What is the Difference Between a Cathedral Ceiling and a Vaulted Ceiling?

 In Roof trusses

There are two terms commonly used by building contractors to describe ceilings other than traditional flat ones: vaulted ceiling and cathedral ceiling.

Many people who are not familiar with these two distinct types of ceilings use the terms incorrectly.

We build many different types of prefabricated wood structures at Usihome, ceilings among the. Learn about the differences between vaulted ceilings and cathedral ceilings in this article.

What is a cathedral ceiling?

It is no surprise that the origin of the word “cathedral ceiling” is drawn from medieval times. At the time, these religious buildings were among the only ones to have a wooden structure with a considerable height.

Even back then, a cathedral ceiling was defined as a symmetrical ceiling whose two sloping sides meet at a ridge in the middle of the room. The slope of a cathedral ceiling is generally the same as the slope of the roof of the building.

The cost of building a cathedral roof can quickly escalate. Fortunately, thanks to technological advances, roof truss manufacturers like Usihome can optimize the steps in manufacturing roof trusses and reduce manufacturing costs, and thus the final price.

To learn more, feel free to contact one of our representatives.

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Advantages of a cathedral ceiling

If you’re interested in learning more about cathedral ceilings, it’s likely that you have already encountered this beautiful structure.

Indeed, the primary advantage of this type of roof is the visual appeal and charm it brings to a home. Thanks to its noticeable height and the way it follows the roof line, it naturally evokes a unique, luxurious charm. It’s no coincidence that today’s modern buildings favor cathedral roof trusses, because the effect they create is remarkable.

Another advantage linked with the height of a cathedral ceiling is the opportunity to bring more light into your rooms thanks to the availability of more space for larger picture windows.

More height also means more space and the possibility of installing more imposing furniture, and beautiful chandeliers that it would not be possible to attach to a classic flat roof.

Cathedral ceiling


What is a vaulted ceiling ?

Unlike cathedral ceilings, vaulted ceilings are not usually designed with the same slope as the roof. Instead, they may have a single sloped side, a curved or arched slope or unevenly sloped sides. In most cases, they are framed by prefabricated scissor trusses.

Advantages of a vaulted ceiling

Overall, a vaulted ceiling offers the same advantages as a cathedral ceiling, i.e. it brings more space, more light and a special charm to your home.

Distinctive traits of vaulted and cathedral ceilings

Cathedral ceilings and vaulted ceilings share several similarities. However, the distinction between the two architectural styles lies mainly in their slope and framing.

A cathedral ceiling is characterized by straight sides that follow the slope of the roof. This high ceiling boasts two equal angled sides that converge at a single point at the peak. Cathedral ceilings offer more space than other types of vaulted ceilings.

On the other hand, a vaulted ceiling is not necessarily distinguished by the shape of the roof. It can be symmetrical or asymmetrical, with multiple sides converging towards a central point. Vaulted ceilings come in a variety of styles and configurations according to the unique architecture and design of the space.

Are cathedral and vaulted ceilings energy efficient?

Heat tends to rise, so a vaulted or cathedral ceiling with a lack of air circulation may increase your heating bill. This is because more heating will be required to ensure that not all the heat is released into the vertical space.

With that in mind, a vaulted or cathedral ceiling with an adequate ventilation system and roof insulation can help keep your home naturally fresh in the summer and keep heating costs down in the winter.

Vaulted ceiling

To build a cathedral or vaulted ceiling, choose UsiHome roof trusses

In conclusion, vaulted and cathedral ceilings are similar in many ways but their architectural structures are quite different. Cathedral ceilings have the same slope as the roof whereas this is not necessarily the case for vaulted ceilings.

UsiHome is proud to contribute to the success of your construction projects by offering different roof truss models. Our various models allow for the quick construction of cathedral or vaulted ceilings, and with less manpower. We are also proud of our track record as a trusted partner in creating other prefabricated wood structures, including wooden wall panels and floor joists. Their dimensions are always exact since they are custom-manufactured, eliminating the need for on-site adjustments.

Contact us today to discuss which structural wood products suit your needs!

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