Dreaming of a beautiful farmhouse style living room? A country style kitchen? Love the look of exposed wood? You’re not alone. Many people are aiming to bring the timeless look of natural wood into their space. However, reclaimed wood beams can be extremely expensive, heavy, and difficult to install.
A new, modern alternative to traditional wood beams is faux wood beams. Faux wood beams have revolutionized home décor, making it possible for DIYers to create designs that used to require contractors.
Faux Wood Beams – What Are They?
Faux wood beams are a lightweight alternative to wooden beams. They are made of high-density polyurethane, and are designed to mimic the exact look of natural wood, with close attention to detail. They are created in closed molds, which form durable, weather-resistant beams.
Faux wood beams also come in a variety of styles, colors and textures, so it’s easy to find a product that fits your design goals. Because of their flexibility, realistic look, and cost-savings, faux wood beams have emerged as a popular new trend in home decorating.
Lightweight Alternatives To Wood
Part of the major appeal of faux wood beams is their light weight.
For example, a very long 8” x 10” x 20’ faux beam weighs around 40 pounds, while an equivalent real wood beam would weigh nearly 600 pounds.
This makes the faux beams much easier to install, handle, and greatly reduces transportation costs.
DIY Projects With Lightweight Ceiling Beams
These days, the internet has information on how to complete many different home renovation projects without the need for an expert.
Projects that involve reclaimed wood beams, however, can be tricky, as the beams are extremely heavy and require additional labor and tools to install successfully. Many exposed wood projects can be made easier using faux wood.
In addition, faux beams can be cut and customized with standard woodworking tools. The inside is hollow, as most form a U-shape, so it’s easy to cut them with standard saws. This makes it easy to use the hollow beams to cover parts of your home that aren’t aesthetically pleasing. An example of this would be exposed support poles in a basement.
Faux Beam Installation Process
Not only are faux beams lighter and easier to work with, but their installation is also extremely straightforward.
All you need to install faux beams are a table saw, tape measure, tape, a level, wood screws, a drill, construction adhesive, wood putty, and some scrap wood pieces. The process is simple, and you don’t need a whole crew to install the beams, since they’re so lightweight.
After you plan and measure your design, cut a few pieces of scrap wood to fit inside and anchor the beam. Hang your wood pieces by screwing them into studs. Next, apply construction adhesive to the anchor, and mount the beam. Holding the beam in place, secure the beam with screws to the anchor. If you want, you can cover the screw holes with wood putty for a seamless look.
Choosing Between Real Wood and Faux Wood Beams
If you have a small project, lots of construction experience, or have access to a wide array of woodworking tools, real wood beams may be a feasible option for you. However, the more complicated the project, the more difficult and expensive it will be to execute with real wood. You should also recognize that many beams are reclaimed, so it’s difficult to find ones that fit your exact vision.
Faux wood beams work well for a variety of décor projects.
Faux wood beams are especially suited for projects involving ceilings. Projects with interconnected beams, such as vaulting or decorative patterns, often require cuts to be made on-site so the pattern fits seamlessly.
The high-density polyurethane used in lightweight faux beams is weather-resistant. This makes faux beams especially suited to outdoor projects where the wood would be exposed to the elements.
If you’re aiming for a total home renovation, having your contractor install real wood beams might be a feasible option. If, on the other hand, you’re looking for a budget-conscious way to spruce up your space, faux beams can help you accomplish this.
The installation process is straightforward and simple, meaning that if you do have to recruit a contractor to help, the process won’t result in logistical issues that drive up the price. You also won’t need an exorbitant amount of manpower.
Planning Your DIY Project
The best thing about lightweight faux beams is that they are available in a wide array of styles, colors and textures. You can get started planning your project today by browsing our collection of faux wood ceiling beams.