Frequently Asked Questions
Learn More About Our Faux Wood Beams and Other Architectural Products
Faux Wood Beams
At Volterra Architectural Products, we manufacture our faux wood beams and other architectural products using a lightweight and durable high-density polyurethane foam. This material is unique in that it is very durable and resistant to damage from rotting, splitting, fading, and wear, unlike real wood beams.
Each beam is manufactured from a specialized mold crafted from real wood to create a realistic appearance. Strong, non-toxic, and visually appealing, this dense and hard foam material is without a doubt the ideal option to create a statement ceiling that enhances your personalized decor.
Volterra faux beams are crafted using molds built from real wood, this allows the wide selection of decorative wood beam textures to replicate the appearance of natural wood, right down to the grain. Our QuickShip faux wood beams are manufactured as identical pieces as they are poured monolithically as one piece — installers typically flip flop these beams so that the texture pattern is alternated. We also offer custom beams that are truly unique, each may be slightly different from the other for an even more realistic look.
Both QuickShip and custom faux wood beams are available in five signature wood textures, including Rough Sawn, Hand Hewn, Tuscany, Doug Fir, as well as Sandblast. We offer nine different finishes — Dark Walnut, Light Walnut, Espresso, Driftwood, Mahogany, Grey, Oak, Ledgewood and Primed, which is ready to be stained any color by the installer.
The most popular sizes of faux wood beams are 6×6 and 8×8 and they range in price due to many variables. The cost of each faux wood beam is determined by the type ordered, plus freight. Compared to the cost of real wood beams and the installation required, you can save money while adding depth to your home decor. This is because they are made of lightweight high-density polyurethane foam material, which is a far more cost-effective material to install as opposed to natural wood beams. The additional savings in installation costs can be significantly lower.
Faux wood beams can transform a ceiling and a room, adding warmth, depth, and ambiance to the space. Best of all, installation is easy. The lightweight polyurethane material makes each U-shaped beam easy to handle and can be installed in just a few hours. Those familiar with carpentry will likely have no issue installing faux wood beams. For the best results, however, it is recommended that you hire a licensed contractor.
Installing a faux wood beam can transform a room and be done in a few steps.
– Measure Layout and Chalk Lines
– Install Cleating Material and Determine the Proper Beam Cut Length
– Pull in Wire for Recessed Lighting (If Applicable)
– Dry fit the beam to double check for correct fit
– Insert beam over cleating material and apply urethane adhesive to affix
– Attach beam to the ceiling with screws
– Apply Finishing Touches
Just as they are appropriate for interior use, Volterra’s faux wood beams look great outdoors and require little or no maintenance, unlike real wood beams. More and more homeowners seek to create beautiful outdoor living spaces, and faux wood beams are the perfect fit for covered patios and other exterior applications because they are durable. But it doesn’t stop there—Volterra offers other accent architectural details to enhance the exterior of any residential or commercial space, including faux wood corbels, vigas, truss tails, and more.
Because faux wood beams and other accent products are manufactured using polyurethane foam material rather than real wood, they are able to withstand damage from light, water, and other extreme weather elements. Whether you use them indoors or outdoors, these faux wood beams will dress up any space for years to come.
Popular or standard sizes of our faux wood beams weigh 1–2 pounds per linear foot, which translates to about 10–40 pounds per beam. This is a considerable difference compared to real wood beams, which would likely weigh 600 pounds and take heavy equipment to install or even box beams which weigh significantly more than polyurethane foam beams.
Yes, of course. Faux wood beams are a great way to cover structural glulam or drywall beams, unattractive wood beams, pipes, cords, or fixtures.
As much as we are committed to providing our customers with the best service, Volterra Architectural Products is a manufacturer, and therefore, we are not involved in any way with installation. We recommended working with a licensed contractor for the best results.
Faux Wood Corbels
Wood corbels are an easy way to add delightful details to your home, both inside and out. Traditional wood corbels serve as decorative supports that are installed on a wall, typically beneath shelving, countertops, or mantles. Besides adding beauty to your home, traditional wood corbels are also very functional, whether used for holding up shelving or framing doorways.
