Standard Ceiling Height In 21st Century

When it comes to building houses, getting the right measurements is crucial. After all, measurements are what make up your home. One wrong measurement and you can have a whole lot of problems come from it. 

One thing that needs to be measured properly is the ceiling. If you don’t know how tall your ceiling needs to be then it’s a good idea to stick with a standard ceiling height. Let’s find out what that height is today. 

What Is The Standard Ceiling Height? Standard Ceiling Height Image from Kuth Ranieri Architects

The standard ceiling height is similar to the average ceiling height. The difference is that the standard ceiling height is what most people use while the average ceiling height takes all the numbers and averages them out. 

Usually, when this happens, those with high ceilings will raise the “average ceiling height” which is why we use standard ceiling height more often. The standard ceiling height is about nine-foot, give or take. 

However, eight-foot ceilings are still quite common because most boards and materials come in eight-foot pieces. This may change to nine-foot soon but it won’t be right away, so eight-foot ceilings are still relevant. 

History Of The Average Ceiling Height Image from Group3

The average ceiling height has changed a lot over the years. The average height still depends on your region but not as much as it used to. The first ceilings were likely very low compared to our ceilings.

Because the first ceilings were not only built by hand but were built for practical reasons alone. It wasn’t until medieval times that we have a good record of the standard ceiling height which was much taller than it is today.

By the Victorian age, ceilings were shorter than they were the years leading up to it. But then by the time that the 1900s rolled around, ceilings shrunk once again, leaving us with eight-foot ceilings.

Since then, ceiling heights have fluctuated, going from 8-feet to 10-feet to 9-feet where they still stand today. It has been a bumpy ride but most contractors and architects agree that we finally found a great happy medium. 

Why Ceiling Height MattersImage from Avante Interiors

Ceiling height matters for a lot of reasons. After all, the size of anything in your home matters, from the square footage to the wall area that you have. Everything you do in your house matters for one reason or another. 

Why some things won’t matter very much in the long run aside from how you see them, ceiling height always matters. But you may be wondering why. Here are the main seasons that ceiling height matters. 

Space 

This is the main reason to get the right ceiling height. Short ceilings can work but they will make your space feel cramped and won’t leave room for your furniture. Most wardrobes are around six feet tall after all. 

Some furniture is even taller, so having anything less than eight feet will severely limit your options in the future. Not to mention, short ceilings make rooms look very small and inhibit the flow of your room. 

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Accommodation 

Even if your family is on the shorter side, it’s important to make sure that visitors have space to feel at home. It isn’t unusual for someone to be six and a half feet tall. You want these people to be able to raise their hands without issues. 

If you aren’t tall, it can be difficult to understand what it’s like to go into houses with seven-foot ceilings, or even eight-foot ceilings. It’s like going into a playhouse and be expected to act like it’s normal. 

Cost

The higher the ceiling, the more it will cost. Most of the time. But if you want seven-foot ceilings instead of eight or nine, it may cost more for one reason. Because every board will need to be cut to fit seven feet. 

The cheapest ceilings are usually eight feet tall because most boards are cut at eight feet. This means that you won’t have any extra costs of cutting or trimming boards. They can all be put up as they are.

Atmosphere

High ceilings give a better atmosphere than low ceilings. But too high and things can open up too much and feel stale. Not to mention really high ceilings are very hard to clean. But if you have the means, then go for it. 

Super high ceilings can have the most amazing atmosphere if you add good lighting and decorations. But in general, open-concept homes do better with a loft, where only part of the ceiling is exposed on the lower floor.

Lighting

Remember to make room for lighting. You won’t see a chandelier in seven-foot ceilings. You need to make sure that the lighting you choose fits the ceiling height that you choose. Check this before you buy lighting. 

If you have recessed lighting, you can have shorter ceilings. But in general, you are going to want to keep the ceilings high enough for you to be able o change your mind later. Getting locked into recessed lighting isn’t ideal. 

Types Of CeilingsImage from here.

There are many different types of ceilings and the average ceiling height for each type of ceiling is different. Let’s take a look at some different types of ceilings so you can find out what kind you want in your home. 

Groin Vault

The name might not be that attractive but groin vault ceilings are very high-end. A groin vault is created with intersections at right angles of two barrel vaults. It gets its name from the shape of the angles that look like legs.

The highest parts of these ceilings are generally quite tall. It all depends on the angle of the curve. In general, the walls are straight up and end at the average ceiling height. Then it’s all up from there. 

Barrel

This is part of the groin vault but it is also a type of ceiling on its own. They are made with curved boards and look like a barrel that has been cut in half, hence the name. These are also very high-end ceilings. 

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Barrel ceilings work just like cathedral ceilings. The walls go straight up and end when it starts to curve. The curve never starts before the ceiling has reached a good standard ceiling height. Otherwise, doors would be too low. 

Cathedral 

Cathedral ceilings are sloped on either side, leaving a point at the top. They are often seen in cathedrals which is where they get their name. The shortest part of the ceiling is of standard ceiling height. 

Cathedral ceilings can come in any angle. They match the angle of the roof, so if the roof is angled at 70-degrees then the ceiling will be too. This leaves room for an attic on one side or a high ceiling for the entire house. 

Shed

A shed ceiling is similar to a cathedral ceiling but it is only sloped on one side. The low side is the standard ceiling height and it goes up from there. It is like half of a cathedral ceiling but usually without a steep slope. 

It is called a shed ceiling because it is most commonly found on sheds. Sheds have this type of ceiling and often shed dormers, which can be placed on sheds or on houses to add light and ventilation. 

Exposed BeamImage from John Bynum Custom Homes, Inc

Exposed beams can be done in two ways. They can be beams that are attached to the closed-in ceiling or exposed beams which are the exposed ceiling. The latter only works on lower levels, not roof levels. 

One of the best ways to do a beamed ceiling is to used repurposed beams or railroad ties. This gives a unique look that works perfectly in any design style but is made to go in a farmhouse because of the distressed wood. 

Coffered 

Coffered ceilings are very interesting ceilings with little pockets. The trim around them often matches crown molding. From far, the coffers look like squares of a tic-tac-toe game, making the ceiling appear more immaculate. 

The only downfall to coffered ceilings aside from price and upfront costs is keeping them clean. There are a lot of nooks and crannies in this type of ceiling. Since they are located on the ceiling, they can be difficult to reach. 

The Right Ceiling Height For You

After you take family/visitor height and price into account, then there’s not much left to do. You are ready to set your ceiling height. Most people choose either eight or nine feet but there is no wrong way to do it.

As long as the ceilings are at least eight feet, then you won’t have many problems because this is a standard ceiling height. After this is settled, then you can begin having fun designing the interior of your home. 

Don’t forget to get good lighting, paint your room attractive colors, and find furniture that is as unique as you are! Try checking out online furniture thrift stores for the best deals on the most unique finds. 

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