I have always been a big fan of crown molding. Big baseboards, door trims, you name it. So when I first spotted a coffered ceiling I knew I had to have one. But it came with a pretty hefty price tag, and the support of someone in finishing carpentry, if you wanted the job done right.
So I explored ways to install this stunning ceiling for my home – there were many options, one technique used wood slats that were to be precisely cut and installed in box beam format on site, fully custom and fairly costly. I found a great product that came from a US company that manufactured pre-assembled pieces of straight beams and cross designs that create the intersections, which can be set into place with just a few cuts. With being Canadian and considering exchange rate, duty, customs, and shipping, these pre-assembled beams were also cost prohibitive.
So I continued my research and called contractors, researched online, visited lumber stores, met with contractors. And through those conversations and research, stumbled across an easier and affordable solution that could be done without creating wood beams, and would be a solution for the build of my new custom home, (and can also be adapted for existing homes). So with patience, this ceiling came to life. Here’s the steps we took and how you can too:
To start, map out a grid where you will place the horizontal and vertical beams – use chalkline or pencil and consider making grids equal in size or centred around a feature in the room, for example as in my case, centred with the fireplace.
If you are installing this feature on a finished ceiling, use a stud finder, and mark out the location of the studs, and design the placement of the beams, wherever possible take advantage of placing the beams into the studs.
And this is the start of the brilliant plan. The base of the beams are created with 2 x 6 boards. First cut 2” x 6” in 10” lengths that will be stacked together in sets of 3 to form mini posts and attached to the studs approximately every three feet. When these shorter mini posts are attached to the studs, full lengths boards are then attached to the mini posts to form the grid which becomes the base for the design and prepares for the next step.
Next, and this is a big part the cost savings, the plywood grids are covered with drywall , and corner bead
Install drywall compound, sand, and paint with primer
Once the beams have been primed, it is time to Install crown molding within each box. Be sure to get wide enough crown so it reaches close to the bottom edge of the drywall box.
Now the final step is here to paint the ceiling including beams and trim. We used the same paint for all three surfaces to have an even cohesive look. And there you have it! Luxury ceiling at a fraction of custom wood cost!
With some research and planning, the whole project came in at roughly one third the price two quotes I received, thanks to the inexpensive 2’x6’ grid design and drywall finish over it. It provides a stunning finish to the room, that immediately adds style and higher perceived value!
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