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Wood Beam Kitchen Ceiling

Exposed real wood beams have always had a certain appeal that’s hard to resist. Many people consider a wood beam kitchen ceiling to be rustic but that’s not necessarily the case. A variety of home styles ranging from traditional to ultra modern are incorporating exposed wood beams into their designs. If you’re looking for a way to make your kitchen really stand out then look up. The ceiling can set the tone for the entire space and is an area that’s so often overlooked. Coffered ceilings and crown moldings are both beautiful looks but if you really want to make an impact then add something with even more depth and charm. Exposed ceiling beams can give you just that.

Wood ceiling beams can take an ordinary kitchen and make it remarkable. They instantly draw the eye up, making the space feel larger which makes a big impression without taking up any square footage in the room. And because they’re real wood they add a much needed bit of contrast, depth and texture to the room.

You can achieve the look using real wood beams, which can be heavy and very expensive, or with faux wood beams a.k.a. “box beams”. Faux beams are designed to resemble real wood in look, size, and texture. They’re hollow on the inside which makes them much lighter and in some cases cheaper. This also makes transport and installation much easier and saves money.

If you like the look of exposed beams a good option is to install faux wood beams. Below we’ll discuss both options, faux and real beams, the pros and cons of each along with a bunch of great inspirational pics.

faux wood beams vs solid wood beams

Faux real wood beam next o a solid wood beam.

Faux Wood Beams

A lot of homeowners would love the look of a solid wood beam kitchen ceiling but are held back by the high cost of materials and installation. Solid real wood beams aren’t cheap and because of their weight and being located on the ceiling, they’re not easy to install. If you want the same look as solid wood but can’t afford it then consider faux beam options. In most cases faux beams are less expensive to buy and install. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about the beams rotting, cracking or warping due to problems inside the wood that you can’t see.

Faux wood beams are made from either real wood that’s cut from the edge of a real wood beam or a composite product. High density polyurethane or styrofoam with a thin finished edge are the most common types of faux wood beams.

Composite faux wood beams are not as strong or durable as real wood beams but they’re a lot cheaper. They’re also not as nice as using real wood but give you the look for a lot less.

Exposed Wood Beams In The Kitchen

Below are inspirational pics of wood beamed kitchen ceilings from our archive we hope will help you in designing a remarkable home.

exposed kitchen ceiling beams white and marble luxury kitchen design light grey and white shaker cabinets

Exposed Real Wood Beams In The Kitchen

By far, the most popular place to install exposed wood beams is on the ceiling. Using real wood creates a certain elegant, yet warm character that other finishing options just can’t match. This is made even more prevalent when they’re used in the kitchen since this is a room that can sometimes feel a bit cold. All the white, grey and marble that’s being used now a days can really use just a splash of natural color and texture to add some of that homey feeling that belongs in a kitchen.

Many homeowners go with the aged look, where faux wood beams are designed to look like old and weathered wood which is exactly what you see above. It’s a fantastic look that works well in a wide variety of styles.

You can also opt for some darker finishes and more textured wood, especially if you want to create contrast against a bright kitchen design.

Beyond color and texture, you can also play with the shape of the beams. Wood ceiling beams come in a wide range of shapes and sizes including curved and straight.

The Look Above For Less

faux wood beam closeup 1

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If you want the look shown above but are working on a budget try this faux wood beam by Ekena Millwork with “Honey Dew” finish. They make great faux wood beams that are less expensive than real beams and easier to install but give you the same look. Make sure you order the correct lengths you need as they vary.

  • 1 inch wall thickness.
  • Impervious to decay, insect infestation, water damage and won’t warp, crack or split.
  • Realistic wood texture.
  • Requires no additional structural support, which means significant savings in material and labor.

honey colors wood beam stain

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If you like the color but want solid wood ceiling beams then this is the stain you need. It’s “Honey” by Minwax. Make sure you but a stain with a flat or matte finish unless you want some shine.

  • Available in 28 beautiful colors.
  • Can be used to add beauty to any bare or stripped wood surface.
  • It is ideal for staining unfinished wood furniture, cabinets, wood door, trim, molding and hardwood floors.
  • Penetrates deep into wood fibers to highlight the grain.
  • America’s favorite wood finish.

exposed kitchen ceiling beams with white cabinets dark wood floors

Exposed Wood Ceiling Beams White Cabinets And Dark Floors

If you like the look of a wood beam kitchen ceiling then consider this design. Large center and edge beams running with the cabinet line with smaller center beams running the other way. It’s a great design that creates a coffered ceiling look.

This shade of wood is a nice in between, contrasting with both the white cabinets and the super dark hardwood floors.

