Door / Ceiling Height

DoubleOhHoyaJanuary 18, 2012

Building a custom home, and had talked with builder about 10' ceilings, which I assumed would be throughout the house. Architect has drawn in 9' ceilings, which they claim to be standard for a high end home. We will have 8' doors on the first floor. Would like upstairs as well for consistency. will this be strange, to have only 1' between the top of the door and the ceiling? If so, are 6'8" doors recommended?

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Our home will have 9' ceilings and was drawn with 68 openings. It was also drawn with a 68 front door, but the superintendent suggested that an 80 door would be more appropriate since we will have 60 windows flanking the front door and the front door should stand out some.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 6:18AM
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In our area, most high end custom homes are built with 10' ceilings on the 1st floor, with 8' doors. Most of the homes have 9' ceilings on the 2nd floor, I guess to make the second floor bedrooms feel a little cozier? Our previous home had 9 ft ceilings up and down ith 6'8" looked proportional. Can you ask to see a house with 9' ceilings and 8' doors to make sure you like the look? Also, if you are paying the architect...he should do the ceilings how YOU want! HTH! :)

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 8:52AM
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We have different ceiling heights on our 1st floor, but most are 9' ceiling. We are using 8' french entry door since we have a 2-story foyer. The interior doors are all going to be 7' doors. I wouldn't put 8' doors since our crown moulding will be ~6" while the top door trim will be ~5". Even if your crown is 4" and your door trim 3", I think it will look odd and disproportional.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 9:46AM
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Standard door heights are 6-8, 7-0 and 8-0. I find 7-0 doors to be best with 9-0 ceilings and IMHO taller ceilings are not always an improvement.

The tops of window heads should not be set by the height of door heads; the greatest benefit of taller ceilings is higher window heads that allow more natural light into the room.

Labeling each door on a floor plan with a size in a cryptic abbreviation like 3068 or 3680 can confuse the framer or the door supplier since there is no standard convention. It is best for doors to be labeled with a number that relates to a door schedule. For a residence this usually only involves a handfull of door sizes and it is much easier to show additional information for the doors and to be able to easily change them.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 9:49AM
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I am with Renovator on this one, 7' doors are standard size, but not all that common, and look really good on a 9' ceiling height.

However I must admit I just saw some 8' doors installed with 8' ceilings, and it looked surprisingly good. I would have thought this wouldn't work at all, but it worked really well. Trim is tricky, but having that full-height door simply worked aesthetically.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 11:53AM
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Is the door be the same height as the ceiling?

For anyone who cares, a door size is actually the frame opening; the door is made slightly smaller in order to fit in the frame.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:02PM
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IMHO taller ceilings are not always an improvement.

We moved 18 months ago from 10' ceilings to 8'. Feels like we've been gaoled. We get paroled end of the year as long as we keep our noses clean and don't shiv anyone.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 12:16PM
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Actually the trim touches the ceiling, but it is pretty small trim profile on the door. No crown molding, obviously. I will try to find a pic; I was surprised how well the tall door worked with that ceiling height. I would still go with 7' for most installations, that extra couple of inches over 6'-8" really makes a world of difference.

Ceiling height should be in proportion to the size of the room.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2012 at 2:44PM
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We're doing 10' down with 8' doors and 9' up with 6'8" doors. My parents built a one story house with 9' ceilings and standard 6'8" doors and nice trim.

I've been looking at doors for some time now. 8'0" and 6'8" doors are a dime a dozen. I didn't come across nearly as many 7' doors. So if you're unsure of what you want for a front door and need a lot to choose from or want something special, you'll have to really hunt or possibly even go custom.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 12:11AM
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We have 10' on first floor with 8' doors, 9' upstairs with 7' doors and 9'6" in the basement with 7' doors. We did 6'8" french doors down there (we switched to fiberglass rather than the Kolbe we had upstairs to save $ and because we had 4 sets of them so it was more like $$$), opening onto a walk out patio. They look a little short with the ceiling . . . something I might have done differently. It is not terrible, especially with the trim and the crown, but the 7' doors look better to me.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 2:15AM
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In my experience, the height of a ceiling becomes more deceptive as it gets taller. In other words, most people would guess that a 9 or 10 ft ceiling was higher than it is and that effect increases with ceiling height. So, I find that it is often possible to strike a good compromise where the ceiling height seems generous without being cavernous, it allows taller windows for more light and present and future money is saved on less exterior wall.

The perception of ceiling height is also influenced by room furnishings and decorations. One of my clients chose to not have curtains or blinds and the effect is that the 9 ft ceiling in most of the first floor seems taller and in the living room where the ceiling is 10 inches higher with beams @ 4ft o.c. the space seems cavernous and cold at night.

To me, it is impossible to make useful comparisons of ceiling heights independent of the nature of the spaces.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 7:18AM
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That is interesting, Renovator. I also think the size of the room makes a difference. In our home, the 10 ft ceilings seem almost ridiculously high in say, the powder room and pantry, yet seem positively normal and "right" in the main rooms. Now I am wondering if it is the size of the room or the fact that the pantry and powder room are windowless that creates that perception? Interesting!

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 8:52AM
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Our midrange big-box-builder house had 10' down and 9' up with 6-8 doors everywhere. I'm 6'4", so we went with 10' everywhere and 8-0 doors. If you're not tall, 6-8 doors are fine. I think 8-0 is a little tall for a 9' ceiling.

I also find the smaller rooms: laundry, powder and one of the bedrooms, to feel a little off in scale with the 10' ceilings. The master water closet feels like a mine shaft.

And our basement needed to have soffits for the HVAC system, so the 8-0 doors with trim touch the soffit. Painting the soffit the same color as the wall made it look more normal.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 9:53AM
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I feel that 10' ceilings should have 8' doors. 9' ceilings should have 7' doors. I have both and the proportions look good IMHO.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 1:48PM
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I think bdpeck hit the nail on the head with scale of the room and ceiling heights. During framing, I often put in lower ceilings in spaces like water closet because they do feel like mine shaft. Closets gets lower ceilings to, not like you look in there but it does make a difference. The insulators blow the space full of cellulose.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2012 at 3:44PM
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9 foot ceilings are certainly not "standard" for a custom home in the south - although specs are certainly downgrading over time. In general, these things are very regional.

I'm in total agreement that smaller rooms should be downgraded from 10. The powder rooms are a bit out of portion but at the same time, it doesn't really matter to me. If it was a colder climate, I would lower ceiling heights in the bathrooms.

I really do think the "standard" 10 ft down with 8 ft doors, and 9/68s upstairs works well. Not doing curtains or blinds is not particularly practical and I wonder how that lives? The upstairs (or bedrooms) don't really need 10 ft ceilings since they are rooms that are smaller and you do want darker. You also tend to close curtains more and the lower ceiling are easier to do that with assuming the windows are in proportion. We just built with 1 bedroom with 10 ft ceilings and the curtain issue has just come up. We added metal shower rings to a conventional curtain to make them easier to close. It worked but wouldn't be considered an acceptable style choice for many.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2012 at 5:03AM
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I have also found that decorating plays a huge part in smaller rooms (powder rooms, bathrooms, etc.), that don't have windows. They can become elvator looking if left alone. Stacked crown, of 12 inches or even more with a painted ceiling (not left white), can make a huge impact.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2012 at 12:48PM
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We have 10' ceilings with 6.8" doors and working transoms. I'd put 6.8" in 9 ft. Depends on your taste.

Remember to take into account the size of any ceiling molding and casing around the door. Those will take up visual space also.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2012 at 8:57PM
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