Often asked: What?s the difference between a vaulted ceiling and a cathedral ceiling?

By: Thurman Schinner

Vaulted vs. While a cathedral ceiling has equal sloping sides that are parallel to the actual pitch of the roof, a vaulted ceiling does not follow the roof?s pitch, with more styles to choose from.
What is considered a vaulted ceiling?
A vaulted ceiling refers to any ceiling that angles up toward the roof to extend higher than the standard eight- to ten-foot height of average flat ceilings. Among the most common types of vaulted ceilings are arched, barrel, cathedral, domed, groin, and rib, each with its own unique structure.
What is considered cathedral ceiling?
What is a cathedral ceiling? Even back then, a cathedral ceiling was defined as a symmetrical ceiling whose two sloping sides meet at a ridge in the middle of the room. The slope of a cathedral ceiling is generally the same as the slope of the roof of the building.
What is the difference between a sloped ceiling and a vaulted ceiling?
By architectural definition, a cathedral ceiling is defined by symmetry with equal steeply sloping sides, meeting at a ridge in the middle of a room and normally mirroring the pitch of the roof structure. Vaulted ceilings, on the other hand, are not typically constructed using the same pitch as the roof.

What does a cathedral ceiling look like in a house?
A cathedral ceiling features straight sides that slope upward to match the shape of a roof?s pitch. Both slopping sides are symmetrical and parallel to the pitch of the roof, unlike a vaulted ceiling, which does not follow the shape of the roof.
What is cathedral vaulted ceiling?
Vaulted and Cathedral Ceilings A vaulted ceiling slopes upward from both sides to form a peak. On the other hand, cathedral ceilings are defined by their symmetry: they feature two equal sloping sides that meet at a higher point in the middle and often conform to the shape of the roof.
Are cathedral ceilings out of style?
An alternative to a conventional flat ceilings, cathedral ceilings are far from outdated. However, you will find that there are polarizing opinions on vaulted or cathedral ceilings, so ultimately you must make sure you really like the raised ceiling style.
What do you call a half vaulted ceiling?
Barrel Vault Ceiling The barrel vault ceiling is one that?s a upward arch the entire length of the room like a barrel cut in half.

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What is a vaulted structure?
vault, in building construction, a structural member consisting of an arrangement of arches, usually forming a ceiling or roof. Roman architects discovered that two barrel vaults that intersected at right angles formed a groin vault, which, when repeated in series, could span rectangular areas of unlimited length.
Are cathedral ceilings expensive?
While the end cost is heavily dependent on where you build and the unique design of your home, vaulted ceilings do cost more to build than the usual shorter ceilings. You?ll need a plan to mitigate higher heating and cooling costs. The simple truth is that vaulted ceilings make a room more expensive to heat.
Do vaulted ceilings have an attic?
Virtually any house with a sloped roof will support a vaulted ceiling, just as long as attic space exists in which to construct the vault. Steeper roof pitches are necessary for higher vaults, while lower-pitched roofs will only accommodate shallower vaults.
Can you turn a regular ceiling into a vaulted ceiling?
If your home is a modest-size, single-story tract home with standard, 8-foot ceilings, it?s an ideal candidate for vaulting a ceiling. Depending on how steep your roof pitch is, vaulting a 20-by-20-foot room creates a new ceiling that?s 11 to 12 feet high at its peak. The price isn?t low, though.
What is a cathedral vault?
A rib vault or ribbed vault is an architectural feature for covering a wide space, such as a church nave, composed of a framework of crossed or diagonal arched ribs. This greatly reduced the weight and thus the outward thrust of the vault.
How much do vaulted ceilings cost?
It costs between $18,000 and $25,000 to vault an 11-to 12-foot ceiling in a 20-by-20 foot room. There are other considerations to make before vaulting your ceiling. You?ll pay more for heating, because it takes more energy to fill the new, larger space.
Are vaulted ceilings energy efficient?
Vaulted ceilings are notorious energy wasters because room heat naturally rises into the empty space where it offers no benefit to the occupants. Energy loss can be more pronounced with vaulted ceilings that are fitted with skylights or other windows.
How high is a vaulted ceiling?
For new vaulted or cathedral ceilings, aim for a minimum of 13 feet at the ceiling?s top.

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