|Drywall makes it easy to produce massive-looking details|
such as these arches. Note, however, that it's best not to mix
different styles of arches as has been done here.
With gypsum board, it's easy to create dramatic interior effects such as coffers, vaults and arches on even the tightest budget. All that’s required is furring (false framing) made from ordinary lumber, and a clear sense of the interior effect you’re after. To wit:
|Wood furring or false framing is typically used to provide |
a structure for attaching the gypsum board.
There are also many products that make it easier
to create arches and other details.
You can heighten the appearance of mass if you give openings a shape characteristic of masonry construction, such as flared sides or an arched top. Avoid designs using acute angles, since they’re seldom seen in masonry work. Also, to maintain the illusion of mass, be consistent—don’t have an archway passing through a supposedly massive wall that also has a skinny standard doorway in it.
|Furring make these elliptical arches look massive.|
Compare this example to the no-no at the bottom of the page.
• Other effects such as tray ceilings, vaulted ceilings, niches, and complex archways are easy to achieve at modest expense. However, avoid fussy, overcomplicated details; bold, generous proportions usually produce the best results. If you’re unsure of your design, build a mock-up out of white cardboard before committing yourself.
|A groin-vaulted ceiling using prefabricated furring|
proves that almost anything is possible in gypsum board.
(Courtesy NH Drywall)
Good results also depend on the accuracy of the furring underneath. Arches and the like must be carefully built up of wood to provide a solid backing for the gypsum board. Prefabricated furring pieces for creating arches and curves are available to simplify the job. Once the furring is complete, the gypsum board should be attached with drywall screws rather than nails—they’re less likely to disturb the position of the furring, and won’t pull out as easily.
Unless you’re experienced in gypsum board installation and tape-and-texture work, leave the creation of curves and special shapes to a professional. A good tape-and-texture contractor can also help you figure out the most economical way of achieving the effect you’re after.
|To avoid a crackerbox look, don't put arched openings|
in standard-thickness stud walls like this one.
Furr the walls out to make the arches more convincing.