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Vaulted Ceilings – Types, Advantages and Disadvantages

What is Vaulted Ceiling?
A vaulted ceiling slopes up toward the roof and extends higher than average flat ceilings’ typical eight to ten-foot height. Arched, barrel, cathedral, domed, groin, and rib are some of the most popular vaulted ceilings, each with its structure. Originally used to designate ceilings with a self-supporting arch in classical architectural design, the word “vaulted ceiling” is now commonly used to describe any sloped, high ceiling.

During the middle ages, vaulted ceilings were a significant element of Gothic and Roman churches and basilicas (public buildings). Still, over time, they progressively became the ceilings of some traditional, modern, and industrial-style dwellings. A vaulted ceiling differs from other types of ceilings in that it extends from the building’s side walls to the central point, creating a great volume of overhead space.

Types of Vaulted Ceilings:

1. Dome Vaulted Ceilings:

Fig 1 Dome Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 1: Dome Vaulted Ceilings

In master bathrooms and studies, dome vaults are common. This vault’s name perfectly sums up what it looks like. It is a dome that is recessed into your normal ceiling. It’s particularly popular in entryways and other small places because it creates the illusion of a domed ceiling. Although a domed ceiling is conceivable, it becomes increasingly difficult as the rooms grow larger.

2. Oval Dome Vaulted Ceiling:

Fig 2 Oval Dome Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 2: Oval Dome Vaulted Ceilings

At first appearance, oval domes appear similar to elongated dome ceilings. The fundamental distinction is the dome tie is used to fasten the rafters that shape the dome. Instead of the elongated dome ties used for the vaulted ceiling, oval ceiling dome ties are oval-shaped. The circular dome vaulted ceiling in the area below attracts the attention upwards and makes the space appear larger.

3. Elongated Dome Vaulted Ceiling:

Fig 3 Elongated Dome Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 3: Elongated Dome Vaulted Ceilings

An elongated dome ceiling may be just what you need to maximize your space, especially in a rectangular room. As the name implies, an extended dome ceiling is a longer or oval variant of a dome vaulted ceiling. The cloudy night sky-inspired painting inside the elongated dome vaulted ceiling in the picture below lends an aesthetic touch to the room.

4. Barrel Vaulted Ceilings:

Fig 4 Barrel Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 4: Barrel Vaulted Ceilings

A barrel vault is a type of arched ceiling with a single curve that runs the length of the ceiling. See how the barrel vault ceiling softens the foyer’s look and how the various glass panels let in plenty of natural light throughout the day in this photograph.

The barrel-vaulted ceiling is one of the most expensive vaulted ceilings because it necessitates skilled labor, raising the project’s overall cost.

5. Groin Vaulted Ceilings:

Fig 5 Groin Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 5: Groin Vaulted Ceilings

A Vaulted Groin The ceilings are made out of two-barrel vaults intersecting. The groined ceiling is created in a square with a point in the center of the ceiling space. The groin is between the intersecting locations where the remaining edges meet.

6. Rib Vaulted Ceilings:

Fig 6 Rib Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 6: Rib Vaulted Ceilings

The Rib vaulted ceiling gave more versatility in engineering walls and roofing in gothic periods. The Rib vaulted ceiling is more flexible, stronger, and easier to construct than other vaulted ceilings. Rib vaulted ceilings provide thinner and more revealing walls and are more durable than other ceilings. It makes them perfect for Gothic construction, and the Rib vaulted ceiling of this cathedral ceiling adds a dramatic touch.

7. Fan Vaulted Ceiling:

Fig 7 Fan Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 7: Fan Vaulted Ceilings

Fan vaulted ceilings are identical to rib vaulted ceilings, except smaller ribs spaced evenly. The beam is supported throughout the length of the ceilings by fan-vaulted ceilings. The fan-vaulted ceiling is one of the most expansive vaulted ceilings because it necessitates skilled labor, raising the project’s overall cost.

8. Pitched Brick Vaulted Ceilings:

Fig 8 Pitched Brick Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 8: Pitched Brick Vaulted Ceilings
Courtesy: dreamstime/com

A pitched brick vault ceiling, also known as a diagonal brick approach, can give your home an urban feel. The pitched brick vault ceiling design can be traced back to Mesopotamian architecture from the first millennium B.C. Its non-centered design is still popular. In the picture below, the pitched brick vaulted ceiling in the picture below lends a sophisticated touch to this country farmhouse kitchen by creating a warm contrast with the bland room.

9. Cove Vaulted Ceilings:

Fig 9 Cove Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 9: Cove Vaulted Ceilings

A cove ceiling may be the key to softening your area’s overall aesthetic. By smoothing out the corners and edges of your ceiling, cove ceilings may give your area a sleek, sophisticated aesthetic. The living area has a modern, streamlined aspect.

10. Cloister Vaulted Ceiling:

Fig 10 Cloister Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 10: Cloister Vaulted Ceilings

Cloister vaulted ceilings are defined as building ceilings that have multiple spring points or spring lines. The point where an arch begins to bend is known as the spring point, and all arching springs are built on the same center points along a wall.

11. Igloo Vaulted Ceiling:

Fig 11 Igloo Vaulted Ceilings
Fig 11: Igloo Vaulted Ceilings

Igloo vaulted ceilings, also called lunette vaulted ceilings, are barrel-vaulted ceilings with carved-out arches. In Igloo, vaulted ceiling windows or other things are placed beneath them. Exaggerated instances of this ceiling type can be seen in the vaulted igloo ceiling.

Advantages of Vaulted Ceiling:

Disadvantages of Vaulted Ceiling:


Additional ceiling height or shape may appear beneficial. Still, when done incorrectly, the ceiling feature can make a space feel unresolved, and the ceiling detail can even make a space feel smaller, not greater. Vaulted ceilings are a significant investment that should consider the rest of your home’s construction. Expect a rise in your energy bill if you buy a home with vaulted ceilings. Overall, you should go for it if you genuinely adore the style. Vaulted ceilings are a certain method to add flair to a home while also creating an open, airy, and light-filled environment.


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2. The Ultimate Guide to Vaulted Ceilings. (n.d.). Houzz; Retrieved March 14, 2022, from
3. 14 Types Of Vaulted Ceilings You Should Know – Home Decor Bliss. (2021, March 21). Home Decor Bliss;
4. Gundaraniya, N. (2022, February 3). What Is Vaulted Ceiling | 11 Different Types of Vaulted Ceiling | Advantages and Disadvantages Vaulted Ceilings | Vaulted Ceiling Cost. CivilJungle;
5. Types of Vaulted Ceilings — Archways & Ceilings. (2012, June 12). Archways & Ceilings;
6. Staff & Writers, H. E. (2018, March 6). 12 Types of Ceilings for Your Home – Home Stratosphere. Home Stratosphere;

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Kanwarjot Singh

Kanwarjot Singh is the founder of Civil Engineering Portal, a leading civil engineering website which has been awarded as the best online publication by CIDC. He did his BE civil from Thapar University, Patiala and has been working on this website with his team of Civil Engineers.

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