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How Much Do Coffered Ceilings Cost?

Typical Range: $3,000 - $4,500

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Coffered Ceiling Cost

A 150-square-foot coffered ceiling typically costs $3,000 to $4,500, or $3,750 on average. Tin tiles, crown molding and medallions can add hundreds more. Expect to pay $20 to 30 per square foot for the basic build plus the cost of the decorative accents you want included.

Also known as a sunken ceiling, a coffered ceiling adds a sophisticated touch to the room. This type of ceiling looks a lot like a grid with beams running either horizontally or diagonally. Flat panels attach to the beams to complete the upscale look.

On This Page:

  1. Average Cost of Coffered Ceilings
  2. Wood, MDF and Fiberboard Material Prices
  3. Price of Coffered Ceiling Extras
  4. Labor Cost of Adding Coffered Ceiling
  5. Design Ideas for Coffered Ceilings
  6. DIY Coffered Ceilings vs. Hiring a Pro
  7. FAQs

Average Cost of Coffered Ceilings

Average Cost $3,750
High Cost $4,500
Low Cost $3,000

A basic 150-square-foot build costs $3,750 on average. Expect to pay $25 per square foot depending on the material and design you choose. The square foot price includes labor and materials but does not cover extras, like trim, paint and finials. Builds that use high-quality hardwoods can cost much more due to the price of the materials alone.

Wood, MDF and Fiberboard Material Prices

Materials for your coffered ceiling cost $3 to $30 per square foot. Real hardwoods cost the most at up to $30 per square foot. PVC, plywood and fiberboard are much cheaper at $3 to $20 per square foot. Drywall costs the least at an average of $2 to $3 per square foot.

Real wood offers several advantages over lower cost materials, however, including:

  • Stability: Wood is stronger and more durable
  • Stainability: If you want to show off wood grain with stain, you'll want real wood
  • Status: Many homeowners like the classy aesthetic of solid wood

In addition to wood's increased cost, you’ll probably have waste when you work with solid wood. Damaged pieces with warped edges or knots do not work on coffered ceilings. Your installer must check each piece carefully and toss out any that have defects. This can add a lot to your project cost if you get a bad batch.

Cost of Coffered Ceiling Materials

Material Price Per Square Foot
Drywall $2 - $3
Plywood $3 - $4
Fiberboard $6 - $15
Oak $4 - $8
Cherry $7 - $10

Walnut

$10 - $30

PVC $15 - $20
Mahogany $17 - $30
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Price of Coffered Ceiling Extras

Expect to pay between $100 to $2,500 for all your coffered ceiling extras depending on how you want the build to look and function. You may also pay extra for the install of each element.

A plain coffered ceiling features attractive solid panels and sturdy beams. You can add decorative accents to make the design unique and even turn it into the focal point of the room. These extras add to the cost but are well worth it since they personalize the design.

Decorative Accent Costs
Accent Cost
Soffits $1 - $3 per linear foot
Tin Tiles $1 - $10 for each 2’x2’ tile
Medallion $10 - $690 apiece
Trim and molding $1 - $15 per linear foot
Paint and stain $1 - $3 per square foot
Recessed lights $240 - $480 each
Finials $15 - $110 apiece

Cost of Soffits

Soffit costs $1 to $3 per linear foot with 12-foot sections costing up to $25 each. Using soffits as the panels in your coffered ceiling does not increase the price outside the normal range.

Tin Tiles Price

Using tin tiles as the panels adds up to$1,500 to the total cost of your coffered ceiling. The two-foot by two-foot tiles are $1 to $10 each depending on their design. You may use up to 40 for a 150-square-foot ceiling.

Price of Medallions

Ceiling medallions cost $10 to $690 apiece depending on their materials and design. Installation is usually included in the project cost. These accents dress up the mounting point for your chandelier or other light fixture.

Trim and Molding Costs

Trim costs about $1 to $10 per linear foot. Expect to pay closer to $8 to $15 per linear foot to cover the price of crown molding. Installation can double this price. You can attach these elements to the sides and base of each beam. If the room already features trim, you can match it or use something different.

Paint and Stain Prices

The cost to paint a ceiling is around $1 to $3 per square foot, while stain is around the same price. Painting or staining a 150 square foot ceiling is $150 to $450. Multiple colors and intricate details, like medallions and crown molding, can increase the total due to the extra time it takes to paint.

