Types of ceilings
Guide to most popular ceiling styles
The most requested ceiling styles in new homes for North Carolina homebuyers are trending toward coffered, trey, barrel vault, and beam features. Here's a glimpse of their appeal, to help you choose your style.
What makes a coffered ceiling great?
A coffered ceiling is a specialty ceiling treatment, which divides a ceiling into a grid of recessed panels accented by dropped beams, usually in the form of multiple squares or rectangles.
Each of the beamed sections is then finished with a variety of interior trim and moulding options. Stained coffered ceilings are firmly in the luxury price point, while painted approaches can create a very different effect with less investment.
Recessed can lighting is especially effective with a coffered ceiling, and provides soft, reflective light throughout the room.
What is so appealing about a beam ceiling?
A beam ceiling is a specialty ceiling treatment that's increasing in popularity.
While beams have been more traditional incorporated into a more rustic décor, they are increasingly evident in eclectic home designs that combine styles, such as contemporary-mountain.
Beams placed in a vaulted ceiling can create interesting depth and contrast.
Beams can be finished using a variety of hardwood or interior trim and moulding options.
Beams can either be load bearing (incorporated into the actual structure of the home) or lighter weight faux beams that are designed for visual impact.
More common ceiling styles
What should be expected in a Conventional Ceiling?
Usually 8 feet high, conventional ceilings may be either flat (look just like the walls) or textured, most often called "popcorn" (sprayed with particles that look like painted popcorn kernels.)
A "smooth ceiling" is flat. If your contract doesn't mention smooth ceilings, ask your builder what kind of ceilings come standard in your new home.
In a custom home, the first floor ceilings are often extended to 9 feet in height.
If your new home builder doesn't offer 9 feet as a standard first floor ceiling height, expect to pay $3,000-$9,000 to increase the height, depending on the size of the home.
Why should you consider a Cathedral Ceiling or Vaulted Ceiling?
A cathedral ceiling provides a high sloping line up to the top of the house. A vaulted ceiling extends a room upward. Both provide a spacious feeling and make rooms feel larger.
While vaulted ceilings are generally found in first floor living or family rooms, dining rooms, master bedrooms, and master baths with a vault are becoming more popular in new homes. See one example in the photo to the left - taken from a version of the Carwile. This formal breakfast room incorporates a vaulted ceiling.
Main floor master suite homes also are more likely to have vaulted ceilings, as the second floor is generally smaller, which means that more first floor rooms are likely to have a roof directly over them instead of another room.
Where does a Tray Ceiling create the most impact?
A tray ceiling (also called trey ceiling) is an artistic element added to select ceilings to give them personality and a unique attribute.
Trey ceilings start horizontally at the wall intersection and then are built upwards in a cut out resembling a tray. The cut can be vertical or angled, and the tray itself can be 6 inches to a foot or more deep. Sometimes there are a series of steps for an even more dramatic effect.
Trey ceilings can be even more impressive when paint is used to accentuate the ceiling and vertical steps, as shown in the photo to the right.
A trey ceiling can either be "dropped" or "raised" depending on what is above the room, and what the ceiling height is.
Decorative mouldings or lights may also be incorporated.
Trey ceilings are usually an upgrade in production homes, but top builders may include them as a standard feature in custom homes. For example, Stanton Homes includes a variety of trey ceilings in every home they build - with the homeowner choosing their location where possible.
As an upgrade, the cost from most home builders is generally around $1,000 for a simple cut out trey ceiling with no crown molding, and no variation in paint color.
If the base plan for your new home doesn't include a trey ceiling, and you pay to upgrade, make sure to ask what kind of trey ceiling you'll be getting. Will there be one step or two? Basic box, or angles? Custom crown moulding in the trey? Custom color treatment? Not all NC custom home builders will work with you to custom design a trey ceiling - make sure to ask what is included.
What's so special about a Barrel Vault Ceiling?
A barrel vault ceiling, also known as a tunnel vault or wagon vault, is not commonly seen in most homes, but can be a unique architectural feature in custom designs such as Stanton Homes, where this artistic element comes standard depending on the home's design.
The photo to the right - taken from a version of the Bostwick - shows a two story foyer with barrel vault ceiling. The arched windows carry out the theme. The iron balusters and oak handrail give a nice contrast to the rounded lines.
There is a built-in plant shelf above the foyer, which add to the opportunity for personal home accents.
What's Included in my new Custom Home?
Before you buy, find out what will be included in the home you purchase. Models can be deceptive, as they are often loaded with upgrades that can change their look dramatically. Ask very specific questions, and be sure your custom home estimate includes a very specific set of specifications.
If you're a do-it-yourself kind of person, you may be able to add more trimmings to your home later, but keep in mind that it will be nearly impossible to add a trey ceiling, barrel vault ceiling, or increase a room's height after framing has been completed.
Each of the ceilings pictured in this blog has been created by Stanton Homes. We take pride in crafting a unique combination of ceiling treatments in every home we build - including dozens of styles of trey ceilings.
These custom homes are move-in ready, or nearly available, in Chatham County. Click the address for new home cost and more information: