Ceiling Medallions

Written by Milan Jara on 22nd Nov 2018

When you begin to conceptualize the decorative elements that you can add to your home, a ceiling medallion is probably not among the multitudinous ideas that run through your mind. However, installing a ceiling light medallion provides an elegant and legitimate way of improving the look of any room by providing a decorative ceiling. Their installation is inexpensive and you have a vast number of medallion designs to pick from. In this article, we explain exactly what ceiling medallion moldings are and provide a guide on how to buy them.



What Are Ceiling Medallions?

A ceiling medallion is simply an ornamental decorative item, often circular in shape, which people use to dress up their ceilings. These decorative ceiling moldings were very popular among the middle and upper-class homes in the 19th century. Back then, these medallions were designed using wood, plaster of Paris and papier-mâché. Of the three materials, papier-mâché was the most common.

Presently, ceiling medallions are still common, particularly in large rooms of most stately homes. They are often used as a transition between a suspended ceiling fixture and a plain ceiling surface. Unlike in the past, however, the modern ceiling medallions are made using polyurethane foam.



Essential Features to Look for when Buying a Ceiling Medallion


It’s important that you choose the right size of medallion. You shouldn’t go for ceiling moldings that so small to the extent that it goes unnoticed. On the other hand, it needs not be too big that it becomes an eyesore.

The majority of homeowners use these ceiling medallions to accent a lighting fixture or fan, which are the focal points of a room. Picking a right-sized ceiling medallion will depend on the size of your room.

So, before you rush to the store to buy a medallion, first determine the size of your room using these steps:

  • Measure your room—the lengths and widths—and calculate the square footage.
  • Next, divide the value you get by seven. This number is the correct diameter in inches of a ceiling medallion.

Generally, differently-sized rooms will require different ceiling medallions. Here is a simple guide: A room with a square footage of:

  1. 140 square feet or less will require a medallion that is 20 inches wide
  2. Between 140 and 210 square feet will require a medallion that is 20 to 30 inches wide
  3. Between 210 and 280 square feet will need a medallion with a diameter of 30 to 40 inches
  4. More than 280 square feet will need a medallion with a width of 40 inches

These are just the standard guidelines. However, you are free to choose a much smaller medallion if that is what you prefer.


Once you know what size your ceiling medallion should be, you can start narrowing down your options based on their designs. The most common ceiling medallion designs are Rochelle, Jefferson, Chelsea, Renaissance,and Egg & Dart.

  • Jefferson Urethane Ceiling Medallion

  • Tomango Egg Dart Urethane Ceiling Medallion

Again, your choice of ceiling medallion boils down to your tastes and preferences. Thus, you can choose modern styles that often come with historic patterns, floral shapes, curves, and more.


The material that you choose will be based on the installation process. The majority of ceiling medallions are made of plastic, which is a lightweight material. However, you can also find metallic ones or medallions made of hand-carved wood. When it comes to the installation, determine how much time you want to spend installing the medallion. Heavier medallions will be harder to install and they’ll take a while to adhere to the ceiling. You may be forced to use more screw to hold it firmly in place.



Installing Ceiling Medallions

If you are a do-it-yourself enthusiast, then you can install the ceiling medallion by yourself. The other option is to hire a professional. If you have a fear of climbing ladders or don’t want to interfere with your lighting system, then you should consider hiring an expert. But if you have some experience in this area, then you just need to follow the right steps to install the ceiling medallion correctly. Some of the items you’ll need include:

  • Drill
  • Circuit tester
  • Screws
  • Countersink bit
  • Adhesive or paintable latex caulking
  • Wood filler

Before embarking on the installation project, paint or add a finish to the medallion. For the installation:

  • Start by switching off power at the breaker box. This is crucial so that you don’t get an electric shock when removing the lighting fixture or ceiling fan.
  • Next, remove the two features and protective plate over the wiring.
  • Unfasten the wire nuts. When doing this, use the circuit tester to ensure that the power is switched off.
  • Use the countersink bit to make holes in the medallion.
  • The next step involves threading the chain and wiring through the holes you have created on the medallion. Ensure that there won’t be any items between the ceiling and medallion.
  • With the medallion’s decorative surface facing down, apply adhesive caulk on the back side and attach it to the ceiling.
  • You can then move onto reattaching the wiring and securing with nuts or screws.
  • If there are gaps around the ceiling, caulk them using paintable caulk.
  • Similarly, if there are screw holes, patch them up using wood filler.



Why Consider Ceiling Medallions

One of the benefits of using a ceiling medallion is that it changes the look of a drab or older style ceiling significantly. At times, the ceiling light fixtures are just not enough to spruce up the décor of a room. But adding a ceiling medallion can make a huge difference.

Apart from the aesthetic benefits, ceiling medallions also help to conceal imperfections in your ceiling. Although small imperfections seem insignificant, they are still noticeable. If you are buying a ceiling medallion specifically to hide flaws, first determine the size of that flaw. If it’s small, then a small medallion will do. But if there are a ton of imperfections, you might need a larger medallion.



Wrap Up

One way to decorate your room on a budget is to invest in a ceiling medallion. These decorative elements are cheap yet they bring significant impacts to the rooms where they are installed. In addition to improving the look of a room, ceiling medallions can also help to hide flaws. Plus, they’re easy to install if you follow the right steps.

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