Exposed beam ceiling design has experienced a dramatic surge in popularity in homes.
Many contemporary oak framed houses and other new Bespoke Oak structures feature exposed oak beams as a standard design feature.
Homeowners and DIY specialists are realising that previously hidden structural oak beams are golden opportunities for focal points.
From Pinterest boards to Instagram accounts, the inspiration for your oak beam is endless. Especially when considering that Oak Trusses have been cornerstones of construction as early as 2500BC.
Renovating or creating an exposed beam ceiling is an incredible addition to your home.
Benefits of Exposed Oak Ceiling Design
Cosy Living Spaces
Oak has a naturally warm, comforting appearance. Its colour ages gracefully alongside any material and texture. It’s especially cosy against brick and warm coloured stone.
Open Ceiling Plan
An open ceiling plan can make even small rooms feel bigger. This is especially vital for shared living spaces like living rooms or kitchens.
Lighting design can be incorporated around beams and trusses to highlight their detail. Chandeliers are perfect to frame them with, just like this wedding venue did.
Adding Value to Your Home
The addition of an exposed beam ceiling, especially throughout a home, can add serious resale value to your house. This is especially true of oak beams, as it has a reputation as a premium construction material.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are exposed ceiling beams called?
There are several terms used to describe the physical members used in an exposed beam ceiling. A beam is ‘any large piece of timber long in proportion to its thickness and prepared for use’ which can be vague.
Triangular roof trusses consist of three beams. The longer tie beam at the base and two shorter angled beams, known as rafters. The rafters connect at the apex to support the ridge beam which runs the length of the roof.
Under floor beams which support the weight of the floor are more commonly known as joists. Since it is possible to have a closed ceiling with exposed beams that supports a floor above (for example on the ground floor), these could also be referred to as joists.
What size should ceiling beams be?
- Decorative oak ceiling beams: depends on the size of the room. They should be proportional to the room size, so they don’t appear too small or large for the space.
- Higher ceilings: the beams should be deeper in appearance and the longer the room, the wider they should be. For a room with a standard 8–9-foot ceiling, five inches wide by three inches is typical. Existing beams that appear too small (but are structurally sound), oak beam cladding can be fitted to make them appear larger.
- New Builds: the company designing the oak frames will incorporate beams that are large enough to support the weight of the structure. If you are fitting load bearing beams yourself, it is advisable to consult an architect or engineer for advice.
How far apart should beams be on a ceiling?
This is largely a matter of personal preference. If they are a structural element this will have been incorporated into the original design of the house.
For decorative purposes, they can be spaced from 2-8-feet apart. The size of the room will again dictate what looks best and possibly cost as the closer the beams, the more beams you will need. Four feet apart is a standard spacing to avoid the ceiling looking too cluttered or empty.
Which way should ceiling beams run?
Load bearing oak joists usually run across the shortest dimension to a room. This is to distribute weight to the load bearing walls.
Shorter beams cost less so it the most economical choice. For particularly long rooms, it can be difficult to find one-piece beams long enough to run end to end.
Wood beams made from multiple pieces of timber will have weak points at the joints, so their strength will be diminished. For decorative beams, this is not an issue as they are not required to bear any loads. If they run across the width of the room, it can make the room appear to be wider.
Beams running the length of the room will emphasise its length, in this way the beam direction can alter perception of room dimensions. An exception to this is what is known as a coffered ceiling. Cosmetic panelling is added to structural beams and smaller beams added in between them. This creates an attractive, regular grid pattern with recessed ceiling panels between the beams. These are the ‘coffers’ that give the design its name.
Oak Trusses and Beams at Hardwoods Group
Hardwoods Group specialises in the manufacturing of Bespoke Oak Trusses and any Oak Beams. We can manufacture any designs and sizes to your home thanks to both our 5 & 6-axis CNC Machines.
Our Trusses are packed and shipped in our famous Kit Form to ensure easy and quick installation.
Get started on your exposed beam ceiling design in your home today and send us your measurements. We can get you a quote within an hour and have a lead time in as little as 1-2 weeks.
If you’re not sure what you need exactly, please give us a ring at 01244 377 811 and our team will sort you out.
Top Garden Ideas of 2023
Why is Oak a Superior Choice for Roof Trusses?
Timber Frame Porch Ideas