The Many DIfferent Ceiling Styles and Finishes
The Medieval age saw the rise of awe-inspiring Cathedrals that even with today's construction technology will be quite challenging to duplicate. The Medieval man had this quest of reaching out to the heavens as exemplified by the spires and vaulted ceilings of the Middle Ages. Frescoes, executed by great artists of those times like Michelangelo, were commissioned by the church to further give emphasis to "looking up and reaching out" to heaven.
Today, the market is flooded with different ceiling finishing materials. There is no need for a "Michelangelo" to do your ceiling "frescoes" as you can readily buy a roll of decorative sheet and glue the sheet yourself on the ceilings. However, the great ceiling styles of the past are still being employed up to now. Though most homes have flat ceilings to conform to the generic construction materials available in the market, there are buildings that depart from the norm for aesthetics or structural functions.
Basic Ceiling Styles
Architects strive to give their clients unique, functional and aesthetically pleasing designs. The ceiling is one great feature to do details on as its wide expanse draws one's attention to it. There are different ceiling styles that were used and still being used today. Modern construction technology no longer requires decades to construct magnificent ceilings.
- Conventional ceiling - It is usually 2.40 metres high to fit standard construction material. The finishing is usually drywall or plaster.
- Suspended ceiling - It is also a type of conventional ceiling. The difference is that a suspended ceiling is flat ceiling built under an existing ceiling.
- Cathedral ceiling - As the name implies, this is a sloping ceiling attached to the trusses of the roof up to the ridge.
- Shed ceiling - This type is similar to a cathedral ceiling but only one side is sloped. However the rise of the ceiling is not as steep as the cathedral type.
- Vaulted ceiling - This type has an angle or arch that starts from the top of walls or columns to the ceiling for a dramatic, high and spacious feel.
- Tray ceilings- This type aims to resemble an upside down tray. The centre is flat with side sloping from the walls.
- Cove ceiling - This type is actually a flat ceiling that has rounded corners joining the ceiling and the wall.
Different Ceiling Finishes
Just like the walls of a house, the ceiling has to be decorated or "finished" to some extent. A building's ceiling is in direct proportion to its floor that is why special consideration should be attributed to a ceiling's finishing too.
Plaster - Plastering is probably the "oldest" form of finishing there is known to modern construction. Even the great Cathedrals centuries ago used plaster for their interior finishing. Plastering has evolved over the centuries. There are now various techniques to make your plaster finish more interesting.
o Plain Plaster -This is plain cement plastering that could be used as base for other types of ceiling finishing.
o Sand face plastering - A cement mortar with a 1:4 cement and coarse sand ratio is applied. After a week, the second coat is applied this time in a 1:3 ratio. The result is a plaster finish that has a sandy look and feel.
o Rough Cast Plaster - The plaster is a mix of sand and gravel splattered on wet cement plaster. The finishing has a rustic feel.
o Pebbled Dash Plaster - It is the same as rough cast plaster but 6mm pebbles are used instead.
Drywall - Is the term applied to a method of construction using gypsum boards. These are panels made of gypsum plaster that is pressed between thick sheets of paper then kiln dried. This method of construction and material is easier and faster to install that plastering. There are different types of drywall materials available in any home depot. There is the regular white board from ¼' to ¾' thick. Some subtypes that came out in the last two decades are: fire-resistant boards; blueboard; greenboard; cement board; soundboard or acoustical board; soundproof drywall; mould-resistant boards; foil-backed drywall; ceiling boards that are stiffer than the regular ½" boards and of course the environboard, which is needless to say is made of recycled materials.
There are drywall ceiling finishing that can add interest to a flat drywall ceiling. Some of these textures are now being used extensively in modern structures as they are cost-effective and simple to apply to a point.
- Skim coating - A professional can plaster a type of skim coating to seal up joints in the drywall and add a little texture to the finishing.
- Mud Swirl - A thin compound is applied to the board and a finishing "swirled" with each swirl overlapping. The technique could be done by a regular DIY-er with practice.
- Popcorn ceiling texture - The special finishing can be done with the use if a specified machine containing joint compound that has an air hose to blow the compound on the ceiling surface. The effect is stunning more so if you could add some glitter with the compound for effect.
- Plaster Stencilling - The raised plaster stencilling could add focal points on a flat and boring ceiling.
Artex - Is a type of surface coating used in ceilings. The mixture can be applied on the ceiling and you can basically do you own designs in application by using a roller brush with design, plain brush or by using a piece of rug and go freestyle. Up until the 1980s Artex was made with asbestos. It is safe to assume that only Artex prior to 1980 are unsafe.
Other ceiling finishings that are worth considering are: wallpaper with matching borders; painting the ceiling with textured paint; metal ceilings; and faux stucco.