Beams of dreams

Our story so far: The drywallers were making quick, satisfying progress on the ceiling of the sanctuary of the Methodist church we were turning into our home.

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Along with the Sheetrock panels, the drywallers erected on the sanctuary ceiling the two-by-sixes to which our faux beams would be attached.

faux beam extreme closeup
In this extreme close-up of our faux beam, you can see the wood grain and the foam interior.

Tyler had decided to have a look at rigid polyurethane foam beams—lighter and more durable than actual wood beams and more affordable, they were advertised as being “virtually indistinguishable from real wood.” But seeing was believing. Ordering a couple of one-foot samples of the faux beams, like choosing any finishing details in a house, was an odyssey. We ordered them online, of course (because that was Tyler’s mall of choice), where the array of options was dazzling.

L beam or U beam?

Rough sawn or hand hewn (or any of eight other textures)?

How wide? How high? How long? Do you need endcaps?

What color? We knew we wanted “brown” but we could choose from among eleven shades of brown. We finally settled on samples of pecan and antique cherry.

faux beam faroff
The antique cherry sample beam is on the left, pecan on the right.
faux beam closeup
This close-up shows how the faux beam attaches to the two-by-six on the ceiling.

A couple of weeks later, our sample beams arrived, and Tyler stuck them on the two-by-sixes on the ceiling of the sanctuary (from the safety of the choir loft).

Remarkable. They were virtually indistinguishable from real wood beams. And they were as light as cappuccino foam, which would make them easier to install.

The beams would add just the distinction we wanted in the centerpiece of our great room: Our cathedral ceilings.

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Tomorrow: Wall of fame. Or possibly shame. Read it here.

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