Standard Ceiling Height - All About Ceilings

Standard Ceiling Height – All About Ceilings

The height of the ceiling height is a major component to consider when designing any home. The ceiling height can help you look at a room in a new way, it can make it look quite wide or on the contrary diminutive.

When you are going to set the best height for the existing ceiling height, you need to have information at your disposal as to what the existing ceiling height is in most contractors standard homes. And even if you are going to do something special, the parameter of the standard ceiling height should not be ignored.

Today, the standard high ceiling height is nine feet for the very first floor, but if you have a two-story house, the standard for the upper first floor is eight-foot ceilings. In a few rooms, this value can vary, often downward cathedral ceilings. The standard height has never stood still and used to change frequently lower ceilings. This was due to the different styles of rooftops that were in vogue and the general rules of safe building design and construction.

Over time, a standard high ceiling height has been found, but it’s not a necessary metric that could cause something to happen to your home. So don’t start panicking if, after reading the first few paragraphs of our article, you ran to measure it and found it to be less than seven feet rather than nine feet.

We’ve researched this topic at length for you and are now ready to tell you all about your eight-foot ceilings. If you want to learn as much information as you can about minimum average high ceiling height, ideas for increasing it, and other interesting facts, you should read this article in its entirety.

What Is the Previous Ceiling Standards Height

The standard height of nine square-foot ceiling height was not always so. If you look at all the milestones in the history of construction, you will find that this has changed frequently over the years.

If your house was built sloped roof before the forties, you may find that the average ceiling height range from ten to twelve feet. This was a major trend in construction at the time because the cost of everything was less and there was plenty of land to build on.

standard ceiling height

But that standard high ceiling height wasn’t enough, and we can trace that most of the houses that have survived from the sixties and eighties were already built with eight-foot ceilings. This was a time when all the materials associated with building ceilings were supplied to the market in eight-foot pieces.

Understandably, it was easier to get less than eight feet than buy one piece of wood and it was more rational to use it, so the popularity of eight-foot ceilings can be explained by this factor. Naturally, if your ceiling height is any less than eight feet, your options for furniture will be limited. 

In addition, at the same time, the country was very short of natural gas due to strained relations with those who supplied it. Therefore, it was necessary that the house itself was able to store heat perfectly for a long time.

Ceilings prevented heat from rising far from the floor, so the living rooms in the house heated much faster with little gas consumption. This fashion existed until the nineties. So if your house was built at that time, the standard minimum average minimum ceiling height may be low.

What are the Specialty Ceiling Standards Types

While we’ve come to the conclusion that nine-foot ceilings are the modern standard for minimum average ceiling height, there are several types of ceilings that you shouldn’t write off.

standard ceiling height

We’re going to talk about them now.

  • A coffered average minimum ceiling height uses artificial or real exposed beams to make different shapes on the ceiling. Most often square foot or rectangles are used. Coffered ceilings make a room look deeper nine feet and a little more stylish. You need a ceiling that’s nine-foot ceilings or, better yet, ten feet high in order for you to make your own square foot.
  • Suspended ceilings are also enviably popular. Their peculiarity is that the inside should be just above the designated boundary of a standard ceiling height. It also helps to increase the space in the room, as do coffered ceilings. The standard height for such a ceiling is nine feet for the bottom and ten for the recess.
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How Can You Make Your Ceilings Look Taller?

Let’s start with what you should never do for minimum ceiling height:

  • Bulky hanging chandeliers with pendants and numerous lampshades will make the room visually even lower, and the housemates with height above average, in general, can touch such decoration with the head;
  • Stucco on the minimum ceiling height nine feet and abundant decorations on the walls;
  • Massive furniture. Large cabinets, high coffee tables, and large sofas take up too much space and will be appropriate only in large, high rooms;
  • Heavy curtains with lambrequins also make the impression of clutter, and make the ceilings even lower;
  • Too many dark colors.

standard ceiling height

If you got an apartment with minimum ceiling height, then you have to compromise with your design desires and preferences, trying not to make the situation worse, and even more, to visually make the room higher.

The main nuance in the design of ceilings is the choice of appropriate finishes. The right color and texture are half the battle. A room that has a sloped ceiling shall at no point have a ceiling height less than 5 feet and no less than 50% of the floor area shall have a ceiling height less than 7 feet.

So basically it is understood that a room with a sloped ceiling can have a ceiling height less than 7 feet only if at least 50% of the rooms area is not less 7 feet and at no point can any part of the room be less than 5 feet if the room is used as a space as defined above. 

To make the ceiling height in a tall or low room visually higher, use these design tricks.

