glass ceiling: types, techniques, and recommendations

Just half a century ago, the presence of a stained-glass window on the ceiling in the house spoke of the great wealth of its owner. In those days, only a few could afford such a luxury. Being a true work of art, the stained glass ceiling dramatically transformed the entire room, bringing into it a mesmerizing atmosphere of beauty. A wide range of modern materials allows you to achieve the same effect, but at the lowest cost.

glass ceiling

Design features of the glass ceiling

The price of any of the designs directly depends on two components. This includes the manufacture of stained glass inserts and the installation of a solid frame. The state of the latter will act as a guarantor of reliability and durability of operation.

External lights to illuminate the ceiling stained glass
External lights to illuminate the ceiling stained glass

Therefore, the independent manufacture of the frame by a person who is not an expert in this field can jeopardize even the safe stay of the occupants in the room. Because the whole structure has a lot of weight. And knowledge, experience, and special equipment are needed for competent fasteners.

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For progressive people, such decoration may even seem archaic or too exotic. But with the correct selection of components that will be in harmony with the overall interior, the stained glass ceiling will become a highlight of the design. Because he personifies grace and uniqueness.

with rectangular elements

But for a successful design you need:

  • choose a drawing in the color that prevails in the general interior;
  • do not use in rooms already overloaded with different decor;
  • completely cover the ceiling only in spacious rooms;
  • in small rooms, use only as a partial decoration.

glass Ceiling advantages

glass ceiling at all times acted as ostentatious luxury and was used to enhance it in the room. This element is particularly beautiful and creates an attractive aesthetic appearance for the room. But besides this, the design has a lot of other advantages.

 glass ceiling

The ceiling with stained glass elements is different:

  • A variety of techniques. Images can be of any nature. It is possible to arrange the surface in the form of a full-fledged picture. Or choose a simple ornament. But if the design is not bought in a store, but ordered by an artist, then you can additionally be sure of exclusivity. Because a real never repeats.
  • Undemanding care. Since the glass cannot sag, as is the case with a stretch ceiling. Or cracked like ordinary plaster. To maintain the bright and attractive appearance of the stained glass ceiling, it is enough to regularly wipe it with a damp soft cloth.
  • Durability in the absence of direct mechanical stress. Glass is not subject to deformation due to high humidity or temperature changes. Not afraid of mold and other parasites.
  • Ease of repair. Since only one structural element can become unusable at a time. It is easy to dismantle and replace it with a new one.
  • Environmental friendliness, which is especially important for living quarters. In manufacturing, only metal and glass are usually used. And these are natural materials that do not emit toxic substances. Also, they are resistant even to chemical attack.

All of the above positive properties make the decorative element not only attractive but also extremely practical.

The original design
The original design of the ceiling with stained glass
Tiffany stained glass ceiling
Tiffany stained glass ceiling

Types of the structures glass ceiling

Installation of stained glass ceilings is carried out in one of three ways:

  • as a suspended structure;
  • on the principle of cassette systems;
  • in a plasterboard box.

The first method is used when the entire ceiling is not covered with stained glass, but only a small part of it is decorated. This system can even be used in a tensioning structure. In this case, an additional frame is created in the center of the surface, on which the stained glass inserts are attached. And along the outer perimeter, a baguette for a stretch film is installed.

Stained glass mounted on the ceiling in a cassette way
Stained glass mounted on the ceiling in a cassette way

The cassette method uses Amstrong’s technology, which came from space development. A special frame with cells is fixed to the ceiling. Ready-made square parts of stained-glass windows are inserted into them. Since their size is the same, you can fill any area with such elements.

The last method for creating a stained glass ceiling is chosen in two cases. Sometimes you need to hide the elements of wiring and communications from sight. But the design turns out to be cumbersome, and heavy decor elements still need to be separately mounted on the ceiling base. This will require the use of metal hangers. Also, you will have to additionally decorate the sides of the plasterboard box.

Stained glass on the ceiling installed in a plasterboard box
Stained glass on the ceiling installed in a plasterboard box

Plafond-type designs are more common. To do this, around the plasterboard niche is created on the ceiling, into which elements with drawings are installed. Such a stained glass ceiling creates a striking outlandish relief. But whichever type of installation is chosen, it must be remembered that in a room with low ceilings, even a magnificent drawing will create the illusion of pressure from above.

Installation of a stained-glass window in a stretch ceiling
Installation of a stained-glass window in a stretch ceiling

Execution technique

To date, several methods have been invented for making stained glass windows. Up to high-quality imitation. But, as for the classical method, it has remained unchanged for a couple of centuries, since its discovery. And at present, it remains a priority, even though its cost is very high.

Antique stained glass window made in a classic way
Antique stained glass window made in a classic way

Tiffany glass ceiling

As in the old days, a sketch was first created, with a drawing of every detail in color. Then the contours of individual elements were transferred to a special colored glass. The details were cut and their edges were carefully ground. Then each component was framed with copper tape.

To connect the parts, tin with solder was used. Moreover, it became possible to create not only flat compositions but also volumetric ones. Because the parts could be soldered at different angles. Upon completion of the operation, the stained glass ceiling is covered with a patina.

