Looking to add a little pizzazz to your living room, dining room, or anywhere else in your home? Wooden beams are an excellent ceiling design element that adds warmth and charm to any room, especially if you have high ceilings. Faux beams are the way to go because they’re much lighter than wood and come in a wide variety of style options.
This is the project for you if you’re comfortable using a ladder and are skilled at cutting faux wood and handling a saw. However, if you’re not a seasoned DIYer, you might be more comfortable hiring a professional contractor to install these beams for you. Read on to learn step-by-step instructions on installing faux beams.
“The aesthetic appeal of a wood beam is amazing,” says Bob Tschudi, Angi Expert Review Board member and general contractor in Raleigh, NC. “Whether it is a real beam or a faux beam really doesn’t matter—exposed beams provide a feeling of stability and history that really enhance the home-owning experience.”Follow the steps below to install them in any room of your house.
Follow the steps below to install them in any room of your house.
Determine the Room Layout
You know which room you want your beams to be in, and now you need to map out how you want them to look. Figure out how many beams you’d like, which direction the beams will go in, and how far apart you want them to be. You can draw your room or take a photo of it to build out how you want it to look.
Locate the Ceiling Joists
Using a stud finder, locate your ceiling joists. Installing the beams on the joists eliminates a step, but if you find that this location isn’t optimal for the design you want, you can install joists in the location you want. Mark the location of the studs or where you’d like to install joists.
Measure and Mark the Beam Location
Obtain the measurements of the beams themselves to gauge how far apart each beam will be. In this step, you’ll need two measurements: the inner hollow part of the beam, for creating the rails, and the outer width of the beam.
Next, you’ll measure out the location of your beams. You can do this by making tick marks for each location, one to mark the rails (the inner measurement) and one to mark the beams (the outer measurement). Once you’ve made the tick marks, use chalk tape to line the ceiling and measure the length.
Cut and Install the Rails
Take the measurements of your beams’ location and start by cutting the rails. You can create the rails using 2-by-4 pieces of wood, which will have two paired together per beam. For example, if you are putting up one beam, you’ll need two rails. Having two rails strengthens the hold of your beam.
Once you cut the rails to size, you’ll want to drill holes for installation. How many holes you need will depend on the length of the beam, but a good rule of thumb is about every 36 inches. Measure and mark the location, and then drill quarter-inch holes.
Now you’re ready to install the rails. This is best done with two people, so someone else can help hold the rail while you drill. Measure the rail to the chalk line and drill through the holes into the ceiling, then use a drill and screw to hold the beams in place.
Cut and Install Your Beams
Once your rails are in place, you’re ready to prepare and install the beam. Measure and cut the beam to length. Due to the material, these tend to cut easily, so you can use a handsaw to cut.
Once you cut the beams to size, you’re ready to install. Again, this is best done with two people to ensure easier installation. The beam will fit right over the rails and should fit tightly inside the hollow part of the beam. To affix the beam, you’ll use finish head screws with a drill about every 14 inches along each side of the beam.
Fill the screw heads with colored wood putty to match the shade of your beam. As needed, apply caulk to seal any exposed ends of the beam, whether that be on the ceiling or along the wall.
Why choose faux wood over real wood?
If your goal is to add style with exposed beams instead of support, faux wood is the way to go. While you may be tempted to use something like reclaimed barn wood for your beams, real wood is costly, heavy, and at risk of warping and insect damage.
Faux wood eliminates those concerns with budget-friendly pricing and lightweight material, which makes DIY installation a breeze.
Faux wood also offers hundreds of style and texture options and the material, which is high-density polyurethane, gives it a real wood appearance. You’re much more likely to find a style that matches your home decor with faux wood than with real wood.
Where can you install faux beams?
Faux beams make a great addition to virtually any room in your home. If you have rooms with high ceilings, faux beams can add depth and warmth to a larger space.
Are faux wood beams functional?
On their own, faux beams add a stylish appearance to your home. If you have something on your ceiling that looks cluttered, faux beams can be a great solution.
Faux beams are completely functional in your home. Because they are hollow and lightweight, they can be used to hide pipes or wires, cover cracks in the ceiling, and make an otherwise uneven ceiling appear more pleasing to the eye.