The height of the ceiling is a major component to consider when designing any home. The ceiling can help you look at a room in a new way, it can make it look quite wide or on the contrary diminutive. When you are going to set the best height for the ceiling, you need to have information at your disposal as to what the height is in most standard homes. And even if you are going to do something special, the parameter of the standard ceiling height should not be ignored.
Today, the standard ceiling height is nine feet for the very first floor, but if you have a two-story house, the standard for the upper floors is eight foot ceilings. In a few rooms, this value can vary, often downward. The standard height has never stood still and used to change frequently. This was due to the different styles that were in vogue and the general rules of safe building design and construction.
Over time, a standard ceiling height has been found, but it’s not a necessary metric that could cause something to happen to your home. So don’t start panicking if, after reading the first few paragraphs of our article, you ran to measure it and found it to be less than nine feet.
We’ve researched this topic at length for you and are now ready to tell you all about your ceilings. If you want to learn as much information as you can about ceiling height, ideas for increasing it, and other interesting facts, you should read this article in its entirety.
Previous Ceiling Standards
The standard height of nine foot ceilings was not always so. If you look at all the milestones in the history of construction, you will find that this has changed frequently over the years. If your house was built before the forties, you may find that the ceiling heights range from ten to twelve feet. This was a major trend in construction at the time because the cost of everything was less and there was plenty of land to build on.
But that standard ceiling height wasn’t enough, and we can trace that most of the houses that have survived from the sixties and eighties were already built with eight-foot ceilings. This was a time when all the materials associated with building ceilings were supplied to the market in eight-foot pieces.
Understandably, it was easier to buy one piece of wood and it was more rational to use it, so the popularity of eight-foot ceilings can be explained by this factor.
In addition, at the same time, the country was very short of natural gas due to strained relations with those who supplied it. Therefore, it was necessary that the house itself was able to store heat perfectly for a long time.
Low ceilings prevented heat from rising far from the floor, so the rooms in the house heated much faster with little gas consumption. This fashion existed until the nineties. So if your house was built at that time, the standard ceiling height may be low.
While we’ve come to the conclusion that nine-foot ceilings are the modern standard for ceiling height, there are several types of ceilings that you shouldn’t write off.
We’re going to talk about them now.
- A coffered ceiling uses artificial or real beams to make different shapes on the ceiling. Most often squares or rectangles are used. Coffered ceilings make a room look deeper and a little more stylish. You need a ceiling that’s nine foot ceilings or, better yet, ten feet high in order for you to make your own.
- Suspended ceilings are also enviably popular. Their peculiarity is that the inside should be just above the designated boundary of a standard ceiling. It also helps to increase the space in the room, as do coffered ceilings. The standard height for such a ceiling is nine feet for the bottom and ten for the recess.
How Can You Make Your Low Ceilings Look Taller?
Let’s start with what you should never do for minimum ceiling height:
- Bulky hanging chandeliers with pendants and numerous lampshades will make the room visually even lower, and the housemates with height above average in general can touch such decoration with the head;
- Stucco on the ceiling and abundant decorations on the walls;
- Massive furniture. Large cabinets, high coffee tables, large sofas take up too much space and will be appropriate only in large, high rooms;
- Heavy curtains with lambrequins also make the impression of clutter, and make the ceilings even lower;
- Too many dark colors.
If you got an apartment with minimum ceiling height, then you have to compromise with your design desires and preferences, trying not to make the situation worse, and even more, to visually make the room higher.
The main nuance in the design of low ceilings is the choice of appropriate finishes. The right color and texture is half the battle.
To make the ceiling in a low room visually higher, use these design tricks:
- Bet on white. This is a win-win for all small and low rooms. White and light, pastel shades can work wonders and literally push the boundaries of space. Painting the ceiling white is the easiest and very effective solution;
- gloss and shine. We all know how well glossy surfaces reflect light. If the gloss is strong, it can work like a mirror and literally duplicate the space, so you can’t think of a better solution for a low room than glossy ceilings. You can paint the surface with glossy paint, you can – install a white glossy stretch ceiling. The latter option is more commonly used by designers and, indeed, works very, very well to increase the height of the room;
- blue shades for the ceiling. A white ceiling is referred to by many as a hospital or office ceiling. If, in fact, it would cause discomfort, then you can resort to an alternative solution – shades of blue. This color in our subconscious associates with the sky, so the ceiling surface will automatically seem a little higher than it really is;
- the ceiling should be lighter than the walls. Whatever experiments with colors you decide on, you must remember that the walls should not be lighter than the ceiling. Otherwise, the ceiling will be even more pressing and seem lower than it is;
- ceiling and walls in the same color. This is a popular design move that allows you to blur the boundary of the transition between the wall surface and the ceiling;
- Boxes and moldings. If you lay out a box or make moldings from gypsum board or special Styrofoam tiles along the edges of the ceiling, you can visually deepen the center of the ceiling. It is important that the thickness of such decorative constructions was small, otherwise you can get the opposite effect. It is better to decide on such experiments if the ceiling height is 2.5-2.7 m;
- Vertical stripes are another win-win way to raise the ceiling. It is better if the stripes are wide and combine not too contrasting colors. Striped make only one, accent, wall, otherwise in the eyes will be a lot of ripples. Instead of the usual stripes, you can use an ornament of tree trunks or rhombuses. Vertical stripes can be drawn on a painted wall; you can use wallpaper with a matching pattern. Stripes can go on the ceiling. Natural wood panels also work quite well.
