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What To Know When Groin Vaulting Your Ceiling

If you’ve ever had the pleasure of getting up close and personal with a groin vaulted ceiling, you’ll know that they’re pretty unique. When you’re used to looking at straight ceilings with boring 90 degree angles, the intersecting curves of the groin vault are more than just alluring.

But it also seems very complex. So, let’s take a closer look at the groin vault to see what it’s made of.

The makings of a groin vaulted ceiling

> Making of a Groin Vault Ceiling

A groin vault is made up of two intersecting barrel vaults. Okay, that may sound complicated if you aren’t familiar with the barrel ceiling. So, let’s take a step back. A barrel vault is the simplest kind of decorative ceiling. It is made up of one single curve that is repeated over and over until the desired effect is reached. Sometimes, it’s repeated over the length of an entire ceiling. Other times, it’s done over a smaller area.

Read more about barrel vaults here .

How a barrel vault becomes a groin vaulted ceiling

So you know that a groin vault is made up of intersecting barrel vaults, but how does it work exactly? Picture two pieces of wood that were each bent into the shape of a rainbow. Now, cross one over at the intersecting center point. That’s a simplistic view of a groin vault, but you probably get the idea of how it works now.

> Barrel Vaults becoming Groin Vaults

What does a finished groin vaulted ceiling look like?

For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure of seeing a groin ceiling up close and personal, we have a treat. Take a look at these before and after pictures to see examples of this magnificent vault before and after it was finished with drywall. The unfinished groin vault is interesting because the arches create somewhat of an optical illusion. From a picture it can be difficult to gauge the depth of each component. But when it’s finished with drywall and a coat of paint, it all starts coming together.

If you’re looking to add a groin vaulted ceiling to one of your projects, kudos to you. These are some of the most stunning ceilings you can possibly add. Don’t’ be dissuaded by the complex appearance, either. Groin ceilings are a lot easier to install than you probably think – especially when you don’t have to build it from scratch yourself. When you order one of our vaulted kits, we’ll do all the hard work for you. We build the arches and offer easy-to-follow instructions for you to install the ceiling seamlessly in the quickest time possible.

> A finished groin vault ceiling

The Benefits of Groin Vaulting a Ceiling

If you've made it this far, chance are you're considering the idea of groin vaulting your ceiling. Well, of course if you ask us, it’s a good one. We've covered what makes up a groin vault, now let's find out about the benefits of choosing this ceiling type.


So, you’ve got a boring old ceiling that you’re itching to dress up? You definitely have some options. From barrel vaults to domes and tray ceilings, anything you choose will help you break through the boring and create an architectural masterpiece. But you’re probably wondering why anyone would suggest groin vaulting a ceiling over any other method. Well, wonder no more. Let’s explore the many benefits of groin vaulting.


Add value to your home.

Any decorative ceiling will add value to your home. That’s a given. And we’re not saying that groin vaulting will add more value than any other type (although, it may), but this kind of decorative ceiling adds a serious “wow” factor that is sure to grab the attention of any potential buyers.

Be the envy of your neighbors.

Just like groin vaulting will add value to your home and wow potential buyers, it will also wow your neighbors. Imagine everyone on your block with standard, boring ceilings (many people don’t have to imagine this because it’s a reality). Now, imagine being the first “kid” on the block to get, not just any decorative ceiling, but a groin vaulted ceiling. The groin vault is made from two intersecting barrel vaults and its mix of curves and angles creates a look that definitely stands apart from anything else.


Create a medieval masterpiece.

Groin vaults peaked in popularity in medieval times, but they are beginning to make a comeback today. Choose this ceiling type and position yourself ahead of the curve. You’ll notice that the groin vault is extremely common in places of worship. You’ll find groin vaulted ceilings in the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Milan, Italy, Charlemagne’s Palatine Chapel in Aachen, Germany, and the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, in Coimbra, Portugal. Where else can you find groin vaults? Head to a local church and you’re likely to see one there too. Maybe soon, you’ll just have to sit in your living room and look up to see another.

Save lots of money.

You can even save money on groin vaulting your ceiling (score!). Just order one of our premade easy-to-install kits instead of hiring someone to build your ceiling from scratch. All we need with your order is a few simple measurements, and we can get started. Within five days after we receive your order, we’ll have your very own groin vault kit, custom made to your specifications, loaded on a truck and on its way to your home or job site.

> Groin-Vaulting-3

Build Your Groin Vault Kit

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