Wooden ceilings are a beautiful and economical way to give your home a makeover with a variety of style options when renovating and here, we tell you exactly why!
Renovating? Get a Wooden Ceiling Instead!
The ceiling is one of the most eye-catching elements in your house. The way you treat your ceiling can change it from something functional to a style statement. It can change the way your home looks as well. It can take it from simple, to grand to luxurious. Over the years, ceilings have gone from flat and linear to decorative and grand. Here we are going to focus on the beauty and advantages of wooden ceilings and what to consider while selecting the wood.
The way your ceiling appears changes with the material you use. The material has the power to make the room spacious or compact, darker or lighter, warm or cold, etc. Over the years there has been a constant innovation in the materials that can be used for building construction. But one material has been a favorite across ages — wood.
Wood is natural, works as a dehumidifier and is anisotropic. Its multi-beneficial and economic properties make it an efficient material to make a home, especially for ceilings. Here are some great reasons why a wooden ceiling is a great option if you are renovating your house.
- Thermal Properties: Most materials’ dimensions change with temperature changes. For instance, steel expands with heat and contracts during the cold. When the materials expand, their strength decreases and they also weaken the structure.
However, wood does not expand against heat. Instead, heat makes it stronger, harder and drier. The dryness increases its capacity to suck out the moisture from the air.
Further, wood is a poor transmitter of heat. This curbs the loss of energy from a house and helps keep houses warm in chillier climates resulting in lower heating bills.
- Sound and Noise: Wood is a fairly good sound absorbent, though it cannot isolate sounds. With sound absorption, it prevents noise and echoes. So you can easily use it in your bedrooms, living rooms and dining areas.
- Electrical Properties: Wood is a great electrical insulator. It doesn’t even transmit static electricity. Hence, wood makes for a very good material for ceilings. Most interior designers also recommend oven-dried wood as it has no moisture content to transmit electricity and is quite strong.
- Mechanical Advantages: Wood is a lightweight and strong material. That makes it easy to put up and as it is strong, it’s quite durable as well. Also, there are fewer steps to putting up a wooden ceiling. Hence, putting up a wooden ceiling is fast and cost effective.
- Aesthetic Properties: The colors, textures and natural designs that wood offers are unmatchable by any synthetic material. The same tree can be carved differently to create a different design. Its natural color is always pleasing and easy to maintain with just a varnish.
- Rust Proof: Since wood doesn’t rust, it is a durable material and a good replacement for ceilings that use large quantities of metal.
- Taking Care: Wood is very easy to maintain or repair. Old wood can be repaired with special touches, sometimes even without dismantling. Other materials often require breaking down and reconstruction. This invites high costs and time investment.
- Options: Wood offers more than 5,000 options! They have varied characteristics ranging from the physical ones such as color, texture, grains and design to internal ones such as density, thermal capacity, moisture, heat absorption, etc. Hence, no matter what you need, there is a wood for you out there!
- Easy to Modify: One of the greatest advantages of a wooden ceiling is that it can be pulled down and modified or replaced partially or completely with immense ease and in a cost-effective manner. It does not require any major breaking down or damage to the structure. Hence, if you like, you can change the ceiling every few years and give your home a makeover.
- Visual Appeal: The starkest advantage of a wooden ceiling is the visual appeal and versatility. It has an everlasting classic and rich appeal.
- Economical: One of the greatest advantages of using wood for a ceiling is that it can save a lot of cost in different ways. Since it is quick and easy to put up, it reduces the cost of labor and time. Its durability saves the cost of repairs and maintenance. Being a poor conductor of heat it saves cost towards heating. Most often you’ll also find that wood itself is cheaper to buy as a raw material, hence saving you the cost of material too.
Select the Right Wood
Now that you know what are the obvious and some surprising advantages of having a wooden ceiling, let’s delve into what you should keep in mind while selecting a wooden ceiling.
- Decay Resistance: There are some wood species which are naturally resistant to decay. You can choose from species like sweet chestnut, oak and juniper. Avoid sapwood as it has very little-to-no resistance against decay. It needs to be treated before use for long-term durability, thereby increasing the cost of the material.
- Coating: A good way to protect the wood you are using and make it durable is to coat it. You can use a solid color or pigmented stains for protection against ultraviolet rays. Adding fungicides to the coat can protect against fungi and decay. One of the greatest advantages of a coating is that it stops loss or absorption of moisture, reduces swelling and shrinkage leading of the wood.
- Drying: When you choose a wood for your ceiling, make sure that it has been kiln dried to protect it against rot. Moisture with exposure to oxygen is a breeding ground for fungi. Hence, wood is often soaked in water until it is completely wet and all the oxygen is pushed out. This eliminates any chances of fungi developing in the wood. After this wood is heated to dry out all the water from it and it is kept dry.
- Treating with Wood Preservatives: There are a variety of chemical preservation options available for wood. However, since you are looking for the wood for use inside the house, make sure that the preservatives are not harmful to humans.
- Fire Protection: It is a fact that wood catches fire! There is no way around it. But to reduce its combustibility, it can be treated with fire retardants. There are two kinds of fire retardants:
- Water-soluble salts that are infused into the wood
However, this cannot protect the wood against a fire. But ensures that once the external fire is put out, the wood does not keep burning as fuel.
If you are renovating your home, it’s a good practice not just to think about the material you want to use but also about the kind of a ceiling you want. Hence, we’ve also shared some ceiling options that can be made of wood.
- Conventional Ceiling: One of the most commonly found ceilings in homes. A standard ceiling rises eight feet high. The conventional ceilings are defined by their simple flat surface and easily accessible height. You can easily decorate these ceilings, however, there isn’t anything special about them.
- Suspended or Drop Ceiling: This is a flat ceiling built below the existing ceiling. It may appear similar to a conventional ceiling but it is very useful if you want to hide any wires or other mechanical fixtures attached to the original ceiling. This makes it easy to install lights or remove them for repair or change. Functional and available in decorative panels, the ceiling is made from a suspended metal grid and an acoustic panel.
- Tray Ceiling: Perfect for dining rooms and kitchens, this ceiling as its name suggests is shaped like a tray. You’ll usually find them with a rectangular center that pops out upward or downwards for a dramatic effect.
- Coffered Ceiling: This is a classic ceiling preferred by high-end homes. It is essentially a grid of depressed panels highlighted by molding. You’ll usually find a decorative chandelier in the center of these ceilings.
- Cathedral or Vaulted Ceiling: These ceilings look like an inverted ‘V’. The tip of the V can go as high as 15 feet. At its base are the roof trusses that hold it down and keep it attached to the house. It is a popular feature in guest bathrooms and bedrooms for its ability to make a room spacious.
- Shed Ceiling: Somewhat similar to a cathedral ceiling but not as steep, these ceilings are seen in houses with attic spaces. The uneven wall height ceiling can be covered in headboards for a more appealing look.
- Beam Ceiling: This traditional ceiling has made a comeback. In this ceiling, the load-bearing wooden beams are not covered and are visible inside the house. These ceilings are usually common in living rooms and dining areas of modern rustic and contemporary homes.
Renovating and redesigning your home is a big project. It needs your creative input, your focus but with an element like a wooden ceiling, at least it doesn’t need a big budget. In fact, it simplifies the whole renovation process. Just changing the ceiling can uplift the way your house looks!