lot of hard work and material. Have you looked up at your office ceiling? Or even your house? You might see a difference in the way they are built. Every inch of one’s house is built by a careful decision, and it is crucial to have a sturdy roof. The roof protects us, and the beams used in the roof are the most important part of building a house.

What is a Beam Ceiling?

To explain a beam ceiling in simple language, a ceiling featuring visible structural beams is called a beam ceiling. The beams used to be trimmed off trees, and these are formed after the bark and branches are cut off. The beams support the roofs of the house, second floors, mezzanines, and galleries.

Beams are an important part of building a house, as they help strengthen the roof and give the house a better structure. Vaulted ceilings are essential in wood ceiling beams when building log homes. Beams support the roof in many ways and conventional ceilings are incorporated into false beams due to the architectural trend. Decorative faux ceiling beams are different as they increase the weight of the ceiling instead of distributing it.

All houses are different as each one has a different beam ceiling. The structure will depend on the entire structure and the beams. The most common design seen is the exposed ceilings, a house can have these beams by leaving the floor or ceiling joists exposed.

Types of Beam Ceiling

1. Exposed Joist Beams

Exposed Joist Beams are beams that are exposed in the ceiling. These wood Joists don’t have the appearance of a wood beam. They are much narrower and taller compared to an actual wooden beam. Their measurements range from 1 ½  wider and up to 12 higher. Some of these are engineered Truss Joists, which are made of solid wood tops and bottoms. The chipboard between them forms the letter I.

Several of these beams are exposed when making the ceiling, and the ducts, wires, pipes, and bracing are visible when you look up. These ceilings are usually painted in one color only, such as black or a darker shade of grey. To have a cleaner look for it, they should be rerouted for the wiring, ducts, and pipes as much as possible. Be careful when removing the braces as they may comprise the structure. 

Box Beams
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2. Steel Beams

These beams can be used in exposed beam ceilings. Steel beams are either structural or faux and they provide a more commercial or industrial look that is popular in converted warehouses. Any one of these beams can be used to paint to match the interior of the rooms. Steel beams that are made of extruded polystyrene or fiberglass faux can be painted over. It is important to get the steel beams installed by an expert engineer as they are difficult to install. It is crucial to use hard steel rather than soft steel as soft steel has more deflection than it is desired.

3. Box Beams

Box beams are installed in a three-sided faux ceiling and are used to imitate solid wood. These beams are available in several manufactured textures and colors. It includes hand-hewn, band saw, and smooth, and much more. To make it look more professional companies make their look similar to reclaimed wood. These beams are usually used in creating coffered ceilings and to imitate exposed beam ceilings. It is used in conventional flat ceilings as well as in vaulted ceilings. Rooms with beams require more than average height to show the complete design of the beams be it solid or faux.  It is important to use the correct beam with a lower ceiling or with high as heavy wood beams can give the room an overpowering look.

New and modern vaulted ceilings are constructed with the help of scissor trussers and then they are drywalled. The faux vaulted ceiling beams are used to provide a more rustic look and design as they come in a variety. Most of the exposed beams that are used in flat conventional ceilings have faux beams to the trusses.

4. Hammerbeam Roof System

These types of beams are seen in English Gothic Architecture as they have a hammer-beam roof structure. These keep the support close to the walls and the deck. These beams leave the center of the vault free and obstructed. Hammerbeam has roof trusses without the usual central webbing which are used in modern trusses. They are constructed using heavy timber and they give all-round support to the roof and open vaulted ceilings. They make the rooms large and airy.

The design for the hammer beam is very unique and has curved beams that supply support for the heavy roof beams. The trusses of hammer-beam can be added to already existing ceilings that are sloped or vaulted. They can be added using the nonstructural box beams.

5. Historic Structural Ceiling Beams

There is a big difference in the way houses used to be built and how houses are built nowadays. Before the 1920 majority of the houses used to have a heavy structural beam for their roof constructions. Many of the houses had conventional plaster or wood flat ceilings that were added later. If the conventional ceiling from the older constructed houses is removed it may open up a possibility for vaulted ceiling beams. These can be later turned into a properly exposed beam ceiling used nowadays.

Historic Structural Ceiling Beams
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In the earlier days, the beam ceilings for houses were made from the trees, saplings, and branches that supported the roof of the house. These were spanned over an open area between the walls which allowed for the addition of several materials. As the world progressed and tools and knowledge of design enhanced, the types of beams used changed. Nowadays trees are manufactured into much longer and stronger beams that are capable of supporting larger and heavier roofs.

Which type of ceiling is best?

It is difficult to say which ceiling is best as everyone has a different taste in construction. Using the expertise of architects, interior designers, and engineers is important as they have a better understanding of how the weight distribution works.

Each house and building has its unique design, and the beam used for it is according to the use. To ask which is the best ceiling is not something that can be answered easily, as many factors come into play. When it comes to construction people have many opinions on the color, design, and size therefore the ‘best ceiling’ depends on the worker’s and owner’s choice.

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