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Ceiling Beam Considerations

Which Beam is Right?

It's all in the details!

Cedar Box Beam

Box Beams

  • 3-Sided manufactured wood beam
  • Sustainably Sourced Old Growth Western Red Cedar
  • Interior plywood support webbing
  • Custom Joinery to hide seams - made to like like solid timber
  • Color matched for authentic timber look
  • Multiple surface texture and corner detail options
  • Light weight and easy to install
  • No checking or cracking
  • Must be installed against ceiling or wall
  • Decorative, not structural
Solid Timber Beam

Solid Timber Beams

  • Sustainably Sourced Old Growth Western Red Cedar
  • Re-sawn to be square and true
  • Multiple surface texture and corner options
  • Can be used in structural and decorative applications
  • Can be used in open spans
  • Visible character such as checking and cracking

High Ceiling

Beams in a high ceiling The vaulted ceiling makes you feel as if you're living in a cathedral, or a basketball stadium. Bring that sky-high ceiling down to a more comfortable height with placing your beams at wall height. The dramatic ceiling stays, but its cavernous effect is softened and the space feels more human-scale.

Ceiling Beams on a vaulted ceiling


Beams added at the natural break where the top of the wall meets the start of the upward slant look organic, not tacked on. Lower the roof even more with pendant lamps suspended from the beams, instead of from the distant ceiling.


Standard Ceiling

Ceiling beams on a standard ceiling

What if my ceiling is a standard ceiling height? Can I still have ceiling beams?
Will that bring my ceiling down too low? Ceiling Beams on a standard ceiling height If you have a room with a standard ceiling height (usually 8’), you can install half-beams that are not as deep as a full beam. This size will not lower your ceiling height, but you will still achieve a decorative effect.


Which Direction?

Ceiling beams running crosswise

Beams running the length of the room make a short room seem longer. In a small room, such as a bedroom or study, install beams parallel to the longest walls to emphasize the stretch of space. Ceiling beams running lengthwise

In an open plan room , run beams from one end to the other, linking the different areas for continuous visual flow. When the flooring runs in the same direction as the overhead beams, rooms feel less disjointed and more connected.

Celing Beams

Consider running beams in a grid for a coffered ceiling. Beams finished with lots of moulding are usually found in formal rooms and homes. Coffered Ceiling Beam Application The grid creates spaces (the coffer), which become the focal point through the materials used to decorate them.You can create a rustic coffered ceiling with a large, simple grid or earthy materials and colors.


Ceiling Beam Application

Ceiling with an unusual shape... Not a problem! Make a statement with ceiling beams. As with the coffered application, beams become the focal point through the materials used to decorate them. There are many possibilities and the visual and architectural interest will make your space unique!


Planning for Installation

When it comes to installation, there are important things to consider with regard to decorative ceiling beams. The size, dimensions, and the direction of the existing ceiling joists within your ceiling will help determine the amount of weight your ceiling can hold. Therefore, always consider the actual weight of the decorative beams, and determine the method of attachment required to hold them in place, safely. If you choose solid timber beams, you will need to get solid direct attachment into the ceiling joists with threaded screws, or lag bolts when installing.


For more information or assistance contact sales@southernwoodcraft.net or call (919) 693-8995.