Design tricks:

  • Bet on white. This is a win-win for all small and low rooms. White and light, pastel shades can work wonders and literally push the boundaries of space. Painting the ceiling height white is the easiest and very effective solution;
  • gloss and shine. We all know how well glossy surfaces reflect light. If the gloss is strong, it can work like a mirror and literally duplicate the space, so you can’t think of a better solution for a low room than glossy ceilings. You can paint the surface with glossy paint, you can – install a white glossy stretch ceiling height. Designers more commonly use the latter option and, indeed, works very, very well to increase the height of the room;
  • blue shades for the ceiling. A white ceiling height is referred to by many as a hospital or office ceiling height. If, in fact, it would cause discomfort, then you can resort to an alternative solution – shades of blue. This color in our subconscious associates with the sky, so the ceiling surface will automatically seem a little higher than it really is;
  • the ceiling should be lighter than the walls. Whatever experiments with colors you decide on, you must remember that the walls should not be lighter than the ceiling height. Otherwise, the ceiling will be even more pressing and seem lower than it is;
  • ceiling and walls in the same color. This is a popular design move that allows you to blur the boundary of the transition between the wall surface and the ceiling height;
  • Boxes and moldings. If you lay out a box or make moldings from gypsum board or special Styrofoam tiles along the edges of the ceiling height, you can visually deepen the center of the ceiling height. It is important that the thickness of such decorative constructions was small, otherwise, you can get the opposite effect. It is better to decide on such experiments if the ceiling height is 2.5-2.7 m;
  • Vertical stripes are another win-win way to raise the ceiling. It is better if the stripes are wide and combine not too contrasting colors. Striped make only one, accent, wall, otherwise in the eyes will be a lot of ripples. Instead of the usual stripes, you can use an ornament of tree trunks or rhombuses. Vertical stripes can be drawn on a painted wall; you can use wallpaper with a matching pattern. Stripes can go on the ceiling height. Natural wood panels also work quite well.
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What Is The Minimum Ceiling Height For A Hallway? The International Residential Code (IRC) states that habitable spaces and hallways should have a minimum ceiling height of no less than 7 feet. What Is The Minimum Ceiling Height For Bathrooms and Laundry Rooms? According to the International Residential Code (IRC), bathrooms habitable spaces, and laundry rooms shall have a minimum ceiling height of no less than 6 feet 8 inches.

Want to know more? Watch the following video.

Useful Information: How to Decorate a Room With Low Ceilings?

This video is about how to decorate a room with ceilings. You will learn how to decorate a room with low ceilings with help from a registered interior designer.

Watch the following video:

Interesting Does Ceiling Height Affect Room Temperature?

The above-ceiling space, floor thickness, and standard ceiling height of a room make up the total floor height between the clear floor marks. The floor and cathedral ceiling height is usually determined by the construction of the building and the building design standards.

It directly affects the energy efficiency of a building because it determines the area of the building’s exterior surface that is exposed beams to the weather and solar radiation.

standard ceiling height

The effect of reduced ceiling heights on comfort, especially in hot climates, has aroused scientific interest in many countries for at least two reasons: the desire to conserve energy without inconveniencing people and the desire to reduce the capital cost of new construction elsewhere. Another advantage of lower ceiling heights is that the amount of air conditioning required is reduced, which also saves energy.

In the case of precast structures, reduced ceiling heights allow for the use of prefabricated uniform elements with smaller dimensions, thus reducing production costs in the concrete factory and in construction. Systematic studies of problems associated with reducing ceiling heights have been conducted in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.

In the UK, in addition, the purely subjective attitude of residents to low ceilings (2.4-2.55 m) was studied.

It was concluded that a lower cathedral ceiling height does not adversely affect the microclimate in the apartment and does not cause any unpleasant feelings.

Almost 90 percent of those who had occupied apartments with low high ceilings reported that this height seemed normal to them, while for most contractors of them, it had never even occurred to them that the high ceilings were too low.

In India, outdoor and indoor temperatures were measured in four experimental 3.6×3 m dwellings, with a west-facing veranda. The rooms were identical throughout, except that the high ceilings were 2.4 m, 2.7 m and 3.3 m high. The results showed that increasing the ceiling height to 2.7 m did not produce any noticeable improvement in temperature conditions.

In the USA, a national conference on home design also discussed the question of optimal ceiling heights. The majority of delegates felt that the U.S. standard ceiling height of 2.4 m was adequate, while a small number of participants favored increasing the ceiling height in living space rooms to 2.55 m.

