How to Install Faux Wood Beams in Your Home

September 12, 2019

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This post is in partnership with Ornamental Moulding & Millwork, available at Lowe’s.

Moulding and millwork is one of those things that not a lot of people get excited about, but if you’ve ever walked into a space and thought, “Wow, this is really nice!” It’s likely the millwork that’s making you think that. It’s the difference between walking into a box with furniture and walking into a space that has been intentionally created.

Installing Faux Wood Beams on Your Ceiling: Finished Beams

As we were coming to a close with the Fullmer Kitchen a few months ago, we could tell that, despite all the work we had done, there was still an underlying  “box with furniture” vibe we needed to shake. So we reached out to our friends at Ornamental and shared our thoughts, and together we decided that adding some faux beams to the ceiling would help break up the bare-ness, and the architectural element we felt the space needed.

How to Install Faux Wood Beams

1. Mark your mounting path and the joists along it
You want your beams to mount into the joists in your ceiling. Run a chalk line exactly where you want your beams installed. Using a stud finder, locate a joist in your ceiling along your chalk line and mark its location. Standard spacing for ceiling joists is 24 or 16 inches. Measure in either direction of your first joist 24 or 16 inches and check with a stud finder. Whichever of the two distances (24 or 16) sets off the stud finder, should be your distance between each. Mark the locations along the entire space you plan to install the beams.

Installing Faux Wood Beams on Your Ceiling: Find and mark the ceiling joists

Note that, due to individual circumstances in every home, your joist spacing may vary. Measuring saves you from dragging a stud finder all over the place, but always test your marked joist locations. Once you think you have one, carefully drill a small pilot hole into your mark just to make sure you hit a joist.

2. Install the mounting boards
Hold your mounting boards (included with each beam) parallel to the chalk line and mark on it the points where the joists line up. Screw 2.5in wood screws into those marks, then hold the mounting boards in place (lining up the groove in the back of the board with the chalk line) and drive the screws into the joists. Setting the screws into the board before lifting the board up for mounting will save your arms some work.

Installing Faux Wood Beams on Your Ceiling: Mounting Boards

Installing Faux Wood Beams on Your Ceiling: Mounting Boards

Step 3. Attach the faux beams
The Ornamental beams from Lowe’s come perfectly fitted to the mounting boards. Simply slip them over top and, using the included mounting hardware and predrilled mounting holes, screw the beam into the mounting board.

Installing Faux Wood Beams on Your Ceiling: Screwing the beam in

For long stretches, Ornamental also offers separate mounting brackets (optional) to cover the gaps in your beams. The brackets also work well to cover points where you may have had to cut the beams to compensate for uneven ceilings.

Installing Faux Wood Beams on Your Ceiling: Adding the brackets

We filmed the entire installation process as well, and you can watch it right here:

Installing faux wood beams: finals

One of the things we love most about these beams is that they’re made from real wood – not plastic foam like so many others are. This means you can leave it as-is for a natural look, or finish it with any stain you want.

Installing Faux Wood Beams: Finals

We also worked with Empire Moulding & Millwork (a sister company to Ornamental) to cover the over-textured walls with shiplap in the adjoining entryway, and we love how complete it all feels.

Installing faux wood beams: finals

Installing Faux Wood Beams: Finals

We’ve worked with Ornamental Moulding & Millwork many times, and obviously our situation is unique because not everyone works directly with a manufacturer. But anytime we do work with them we always make sure the product we use is widely available. And since these beams are distributed through Lowe’s, almost everyone in the U.S. can pick them up in store or have them delivered right to their home. Which room in your house could use this?

Installing faux wood beams: finals

Find all the sources for this project listed right here.

What do you think?

  1. RJ says:

    We love these!!! It has made a normal room very cozy. I am so glad we made the decision to install these. I will forget that we added them until something will catch my eye & as I look up & it reminds me how awesome these are. We love the wood! We did not paint ours…we kept with the rustic, natural look & we love the brackets. That is just an added bonus to the look!