The beige tone found in the countertop stone works really well with the natural wood color as well. Everything in this kitchen flows together very nicely which is important in a kitchen since it contains so many design elements. You really need to take time considering everything that goes into the room and how they’ll look both as an individual item and as part of the whole.

Even the wall paint plays off of the ceiling beam color and countertops. White cabinets and tile look good with just about anything as does the super dark floors.

dark wood kitchen ceiling beams with dark cabinets

Dark Wood Kitchen Ceiling Beams

This design is similar to the pic shown above with a twist. A large center beam running with the cabinets with a few smaller beams running against the main beam. It still provides a bit of a coffered ceiling look but not as pronounced.

The dark wood with a semi gloss finish work really well with the textured wall paint. Since your getting some texture from the paint it’s not as important to get it from the wood. The stain color is coffee, which is carried throughout the home in various wood finishes like the wall paneling, floors, book cases and cabinets. It’s a good idea to coordinate your wood stains. Even if they don’t exactly match it should be something you think about. Don’t just throw a bunch of different stain colors together and hope they work well together.

Another thing to consider is the sheen. This exposed wood beam ceiling has a slight shine to it. Egg shell works well. High gloss would be overwhelming but a little shine is sometimes a nice idea if the beams have a dark stain and more finished look.

Rustic, aged, natural or heavily textured exposed wood ceiling beams don’t look that great with a shine. You can stain them but keep them matte and don’t go too dark with the stain. Try to keep them looking natural.

exposed wood kitchen ceiling beams with red brick wall and wood countertops

Rustic Kitchen Exposed Wood Ceiling Beams With Red Brick

Natural material look great together. It’s a general statement I know but more often than not it turns out to be true. When your using real wood along side real brick in a kitchen, you don’t have to do much else. There’s no need for any additional stains or finishes. Just leave the materials in their natural state and you’ll achieve a fantastic result.

Red brick in a kitchen used to be thought of as a rustic choice or something in an industrial style NYC apartment. But that’s not really true any more. We’re putting red brick in kitchen all the time and in a wide variety of home styles. And we’re doing it along side exposed real wood ceiling beams. They just look so good together that it’s hard to go wrong.

Here the style leans a bit more country but your not limited to just this look. Red brick and exposed wood can be used just about anywhere from a colonial to an ultra modern custom home.

White is always a super safe choice. You really can’t go wrong with white cabinets. They brighten up the kitchen and don’t really clash with anything.

Stainless steel is the most popular finish for appliances and is another super safe choice.

The butcher block island countertop is where you’ll be taking some risk. It’s a great choice but make sure you think about both the finish and stain and how they work with your wood floors, exposed beams and trim work. Always try and coordinate your woods. They don’t all have to match but I wouldn’t recommend throwing a bunch of random stains and finishes together hoping some how they’ll look good along side one another because most likely they’ll clash and look weird.

exposed real wood ceiling beam in the kitchen white cabinets open floor plan

Open Floor Plan Exposed Kitchen Ceiling Beams

More and more modern homes are being designed with an open floor plan and seamless movement from room to room. But it’s still important to have some sort of a visual separation between spaces, such as the kitchen and the living room. Wood ceiling beams can be used to create this feeling of separation when your not using walls to do it. They can help to create zones within the layout with a completely different feel.

For example, look at the home shown above. We see a real wood beam kitchen ceiling which is very rustic next to a white coffered ceiling in the living room. Even though the floor plan is open with a continuous hardwood floor you can feel the difference from room to room. Area rugs and exposed ceiling beams are a great way to do this.

Another way to do this is with custom trim work. The giant custom built columns create a clear visual signal that your entering another room of the home. Even though the floor plan is open with a continuous hardwood floor there’s still a clear division from room to room. This isn’t easy to achieve and should be a part of your design from the start if you want a home like this.

The Exposed Ceiling Beam Look Above For Less

faux beam closeup pic

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If you want the look shown above but are working on a budget try this faux wood polyurethane beam by Nextstone with “Peruvian Walnut” finish. They make great faux wood beams that are less expensive than real beams and easier to install but give you the same look. Make sure you order the correct lengths you need as they vary.

  • Faux Polyurethane “U” shaped ceiling beams are molded from real wood beams
  • Lightweight and durable polyurethane beams are easy to install
  • Unfinished beams are primed with a high quality coating that allows any wood stain to be used
  • Beams do not warp, twist or rot, Non-Flammable – rated for interior use
  • Install with screws, finishing nails, caulk or wood filler

varathane wood beam stain closeup pic

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If you like the color but want solid wood ceiling beams then this is the stain you need. It’s “Dark Walnut” by Varathane. Make sure you but a stain with a flat or matte finish unless you want some shine.

