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It’s rare to find a product that is functional, beautiful, stylish, low-maintenance, and affordable, but wood ceilings bring together all those elements, making them a decision any builder or remodeler should consider.

There are so many ways to integrate wood into ceiling finishes that there is bound to be something that works just right for you. Whether you opt for maple, cherry, oak, beech, poplar, walnut, fir, bamboo, white ash, or cedar wood, wood ceilings can elevate any room.

There are also options for almost any budget, from thin and inexpensive wood veneer like that commonly used in furniture, to solid exotic woods, and for nearly any taste, from rustic pine beams to refined coffered styles, and everything in between.

Wood is incredibly versatile and works for nearly any type of ceiling, including flat, vaulted, trayed, panned, cathedral, dropped, and even curved ceilings! No matter the shape of your surface, there’s a way to make it a statement in your room by using wood. Let’s look at some of the types of wood ceiling applications.

Wood Beams

If wood ceilings feel like a big leap for you, wood beams can be a baby step that allows you to integrate beautiful, natural materials into your ceiling without going wall-to-wall with the material. This rustic or traditional look tends to work best in spaces with higher ceilings. In between thick wood beams, there will be more traditional ceiling materials. You can even mix this up by alternating wood beams with beams of other materials, like metal, which can create a more contemporary or industrial vibe.


Shiplap has been a trend in house décor for some time, and it has now moved from walls to ceilings. This method of applying long panels of wood with small spaces in between is great for a farmhouse, nautical, or rustic vibe. As a bonus, it can add some extra insulation and soundproofing to your space. Shiplap is often painted white, but it doesn’t need to be. The only limit here is your imagination, so leave it natural, stain it, or paint it whatever color speaks to you.

Wood Slats

Similarly, wood slats are a way to offer full ceiling coverage with natural materials. Like shiplap, this is an application that was commonly used elsewhere—in this case, typically as flooring—but can work beautifully on a ceiling, too. The spaces between slats break up the flat surface, creating great acoustics, so this material is a fantastic choice for both the eyes and the ears. The slats are usually more narrow than the panels used in shiplap, but the two options are similar.


Another great option for showcasing the natural beauty of wood is a plank ceiling. While this option can be slightly more expensive than some of the other wood ceiling applications due to the total amount of wood required, the results are worth it. Typically, the look is somewhat rustic, but the stain choice and type of wood give the user many options. Because this stunning application draws the eye to the gorgeous ceilings, it tends to work best in rooms with higher ceilings. When wood planks of varied widths are applied to the ceiling, you’ve got a real attention-grabber!

Flat Wood

For a clean, polished look, consider a flat wood ceiling. Also called a traditional wood ceiling, this low-cost treatment comprises wood panels placed tightly together, creating one flat, cohesive surface. That makes it great for those who prefer clean, simple finishes You can vary the look to fit your home and preferences by choosing a wood type that best appeals to you. Wood with more rings and knots will give a sense of movement and interest or a more rustic feel, while a simpler wood will be more subtle, letting the rest of the room shine.

Coffered Wood

For a different look that really makes a statement, consider a coffered wood ceiling. Similar to wood beam treatments, this option has thick beams of wood that are applied onto a more traditional ceiling material. In this case, the beams form large squares, creating an elevated, luxurious look. The areas between the wood can then be painted, like a more traditional ceiling. Because of the labor involved in precisely cutting and applying the pieces, installation costs are higher but the results are classy and classic! This is another option that works best with higher or vaulted ceilings.

These are just some of the ways you can incorporate wood into your home’s ceilings. For wood ceilings, the sky’s the limit! Don’t be afraid to think creatively when it comes to stains or types of wood, or to make bold choices that combine several of the elements and application techniques mentioned. A coffered look over shiplap, or rustic wood beams layered over a wood slat ceiling? Go for it! Moisture-resistant, moth-repelling cedar wood to cap off a bathroom? Stunning!

Whatever you choose, wood ceilings help your room stand out, offer insulating properties and improved acoustics, and are a way to add natural, beautiful style to any room, no matter the style. Wood ceilings may be just the thing you need to breathe fresh life into your room.