Faux wood corbels from Volterra Architectural Products replicate the appearance of traditional wood corbels and offer the decorative touch. However, they are not designed to provide the same support functionality as real wood corbels do. They are manufactured with the same lightweight and durable foam material that is used for Volterra’s faux wood beams so that they look realistic but require less maintenance and are easier to install.
Faux wood corbels manufactured by Volterra Architectural Products are made using the same high-density polyurethane foam (HDF) material that is used for faux wood beams and other decorative accents. This lightweight material makes them easy to install and surprisingly durable. Once installed, they require little maintenance and won’t be susceptible to the many flaws that natural wood material experiences over time.
Each decorative corbel product is modeled after original traditional corbel patterns and designs, making it easy to incorporate the look of natural wood into both interior and exterior spaces.
There are various ways to install a decorative corbel. Choosing the correct method is largely determined by the location of the installation. Further considerations would include accessibility to the mounting surface and whether or not you can hide the evidence of mounting on the parts of the corbel that are visible.
For the best results, especially when installing outdoors, Volterra faux wood corbels should be screwed and glued to pre-cut blocking. The blocking should be mechanically fastened to structural members. Simply drill holes in the back of the corbel, and hang on screws or nails affixed to a wood blocking in the wall. A urethane sealant can be used around the entire perimeter of the corbel to secure its position.
Review our installation video.
Volterra’s faux wood corbels offer flexibility to use in decorative decor applications. While they are not designed for load-bearing, they are a great addition to interior spaces. They can be installed beneath fireplace mantels, shelves, counters and islands, and other projections in your home to add architectural interest that can serve as a focal point in a room.
They can also be installed outside for exterior use. Most commonly, these faux wood corbels are installed under rooflines and window sills to give a home a distinguished classical look similar to the popular style used in the Victorian and Renaissance eras.
Because faux wood corbels from Volterra are made of high-density polyurethane foam, which is cast from real-wood molds, the finished product looks just like real wood corbels. That said, Volterra offers four different textures of faux wood corbels: mill cut, Doug Fir, saw cut, and smooth. In total, there are over 80 different designs. Each faux wood corbel is available in different finishes as well. However, many prefer the classic primed finish. The primed corbels are ready for a paint or stain of your choice, both of which are incredibly easy to apply.
Faux Beam Accessories
Faux wood beams from Volterra Architectural Products are hand fabricated to replicate the appearance of real wood beams. Faux iron beam straps and accessories are used to complete the look of faux wood beams, making them appear even more authentic. All faux beam accessories manufactured by Volterra are flexible, simple to install, and are an easy and effective way to hide any gaps, seams, and flaws that are visible on decorative wood beams.
Volterra’s faux wood beams look like actual wood up close, so installing them up on the ceiling, along with some faux iron beam accessories just makes sense for achieving a more charming, rustic look. Because the beams are lightweight and hollow, heavy metal connectors for bracing purposes aren’t necessary — these faux beam accessories are simply the finishing touches that create the appearance of actual rustic structural connectors in a faux beam or truss design.
The selection of Volterra’s faux beam accessories are made with an incredibly flexible and durable urethane material. They are designed to look identical to functional forged iron beam accessories that real wood ceiling beams would have for structural and bracing purposes.
Before installing faux beam accessories on decorative ceiling beams, proper preparation is required. While each beam accessory comes in a unique black color, many choose to spray paint the accessories with a flat matte color to make them appear nearly identical to real forged iron material. Once the beam accessory is completely dried it can be installed.
Installing faux beam accessories to faux ceiling beams is a simple process and can be completed in just a few steps.
– Determine Where The Accessories Will Be Placed
– For Beam Straps, Perform Necessary Trimming
– Apply Adequate Construction Adhesive to the Back of the Accessory
– Place the Beam Accessory on the Faux Wood Beam
– Let the Adhesive Dry and the Accessory Set In
Review our Faux Beam Accessories Installation Video.
