Conventional ceilings are smooth, flat, and seamless. They are constructed from drywall attached to the undersides of roof trusses or floor joists. The drywall joints and fasteners are covered with joint tape and drywall compound and then sanded smooth and painted.
Most homes have conventional ceilings in rooms with 8’ or 9’ walls. Some houses have higher walls–sometimes over 12’ high–to provide a more expansive feel in the room. Higher walls increase the cost of house construction.
Conventional Ceiling Popularity
Conventional ceilings are popular because they cost less than most other options. They can also be adapted to many construction styles. Regardless of wall height.
Whatever the wall height, ceiling framing already exists. Completing the room only requires ⅝” thick sheets of drywall, tape, and mud. Primer and paint or a textured finish quickly complete the ceiling.
When it comes to construction, more height equals work taking longer to complete. Slower and more complicated increases costs. Higher conventional ceilings are more expensive than lower ceilings. But still significantly cheaper than other types of ceilings–such as vaulted ceilings or sloped ceilings.
Conventional Ceiling Finishes
Conventional ceilings are not always just smooth and boring. They can be finished in a number of ways besides painting. Most of these finishes use drywall mud to add a textured look to the ceiling. Some of the more common textured ceilings include:
- Popcorn Finish.
- Knockdown Finish.
- Spray Sand Finish.
- Orange Peel Finish.
Retrofitting a Conventional Ceiling
Raising the height of a conventional ceiling is often an expensive proposition because of the original building design. It can involve raising or cutting out part of the roof/ceiling or removing a floor to increase wall heights.
Retrofitting a conventional ceiling should always involve an engineer because of the removal and replacement of structural and/or load-bearing framing. Modifying single-family homes is possible. Multi-story apartments are next to impossible.
A higher ceiling will make the room feel larger, airier, and more open. It can also increase the resale value. To enjoy the benefits and aesthetics of higher ceilings, put them into building plans before construction begins.
Conventional Ceilings Are the Beginning
Conventional ceilings are quite often the base design for more creative, interesting, and attractive treatments. Some ceilings–like the following three–start with the conventional smooth flat ceiling and add to it. The construction required does not cut into the floor or roof structure.
- Cove Ceilings. Have rounded corners at the junction of walls and ceiling.
- Coffered Ceilings. Checkerboard pattern added to the underside of a conventional ceiling. Typically wood.
- Beamed Ceilings. Faux wooden beams added to the underside of a conventional ceiling.
Domed Vault and Tray ceilings may start out as conventional ceilings but the design requires cutting up into the framing to accommodate the recessed area. Or leaving the original conventional ceiling intact as the recessed portion and building the surrounding area lower.
Conventional ceilings can be enhanced in dozens of ways. Add moldings. Add wallpaper. It is more difficult to apply working overhead, but the results can be quite striking. Use multiple paint colors. Add different light treatments.
Smooth seamless flat ceilings make for clean design palettes. Creative design makes for attractive and appealing ceilings. However, smooth flat conventional ceilings do not detract from wall treatments or views.