Wood ceilings have come a long way since the tongue and groove pine planks and sculpted hardwoods of early America. After experimenting with a variety of ceiling materials, today's homeowners and designers have come back to traditional wood ceilings as the material of choice. New designs feature prefab panels, cubes, waffles and acoustic sound absorbing designs have joined tiled and tongue and groove wood ceilings to give homes that warm look that only wood can give.
There are two ways that wood is prepared for ceiling installations. The most economical is quarter sliced, plain sliced or rift sliced wood veneer. A thin layer of wood is sliced from a solid piece and glued to chip board, fiberboard or similar material. The material looks like solid wood, with a natural wood grain finish, but most of the thickness of the tile or plank pieces is a composite material.
The most expensive type of ceiling is the sawn solid wood as in traditional tongue and groove ceiling or variants on wood tiles. The wood for solid wood applications come in either quarter-sawn vertical grain, plain-sawn flat grain or rift-sawn vertical grain. Solid wood tiles, planks or other wood shapes are the most durable. Dents and dings that can tear away wood veneer can often be sanded out with solid ceilings.
Quarter Sliced/Quarter Sawn Vertical Grain
Woods available in this style include sycamore, anigre, white birch, white oak, white maple, black walnut, bamboo, carbonized bamboo, cherry, vertical grain hemlock and vertical grain Douglas fir.
Plain Sliced/Plain Sawn Flat Grain
Woods available in this style include red oak, white birch, white oak, white maple, beech, cedar, black walnut, poplar, white fir, carbonized bamboo, cherry, white ash, flat grain hemlock, alder, khaya mahogany, ipe and flat grain Douglas fir.
Rift Sliced/Rift Sawn Vertical grain
Woods in this style include red oak and white oak.