Most homeowners have a room in their house that they’d like to upgrade but simply don’t know what to do. The most commonly remodeled rooms are the ones where the most time is spent: the kitchen and the living room. In homes that have an “open” floor plan where the living and kitchen run together to form one Great Room, there is usually a plain, lifeless glulam or cedar/fir ridge beam that spans the entire room along the ridge of the vaulted ceiling. Since the beam is structural, it cannot be removed… so what can be done? There is a product that exists that referred to as “faux beams”. These faux beams are made of polyurethane (think a dense foam, about the rigidity of pine) that are U-shaped, so the interior channel can easily slip over an existing cedar beam. Below are 5 easy steps to wrap a wood beam with faux wood beams:
1. Measure the existing beam. Make sure that the INTERIOR dimensions for the polyurethane faux beam will accommodate the existing wood beam.
2. Build out the existing beam every few feet to ensure the faux beam fits tightly, if necessary (In many cases the faux beam will not wrap the existing beam perfectly, so it is common to add small wood strips/shims. Secure with mechanical fasteners).
3. Add adhesive to the rim of the beam. PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive is recommended and available at any big box retailer (NOTE: This step is optional. The faux wood beams are so light that adhesive is not necessary. Plus if you bump the ceiling during the install you’ll have to wipe/scrape/sand it off… not that a handyman like yourself would ever do such a thing).
4. Slide the faux beam over the existing ceiling beam and nail/screw into the wood strips/shims you added in step 2. A finish nail is strong enough to hold, though you can countersink a wood screw as well. I would also recommend you having someone take a photo of you raising the beam. In reality the faux beams weight 1-2lbs per foot, but in a photo you will look like Hercules!
5. Putty nail/screw holes. Use a wood colored putty or for small brad nail heads, some people just use a black sharpie to dot the heads.
If all of the tools are ready, the entire install process from beginning to end should take 1-2 hours. Once you’re done you will have a beautiful new addition to your room.