I am building a tray ceiling for my living room to install recessed lighting in. Is there any general ratio's for tray size to room size? I have looked everywhere and it seems most tray ceilings don't follow any guidelines.

So, the room is 12 ft x 16 ft and 9 ft ceilings. So how do I calculate the size tray to build?

If no size to room ratios are there any general height to depth ratios, like 1x2 (9 tall x 18 deep for example)

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    Just curious, are you raising the ceiling to make room for the tray or adding the tray to the existing? Another question, are you adding the lights in the angled portion that makes the tray? – Jack Mar 16 '14 at 13:23
  • @jack we are adding the tray below the existing ceiling, and the recessed lights will be on the bottom of the tray and the rope lighting on the outside edge, I just found a guide that's pretty close to what i – user2140261 Mar 16 '14 at 18:13

It's pretty much up to you. Look at some pictures, find ones you like, make guesstimates.

When in doubt and looking for a ratio, there's always Phi (0.618) and 1/Phi (1.618) aka "the golden ratio" but you're still free to do with it what you will.

When you think you have an idea, grab some masking tape and mock up the outline on the ceiling (I'm assuming the ceiling is there, and flat, at the moment.)

While it would be difficult to mock up the whole edge, you probably can suspend a sheet of cardboard at various heights (I assume you are lowering the edge, not raising the center, as that's more structurally simple) to get a feel for how various levels for the lowered edge feel to you, standing under them. If you find that a 7'6" ceiling height (18" down from 9 feet) feels too low, better it's a piece of cardboard you can easily relocate than the whole framing system and drywall.

  • The mockup with cardboard was the same suggestion I was going to make. Using material from large boxes such as appliances come in can work very well. BTW corrugated cardboard cuts very nice with a razor utility knife and using a straight edge as a guide. Hot melt glue can nicely join pieces together if you want to try to spend a bit more time with a mockup model that looks a lot more realistic. You could even paint it! – Michael Karas Mar 16 '14 at 18:15

enter image description here

This is a double tray ceiling. The first Trey is 18 inches wide and 6 inches tall. The second tray is 6 inches wide and 6 inches tall. The room is approximately 13 x 16’ with 12 foot ceilings. This gives a nice effect in my dining room. I have the same dimensions for the trays in my much larger master bedroom and it still looks great.

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