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Architectural Detail Experts | A Blog by Worthington Millwork

A Complete Guide to Rustic Wood Beams

Posted by Kyle Boatwright on 6/6/18 11:01 AM

Faux Wood Beams

Engineered materials are answering the call for architectural products that are high-performing, durable, and support the conservation of our country's natural resources - especially our dwindling timber reserves. Rustic Wood Beams and other high-density polyurethane (HDP) products are a major part of a growing construction trend to use sustainable methods and materials which reduce waste and uses natural resources efficiently. Polyurethanes offer the architectural and construction industry a versatility that is unparalleled - as it is used for many architectural and building components. 

Polyurethane products are available for use in a wide range of residential and commercial applications. This high performing rigid resin is used as insulation in walls, floors, and roofs, as a sealant or foam around windows and doors, in engineered lumber and plywoods such as Oriented Strand Board (OSB) and Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), and in many innovative architectural products such Rustic Wood ceiling beams and other interior/exterior architectural products which simulate the beauty of real wood.

According to This Old House experts, "Exposed ceiling beams are an architectural feature that allows rooms to have higher ceilings or a decorative element that adds charm. We've noticed that aged-wood beams are one of the features most sought after by homeowners right now. However, old, salvaged-wood beams are usually very heavy, cost prohibitive, and are often compromised by warping or insect damage."

Benefits of High-Density Polyurethane Rustic Beams

Faux Wood Beams

Rustic Wood Beams are a decorative architectural product suitable for many commercial and residential applications. They add stunning architectural style and detail that would otherwise be cost-prohibitive considering the price of wood-constructed products. Homeowners will find a wide range of simulated-wood architectural components and trim with authentic grain finish, including crown moldings, ceiling beams, rafters, architectural columns, and railings.

Not only are rustic wood ceiling beams available in many classic and modern architectural styles, they also cost a fraction of the price when compared to wood beams. And homeowners can also expect a longer material life cycle over wood. Polyurethane will withstand all weather conditions, without swelling or warping from rain or fading from UV exposure. rustic wood beams, even those installed on a home's exterior will maintain their original beauty for many years to come.

As a wood and metals alternative, Rustic Wood Beams still offer excellent stiffness and have good impact strength - yet, unlike wood, rustic wood beams are scratch are chip resistant. High-density polyurethane products do not rot or water stain from moisture. Homeowners never have to worry about replacing faux wood beams due to decay caused by insect infestation or from discoloration caused by mold and other biological matter. Rain and condensation will not penetrate or delaminate faux wood beams. 

Architectural products manufactured from rigid high-density Polyurethane foam allow for safer, more comfortable, and more attractive buildings and homes - while also saving money on installation costs, as the products are faster and easier to install versus wood or metal products.

Installation Advantages of Rustic Wood Beams

Faux Wood Beams

Rustic wood beams have the distinct advantage of being sturdy, yet much lighter in weight than wood or metal. Construction projects gain a competitive edge over other forms of interior and exterior design products, because faux wood beams are easy to install. Even after a home is built, faux wood beams can be added as a distinct remodeling decor feature, because the beams are lightweight and require no additional structural support from the home's framing system.

The installation of exposed wood beams will add a dramatic effect to living areas with vaulted ceilings, and also in country-style kitchens, great rooms, and basement entertainment rooms. Wooden beams are so heavy that they require structural support, usually ledger boards are installed first to secure the beam to the ceiling. Also, a full complement of power drills, screws, and leveling instruments are required, along with the expertise of a good carpenter or possibly a structural engineer.

Rustic wood beams require very little skill or tools to install, because they are so lightweight. Wall studs or ceiling joists are not required for mounting. Construction glue and anchor bolts (or mollies) for hollow walls and ceilings are sufficient. When you consider the fact that a 14 foot wood beam can weight 350 pounds, while the largest and heaviest faux wood beams will weigh less than 50 pounds, it is easy to realize the advantage of artificial wood beams over real wood installations. 

Remodeling and new construction projects can take advantage of the wide variety of rustic wood beam profiles, colors, styles, and finishes which offer design flexibility and unique creative opportunities - from Early America to contemporary decors.

Architectural Spotlight - A Rustic America Home

Rustic Wood Beams

Homeowners are glancing back to a time where life was simple and wood construction was a true representation of a family home. The rustic beauty of cut lumber, untouched by timber finishing processes is best exemplified in the architecture of America's first generation settlers - the rustic cabin. Worthington Millwork's Rustic America collection provides an economical method for refinishing projects or new construction of homes that feature modern amenities with the rustic-chic appeal of natural products.

In Early America, craftsmanship and natural materials took center stage. Today, the scarcity and weight of lumber would make these projects labor-intensive and cost prohibitive for the average homeowner. Rustic wood beams which are virtually indistinguishable from natural wood, are a simple solution. The Rustic America wood beam collection and full range of complementary architectural products are of the highest quality, capturing the intricate details of true wood grain. To meet the homeowners decorative preferences, they are available unfinished, white, or from a selection of 5 distinct wood stains.

The ultra-modern Rustic America home interior, also referred to as Mountain-chic, mixes the warmth of wood finishes with other natural elements such as stone and brick. From mouldings and ceiling panels - to distinctive rafter tails, corbels, and brackets - to Cedar plank rustic shutters - to artificial wood rail beams for exposed ceiling detail, the Rustic America collection is engineered and crafted to preserve our country's natural resources. When the elements of Rustic antique beams meet with the comfort of modern home furnishings, the result is a calm and restful sanctuary that combines the best of Olde Worlde and contemporary decor.

