Coffered Ceiling vs. Waffle Ceiling

The coffered ceiling is a common motif in architecture that dates back to ancient Greek and Roman times. These ceilings were used for large public buildings, where they needed to create indentations to distribute structural weight, lighten the load of high ceilings and bring symmetry to a high ceiling.

Today when homeowners renovate their homes to include a coffered or a waffle ceiling, there are many aspects to consider. You need to consider whether this ceiling design is for structural purposes or for aesthetics. Here, we’ll explain the differences and how to decide which ceiling design is right for you.

What Is a Coffered Ceiling

What Is a Coffered Ceiling?

A coffered ceiling is a type of architectural design that creates an illusionary effect to give the room more depth around the perimeter of the room. It’s installed around all four sides of the room, creating a visual distinction. To enhance the visual design, it is often dressed up with cornice moulding.

For a more modern design, most designers will add recessed pot lights or track lights to help enhance the ceiling, creating a different ambiance in the room. Other than adding a coffered ceiling for a visual design, many architects create a coffered ceiling to hide any visual imperfections or more commonly, hide any pipes or ductwork. 

Benefits of Coffered Ceilings

Benefits of Coffered Ceilings

Adding coffered ceilings to any room is a great choice for home renovations. Here are the top benefits:

  • Easy to Install

They are easy to install and like we mentioned before – great for hiding pipes and ductwork. 

  • Increase resale value

Often, this can add to the curb appeal to your home, especially if you’re thinking about selling your home.

  • Create different atmospheres

Coffered ceilings are a great way to create a visual separation between rooms in your home without sacrificing floor space.

Downside of Coffered Ceilings

Downside of Coffered Ceilings

While coffered ceilings offer many benefits, there may be a few things that may not work in your favour. Here is what you should consider:

  • Appearance of Lower Ceilings

If the ceiling height is lower than 9′ high, adding coffered ceilings may lower the ceiling height even if it only runs through the perimeter of the room

  • Creating separate rooms

This aspect can be seen as a good or bad thing. We mentioned the good but this can also be seen as a negative aspect. You might not want to create a separate visual feature between rooms if you have an open concept home. For instance, if the kitchen and breakfast area is an open concept, creating a visual ceiling separation may hinder the overall design of the entire kitchen area.

  • Consider the weight

Always check with professionals if the weight of coffered ceilings can be supported, especially if you live in an older home.

Where to Add Coffered Ceilings

Where to Add Coffered Ceilings:

Still, thinking about the best places to add this extra touch? Check out our top 10 suggestions:

  • Living Room
  • Dining Room
  • Bedrooms
  • Den
  • Family Room
  • Office
  • Dining Room
  • Master Bedroom 
  • Master Bedroom Foyer
  • Foyer
What is a Waffle Ceiling

What is a Waffle Ceiling?

Waffle ceilings are a type of coffered ceiling. The main difference between them is that the beams in these rooms cross each other to create a waffle pattern made up of evenly spaced squares, which can be seen from every angle. This type of architectural design creates an illusionary effect to give rooms with high ceilings more depth. The 3-dimensional grid gives the room a contemporary, elegant look while adding definition to open areas.

Benefits of Waffle Ceilings

  • Enhance the Design of The Room

Waffle ceilings are a decorative feature that enhances the look of any room. In older homes, the historic design helps maintain the property’s heritage and authenticity. In more modern rooms with high ceilings, this type of ceiling will give the room a cozier look.

  • Reducing Sound

Adding a waffle ceiling also helps to muffle the sound by reducing echoes and unwanted noise transfers.

  • Covering Blemishes

Waffle ceiling designs are a great way to cover blemishes, outdated paint, or textured coatings on your existing ceiling.

  • Adding value to your home

Because of the intricate design and grandeur that waffle ceilings create, it’s the perfect design feature to increase the value of your home.

Downside of Waffle Ceilings

Downside of Waffle Ceilings

  • Lowered Ceiling Height

Waffle ceilings are a popular way to add depth and texture in rooms with a higher ceiling height. The feature is more pronounced in rooms with at least 9’h ceilings, so if you plan on installing one be sure to also consider how the room will look with a lower ceiling. It’s also important to keep in mind that with lower ceiling heights, the indentation should be more shallow to avoid creating a closed-in, claustrophobic feel to the room.

  • Requires Sturdy Structural Support

Waffle ceilings can be made from different materials including various types of wood, medium-density fiberboard (MDF), high-density urethane foam (HDU), and plaster. The different materials can greatly affect the overall weight of the waffle ceiling so it’s imperative to consult with professionals to see if your current ceiling can sustain the weight of your waffle ceiling design.

  • Pricing

Compared to coffered ceilings, waffle ceilings normally cost more, depending on the design of the ceiling. Additional design features such as pot lights along with more intricate designs will be a large factor to consider. 

Where to Add Waffle Ceilings

Where to Add Waffle Ceilings

If you’re ready to add waffle ceilings as the next design feature in your home renovation, here are our top 10 suggestions:

  • Family Room
  • Kitchen/breakfast Area
  • Dining Room
  • Living Room
  • Foyer
  • Master Bedroom
  • Master Retreat
  • Office
  • Walk out basement 
  • Open to below staircase

Contact the Experts in Coffered and Waffle Ceilings

At VIP Classic Moulding, we are experts in coffered ceiling and waffle ceiling installation. During our free consultation, we can provide advice and recommendations based on your home’s layout to help you design the best ceiling design for your home. Contact us today to start your next custom renovation project.

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