Want to know more? Watch the following video.
Useful Information: How to Decorate a Room With Low Ceilings?
This video is about how to decorate a room with low ceilings. You will learn how to decorate a room with low ceilings with help from a registered interior designer.
Does Ceiling Height Affect Room Temperature
The above-ceiling space, floor thickness, and standard ceiling height of a room make up the total floor height between the clear floor marks. The floor height is usually determined by the construction of the building and the building design standards.
It directly affects the energy efficiency of a building because it determines the area of the building’s exterior surface that is exposed to the weather and solar radiation.
The effect of reduced ceiling heights on comfort, especially in hot climates, has aroused scientific interest in many countries for at least two reasons: the desire to conserve energy without inconveniencing people and the desire to reduce the capital cost of construction. Another advantage of lower ceiling heights is that the amount of air conditioning required is reduced, which also saves energy.
In the case of precast structures, reduced ceiling heights allow for the use of prefabricated uniform elements with smaller dimensions, thus reducing production costs in the concrete factory and in construction. Systematic studies of problems associated with reducing ceiling heights have been conducted in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.
In the UK, in addition, the purely subjective attitude of residents to low ceilings (2.4-2.55 m) was studied.
It was concluded that a lower ceiling height does not adversely affect the microclimate in the apartment and does not cause any unpleasant feelings.
Almost 90 per cent of those who had occupied apartments with low ceilings reported that this height seemed normal to them, while for most of them it had never even occurred to them that the ceilings were too low.
In India, outdoor and indoor temperatures were measured in four experimental 3.6×3 m dwellings, with a west-facing veranda. The rooms were identical throughout, except that the ceilings were 2.4 m, 2.7 m and 3.3 m high. The results showed that increasing the ceiling height to 2.7 m did not produce any noticeable improvement in temperature conditions.
In the USA, a national conference on home design also discussed the question of optimal ceiling heights. The majority of delegates felt that the U.S. standard ceiling height of 2.4 m was adequate, while a small number of participants favored increasing the ceiling height in living rooms to 2.55 m.
Pros and Cons of High and Low Ceilings
They have their disadvantages:
- Costs will be higher during the construction phase of the building. This also entails higher costs for the interior decoration of the room.
- Difficult organization of the heating system, the operation of which will require significant money.
- Increased complexity of repair work. Repairers will have to use special facilities. This draws an increase in the cost and time of repair work.
- Difficulties manifested in everyday life. Requires a special approach to maintenance, cleaning the room. Difficulties can cause even changing a light bulb.
- Contribute to the formation of a specific atmosphere, a sense of space.
- A large space for imagination when decorating. Such ceilings contribute to the creation of an individual design of the ceiling, it is possible to use several levels with different decorative solutions from plasterboard. They are perfect for the baroque style, which requires a variety of stuccowork, as well as for the classics.
Space with high ceilings, experts recommend decorating, following the “rule of three” – the walls are divided into three sections. The lower level is designed for auxiliary finishing, the middle – occupied by shelves, paintings.
In this case, it is not recommended to place pictures beyond eye level, otherwise there will be a feeling of emptiness. The last section of the wall, the upper one, is left empty. Such a breakdown allows even more visually raise the level of the ceiling. For lighting, it is recommended to use chandeliers of large size. Thanks to them, the room will become elegant and chic.
- Form a sense of pressurizing overlap, which causes discomfort from being in the room.
- Inability to use large chandeliers, especially in relation to the ceiling height of 2 meters – a large chandelier will create an unfavorable environment.
- Restrictions on the decorative design – it will be irrational to have a multilevel ceiling. Its creation is accompanied by difficulties, and its implementation in practice is possible only with the recourse to highly qualified specialists.
The advantages of low ceilings are the disadvantages of high ceilings, there is no point in dwelling on them in detail. Specialists in the design of the room with low ceilings recommend abandoning the following elements:
- lampshades, massive floor lamps;
- stucco on the ceiling, the use of volumetric decorative elements;
- large cabinets, high tables and bulky sofas;
- Painted curtains fixed directly on the wall; plastic curtains fixed on the ceiling would be fine.
Designers believe that it is better to accentuate the texture and color of the room. A good solution would be the maximum use of white. This color contributes to the visual increase in space.
When choosing the standard ceiling height in the country house should be guided by the size of the rooms, so that their proportions were harmonious.
- cause a sense of reticence, pressure;
- limit the choice of ceiling fixtures;
- make it impossible to design solutions such as stretch or suspended structures.
- make the interior look unpresentable for standard ceiling height .