Benefits of Artificial Wood Beams for Builders

Many commercial interior and exterior renovation projects are realizing the value and the distinctive warmth of rustic wood beams. From restaurants and pubs to hotels and resorts, and even retail and office spaces - rustic wood beams and rustic wood architectural products offer an endless variety of creative interior design options. The variety of styles range from modern to traditional, textures from smooth to raised grain, and finishes from white to rustic colors. Interior design consultants find a wide array of options to compliment any design concept.

An added benefit of rustic wood beams for commercial construction, is the three-sided box construction. The hollow interior not only makes the beam lightweight and easy to handle, it also provides a channel for running electrical wires for lighting, entertainment surround-sound wiring, or to hide sprinkler system piping for a more pleasing exposed ceiling arrangement. Fire-rated beams are also available to meet building codes for commercial installations. Outdoor or indoor, the facility management staff will appreciate the easy maintenance and lasting beauty of rustic wood beams.

Homeowners delight in exposed beams as a stylish and natural accent to the home, especially those with high ceilings or vaulted ceiling great rooms. Other residential design ideas using rustic wood beams include creating a rustic kitchen ceiling, a farmhouse-style bedroom, or a period-style Master bath.  Partner with a rustic wood beams supplier that uses master molds that are a direct replication of grain patterns found in true timber, to deliver a remarkable simulation of natural wood - without the heavy price tag associated with wood material and installation costs.

Multiple installation styles for rustic wood ceiling beams are available for either commercial or residential applications. A contemporary style will run multiple beams in a simple parallel fashion following a specific spacing between each rustic beam. This pattern will generally use half-beams (beams with a lesser depth profile) to impart a stunning effect to standard height, flat ceilings. For high ceilings (9 ft. and over) or vaulted ceilings, larger rustic wood ceiling beams create dramatic interior style and will soften the extreme openness, making these rooms less cavernous. Even more spectacular is the use of arched wood ceiling beams, which have traditionally been reserved for special applications such as churches, are now available at a fraction of the cost and installation for residential use.

Wide Range of Rustic Wood Beam Options

Custom Faux Wood Beams

Commercial and residential properties can take advantage of rustic wood ceiling beam options to fit all new construction and home remodeling needs. Most commercial building codes will dictate fire rated construction materials. Choose Class A Fire-Rated rustic wood beams which provide the greatest protection against fire spread. Fire rated foam beams resist fire throughout the member because they are constructed of polyurethane impregnated with the fire retardant chemical. Another available option are beams that are coated with a non-toxic fire retardant. They possess the same Class A performance with a coating that blisters when ignited, but doesn't catch fire.

Standard ceiling beams are offered at 8 foot lengths, but most vendors will have quick access to lengths of up to 16 feet. Rustic wood beams are easily cut to fit odd ceiling layouts or angles with a hack saw, circular saw, or table saw. To accommodate all interior and exterior decorating needs, you will find ceiling beams with widths and depths that range from 6" to 10".

Rustic wood arch beams add a breathtaking view in many interior spaces - without the costly manpower, heavy equipment, and expensive timber required for wood. Homeowners and commercial properties can design their own arched ceiling with arch beams that are available in different radius and stain options, along with adding custom straight beams for a one-of-a-kind ceiling treatment. Customize your rustic wood ceiling beams with specific color, fire rating, size, and open or closed ends - to fit the unique needs of your ceiling renovation.

Decorative Wood Beam Styles

The most exciting feature when decorating with rustic wood beams, are the wide variety of styles that are available. From smooth contemporary beams, to beams that are lightly or heavily distressed - every interior style can be accomplished including modern, contemporary, or traditional decors. Consider the following decorative rustic wood beam styles:

  • Rustic, Rough Sawn and Raised Hewn ceiling beams have a textured surface which show the depths of wood grooves and ridges. Select one of these options to replicate Early American decorating features, or for outdoor faux wood elements.
  • Smooth and Sandblasted Beams present a smooth and classic wood grain surface, perfect for contemporary interiors. These beams still feature all the intricate grain pattern of distressed wood, but the smooth surface will duplicate today's finished wooden ceiling beams. These beams can also be painted any color to add visual contrast to ceilings.
  • Heritage Beams Tuscany, Beachwood, Woodland - each of the Heritage ceiling beam styles are reminiscent of traditional architectural styles. From the highly-detailed grain pattern of Beachwood, to the Olde Worlde, hand-distressed look of Tuscany, to the Early American, rough hewn appearance of Woodland, homeowners can easily design and install authentic styled ceiling features.

For homeowners that have always desired the decorative appeal of ceiling beams, Worthington Millwork offers a full range of options including their Rustic America Collection to take your home from ordinary to extraordinary. Commercial building owners know the value of a striking interior and exterior, leaving customers with a subliminal message about the quality and distinction of the business. Rustic wood ceiling beams are one of the fastest and trending methods to increase the visual appeal of any exterior, interior gathering room, or lobby.

Contact Worthington Millwork to view our full catalog of rustic wood ceiling beams and other polyurethane products including architectural columns, balustrade and railing systems, and exterior cornice collections.  Use our Submit Your Project tool to get an accurate quote based on the detailed materials quantity take-off that is required to complete your project.

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Topics: Polyurethane, Rustic Wood Beams, Custom Wood Beams, Ceiling Beams

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