Construction beams are used to form roof and walls in all sorts of buildings. They are large horizontal structures installed in parallel rows and together with their vertical counterparts, the columns and posts, they provide structural support to keep entire buildings tall and standing.
In houses, they are not only seen in ceilings, walls, and roofs, but in garages, decks, and floors as well. Typically, beams in homes are concealed beneath ceiling tiles or drywall. However, some homeowners prefer to expose their ceiling beams to give their home a dramatic or rustic look, especially if it’s made of steel.
If you’re planning to do the same, buy your steel supplies online. Check out this list to learn about the different types of materials used in ceiling beams for houses:
Steel ceiling beams are often used in lofts and commercial buildings that aim for a modern, industrial design. They are usually painted black or left bare to increase the industrial appeal of the overall design of a building. Ductwork and pipes are also painted black or left exposed in this kind of design.
In homes, exposed steel beams are also used to showcase modern architectural designs. To give steel beams more character, you can use different fastenings and manipulations on them such as bending, bolting, and welding.
Steel is currently a popular choice of material for beams because of its strength. There are many types of steel beams, including I-beams, flitch beams, and cantilever beams.
Although steel is popular nowadays, wood is still the most widely used material for ceiling beams.
Wood ceiling beams are often seen in log-cabin designs, but they can also be used otherwise such as in rustic style houses. Heavy timbers used for beams are made from wood such as pine and cedar. In some countries, they also use hardwood such as mahogany, oak, maple, teak, rosewood, cherry, and ash.
In old houses and structures that use reclaimed lumber or salvaged wood beams, drywall or white plaster is used to fill the space between each pole, leaving the lower half exposed.
A Mix of Both
Some types of beams use either or both of steel and wood materials such as hip and box beams.
Hip beams are used in hipped-style roofs, which have four sides sloping downwards. Each side is supported by a “hip,” where it got its name. Wood is typically used for hip beams, but if you have a hipped roof and want to turn your attic into a loft, you can choose to use steel instead.
Box beams, on the other hand, are beams that are installed in the ceiling following a box frame. It also uses wood traditionally, but steel can be applied as well, especially for visual interest.
You can also try different materials for your ceiling beams such as concrete, brick, clay, or stone. Bond beams, for example, are wooden beams encased in masonry.
Now, you can pick a material for your ceiling beams. Before you order anything, make sure that you have the right sizes for your ceiling. And it’s best to seek the help of a structural engineer who can suggest what type of beam will suit your house.