101 Kitchen Ceiling Ideas & Designs (Photos)

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Kitchen with fancy coffered ceiling



Most kitchen ceilings are flat and regular height 8 feet).  However, some homeowners invest quite a lot of money into ceiling design with high ceilings, coffered, groin vault, dome, shed or some other fancy ceiling that adds a little extra pizazz to the kitchen.

This article sets out everything you need to know about kitchen ceilings including your options, colors, materials, cleaning them and more.

Types of Kitchen Ceilings (Pictures)

As you’ll see below, there are many kitchen ceiling options.  We list out the main types, materials and answer key questions.

1. Regular Ceiling

A regular ceiling ain’t so bad. Check this out – you can’t say this is an incredible kitchen. White ceiling with recessed lights and 3 pendants. Boom – simple, inexpensive (as ceilings go) and looks fabulous.

A regular ceiling ain't so bad. Check this out - you can't say this is an incredible kitchen. White ceiling with recessed lights and 3 pendants. Boom - simple, inexpensive (as ceilings go) and looks fabulous.

2. Vaulted Ceiling

Assuming you don’t have an upper floor above your kitchen you can create some form of vaulted kitchen ceiling like this. It definitely creates the perception of a larger space.

Assuming you don't have an upper floor above your kitchen you can create some form of vaulted kitchen ceiling like this. It definitely creates the perception of a larger space.

See more kitchens with vaulted ceilings here

3. Drop Ceiling

A drop-ceiling isn’t the best choice (for any room).  But if you have no choice, then here you go… this is what a drop ceiling looks like.  You might consider going for the industrial look and expose all the ceiling inards.

4. Tray Ceiling

Tray ceilings frame a room and give the impression of a higher ceiling with the two layers.  Not my first pick, but it can look good.

See more kitchens with tray ceilings here

5. Beams

I love exposed beams.  There are many options.  We showcase 2 here and link below to many more.  You can paint the beams the same color as the ceiling or go for the natural wood look.  You can use real wood or create faux beams.  As you will see below, they look fabulous.

See more kitchens with beamed ceilings here

6. Coffered

For a more dynamic design, opt for a coffered ceiling.  It creates a lot of texture, but you need more than 8 feet clearance to do it.

See more kitchens with coffered ceilings here

7. Ceiling Tiles

Ceiling tiles are bit much for my liking, but you have many options and if you want that vintage or antique look, ceiling tiles are one way to achieve it.

Source: Decorative Ceiling Tiles

8. Shed Style

The shed ceiling is a type of vaulted ceiling where it just angles up one way.  There’s no center.  It’s a great look if you have the house design for it.

See more kitchens with shed style ceilings here

9. Groin Vault

For the creme-de-la-creme, there’s the majestic groin vault.  If you have oodles of cash for your home, design and commission a groin vault ceiling which always impresses.  They aren’t just for priceless cathedrals.

Source: CEILTRIM

See more kitchens with groin vault ceilings here

Small Kitchen Ceiling Ideas

If you have a small kitchen space (less than 70 sq. ft.), you may have fewer options for your ceiling.  Most small kitchen ceilings are flat and regular height.  However, not all.  Here are a few unique ceiling ideas for small kitchens.

1. Ceiling to demarcate small kitchen space

I love how the small kitchen ceiling demarcates the kitchen by dropping down from the rest of the ceiling. It separates space without a wall. Very clever.

I love how the small kitchen ceiling demarcates the kitchen by dropping down from the rest of the ceiling. It separates space without a wall. Very clever.


2. Two-Tier Kitchen Ceiling

Here's an interesting small kitchen ceiling where it's a two-level ceiling above the peninsula kitchen.

Here’s an interesting small kitchen ceiling where it’s a two-level ceiling above the peninsula kitchen.

3. Solid wood with exposed beams

Here's an example of a steep shed style (may be cathedral ceiling) with natural wood material and exposed beams.

Here’s an example of a steep shed style (may be cathedral ceiling) with natural wood material and exposed beams.

4. Glass Kitchen Ceiling

Tiny contemporary kitchen with glass angled ceiling.

Tiny contemporary kitchen with a glass angled ceiling.

5. Two-Tiered Wood and Drywall Ceiling

Small l-shaped kitchen with two-tier ceiling.

Small l-shaped kitchen with two-tier ceiling.

Kitchen Ceiling Materials

There are many materials you can use for your kitchen ceiling.  They include:

  • Drywall
  • Ceiling tiles
  • Wood boards
  • Wood beams
  • Drop ceiling
  • Glass

Kitchen Ceiling FAQ

How high should a kitchen ceiling be?

At a minimum, it should be 8 feet high.  However, more and more new houses have a 9 or even 10-foot ceiling throughout.  While vaulted ceilings are popular for living rooms, they’re less so for kitchens.  But, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a vaulted ceiling of some sort in your kitchen.  You’ll notice above that there are many examples.

What is the best lighting for a kitchen ceiling?

I like 3 types of lights for kitchens. They are:

  1. recessed lights: I like the main ceiling area to be peppered with recessed lights that can be dimmed.
  2. pendant lights.   Above peninsulas and islands I like
  3. cabinet lights:  I love cabinets with built-in lights, especially glass-faced cabinets, cabinet tops and/or below upper cabinets shedding light on the counter space.

What’s the best color to paint a kitchen ceiling?

White is best.  You’ll notice by far the most common ceiling color is white.  Why is it so great?  Because it works with any color scheme.  That said, natural wood and in some cases colors can work well, but generally white is best.

How to paint a kitchen ceiling

How to clean a kitchen ceiling before painting?

Why don’t kitchen cabinets go to the ceiling?

Because most people can’t reach the upper levels of kitchen cabinets that extend to the ceiling.
That said, more and more kitchens do have cabinets that extend to the ceiling, even with 9 or 10 foot ceilings. If you need to access the upper levels, you need a small step ladder.

Some people argue that kitchens look best with cabinets that go to the ceiling. Typically, it’s a hallmark of higher end kitchens. It’s a personal preference. I prefer cabinets that extend to the ceiling.







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