Box beams are made of three or four pieces of wood nailed together to create a decorative effect.

Box beams are made of three or four pieces of wood nailed together to create a decorative effect.


Finished box beams can be as simple or as complex as you like.

Finished box beams can be as simple or as complex as you like.


It’s good to know a variety of building ideas to draw from as you design your dream home. Box beams are hollow, nonstructural members made from ¾” plywood or solid wood. They add a beautiful look that can dress up an otherwise boring ceiling without too much time, cost and labor. You could build box beams with recycled wood for virtually free. Sometimes box beams are used to hide ugly steel beams, but usually they’re added just for aesthetics. You can add crown molding and extra trim if you want to make the ceiling extra nice. (It’s easy to make custom trim on an improvised router table.) The photos above offer a glimpse of design possibilities. If you’re interested in learning more, search Google Images for lots more info.

Image source: Levanna Restoration Lumber (reclaimed/salvaged wood looks great! And be sure to check out their gallery page.)
Image source: 5th Wall Designs (lots of good photos and ideas on their site)


Comments

Box Beams — 5 Comments

  1. Glad to see this and the “Arched And Coved Ceilings” in the 9404 blog. My Hobbit house will have both. I’m a little apprehensive about the woodwork but, I guess you have to get the first right and the rest will fall into place. I sure hope so. Doc, do you have any advice in this area? A book or something?

  2. Also a way to hide upstairs bathroom fixtures that don’t quite fit. I installed a shower stall in an upstairs bathroom in my last house. Using used/recycled as much as I could and the trap I had stuck a little too far down. Boxed it in with pine and painted the same color as the wall. I tell people that that detail was always in the plans. : )

  3. I’ve always loved box beams in older homes. They can be incorporated into so many different architectural styles and have such a cozy yet regal feel and look.

    • Most ceilings are really boring. With a little time and effort you can create a special look. This can include nonstructural wood poles with the top part cut off so they sit flat against the ceiling. This is another type of faux beam.

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