Beauty and Strength By Design: The Advantage of Groin Vault Ceiling Systems

The groin vault is the perfect design for homeowners looking to incorporate European style and structural integrity in their ceilings. Traditionally a design feature of European architecture in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance Era, this type of ceiling system made its appearance in many famous castles and churches throughout Europe. It is one of the most popular arched ceilings in home architecture today, and can be seen in many dining rooms, basements, hallways, attics, foyers, and master bedrooms.

For the uninitiated, a groin vault is the center of the intersection of 2 barrel vaults in the ceiling. In comparison to the barrel vault, the groin vault is deemed more cost efficient in terms of material and labor, and is considered more stable and able to absorb stress from the walls better, as well as allowing for better lighting. This is also why many ceilings are designed with chandeliers hanging from groin vaults.

Besides the structural benefits that groin vaults provide in buildings and homes, it also brings a certain character and style to the room that is both classic and modern. It is generally a feature of high end homes, because traditionally constructing a groin vault took a lot of time, specialized labor, and material. Most carpenters either do not have the skill, and the ones that do ask for very high fees, making it unaffordable for most homeowners. We at Archways & Ceilings feel that beauty and durability doesn’t have to be out of reach of the everyday homeowner, so our designers created groin vault ceiling kits that make adding a groin vault in your home quick, easy, and affordable.

The traditional way of constructing a groin vault on site can take 10 times longer than using an Archway & Ceiling’s groin vault kit. For instance, a groin vault with the dimensions of 8’-0” by 6’-0” would normally take two experienced carpenters at least two or three days to construct. In contrast, our ceiling kits simplify the construction process and take only a maximum of 2 hours to install. You don’t need high end framers, and you can do it yourself—as long as you can paint by number, know how to read a plan drawing, and are handy with a nail gun, installation should be no problem.

The style options for groin vaults are endless; perhaps you can place your groin vault in your dining room and pop it up above your ceiling. You also have the options of accenting it with trim, crown molding, or a cove ceiling. Some styles have it drop below the ceiling and form one big groin vault, with a chandelier hanging from the center. You can also opt to place multiple groin vaults if your room is large enough. To get a better idea on how versatile and beautiful groin vaults can be in your home, check out our groin vault photo gallery for more style inspirations.