  • Available in over a dozen colors.
  • Ideal for use on all interior wood projects: furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, paneling and wood beams.
  • One-coat coverage, fast-drying oil based formula.
  • Dries to the touch in just 1 hour and covers up to 70 square feet.
  • High performance stain system enhanced with nano pigment particle.
  • Highlights natural wood grain to reveal wood’s beaut.

exposed kitchen ceiling beams white cabinets with a black stove

Wood Beam Kitchen Ceiling With White Cabinets & Black Stove

If you like the look of this kitchen but the price is scaring you away from trying it then consider using faux wood. A wood beam kitchen ceiling can be a beautiful thing, but it’s expensive. Luckily there are some inexpensive options on the market that look great.

Here we see exposed real wood ceiling beams with a natural finish. No stains or gloss of any kind. Just real, natural, beautiful wood.

What’s nice about this design is how it sections the ceiling and just about every section has it’s own recessed LED lighting. It’s a great idea to do this as long as the sections aren’t too small. You don’t want too many lights but if you’ve got the right amount of exposed beam sections then it’s a great look. Especially at night when these are the only lights that are on. It creates some really cool shadow box effects inside the beams. You can’t really get the effect any other way than to just do it by design.

The Exposed Ceiling Beam Look Above For Less

exposed faux ceiling beam closeup

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If you want the look shown above but are working on a budget try this faux wood beam by Ekena Millwork with “Puritan” finish. They make great faux wood beams that are less expensive than real beams and easier to install but give you the same look. Make sure you order the correct lengths you need as they vary.

  • 1 inch wall thickness.
  • Impervious to decay, insect infestation, water damage and won’t warp, crack or split.
  • Realistic wood texture.
  • Requires no additional structural support, which means significant savings in material and labor.

ipswich stain for exposed wood ceiling beams

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If you like the color but want solid wood ceiling beams then this is the stain you need. It’s “Honey” by Minwax. Make sure you but a stain with a flat or matte finish unless you want some shine.

  • Available in 28 beautiful colors.
  • Can be used to add beauty to any bare or stripped wood surface.
  • It is ideal for staining unfinished wood furniture, cabinets, wood door, trim, molding and hardwood floors.
  • Penetrates deep into wood fibers to highlight the grain.
  • America’s favorite wood finish.

exposed ceiling beam country kitchen rustic style

Rustic Kitchen With Exposed Ceiling Beams

Structural ceiling beams made from reclaimed wood can be expensive and tough to do on a budget. But not impossible. This rustic kitchen design has a fantastic mix of real wood exposed ceiling beams, hardwood floors, real stone and some beautifully carved custom cabinetry.

vaulted kitchen ceilings with exposed wood beams

Vaulted Kitchen Ceiling With Exposed Beams

Rather than hide the ceiling with drywall, consider using exposed real wood. Using old rustic timber for the beams along side modern shiplap paneling gives the design a refreshing modern vibe. Every designer has been faced with that cookie cutter kitchen without many architectural details to play with.

Solutions for styling the walls are easy to come by. Paint them, add paneling, cabinets, moldings, or maybe some wall art. But ceilings are another matter. How do you add some three dimensional interest without spending a fortune? Exposed beams are a great solution that you can DIY on a budget with all the faux beam options available today with some even for sale on Amazon. We’ve even linked to a few options on this page. You can buy them and have them installed in just a couple hours if your handy and have some basic tools.

exposed kitchen ceiling beams real wood

Solid Wood Wood And Wall Beams

Solid wood beams in the walls and ceiling are a nice look that adds a little more interested. Even if it’s all just for show it still looks cool having those big beams holding up the ceiling.

exposed real wood ceiling beams with black stove and range hood

Wood Beam Kitchen Ceiling With Black Stove And Hood

The atmosphere is just a little more inviting when there are exposed wooden beams in the kitchen. Whether they stand out by contrasting with the ceiling color or blend in, they make the room feel just a little more cozy.

I think in kitchens like the one shown above is where exposed beams really shine. They add just the perfect amount of contrast to all that white and grey. This kitchen is one of my favorite designs. I love the black stove and matching hood, the antique style island is just fantastic and so is the marble slab backsplash. I even like the open cabinets with vertical paneling. And who doesn’t love marble countertops.

Be careful with a cabinet design like this though. If your anything like me then your cabinets and shelves can get a little messy. With open cabinets you really have to keep them neat and pay attention to what’s in them all the time. It takes a lot of discipline.

modern home with rustic real wood ceiling beams

Modern Home With Rustic Real Wood Ceiling Beams

Exposed wooden ceiling beams gives a kitchen character. That’s a hard to achieve quality you can’t just get by spending a bunch of money on expensive cabinets. I love kitchens with exposed wooden beams because they help create a real warmth in the home. The kitchen is such a great place for everyone to gather, feeling relaxed and at home.

