Drumroll, please…Today we installed a faux wood beam in our kitchen! Yiiiipeeee! Isn’t it pretty? I just love the character that an old looking beam adds to a home, and I had the perfect spot picked out in our home…right between our kitchen and our dining area. It would give the rooms just a tiny bit of separation, while adding some farmhouse charm to both spaces.
We bought a 14 ft. long faux wood beam from Home Depot, or should I say “foam” wood beam. Seriously, this thing is made of polyurethane foam! It is molded to look like an 18th century barn beam, so not only does it look very realistic and have a ton of character, but it is also super light weight. They even make the claim that these beams are easy to install, and I would say that’s mostly true, except for one minor (not so minor) detail…cutting it to the right size. It literally took us 3 hours to cut it, and about 15 minutes to install it.
Here’s how we did it…
Step 1: Watch the Installation Video
The manufacturer of our faux wood beam has a nice installation video that you can view here. It lays out all of the steps, and makes it look really easy, so you’ll feel pretty confident going into things.
Step 2: Lay Out Where You Want Your Beam
We measured and marked the location for each end of the beam on the ceiling. Then, we used a chalk line tool to mark the location of the centerline of our beam from one wall to the other. You just pull the chalk string taut, and give a little snap to make a mark on the ceiling. This was very helpful! If you don’t have one of these, you may want to invest in one for these types of installations.
Step 3: Cut the Faux Beam to Size
Ummm, this part sucked…big time! Don’t get me wrong, the beam is actually really easy to cut with a saw (like butter), but neither end of the beam was a straight cut to begin with. So, we tried, and retried many times over to make a perfectly square cut on one end of the beam that would sit flush against the wall. We finally had to bust out our 90 degree angle tool and make vertical lines, and then hubby had to do his best to stay in the lines while sawing. In the end, the cut was not perfect, but it was pretty darn close.
Next, we measured from our “square” cut to the other end, and again did our best to cut straight up and down. When, we fitted it to the wall, it was a little too long. Grrrrr. Instead of trying to cut it again, I brought out my sander and shaved off about 1/8 of an inch. You cannot imagine our glee when the darned thing actually fit, and was pretty close to being flush with the walls. The complete and utter frustration of Step 3 is why I have a glass of wine next to me, while hubby is drinking a beer in the other room and watching sports.
Step 4: Mark Stud Locations on the Ceiling
If you are lucky, your ceiling beams will run perpendicular to the faux wood beam. That’s what happened for us, and it meant that we could install our wood mounting blocks on studs in the ceiling. If you aren’t so lucky, not to worry. You can use molly bolts to install the wood blocks into the ceiling drywall, and the installation will work just as well. Mark the locations of your ceiling beams/studs with some painter’s tape.
Step 5: Cut Mounting Blocks
The manufacturer recommends spacing your mounting blocks every 3-4 ft. So, we ended up only needing 4 blocks to install our faux wood beam. We cut the mounting blocks to fit within the interior of the beam. The blocks ended up needing to be slightly bigger or smaller than the next, depending on the location within the beam cavity. In other words, the interior cavity of the beam was not exactly the same measurement from one end to the other. But, that wasn’t a big issue.
Step 6: Install the Mounting Blocks
We screwed each mounting block into a ceiling beam/stud using 3″ screws. We matched up the centerline of each mounting block to the chalk line that we had snapped.
Step 7: Install the Faux Wood Beam
Once the ceiling mounting blocks are installed, you can fit the faux wood beam over the blocks and screw the beam into each block (using 2″ screws). This was the easiest, and by far the most rewarding step in the process. Then, fill each screw hole with a little wood putty that matches the beam. Once this part is done, pat yourself on the back and celebrate a bit! You’ve just added a ton of character to your home!!!
Hope you all have a great 4th of July weekend! We’ll be staying home and working on a few more projects…and glancing up at our ceiling occasionally to admire our new faux wood beam.
See this and other fabulous projects at the following link parties:
- Coastal Charm
- Julie’s Creative Lifestyle
- Create With Joy
- Have a Daily Cup of Mrs. Olson
- The Pin Junkie
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