A ceiling /ˈsiːlɪŋ/ is an overhead interior surface that covers the upper limit of a room. It is generally not a structural element, but a finished surface concealing the underside of the floor or roof structure above.

Ceilings are classified according to their appearance or construction. A cathedral ceiling is any tall ceiling area similar to those in a church. A dropped ceiling is one in which the finished surface is constructed anywhere from a few inches to several feet below the structure above it. This may be done for aesthetic purposes, such as achieving a desirable ceiling height; or practical purposes such as providing a space for HVAC or piping. An inverse of this would be a raised floor. A concave or barrel shaped ceiling is curved or rounded, usually for visual or acoustical value, while a coffered ceiling is divided into a grid of recessed square or octagonal panels, also called a lacunar ceiling. A cove ceiling uses a curved plaster transition between wall and ceiling; it is named for cove molding, a molding with a concave curve.

Ceilings have frequently been decorated with fresco painting, mosaic tiles and other surface treatments. While hard to execute (at least in place) a decorated ceiling has the advantage that it is largely protected from damage by fingers and dust. In the past, however, this was more than compensated for by the damage from smoke from candles or a fireplace. Many historic buildings have celebrated ceilings. Perhaps the most famous is the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo.

  • Painted ceiling, "Icarus", by Rainer Maria Latzke (c. 1986), Chateau Thal, Belgium

  • The ceiling of Wells Cathedral, England

  • Stretched ceiling

  • Ceiling of Lotfollah Mosque, Iran

  • Ceiling paintings of Einsiedeln Abbey in Switzerland

  • Highly decorated Moorish-style ceiling in Agadir, Morocco

  • demonstrative reconstruction of a Roman suspended ceiling in an Imperial palace of c. AD 306 at Trier

  • Ceiling at the United States Library of Congress

  • The interior of the Sistine Chapel in St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, showing the ceiling in relation to the other frescoes.

Read more about Ceiling:  Fire-resistance Rated Ceilings

Famous quotes containing the word ceiling:

    Spooky things happen in houses densely occupied by adolescent boys. When I checked out a four-inch dent in the living room ceiling one afternoon, even the kid still holding the baseball bat looked genuinely baffled about how he possibly could have done it.
    Mary Kay Blakely (20th century)

    What made the ceiling waterproof?
    Landor’s tarpaulin on the roof.
    William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)