Two-barrel vaults ceilings are like cathedral ceilings. A groin vault consists of two barrel vaults, interesting at 90-degree angles, creating four convex (outward-curving) ribs, rising from the corners of the room.

The walls go straight up and end when it starts to curve. The curve never starts before the ceiling has reached a good standard ceiling height. Otherwise, the doors would be too low. Cathedral ceilings are sloped roof on either side, leaving a point at the top. They are often seen in cathedrals which is where they get their name. The shortest part of the ceiling is of standard ceiling height. Cathedral ceilings are available at any angle. 

Standard Ceiling Height - Useful Detailed Manual For You

Pros and Cons of High and Low High Ceilings

High Сeilings

They have their disadvantages:

  • Costs will be higher during the construction phase of the building regulations. This also entails higher costs for the interior decoration of the room.
  • Difficult organization of the heating system, the operation of which will require significant money.
  • Increased complexity of repair work. Repairers will have to use special facilities. This draws an increase in the cost and time of repair work.
  • Difficulties manifested in everyday life. Requires a special approach to maintenance, cleaning the room. Difficulties can cause even changing a recessed lighting bulb.
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They have their Pros:

  • Contribute to the formation of a specific atmosphere, a sense of space.
  • A large space for imagination when decorating. Such high ceilings contribute to the creation of an individual design of the ceiling, it is possible to use several levels with different decorative solutions from plasterboard. They are perfect for the baroque style, which requires a variety of stuccowork, as well as for the classics.

Space with high ceilings, experts recommend decorating, following the “rule of three” – the walls are divided into three sections. The lower level is designed for bathrooms and auxiliary finishing, and the middle – is occupied by shelves and paintings.

In this case, it is not recommended to place pictures beyond eye level, otherwise, there will be a feeling of emptiness. The last section of the wall, the upper one, is left flat and empty. Such a breakdown allows even more visual raise in the level of the ceiling height. For recessed lighting, it is recommended to use chandeliers of large size. Thanks to them, the room will become elegant and chic.

standard ceiling height

Low Сeilings

They have Pros:

  • Form a sense of pressurizing overlap, which causes discomfort from being in the room.
  • Inability to use large chandeliers, especially in relation to the ceiling height of 2 meters – a large chandelier will create an unfavorable environment.
  • Restrictions on the decorative design – it will be irrational to have a multilevel ceiling. Its creation is accompanied by difficulties, and its implementation in practice is possible only with the recourse to highly qualified specialists.

The advantages of low eight-foot ceilings are the disadvantages of high eight-foot ceilings, there is no point in dwelling on them in detail. Specialists in the design of the room with low eight-foot ceilings recommend abandoning higher eight-foot ceilings for the following elements:

  • lampshades, massive floor lamps;
  • stucco on the ceiling, the use of volumetric decorative elements;
  • large cabinets, high tables and bulky sofas;
  • Painted curtains fixed directly on the wall; plastic curtains fixed on the ceiling would be fine.

Designers believe that it is better to accentuate the texture and color of the room. A good solution would be the maximum use of white. This color contributes to the visual increase in space.

When choosing the standard ceiling height cathedral eight-foot ceilings in the country house should be guided by the size of the rooms, so that their proportions were harmonious nine foot ceilings.

  • cause a sense of reticence, and pressure;
  • limit the choice of ceiling fixtures;
  • make it impossible to design solutions such as stretched or suspended structures.
  • make the interior look unpresentable for standard ceiling height.


Are 10-foot ceilings too high?

A ceiling can reach up to 10 or 12 ft high, as a general standard in industries. The highest ceiling is not uncommon in modern loft apartment design (between 1890 and 1940). In addition, new homes may offer different ceiling heights.

Are 8 ft ceilings low?

Today however most ceilings can reach up to 9 feet tall and can be a bit higher. As such, most people view eight-foot ceilings as fairly low. However, 8-foot ceilings have several advantages.

When did 8-foot ceilings become standard?

In balloons, ceilings would be at any height. However, in the early 20th century when milling for studs had been standardized at eight feet ceiling heights became nearly universally the same measure. A good ceiling height is determined by the conversation.

What are the benefits of 9-foot ceilings?

The benefit of 8 feet of ceiling is that you don’t hear anyone’s voice echoing. Although high ceilings cause unneeded echo and your child loves crying or yelling, as most children do, you don’t really need high ceilings.

How much value will high ceilings add?

Conducted an inspection of homes near Dunwoody near Atlanta’s perimeter. She elaborated that the differences between 9ft and 8ft ceilings in the same region are averaging 1% more than those in 9ft. Houses having more windows and doors also have higher costs.

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