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Cross Vault or Groin Vault?!

“What the heck is the difference between a Cross Vault and a Groin Vault? Aren’t they the same thing?!! And why do you guys have two separate pages on your website for these products?”


……..errrrrrrrrrr tap the brakes! let us explain.

Y-E-S you are correct. A cross vault and a groin vault are the same thing. “Finger quotes”

A groin vault by definition is when 2 barrel vaults intersect each other at right angles

“Wait back it up… a barrel vault?”

A barrel vault is a ceiling that creates a tunnel-like atmosphere: basically, a series of arches that meld together to create a single curved ceiling.

cross vault blog

Ok, let’s jump back to the groin vault and cross vault explanation. A groin vault is known by a number of names for example groined vault, double barrel vault or cross vault. In our opinion and for our use as a company, too many names equal to many questions…. Which leads to confusion.

As you may know or if you do not know, we are Archways & Ceilings. A small company who specializes in creating framing kits for various arched ceiling applications. In order for us to streamline our products and to make it easy for our customers who may or may not be in the building industry, we decided to name each particular ceiling to help our customers easily identify which ceiling they would like to incorporate into their home.

So, we ask you, what do you think of when you hear the word “Cross Vault?”

I am crossing my fingers and praying you are picturing a ceiling in the shape of a cross… if not, you are now because you just read my sentence above ?. The cross vault by our definition is essentially a groin vault with a barrel extending each side of that right angle intersection.

double barrel vault

If you hop on over to our cross vault page, since we coined this term for a specific use, it allows you to create a cross shaped ceiling easily because we both have an understanding of what type of ceiling we are trying to create. We know the length and width will create the groin vault but now you have an option to have “extensions” for the vault which will give it that cross like appearance. In our world, if the groin vault didn’t have barrel vault extensions, it would be just your typical groin vault ceiling.

cross vault ceiling

So, hopping back into the real world, a cross vault and a groin vault are technically the same thing, but once you come into ours they mean 2 different things. I hope my rambling and bouncing around didn’t confuse you anymore then when you landed here but if it did, just watch the video below. It will help paint a better picture of a cross vault.

Shop Cross Vaults


Over and Out!

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