Volterra Architectural Products is the largest manufacturer of the most distinctive line of flexible beam accessories that replicate forged iron. The selection of faux beam accessories includes beam straps, hangers, and plates, plus coordinating nuts, bolts, and clavos. All of which are made to add depth, detail, and put the finishing touches on decorative ceiling beams and truss designs.
Faux beam straps are among the most popular faux beam accessories manufactured by Volterra Architectural Products. The straps are produced to be made longer, as everyone’s beam size needs are different depending on the location of installation. Typically, the beam straps will need to be trimmed to fit perfectly on a faux wood beam.
Before applying a faux iron beam strap to a faux wood beam, you will need to record proper measurements to ensure a perfect fit. Once you have the right measurement, you can score the flexible material with a razor blade to trim it. It is important that the cut is clean and square for installation success. Before adding adhesive to the back of the strap to install, make sure all dust and debris is removed from the material and painted, if desired.
Natural Wood Beams
At Volterra Architectural Products, the collection of natural wood beams we offer are milled and hand fabricated in our state-of-the-art facility using premium natural wood. Currently, natural wood ceiling beams are offered in the following Hardwood species- Poplar, White Oak, Rift White Oak, Knotty Alder and Superior Alder. We also offer #2 Knotty Pine and Wire Brush #2 Knotty Pine.
Each beam is created using three durable wood planks that seamlessly join together to create a box shape. Once installed, it will appear as if it were a solid, structurally-purposed ceiling beam.
While structural wooden beams are incredibly heavy and difficult to install, Volterra’s line of natural wood ceiling beams are not nearly as heavy. Because these are U shaped natural wood box beams that are hollow inside, they are surprisingly lightweight and are less hassle to install compared to those used for structural purposes.
In terms of weight, Volterra’s natural wood beams fall in the middle between natural solid timber beams and Volterra’s faux wood beams which are manufactured using a durable and lightweight polyurethane material. Volterra’s faux wood beams look very similar to the natural beams, with the only true differences being the material and manufacturing process.
Of course! Volterra’s Popular Wood Beams are made with paint-grade material—they are perfect for customers who want to paint beams a certain color to match their interior style. Additionally, our other of natural wood beams are stain-grade. Customers can order these beams in raw wood without any finish applied or they can choose any paint or stain from the Sherwin Williams brand color charts.
The most popular sizes of natural wood beams are 6×6 and 8×8 and they range in price due to many variables. The cost of each natural wood beam is determined by the type and dimensions ordered, plus freight. Compared to the cost of natural solid timber ceiling beams, Voltera’s wood ceiling beams can be far more cost-effective, especially when it comes to installation as it often can be done with a basic understanding of carpentry.
Volterra’s Natural Wood Beams look fantastic once they are installed, adding unique depth and appeal to your space. While certain factors such as room size will impact the ease of installation, installing the beams on the ceiling is pretty straightforward. It is recommended that the beams have a nailing strip secured to the top inside edges with polyurethane adhesive and 24” finishing nails. The wood beam can then be secured to the ceiling by driving 24” drywall anchors and deck screws through the nailing strip and into the ceiling. We recommend installation by a licensed contractor. For more information, click here.
Review our Faux Beam Installation Video for a similar process.
Faux Steel I Beam
At Volterra Architectural Products, we manufacture our faux steel ceiling beams from Poplar wood material. Not only is this wood lightweight and durable, but also it isn’t at risk of rusting or corrosion like real steel beams would.
Each beam is handcrafted and painted to replicate the appearance of a structural I beam—you can’t even tell the beams are made out of wood once they are installed. The beams are resilient, visually appealing, and non-toxic—once you install them you can easily achieve the modern industrial interior appearance you have been envisioning.
What started as something only sought after by luxury homeowners is now becoming a desire by those who want a more modern and open interior. Industrial interior design —characterized by the use of metals and exposed building materials —has experienced a surge in popularity over the last few years. There is something about creating a living space that is large, airy, and that can be flexible for both living and working, as many people are spending more time working from home compared to a few years ago.
