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Difference Between Cathedral and Vaulted Ceilings

Difference Between Cathedral and Vaulted Ceilings

Cathedral and vaulted ceilings differ primarily in their slopes and framework near the rooftops. DecorDezine explains about these and such other differences between the two in the following write-up.
DecorDezine Staff
Aesthetically Pleasing
Cathedral and vaulted ceilings make a room look larger, spacious, taller, dramatic, and brighter!

If we observe keenly, an innate style of design in every building inspires its architecture. Of the many masterpieces, certain heritage buildings have a different charm altogether. Is it just because they were built some hundreds of years ago? Certainly not! There is more to it than just the history. One such magnificent example of historic architecture are the Cathedrals. The crafting of their interiors must have taken no less effort. The grandeur of these structures gets us thinking about its details.
The ceiling forms a very crucial part of this interior, which lends it the magnanimity and splendor. Inspired from these huge and decorated ceilings of the old monuments such as the cathedrals, people have beautified their homes in a similar fashion lately. Though there are various types of ceilings, the cathedral and vaulted ceilings are preferred by many for the dramatic effect they give to the home spaces. And, of course, it definitely works as a style statement.
What is a Cathedral Ceiling
It refers to a tall, central, symmetrical ceiling, which is usually as seen in old churches. It has parallel walls, tapering towards the center of the structure. The room is, thus, opened up to its highest possible point, maximizing the utilization of space. It is similar to the shape of the roof. A tall and huge interior enclosing the base of the room is the highlight of this ceiling.
What is a Vaulted Ceiling?
It is a ceiling with either one or two sloping sides, with an unequal slope forming a peak near the roof. A vaulted ceiling basically refers to an arched construction. The barrel vault is a popular type with semicircular arches. The groin vault is another type that is built at the intersection of two barrel vaults.
Stone, brick, wood, or reinforced concrete is used in building a vaulted ceiling. The lowering slope of the wall makes the room look larger, adding to its volume.
Difference Between Cathedral and Vaulted Ceilings
Cathedral  Vaulted Ceilings
The ceiling is usually equal to the pitch of the roof. The ceiling need not be equal to the pitch of the roof.
It is attached to or built according to the roof structure. It does not directly meet the roof's framework.
The walls on both sides of the ceiling have equal slopes. One wall of the ceiling may be steeper than the other side; hence, sides of the ceiling have unequal slopes or there might just be one sloping side.
The sloping sides meet at the center of the roof (at the ridge running across the length of the room). The sides or wall, not always being symmetrical, do not meet at the roof center.
It may not have an arch or curve. It is mostly a carved or arch-type structure.
The equal parallel sides are generally enclosed below the roof rafters, and thus built with the same pitch as the roof. These are framed with the help of scissor trusses (a type of beam framework supporting the roof).
Letting the natural light in through the glass panes of highly placed windows is the easiest and most natural way. Track lighting, skylights, and chandeliers can illuminate cathedral ceilings well. Skylights, recessed lighting, and chandeliers or any hanging lights enhance the look of this ceiling.
In cases where the ceiling is too tall, a darker shade of color (instead of a light-colored ceiling) makes the room cozier. Also, some prefer leaving the beams or trusses of the vaulted ceiling exposed, thus maintaining the raw feel of the structure. While decorating these spaces, the right choice of colors, artwork, or antiques makes them look even more spectacular along with preserving their essence.