All About Faux Wood Beams (Plus 35 AMAZING Examples)…
Today, you’re going to get the scoop on faux wood beams. We’ll discuss the faux beam “what,” “where,” “how,” and “why.”
Although, I’m pretty sure you already understand the “why”. And that is if you’re a person who can’t help but beam 😍every time you catch a glimpse of a ceiling beam, then you already got that “why” figured out. And boy, can I relate! You and I are in the same ceiling beam gawking boat, friend!
Of course, that’s not the ONLY “why”. The other important reason why faux wood beams are something that you may want to consider is that they cost a FRACTION of what a real, solid wood ceiling beam will cost you. That’s right. Faux wood beams will cost you on the order of 5 times LESS than what a solid, wood ceiling beam would cost. Am I piquing your interest in exploring this faux variety of ceiling beam?
If you already know you’re planning to install some beams in your own home, then make the project easier…
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First, here’s a peek at some of the REAL gorgeous-ness that faux beams can offer…
What are faux beams?
The term “faux beam” is used to describe any ceiling beam that is not a true, structural member of your home. There are faux ceiling beams that are made of wood, as well as ceiling beams that are NOT made of wood.
1. WOOD faux ceiling beams
Creating a faux beam using real wood is very common. Faux beams have several possible shapes, and ALL of them are hollow (which makes them lighter and easier to install than a real wood beam of comparable size). Faux beams are constructed in one of several ways. These include: U-shaped (3-finished sides), L-shaped (2-finished sides) or box beam (4-finished sides).
Making DIY faux beams using wood is a pretty popular and common DIY project. In fact, many of the ceiling beam ideas shared in this post are DIY projects (and are noted as such).
DIY’ers typically make their faux beams from off-the-shelf lumber you can pick up at your local home improvement store. Many people also make faux beams from reclaimed wood (be still my beating heart).
Faux beams made from wood are not always DIY, of course. You can find gorgeous faux beams available for sale, as well. Many of the examples below are beams that were purchased. These, of course, will come with a higher price tag, but for those without the DIY confidence or time, this may be a great option.
2. NON-WOOD faux beams
The other variation of faux ceiling beams is the kind NOT made from wood. “Well then what the heck are they made of?” you ask. HDF.
Faux wood beams that are NOT made of wood are made of High-Density Foam.
And that material is one of the biggest PROS (in my opinion) for opting for this variety of faux ceiling beam. “Because?” you ask. Because they are SOOO much lighter than wood.
And THAT means less back pain and less likelihood of taking a painful blow on the head when you’re installing said beam 😂.
How are faux wood beams made?
1. Ceiling beams (made of wood)
Faux wood beams are typically made using basic lumber (often 1×6’s) that can be purchased at your closest home improvement store. The off-shelf lumber is often distressed using things like chains, hammers, nails, even saws. This gives the lumber a more rustic appearance, and thereby closer to the look of a real wood ceiling beam.
The lumber is then stained to whatever color/shading that you like. Often, several different stains are used in order to make the beams look more realistic since real wood doesn’t have a uniform color.
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Once the store-bought lumber is sufficiently distressed and stained, it is assembled into either a “U” “L” or box, depending on how many sides of the faux wood beam will be visible when installed.
If the faux beam will be installed in a corner, then an “L” will be used, as only two sides of the ceiling beam will be visible. If the ceiling beam will be tight to the ceiling, then an “L” will be constructed, as three sides will be visible after installation. Finally, a “box” beam, with 4-finished sides is used when the beam hangs below ceiling level. This is often used on cathedral ceilings or vaulted ceilings.
As mentioned before, faux wood ceiling beams can also be made using reclaimed wood. This wood is often harder to work with because it is warped, thick, knotty (i.e. all the reasons it’s gorgeous). Because of this, it’s more common to see reclaimed beams purchased instead of DIY’ed.
2. Faux Wood Beams (made of HDF)
There is a great video lower down in this post that describes the process of high-density foam ceiling beams being made. But the gist is that a mold of an ACTUAL wood beam is taken, and a foam beam is created from that mold. Then, just as with faux beams made of wood, these faux beams made of foam are stained and made into varieties of the same shapes (L, U, and box).
Creating a faux wood beam from HDF is not a DIY project. And for someone like me, who is ALWAYS on the DIY train, this product and project is a bit of a divergence. But here’s the deal. I don’t know about you, but I’m guessing if you’re anything like we are here, 9 times out of 10, you choose to DIY in order to save money.
What if I told you that often, faux wood beams or HDF beams that you purchase will cost the same if not LESS than the DIY variety made from wood?
YES! So, as that’s the case, then sure, I’ll take back the hours upon hours I’d spend buying, distressing, assembling, and staining the wood. PLUS, in my opinion, many of the foam ceiling beams look MORE realistic and prettier than the wood versions. But that is purely subjective. I will let you form your own opinion on that front (and NONE of the ceiling beams shown in this particular write-up is anything short of very attractive).
