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Barrel Ceiling - How to Measure

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How to Measure and Order a Barrel Ceiling from Fast Arch of America

How to Measure for a Fast Arch










Measure the actual width of the opening from side to side (as you look through it) of the rough frame opening.

"Flat" and "Ellipse" are usually patterned in 2" increments to allow for adjustment during installation.  This won't affect the appearance of the final product and makes installation much simpler.  In other words, 36-3/4" opening would take a 36" Flat or Ellipse Arch.

Half-Round Arches require a closer tolerance and should be measured to within 1".


This is the measurement between the top or peak of the arch and the lowest portion of the arch.  Other terms you may have heard are the rise, leg, spring, or slope of the arch.

A good rule of thumb for an unspecified drop is to use a 6:1 ratio to the Width.  In this case, a 48" wide arch would have a drop of 8".

The drop of a half-round or half-circle arch should be 1/2 of diameter of the circle,  In other words, the drop of a half-round arch with a width of 72" would be 36"


The measurement of the thickness of the opening or niche (as you look through it).  Usually it's the depth of the framing member. The measurement should be accurate to 1/4".


Will this be an Arch or a Niche.  Arches are passage type openings and Niches have a closed back.  The difference is in the direction of the back flange and the cost is the same.


Flat, Ellipse, Half-round?  Take a look at the various types of Arches to see what styles are available.  Or call us for something unique.

A Gallery of Barrel Ceilings

Clicking on any of the images will bring up a larger version.

At Fast Arch of America, we make many different types of ceilings. Explore our Recessed Ceiling Domes, Oval Ceiling Domes, Fancy Groined Ceilings and don't miss our gallery of Cathedral and Specialty Ceilings.  If you can dream it, we can make it!