Basement support beams provide vital structural support for your home, but the unsightly steel supports may interrupt the flow of your finished basement. Though you can't remove the beams without severely comprising your home safety and violating numerous building codes, you can disguise them or incorporate them into your finished design so that they appear more decorative than imposing.
Steel basement support beams are typically an unattractive brown or gray color. One of the simplest options is to paint your basement beams in either a main color of the room or an accent color that matches room trim. Painting beams is also an option for the ceiling beams of older basements if you have opted not to install a suspended ceiling. Keep the room neutral and relaxed with colors like beige, taupe or cream. Add a bit of color with a bold accent color that draws attention to the beam rather than hides the beam; neon colors complement a gray room while slick black adds a distinct and masculine look to a basement game room. Depending on the material of your beam, you may need to sand or prepare the beam before painting. Though wall paint will usually cover the beam, spray paint specifically designed for metal may be a better option.
Enclosing your floor-to-ceiling beams is one option for concealing the beams and incorporating them into your basement design. Wooden pillars that create a box around the beam transform unattractive support poles into distinctive and classic columns. Opt for a wood that matches a wood floor or the room trim to create a cohesive look. Natural wood finishes and stains are subtle options for finishing the pillar while painted pillars are more distinctive and bold options for pillar design. To maintain cohesion throughout the room, frame the top or bottom of the beam in the same trim as the walls or ceiling.
If installing a wooden box around your beam is too labor intensive, or if you want to maintain the rounded shape of your beam, choose a pole wrap as an alternative. Pole wraps are adhesive sheets that secure directly to the beam to disguise it as a wooden or stone pillar. Pole wraps are inexpensive and easy to install. Manufacturers produce pole wraps in a variety of finishes and colors so that you can select a wrap that matches the existing structures or materials in your basement; some manufacturers even produce wraps that resemble the look and texture of tree bark for your basement playroom. Most pole wraps also include top or bottom caps to mask where the edge of the wrap meets the ceiling and floor.
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- "Decorating Without Fear: A Step by Step Guide to Creating the Home You Love"; Sharon Hanby-Robie; 2007
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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