If you prefer to do home improvements yourself, there are many details you should be aware of. Upon starting a project–such as installing ceiling beams in the living room–there are various questions that may come up over the course of purchasing materials, getting the right tools for installation, and going about the process.
Here, we’ll address 5 questions that could come up for the DIY ceiling beam installation in your living room:
1. What is the total cost to install wood beams in my living room?
One of the first questions that will likely come up is about the cost. The price tag will vary based on the size of your living room, how much space you want between each beam, and the type of material you use. Perhaps the biggest factor is real vs faux beams. Real, traditional wooden beams can be quite costly for the following reasons:
- Wood is a pricey material, especially richer hardwoods such as mahogany. The nicer the wood, the more it’s going to cost per square foot.
- Wood is heavy. The cost of installation doesn’t only take into account the material itself, but also the cost of labor lifting beams into place and making sure they’re secure.
- Getting wooden beams into place in your living room may also require extra structural reinforcement, which further adds to the cost.
When going with a less expensive material such as faux wood, there are fewer logistical difficulties (and therefore fewer costs) involved. The structural issues you might run into with real wood won’t come up with light weight faux wood beams, reducing the costs to less than $15 per foot installed.
2. What are faux wood beams made of?
Faux wood beams are made of high-density polyurethane. This material is essentially a foam that has been expanded within an enclosed mold. The constraints of the mold force the material to form into a highly dense product that is comparable in strength to real wood.
While it has a great deal of strength, high-density polyurethane ends up being lighter than real wooden beams. Polyurethane doesn’t decay over time the way wood does, and it is much easier to keep up. This means no mold, little to no weathering, and no moisture damage, making it ideal for a living room feature that lasts decades.
Keep Reading: See the different types of faux wood ceiling beams
3. How far apart should ceiling beams be?
When determining how much material you need, one factor you’ll have to consider is how far apart your ceiling beams should be spaced. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal taste, of course, but you’ll generally see spacing anywhere between two and eight feet apart.
Closer spacing will mean more material, but it will create a “fuller” look than wider spacing will. If you want something a bit cozier, richer, or with a bit more texture, close spacing is the way to go.
Wider spacing will leave the ceiling feeling more open and clear, possibly making it feel a bit higher than it would if you had closely packed beams. Again, this is a matter of preference and will depend on the overall atmosphere you’re going for in your living room.
Another important matter to consider when calculating the number and placement of beams in your living room is how you want to start spacing them from the sides. You might want a full or half beam flush with the wall, or simply start them with some initial space from the wall.
4. Should ceiling beams match the living room floor?
If you have hardwood floors in your living room, it may be tempting to match your ceiling beams with them. Whether you do or don’t depends on your own preference and the overall effect you hope to achieve. It’s not strictly necessary to have them match, so go with what seems like it would look best to you.
When determining the staining of your ceiling beams, remember that warm, rich colors will achieve a cozier effect while lighter ones will help the whole space feel more open. Darker hardwood colors can appear a bit cooler than warmer browns, achieving a more serious or modern effect, while the warmer colors may appear more rustic.
Matching the colors of your ceiling beams with the floor can help unify the visual impact of a space, but it might also create a flat, monotone effect in some cases as well. Again, it depends on the look you want for your living room.
Need Inspiration? Check Out These Living Room Ceiling Beam Design Ideas
5. How do you paint ceiling beams?
Regardless of the material you choose, you may wish to stain or paint it yourself. Faux wood beams often come prefinished, but you might choose to finish it yourself. With real wood, staining is almost a guaranteed necessity, and you’ll undoubtedly need to refinish it again in the future.
You might also want to paint your beams a different color completely to add some splashes of color to your living room. It’s typically best to paint them before installing them. You’ll have far less mess that way. Using a paint roller with the color paint you want is probably the most efficient way to paint your ceiling beams, and it will minimize the texture as well. For added texture, using a brush may be preferable.
If you want to paint your beams after installation, make sure you cover the edges with masking tape and set up tarps or drop cloths under each beam. Remove all furniture from the area, get out the ladder, and paint away. It will be a messy process, but the end results can be stunning.
Bring Your Living Room To Life (For Less Money)
If your next home improvement project involves installing living room ceiling beams, going with lightweight faux beams can make the process much simpler and less costly. You’ll have an easier time doing it yourself, and the results can be just as attractive as real wood.
Still not sure about faux beams? Check out these real-life Before & After project photos from people who used faux wood beams to create their perfect interior.
Want to see it in your home first? Get a sample faux wood beam for just $25 (including shipping & handling) and get a better idea of what your living room beams will look like before placing an order. Click here to learn more about our samples.