So let’s move into some GORGEOUS photos of beams we can beam at together…but don’t forget!
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35 Gorgeous Examples of Faux Wood Beams
You’ll be able to analyze these faux ceiling beams in two different groups. First, we’ll look at the ceiling beams made with HDF (foam). Following these, there are examples of ceiling beams made from real wood. Any project that is a DIY will be noted as such.
Also note: Many of the examples shown in this post come directly from vendors. The reason for that? There are LOTS of images of gorgeous ceiling beams on the internet. That said, there is NOT an over-abundance of images that give us detailed information about the ceiling beams.
In order to be sure that you are getting reliable, accurate information, I am sharing ONLY images that specifically state WHAT the material is from which the ceiling beams are made. A great place to find information like this is from companies who sell faux ceiling beams!
I do not have any relationship with any of these companies listed. If I include a company’s products in this post, it is only because I like the look of their beams!
Faux Wood Ceiling Beams: High-Density Foam Examples
1. Heathered Nest (that’s us!)
Yep. These are the beams were the product of mine and my husband’s mutual obsession with beams. Our love beam, if you will. I am highlighting a close-up shot here to show you how realistic this HDF beam looks. Even with your eyeballs on top of this beam, it looks nothing short of real.
Friends are continuously bowled over in shock when we tell them that the beams aren’t real (and that a 12′ beam weighed less than 10 lbs!).
We’ve written a detailed tutorial on how to install faux ceiling beams (made of HDF) if you want to check that out. Bottom line? In our opinion, this material is not only economical and realistic, but it was VERY easy to work with as compared to the alternative (real wood faux beams or real wood beams). We’d use these ceiling beams again in a hot second.
Ekena is one of the manufacturers for this type of ceiling beam, and this particular shot was found on their Instagram account. I love the look of these faux beams, don’t you? The color and rough-hewn type finish make the beam look like something that was just taken off a barn today, even though the beam is actually made of foam.
3. Finish Carpentry TV (YouTube Video)
This YouTube video is very helpful in terms of showing you how faux beams are installed. It also shows you a type of HDF faux beam that comes UNSTAINED so that you can completely customize your color and finish. It shows the process of staining the fake beam, which I found very interesting since that wasn’t something that we had to do with our own beam installation.
Traci used ceiling beams in her master bathroom not only because they look amazing, but also because they had a structural element in the ceiling they needed to mask. These high-density foam beams became the perfect solution in more ways than one!
5. KGD Designs
I left the caption in this gorgeous Instagram post from KGD Designs because it totally captures the essence of these products. She also shares the vendor info for this particular beam used on a cathedral ceiling, which is stunning.
This is the same faux beam manufacturer that made the ceiling beams in the image above. And this is another gorgeous and very rustic-looking beam.
Do you see how the cross-beams are hanging below the ceiling? This would be an installation that likely calls for a box-beam or 4-sided beam in those spots. That said, if the ceiling is high enough, you could also get away with a 3-sided, or U-shape beam in this situation if a visitor’s line of sight can’t get high enough that they’d see the top of the beam.
Get ready for a slew of HDF faux wood beam options from this manufacturer. They carry a BUNCH of beautiful beams with a really wide array of styles and looks.
The image below is one of their commercial installations featured on their Instagram account, and not only are the faux beams lovely, but I ADORED the design concept! Isn’t that such an interesting and swoon-worthy ceiling thanks to the installation pattern?
Rustic, but not overly-so beams…more modern lines in this modern farmhouse-vibed living room.
I love these before and after shots shared in their gallery…don’t the beams take this space from kind of builder-grade, dated 1990s to a super sleek, modern update? But the beams provide so much warmth and visual interest coupled with that concrete fireplace. Such a pretty look.
Another great before and after. It’s almost like you don’t realize how naked a ceiling can look before you add some ceiling beams. The faux beams not only warm up the room and add a ton of visual appeal, but they actually make the space look more spacious.
I wish there was a before shot for this one, too because I think the impact would be unreal! These faux wood beams make this lovely outdoor living area look so rich and luxurious, don’t they?
Create a coffered ceiling with faux wood beams. Isn’t this ceiling head over heels breathtaking?
The ceiling beams absolutely make this space. Without them, there would be such a huge expanse of boring, white nothingness. These beams are the perfect color to coordinate with the floor. The scale is perfect as well. They’re big beams, for a big space.
This company is not sponsoring this post (nor are any others mentioned here), but I think this promotional video is helpful in that it describes how faux beams made from foam are fabricated, as well as discusses some other aspects of the product such as durability and how they are finished.
Architectural Depot also has a wide variety of faux ceiling beams available for sale in various sizes and finishes.
Muted farmhouse decor accented beautifully by these faux ceiling beams.
The ceiling beams in this kitchen have such a huge impact. They not only make the space look larger, but taller as well. And they draw attention toward the pretty pendant lighting which would have gotten lost in the shuffle if they were hanging below an all-white ceiling
18. AZ Faux Beams
Don’t these ceiling beams create such a rich, bright look here in this kitchen, installed to create a coffered look?