  2. Katie says:

    I’m SO glad you posted that last image. It’s a great (needed) angle to really see the whole space come together. Love it!

    Have you though of adding a crown molding in the entry? The tops of the shiplap feel slightly unfinished, though might feel different in person. What are your thoughts about finishing?

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi! Thanks always for the great content. This is a weird-ish question on an old-ish post, but hoping you might still see it! If you happen to know, what is the length of the Fullmer kitchen from wall to wall (to me, length = the wall with the black framed windows). Trying to get a sense of scale vs our space (and potential space if we take a wall out). Many thanks!

  4. MaryAnn says:

    Where is the best place to order beams in Orange County, CA

  5. Kendra says:

    How do you decide where to place your faux wood beams? What are the “rules” of designing with the wood beams? It looks amazing and I loved watching the process.

  6. Julie B says:

    Hi Julia! I love this kitchen so much, and it is giving me so much inspiration for my own upcoming kitchen reno. I am planning to move my range between two windows very similar to this set up, but am struggling with scale of the windows and our standard 30″ range. Can you please share the size of the Fullmer’s windows? Are they 36×48″? Or maybe a similar but custom size? Just trying to figure out if my 30″ range is going to look sad and dinky between two bigger windows… Thank you so much!

  7. Kim says:

    I love these! Thanks for all the great info. How tall are those ceilings that you attached the beams to?

  8. Lauren says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! We have beams we want to replace in our house and these look great!!

  9. Carletta W says:

    Love these! Our room is 27 x 25. Would the 8ft ones look ok or do you know if longer ones will be available soon? Btw, just painted my cabinets green! So excited!

  10. Jennifer Hershberger says:

    What if we have really tall ceilings that are flat but go all the way to the 2nd floor height in our living room? I totally want to add the unfinished wood beam look, but wondering if this 5x5in size will look dwarfed up there? What do you think? How big/chunky are real rough hewn beams that are salvaged usually?

  11. Vz says:

    Where is the living room rug from?

  12. Maggy says:

    How tall are the ceilings at the Fullmer’s house? I would love this look but I worry our ceilings are too low at 89 inches.

  13. Julia O. says:

    Would these work for vaulted ceilings as well? I’ve been staring at our vaulted living/dining ceiling thinking it NEEDS something like this.

  14. peppysfriend says:

    Ceiling ‘flare’ – beams, coffers, shiplap, etc., along with fantastic light fixtures – go a LONG way towards making a room a real WOW. Well done!

  15. Kelly says:

    LOVE the option of real wood beams that are easier to install than solid! My kitchen doesn’t really have any black in it so I feel like the brackets on the seams would be too pronounced. Any alternative options? Could you fill the gap with wood filler and sand or would that look weird?!

  16. Karen says:

    The kitchen is good but the beams look exactly like their name…fake…super fake. I don’t think wood beams on an 8’ textured ceiling really works.

  17. K says:

    Also, another perhaps dumb question: what are alternatives if you would prefer not to use brackets?

  18. K says:

    This may be a dumb question, but if they are real wood why are they called faux? Is it because they aren’t structural?

  19. Margaret says:

    Beautiful kitchen! I’d love to know the dimensions of the kitchen island (and the diameter of the 4 stools)?

  20. taloo says:

    These are the after photos I’ve been looking for. Thank you, now it all makes sense.

  21. Teri says:

    What do you think of adding beams to a kitchen with crown moulding?

  22. Kim says:

    It really is such a gorgeous space you created for/with the Fulmers here. With a sophisticated warmth to it.

  23. Julie says:

    The beams look phenomenal!
    Can you help with a scale question? What size are the Fullmer’s windows in the kitchen? 36×48? Or a custom but similar size? Trying to figure out scale of windows flanking the range vs range width vs number of beams on the ceiling.
    Thank you!

  24. Julie S says:

    I love seeing the whole open space pulled back at last! So pretty and such a relatably modest sized house lol. And yes, the beams make the whole room feel intentional in a way that a flat plain ceiling wouldn’t.

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