And beams can suit any décor style. From a transitional farmhouse, rustic, modern, colonial and and so on, they add some extra kick to any kitchen design.

The kitchen above is beautiful and very trendy. The white shaker cabinets, white tile backsplash and marble countertops are all wonderful choices. But it’s those ceiling beams that really make the whole look. Without them the space may start to feel a bit cold and sterile. Now, you can certainly add warmth to the kitchen in other ways. But a wood beam kitchen ceiling is one of the best and worth considering.

exposed ceiling beam in the kitchen real wood

Rustic Style Ceiling Beams In The Kitchen

Real wood ceiling beams left their natural color with just a bit of wood sealant that brings out some of the tones found throughout the wood. Leaving wood it’s natural color is a nice look and that small coat of sealer really brings out the woods reddish tones. It’s the same as whats been applied to the hardwood floors only without the floors sheen. It’s a good choice. A matte finish generally looks best on ceiling beams unless your using a very dark stain.

exposed kitchen ceiling beams coffered ceiling look

Dark Wood Ceiling Beams In The Kitchen

Here we see a beautiful example of a wood beam kitchen ceiling that’s been stained super dark and finished with a slight sheen. The design is very squared and finished wood which is what you want when your using a really dark stain. It’s a polished look as opposed to a more natural one.

Here the beams have been aligned to create a coffered ceiling look along with some additional molding.

The Exposed Ceiling Beam Look Above For Less

espresso color faux wood beam closeup

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If you want the look shown above but are working on a budget try this faux wood beam by Ekena Millwork with “espresso” finish. They make great faux wood beams that are less expensive than real beams and easier to install but give you the same look. Make sure you order the correct lengths you need as they vary.

  • 1 inch wall thickness.
  • Impervious to decay, insect infestation, water damage and won’t warp, crack or split.
  • Realistic wood texture.
  • Requires no additional structural support, which means significant savings in material and labor.

espresso wood stain closeup by varathane

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If you like the color but want solid wood ceiling beams then this is the stain you need. It’s “Espresso” by Varathane. Make sure you but a stain with a flat or matte finish unless you want some shine.

  • Available in over a dozen colors.
  • Ideal for use on all interior wood projects: furniture, cabinets, doors, trim, paneling and wood beams.
  • One-coat coverage, fast-drying oil based formula.
  • Dries to the touch in just 1 hour and covers up to 70 square feet.
  • High performance stain system enhanced with nano pigment particle.
  • Highlights natural wood grain to reveal wood’s beaut.

What should you look for when buying Ceiling Beams?

There are a few main things you can look out for when designing kitchen ceiling beams to ensure you get the most value for your money.

Make sure you consider the different material beams come in before buying. This is a good way of quickly determining what type of beam you’ll need and how much it’ll cost. If you like a really dark stain with some gloss which is a refined look then you can use a much cheaper beam. If your gonna stain the wood anyway then there’s no sense spending a ton of money for reclaimed wood beams. Just but new wood, it’s a lot cheaper.

First of all the most important thing to consider is the look you want. Once you determine how you want the beams to look you can narrow down the different types of beams that qualify as potential choices. Looking at pictures is your best bet.

As a general rule of thumb, faux beams are cheaper than solid wood but that’s not always the case. If you want a box beam made with aged, reclaimed wood then it can actually be more money than a solid wood beam.

Find out if the beams will be just for looks or structural. In new construction they’re almost always just for show but if you’ve got an older home then exposed ceiling beams can be a part of the structure of the roof.

Buying faux beams makes it less likely you’ll have an issue with the beam. Real wood can twist, warp, buckle or have insect issues inside that you can’t see. This is usually not the case but it does happen. However it’s far less likely with faux wood beams and impossible with composites.

With faux beams made from wood you’ll have seams in the corners where the 3 pieces meet. You can’t really see them but they’re there. Composite and solid wood beams don’t have any seams.

When it comes to a wood beam kitchen ceiling, they all look great to me. I love the look. However the better material you use the better it’ll look. I love the look of real wood and prefer either a solid or faux wood beam but the composites look good too. At the end of the day, your the one who has to be happy with it so buy something you think looks best.

Conclusion

Finding just the right style wood ceiling beams for your kitchen is a tough decision to make and we’ve been in your shoes a bunch of times. With so many styles to choose from it’s not going to be easy. That’s why we created this page and included some of our favorite kitchen and links to beams and stains that can help you achieve the look.

We hope this article gave you some useful information that you can put to good use. Check back, we update these pages with new pics all the time as we get them. If you’ve got any pics you’d like us to showcase send them over.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.

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