The Controversial Ceiling Finish That Can Bring The Wow Factor To Your Home

A visually interesting ceiling is a benefit to any home, particularly in a world where many newer residences are cursed with basic drywall ceilings that can leave a lot to be desired. A great solution is adding texture and materials up high that draw the eye and make the ceilings feel higher and more magnificent. Instagram user @callsigndesign recently ignited a storm of controversy with a post revealing the new brick ceiling above her banquette. While the post received a lot of encouragement, many wondered about the choice and criticized the foolishness of using brick, of all places, on the ceiling.

The video, which shows the meticulous laying and mortaring of genuine brick tiles on a small area of the vaulted ceiling above the banquette, generated mixed responses from users, with comments ranging from "Brick on a ceiling makes no sense" to "I guess that's okay, because the next person can pull it down and throw it in the landfill." But the creator defends her choice of brick ceiling, which she says gives the banquette an exposed brick look and a European old winery vibe while also adding interest up top and showing off the vaulted ceiling of the small area.

How to get the look

While not as commonplace in U.S. homes, brick ceilings appear far more frequently in Europe, where they are often accompanied by old wooden support beams or barrel vaulted ceilings in older homes and buildings. The effect is more warmth and a rustic feel to those spaces, particularly if the brick remains in a natural, unpainted state. Painted brick, in white or black, can also give an industrial, loft-style vibe to any space. 

While many European structures feature genuine bricks, the process of laying them on a ceiling is much more complex, typically involving professional bricklayers and scaffolding. Because you are fighting gravity and adding significant weight to the load, professional installation is a good option (you can get a quote for this and similar projects at Angi.) You can find plenty of DIY tutorials featuring brick tiles like Thin Brick or these Capella Red Matte Porcelain Stone Look Tiles, which vary in thickness and are often the material used on floors, fireplace surrounds, and kitchen backsplashes to achieve a brick look. You can also use faux bricks in other forms, including Kingston bricked panels, paint treatments, Distressed Brick Red Vinyl Wallpaper, or carved foam. A plaster ceiling that can be scored to look like bricks is just one more option.

Where to use a brick ceiling

There is much to consider if you are thinking of giving this bold choice a chance in your space. Whatever kind of brick you choose, keep in mind the weight limitations of the ceiling and any materials that you will be laying brick tiles over. You will also want to make sure to take the necessary safety precautions required when working with brick or porcelain tiles, including goggles and masks. Other materials like scored plaster and brick panels can be an easier way to achieve the same look for much less work, time, and weight concerns. The panels, which are lighter in weight and can be screwed into the studs, may be a better option. They may also be rental-friendly and easily removable if you change your mind or design scheme later. 

The brick ceiling look works particularly well for small spaces to give a little more interest to the ceilings, particularly if they are already higher or vaulted, like the ceiling above @callsigndesign's banquette. It would also work for small spaces like entryways, pantries, and laundry rooms for a more rustic and textured feel. Alternatively, you can combine the brick with faux wood beams for a European look that really evokes the age of old wine cellars.