Fusing glass ceiling

The futuristic method of obtaining stained-glass windows began to be used relatively recently, thanks to the found technology for the manufacture of special glass. A unique colored material with certain melting properties is obtained for it. As in the previous method, all elements are cut according to the sketch.

Fusing
Fusing stained glass

Then the parts are joined together in a special frame, located in the form of a finished drawing or pattern. The assembled mosaic is placed in an oven for several hours at a temperature of about 650 degrees Celsius. During this time, the edges of the parts are fused, forming one whole.

At the exit, a solid picture of glass is obtained, which is not afraid of moisture, as well as temperature changes, and can let the sun’s rays pass through itself, effectively refracting them. But since the melting of the material can have unpredictable consequences, a person with great experience should be involved in this operation.

Traditional

It is similar to the method from Tiffany, but with the only difference that the glasses are inserted not into individual frames, but a common frame. It is made of aluminum and is flexible. Colored glasses are inserted into prepared cells with glue. The method allows you to create only flat compositions.

Traditional
Traditional

Combined

Combines the traditional method with and from Tiffany. Moreover, the master decides right at the assembly site which of the methods is better to apply.

Combined
Combined

Imitation

An interesting and inexpensive way to get a stained glass ceiling that visually resembles tiffany. But it differs from an expensive construction in its fragility. It is also called jellied. The contour of the stained-glass window is applied to the ordinary glass, completely repeating the sketch. To make the lines convex, a special paste is used.

Imitation
Imitation

After the contours of the future drawing have hardened, the space between them is filled with colored varnish. All the same, can be done using photo printing. But a tangible disadvantage of such techniques is that over time, all materials begin to flake off.

Sandblasting

An expensive method, since special equipment is required. A thin stream of heated sand under high pressure is directed to the glass surface. As a result, the smallest potholes appear on the plane. With the skillful hand of a master, they create original patterns and even magnificent paintings. But the process is laborious and only one part can be processed at a time.

Sandblasting
Sandblasting

Etching

The method is similar to the previous one but much cheaper in execution. All defects are applied using a special paste that contains hydrofluoric acid. The surface is either rough matte or embossed. And by placing the composition in the right place, it is easy to create an unpretentious drawing.

Etching
Etching

Painted

A stained glass ceiling can be obtained in another simple way. For this, acrylic painting is applied to the suspended glass elements. But the process is done manually, so you can’t call it cheap. You can only save money if you do all the work yourself.

Painted
Painted

Film

The most modern and budgetary way. It is even difficult to call it an imitation since a film with a picture painted on it is simply glued onto the glass. But if you do not find fault with the details, the overall pattern looks good. The only but significant disadvantage is the inability of the material to resist moisture. Therefore, the use of the film method is limited.

Film
Film

Lighting glass ceiling

But even a magnificently executed composition, in one of the difficult and expensive ways, will not look at all if you do not provide it with competent lighting. After all, an ordinary stained-glass window is located in the window opening and is illuminated by the sun’s rays. And on the ceiling for this, you need to place the lamps.

Lighting
Lighting

And the place of their installation depends on how the stained glass ceiling will look:

  • One external powerful light source is located in the center. For example, a chandelier that will accentuate the stained glass elements in the middle. The edges of the composition will be in semi-darkness.
  • Several external lights around the installation. In this case, everything changes, and the central part will be a little in the shade.
  • Several sources within the structure. A distinctive feature of illuminated stained glass ceilings is that they use frosted glass. This material will diffuse bright light and distribute it evenly throughout the room. In this case, all elements of the composition will be clearly distinguishable.

Most of the stained glass canvases carry meaning with their drawings. Therefore, it is reasonable when the backlight focuses on important details. One of the most common techniques is to place a lamp behind the image of the sun if there is one in the composition. Thus, an imitation of the rays emanating from the luminary is created.

glass ceiling
glass ceiling

Installation recommendations of the glass ceiling

In most cases, rectangular stained glass ceilings are installed in the rooms. And for this, the cassette mounting method is best suited. It is simple in execution and even a beginner can handle the assembly of the frame. The main thing is to follow the instructions.

But if it is necessary to install a round or other non-standard design, then you cannot do without the help of a specialist. Firstly, such products often require the creation of a special niche in the ceiling. It is usually made from drywall. Working with it is not difficult, but making smooth lines for the box requires a lot of experience.

glass ceiling

The help of a specialist in the installation of a stained-glass ceiling, which has sinuous outlines, will also be needed to work with a special profile on which the structure will be attached. To fix it on the ceiling in the form of smooth lines, knowledge, and experience will be required. And so that the installed frame matches the dimensions of the stained-glass structure, each master applies his own secrets.

Conclusion

Today the market can provide the widest range of stained glass ceilings that will satisfy the majority of apartment owners. But these will be mostly simple typical projects with a simple geometric pattern. And only a true master can create an original masterpiece worthy of becoming a decoration of a living room. A room that conveys all the luxury and chic of classic design styles.

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