What is a Coved Ceiling?

A coved ceiling is a smooth curved finish where walls and ceilings join–instead of normal 90 degree angles. The Oxford Dictionary even defines cove as “a concave arch or arched molding, especially one formed at the junction of a wall with a ceiling.”

What is a Coved Ceiling?

Curved ceilings give rooms a soft smooth peaceful look. Coved ceilings are quite eye-catching because they eliminate hard corners and can be painted and trimmed in multiple ways to add more interest and stand out even more.

4 Cove Ceiling Designs

A true coved ceiling is always a curved ceiling-to-wall junction. Sometimes they are designed with reveals to make a bolder statement. Flat angled junctions between ceiling and walls are often called cove ceilings by mistake.

Following are the four basic coved ceiling designs. Each of them can be modified in numerous ways to enhance the look and feel of the room.

1. Seamless Cove Ceilings

Seamless coved ceilings are the most common style. They are a smooth unbroken transition from wall to ceiling. This design eliminates all sharp edges and corners in the room. Adding rounded transom windows or arched doorways makes the entire room a soft comfortable-feeling space.

2. Coved Ceiling With a Top Reveal

A top reveal cove ceiling has walls that flow up and into the ceiling. It comes to an abrupt stop that forms a 90-degree step up to the ceiling. The effect is to make the main part of the ceiling appear to be raised.

The raised ceiling effect is created by furring it down at least two inches to create a sharp step. The step can be made much deeper if desired. Or the curve can be made wider, or both. Proper combinations of width and depth will produce a stunning tray ceiling.

3. Coved Ceiling With a Bottom Reveal

Bottom reveal cove ceilings are opposite top reveal curves. The ceiling flows smoothly into the wall. Then stops abruptly and steps into the wall. Many people add wood or extruded polyurethane molding to the bottom of the step. Then paint or stain it a different color to help make the ceiling stand out even more.

4. Coved Ceiling With Top and Bottom Reveal

This ceiling cove design incorporates both a step down from the ceiling and a step out from the wall. The steps are usually equal in size but do not have to be. With this type of curve design the cove itself easily becomes the feature. Color, size, and trim choice all combine to make the curve the focus.

This is a perfect design for renovations. Existing drywall or plaster does not need to be removed because there is no need to blend the walls and ceiling into the curve.

Why Use Coved Ceiling Treatments?

Curved ceilings are not as common as 90 degree wall/ceiling junctions. For that reason, they are not front of mind for new construction or renovation projects. They also appear difficult and time-consuming. Here are a few reasons to reconsider.

  • Installation. Installing and finishing any of the coved ceilings is quick and easy. Order a custom-made kit from one of many manufacturers in the US. Install and finish according to instructions.
  • Finishing. Attractive finishing method that adds a look of elegance without high costs.
  • ROI. An uncommon finish can set your house apart from others. Can add value and improve saleability.
  • Modern or Traditional. A cove ceiling can be a good fit with any type of new home or renovation.

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