Skip to content
[COVID-19] Archways & Ceilings is OPEN for business → read more.
Welcome Canadians! Start here →
Archways & Ceilings is OPEN for business → read more.
Welcome Canadians! Start here →

Common Ceiling Types Explained in Plain English

Before you complete your home design, check out these popular ceiling types

When you start looking into construction and remodeling projects, the industry lingo can be a bit overwhelming. Why does everyone seem to expect that you’re a licensed contractor just because you want to have a hand in designing your home?

But still, any good designer should understand the basics of the elements they’re using. It just makes good sense. So, we’ve taken the liberty of simplifying the definitions a bit. It’s not that you couldn’t understand the industry speak, but why would you even want to try? Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of the most common ceiling types:

  1. Barrel vault: Of all the ceiling types, this one is actually the simplest. It can be done on a large scale (say, above the entire span of a spacious living room), but the design is still relatively simple. It consists of just one arch that is repeated over and over again. Here is an example of a small barrel arch used to accent a bath tub. They are also popular in media rooms and dining rooms.
  2. Coved ceiling: Unlike the other ceiling types, the cove ceiling often starts where the walls meet the ceiling. It’s often used to soften up the room. As you can see from the example here, the coved ceiling gets rid of the stark angles that are usually found where the wall connects to the ceiling.
  3. Dome ceiling: Of all the ceiling types, the dome is the most pronounced. You can choose a half-circle or a softer curve, but the dome will provide a pop of interest wherever you decide to install it. Domes are usually come with soft lighting inside, called a light ring, but this is an optional feature.
  4. Groin vault: Although the dome offers a major change in a small space, the groin vault can offer a big impact over a larger space. The groin vault is among the most complex ceiling types because it is made of intersecting barrel vaults. As you can see from the example, a groin vault can instantly give a space a medieval or Romanesque feel.
You’ve probably seen these ceiling types in various structures, from historic churches to your neighbor’s entryway. But you may not know that they are each more affordable than most people realize. When you use one of our prefabricated kits, you can install any of these stunning ceilings for a fraction of the time and money it would have taken to build them from scratch. No need to learn any fancy lingo. All you need to order is just three simple dimensions.
Previous article Barrel Vault vs Groin Vault