Cost of Recessed Lights

Expect to pay about $360 per fixture for materials and labor to cover the cost of recessed lights. These fixtures go in the panels and along the beams. With the proper placement, they flood the space with light and make the coffers seem more purposeful.

Finials Prices

Small finials or medallions cost $15 to $110 apiece plus labor. You can have them installed at the intersection of each set of crossbeams to add dimension and visual interest.

Labor Cost of Adding Coffered Ceiling

When hiring a ceiling installation expert near you, expect the $20 to $30 per square foot price to include both labor and materials. Extras could add hundreds more to the total. Your installer will likely quote a project rate, and then break it down by the square foot or per item.

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Design Ideas for Coffered Ceilings

A coffered ceiling gives your home more character and variety. Whether you hire a professional contractor or do it yourself, take time to plan the design so you never tire of the decision you made.

For a traditional look, you can build a coffered ceiling in one of three patterns:

  • Straight: Features boxes that run perfectly parallel to the edges of the walls
  • Diagonal: Turning the coffers 90 degrees creates a diagonal effect that resembles diamonds
  • Octagonal: A large octagon in the center with straight beams or coffers radiating out

Use alternative shapes and patterns if you want to take a modern approach.

No matter what layout you pick, remember to create depth and visual interest by using three colors. Paint the ceiling panels one color, the beams a second color and the molding a third color. Then, add recessed lighting in the center of each coffer for dramatic effect.

Beyond that, if the room features a fireplace, built-in bookcases or other unique elements, plan to incorporate them into the ceiling design. Ask your contractor how to make it so the ceiling beams look original to the house.

DIY Coffered Ceilings vs. Hiring a Pro

You can hire a ceiling contractor to install your coffered ceilings or do it yourself . You might favor the DIY idea due to the potential to save money, but consider these factors before you make your decision:

Safety

Working on a ceiling requires you to get on a ladder. If you fall, you could seriously injure yourself. Tall ceilings heights, like cathedral styles, can make this even more dangerous.

Mistakes

While you'll save money on labor, mistakes could set you back in the budget department. Hiring a professional ensures it's done right the first time with minimal material costs.

Equipment

You'll need power tools to create and install your coffered ceilings. If you don't have them in your garage, renting or buying them adds to the project cost.

Speed

If you want to enjoy your coffered ceilings right away, hire a professional. It takes several weeks for you to install them unless you can devote yourself to the project full time.

If you still want to take the DIY approach, look for plans online or buy a book that details the process. If you try to create a design from scratch, you'll likely waste hours with mistakes and frustrations.

You can always skip the aggravation in favor of hiring a ceiling installation expert. They will use quality materials and all the right equipment to build your perfect ceiling design. That way, you can avoid the stress and simply get the results you seek.

FAQs

Where should I install coffered ceilings?

Coffered ceilings look refined and sophisticated in any room. Choose a single room to give that space a more elegant look or install coffered ceilings throughout your home. Some of the rooms in which they make the biggest impact include:

  • Living and great rooms
  • Studies, home offices and libraries
  • Master bedrooms with high ceilings
  • Dining rooms
  • Home entertainment rooms or theaters

Do coffered ceilings add value?

Coffered ceilings don’t increase the resale value by a ton, but they do drum up interest fast. They pay back greatly in aesthetic appeal since they add a touch of luxury to any plain room. Bidding wars often result as buyers envision themselves enjoying that elegant space.

Do coffered ceilings make a room look smaller?

Not necessarily as it’s all in how you build it. Smaller panels make the ceiling seem busier and more textured, while larger panels give the illusion of more space. At the same time, chunkier beams give the ceiling more weight. Thinner beams make the ceiling appear higher and more spacious.

How tall should coffered ceilings be?

Coffered ceilings work best in rooms that are at least nine feet tall. Although it’s a big investment, you can pay the $16,000 to $24,000 cost to raise the ceiling to add height to the room before embellishing its design.

Can you DIY install ceiling beams?

You can DIY install ceiling beams if you have the materials, tools and the know-how. You should never attempt this project if you cannot make the beams structurally sound or do all the work safely.

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