19. AZ Faux Beams
Faux wood beams in an office with more of a sleek, modern look. Holes can easily be cut in this material in order to hang lighting/electrical under the ceiling beams, as seen below with this glass bubble chandelier, similar to the one we have in our foyer.
The Handmade Home uses beams from time to time in their renovations, and I love the results whenever they’re used. These faux beams are in their own kitchen redo, and they are from AZ Faux Beams. They mention in their write-up that friends comment all the time on their beams, and when they hear they are fake, they can’t believe it. I know that story well since it’s the same exact thing that happens here.
In the draft of this post, I had placed these ceiling beams in the wrong category, thinking they were wood. Nope. They are HDF as well. So hard to tell, right?
Isn’t this a great idea for creating a more defined, dramatic outdoor space? YES, these beams can be used outdoors, too!
Faux Wood Ceiling Beams: Examples Made of WOOD
Now let’s move on to some faux beams that are actually made using wood. If the project being shown is a DIY project, it will be noted so that you can check out the tutorials.
23. Prodigal Pieces | Simple DIY Ceiling Beams
Larissa and her husband show you exactly how they made (and you can, too) beautiful faux ceiling beams from regular pine 2×6’s. No box or U-shape needed. This option is perfect for situations with lower ceiling heights.
24. My Vintage Porch | DIY U-faux beams)
Natalie will teach you how she and her family created these faux U-beams using 1×8’s for her gorgeous master bedroom. Definitely check out the finished project, because it’s stunning, but I like this in-process shot because it shows you the process of installation.
A piece of lumber is fastened to the ceiling into the joists, then the faux beam is screwed into that piece of wood. You can see in this shot how the ceiling joists have been marked off with painter’s tape so it’s easy to know during install where they are.
It’s hard for me to tell for sure from this pic, but if that beam is located in a corner, then it could be an example of an L-shaped faux beam as only 2 of the sides are visible.
My friend Lauren and her hubs framed out the doorway between their kitchen and family room with a faux beam and surround. Their tutorial is over at Cassity’s blog, Remodelaholic.
Isn’t this amazing? These box beams are crafted from real wood…angles, curves, and all.
28. Sers Woodwork
Big, chunky, hard to ignore faux beams, likely a U-shape crafted from wood.
29. KGD Designs
Adding faux beams to a cathedral ceiling is such an impactful way to draw the eye up. Gorgeous design by KGD.
30. Jenna Sue Design (DIY kitchen faux wood beams)
Jenna Sue writes a tutorial on creating and installing U-shaped faux beams made from1x6’s on her kitchen ceiling in a previous home. She liked them so much, she decided to add them in another space, as well which you’ll see below.
I’m including an in-process shot here so once again you can see the installation process in full swing. But you have to head over to her blog so you can see the reveal for both this space and her master bedroom, which is next. They turn out so beautifully.
Pssst…don’t leave here empty-handed! Grab your copy of our free faux beams project guide now! Click here or below on the image. Your guide will be sent immediately⤵️
31. Jenna Sue Design (master bedroom DIY faux ceiling beams)
Here’s Jenna Sue again, this time installing faux beams, also made of regular old, off the shelf lumber, into her old master bedroom. She uses wainscoting/beadboard on both ceilings. The faux beams create a great, aesthetically-pleasing way of covering up the seams between sheets of beadboard.
Substantial, gorgeous faux ceiling beams crafted from reclaimed barn wood.
Lovely, rustic detail on these wood faux beams.
34. Ashley Beseda
An easy way to visually set off and separate one area of a home with an open floor plan from another…a simple faux ceiling beam.
Beautiful woodwork here on a vaulted ceiling with beams.
36. Bakers Nest
Pay attention to the caption of this Instagram post by Katie! She details an entire tutorial for creating this DIY faux beam look at home!
And there you have it, we’ve covered all the “what,” “where,” “how,” and “why” bases on the topic of faux wood beams. I hope this post has helped you understand the world of ceiling beams a bit better.
Looking for more beautiful (and budget-friendly) home decorating ideas? Be sure to check these out, too!
And hopefully, the visuals have helped you decide which path you’d like to pursue in your own faux beam quest! Adding ceiling beams is such a great way to add depth, warmth, interest, and texture to your home on a budget.
If you decide to add some beams, I’d sure love to hear about it! Drop a comment below, or tag me on social media. You can even add a picture and comment on the Pinterest pin! Thanks so much for stopping in!!
Pin this post for later! And if decide to use a faux beam, leave a comment (or better yet, a photo) on the pin! That helps others know whether they want to try this project, too!
Pssst…before you go, I sure would love to hang out with you again really soon! Sign up now and get a FREE copy of “Builder-Grade To Beautiful: 10 Totally Transformative Home Decorating Solutions, All Under $100!” Click here to enter your email or on the image below. Your copy will be sent right away!