A coffered ceiling is a series of sunken panels that have a boxed beam around them. They often form shapes like squares, rectangles, or octagons. They are one of the most decorative ceiling types.
The cost of installing a coffered ceiling depends on the type of material you use and the area of the room that you want to place the ceiling in. Of course, the large the area, the more costly it will be.
- Straight: A straight coffered ceiling features boxes (coffers) that run parallel to the edges of the walls.
- Diagonal: Turning the coffers 90 degrees creates a diagonal coffered ceiling so the boxes resemble diamonds.
- Octagonal: These coffered ceilings usually feature a large octagon in the center of the room with straight beams or coffers radiating out to the edges of the room. Repeating octagons also form a coffered ceiling.
You typically use wood with these ceilings and the type of wood is what will determine the majority of the overall price. The wood is what you use to create the crossbeams.
For example, the average prices for the most popular kinds of wood used in constructing a coffered ceiling are:
- Mahogany: $6 to $28 per board foot
- Cherry: $7 to $15 per board foot
- Red Oak: $8 to $34 per board foot
If you’re looking to cut cost then you can opt to use synthetic material in place of real wood. However, there are some benefits to using real wood:
- Wood is more stable and more durable.
- Real wood is better to stain (especially useful if you want to showcase the wood grain).
- Using solid wood for architectural elements increases the value of your house.
- Drywall: $9 – $10
- MDF/Fiberboard: $3 – $20
- Plywood: $7 – $25
Though coffered ceilings are generally decorative they can also serve other purposes as well. They can lessen ceiling load, covering up wavy ceilings or improving acoustics.
Other Things To Consider
Spacing. Coffered ceilings aren’t ideal for already low ceilings. So large rooms like the living room, a master bedroom with a high ceiling, and the dining room are great places to start.
Add-on or extra cosmetic or functional aspects all increase the total price. For example:
- Tin Tiles
- Trim & Molding
- Recessed Lights
- Paint & Stain
- Chandeliers & Ceiling Fans
Soffits lower the ceiling while creating a more intimate space. These work best in large rooms with high ceilings, which can often time feel cold and open (there is such a thing as too much space).
Placing tin tiles between the ceiling beams adds texture and detail to the panels. It’s a stylistic touch that is totally up to you as you know your likes and dislikes.
You can add more dimensions to your beams by adding a decorative trim or molding. Place them to the sides and base of each beam. For rooms that already have a trim, you can match it or go with something different.
Also, you can use paint and stain colors to match your coffered ceiling with your walls or you can go with a different color so that the ceiling can stand out.
Recessed lights installed in the panels or beams can provide more than enough direct light.
Unusual designs can play a role in the cost as well. For example, you can make the coffers shrink in size as they approach the center of the room.
You might merge a coffered ceiling with a tray ceiling. For example, you can use the ceiling’s interior area for the coffers and add matching molding around the tray area.
You can read here to get an idea of how to layout a design plan for a coffered ceiling and an idea of how to calculate the cost.