Inverted and Recessed Tray Ceilings are Commonly Suspended Ceilings that Drop
down from Structural Framing
By Mark J. Donovan
Tray ceilings provide texture and
charm to otherwise ordinary ceilings. A tray ceiling is idea for high ceiling
rooms where a partial suspended ceiling, or dropped ceiling, can be installed to
create either a recessed or inverted tray ceiling. The use of crown molding is
another technique for either creating or accenting an existing tray ceiling.
A tray ceiling is effectively a bi-layer or multi-layered ceiling, and is often
found in formal rooms such as dining rooms and living rooms. They are often also
found in master bedrooms and hallways.
In some cases they may be used as
focal points for the inclusion of skylights, ceiling fans, or mural paintings.
Tray ceilings are typically constructed in square, rectangular or octagon shapes
and are suspended from the overhead structural framing. In some cases special
roof trusses with notched out areas in the bottom chord are used to
automatically create tray ceiling areas.
More commonly built are recessed tray ceilings where the center of the ceiling
area is higher than the outer edges. Less frequently constructed are inverted
tray ceilings where the center of the ceiling area is lower than the edges.
providing ceiling texture, tray ceilings are also
ideal for creating warm overhead lighting. Often
lighting is installed around the interior periphery
of a recessed tray ceiling and then hidden from view
with crown molding trim work. The result is a warm
glow on the ceiling.
|If you ever get the opportunity to visit Las Vegas check out
some of the arch shaped ceilings with hidden periphery soffit ceiling
lighting. Combined with soft blue painted ceilings the arched ceilings
resemble a dusk or twilight skyline. Similar light settings can be created
in a home with dropped or suspended ceilings and the right type of tray
To add a recessed tray ceiling to a room after a home
has been built, construct a box frame around the periphery of the ceiling
using either wood or metal studs. Make sure to use a screw gun instead of a
hammer to fasten the studs to the ceiling joists as you will otherwise crack
the ceiling drywall.
Photo by Mark Donovan
drywall to the frame structure, and tape and mud accordingly. Note that the
depth of the ceiling tray depends heavily upon a variety of factors including
the ceiling height and door and window heights. Install crown molding to provide
additional texture to the tray ceiling.
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