Volterra’s faux steel I beams were developed to help people achieve the look of an industrial interior, especially since their space likely wasn’t built with metals and exposed building materials. They are incredibly popular among architects and builders that want to achieve the look of structural steel in upcoming projects. Plus, there has been a noticeable increase in search volume and orders for these beams in 2021. It’s safe to say that the industrial interior design trend isn’t going away anytime soon.
The most popular sizes of faux steel I beams are 6×6 and 8×8 and the starting price for 48” range in price due to many variables.. The cost of each beam is determined by the dimensions and additions that are ordered, plus freight. Considering what it would cost to install real steel ceiling beams, with much of the cost coming from installation labor, choosing these easy-to-install faux steel beams can help you save money.
Yes! When you browse the faux steel I beam product, you’ll be able to choose from nine different sizes, and 20 different lengths ranging from 48” to 288” inches. This makes it easy to order faux steel ceiling beams for the space you want to install them in. If you need help determining the right beam dimensions for your project, contact a Volterra customer service representative to receive assistance.
No—real structural steel beams have a purpose that goes far beyond aesthetics. Our faux steel I beams are not designed to provide structural support. They are, however, ideal for those who want to get the same look that real steel ceiling beams offer, without having to deal with the cost or installation hassle.
At Volterra Architectural Products, the collection of faux vigas we offer are made using high-quality urethane foam. Each decorative viga is manufactured with a mold made from real wood vigas to ensure details such as the wood texture and wood grain are reproduced accurately. Our faux wood vigas look so realistic, you can’t tell them apart from real wood!
Although Volterra faux wood vigas are manufactured with urethane foam and are lightweight, they are incredibly durable and are designed for exterior use. Because these durable decorative Vigas are made with high-density polyurethane foam, they are weather-resistant. Not only will installing faux vigas to your home or building exterior incorporate the appearance of natural wood architectural detail, but they will look great for decades.
Yes. Both Flat End and Tapered End Vigas are primed and ready for finishing. You can use your own stain or paint to create the exact look you want. Both faux wood viga options offered by Volterra can also be ordered with an applied finish. Depending on the type of viga you’re interested in, you can choose from finishes such as Pecan, Mahogany, Oak, and more.
The cost of vigas manufactured by Volterra depends on various factors, including the type, size, finish, whether they are solid or hollow, and whether or not they have a flange or back plate. The price of each viga will vary depending on your specific needs and installation requirements. For reference, an 8” x 12” hollow Flat End Viga without a flange and a primed finish costs much less than a 12” x 24” solid Tapered End Viga with a back plate and a dark walnut finish. We have options for all budgets and the savings in installation can also be significantly lower to save even more.
Keep in mind that, compared to the cost of vigas made with real wood, Volterra’s faux wood vigas made from urethane foam are a more affordable option.
Whether you are replacing existing vigas that have become worn or rotted or installing them for the first time, the installation process is incredibly easy. For replacing existing vigas, faux wood vigas can be placed on existing rods — all you have to do is drill a hole, apply adhesive to the back side, and place the faux viga on the existing rod. For step-by-step instructions, check out this video.
If you are installing vigas on a surface for the first time, Volterra’s Viga Mounting Plate makes it incredibly easy. The plate comes with a threaded rod, which makes installing a faux viga very simple. All you need to do is secure the mounting plate to a surface with lag bolts. Once the plate has been installed, drill a hole in the center of a viga following the installation instructions, apply adhesive to the back, and place the viga on the rod, pushing it back until it is flush with the surface. Once the adhesive dries, the viga will be secure and replicate the appearance and visual appeal of real wood vigas.
With faux wood ceiling beams and other architectural accents and details from Volterra Architectural Products, you can find just what you’re looking for to complete all of your interior or exterior decorating, remodeling, or home improvement projects without having to deal with cost, installation, and maintenance hassles that come with natural wood. Explore our selection of architectural products. If you still have questions that weren’t answered, don’t hesitate to contact Volterra customer service representative for further information.