Introduction to Bulkheads and Shadowline Ceilings

For most people, cornice is a term which we are familiar with when we think of buildings or renovations. The link between a wall and a ceiling can create an opportunity to break away from a traditional white ceiling with a white molded cornice we see in 90% of homes in and around Adelaide.

Like any component of a building, you want your building to have a distinctive look while fitting with the overall style, period, and location.

Bulkhead and Shadowline Ceilings: What is the Difference?

Bulkhead ceilings provide an aesthetically appealing solution for hiding any room’s not-to-be-seen functions.

For instance, a bulkhead ceiling can consist of a boxed part of the ceiling that is used to conceal work behind:

  • lighting,
  • plumbing,
  • air conditioning
  • audio systems.

Bulkhead ceilings are usually made in galvanized steel and then covered up with plaster and they are an excellent solution to adjust height differences between a high ceiling and cabinetry.

bulkhead ceiling
shadowline ceiling

A shadow line is achieved by using a specific metal angle called P50 shadowline, which is installed at the junction between a wall and ceiling. The result is a room with “shadow” around the ceiling, creating a distinctive effect to an interior space.

Shadowline ceilings and bulkheads introduce a different look and feel to a living environment. They can add that sleek, elegant effect to a space, allowing a touch of personality and character.

Many homeowners love that the installation of a shadow line ceiling instantly creates interior spaces that are clean, sleek, contemporary look. If you are looking to give your home or office a style improvement, a shadow line ceiling or a bulkhead is a great modification that can have a big impression.

Bulkhead and Shadowline Ceilings: When Hanging Artworks Becomes An Opportunity

As mentioned before, the bulkhead ceilings are often used to conceal differences in height occurring in your ceilings. It is also true that a special metal profile (the P50 shadowline) is required to create the beautiful shadow effect in the area where wall and ceiling merge.

However, there is another way you may get to the same result, and this is through…art!

Hanging artworks, as well as photo collection, posters, heavy mirrors, etc. is indeed a hard job. And if for some reason you like to change them often, or even if you like to reposition your furniture on a regular basis, that means you will be up for more work.

p50 shadowline

When using traditional wall hooks, you will have to:

  • remove the hooks from the former position
  • repair possible holes, marks and scratches on the wall that may originate from the process
  • search for a new location. If your house has a timber or steel frame construction, you want to make sure you secure your hook to one of the wall studs, which sit behind the plaster. Art installers recommend the use of a stud finder in these cases.

However, if you have planned to install bulkheads or shadowline ceilings in your house, you have an advantage.

You could create the same shadowline effect by installing a built-in picture hanging system, and at the same time, providing yourself (or your client) with the possibility of hanging art to your walls, without the risk of damaging them in the process!

Does this sound too good to be true? Well, it is true. Read the following to know how.

What is a Picture Hanging System?

A picture hanging system is an amazing solution that allows you to display artworks, photos, sculptures on your walls. A picture hanging system eliminates all the disadvantages normally encountered when hanging objects onto the walls with traditional wall-hooks.

The system is composed by three parts:

  • An aluminum rail
  • A set of hanging wires
  • A set of hooks

The rail can be either wall-attached or ceiling attached, depending on your building’s configuration.

The hanging wires slide across the rail, while the hooks can be sled along the wires. This provides you with infinite possibilities of adjusting your artworks or pictures at any length and height that you desire, as many times as you like, without the worry of damaging your walls with more holes.

Click Rail Pro-an Artiteq art track

What is a Built-In Picture Hanging System?

The simplest configuration of a picture hanging system is well represented by the Artiteq Click Rail.

Click Rail is a wall-attached rail, and it is visible on walls once installed. Most art installers, homeowners and office managers don’t mind having the rail exposed, because of its elegant and sleek appearance. Click rail can be ordered white or black to optimally blend into your environment. Most art installers like to install Click Rail just under the wall cornice, as this rails beautifully blends with it and look part of it!

However, the Built-In solution is a definite step forward. In a Built-In system, the rail becomes completely invisible, as it is incorporated within the plasterboard (Gyproc) lining.

The rail can again be:

  • wall attached (Artiteq Masonry Shadowline): you will fix the rail to timber or steel frame by using screws of appropriate type and size. You can also attach the picture rail to concrete or masonry walls, by using suitable wall plugs and screws.
  • ceiling attached (Artiteq Drywall Shadowline): you will fix these rails either to the roof timber or steel frame (beams, rafters), or concrete ceilings by using suitable fixtures.

It is worthy to mention that the picture rails are NOT designed to sustain loads coming from a building’s structure. The rails are only designed to carry loads coming from the objects you hang on them.

Most Architects and Builders across Australia are loving this system and regularly specify it in their projects, because:

  • It brings all the advantages of a classing picture hanging systems: ease of use, flexibility, protect walls from damaging
  • It allows you to create a shadowline effect by using the rail itself in place of the P50 molding.
Shadowline masonry
shadowline drywall

The Artiteq Shadowline Rails: A Commitment to Quality

The Built-in picture hanging systems are an exclusive product from Artiteq. This means you will never find them in general hardware stores or online marketplaces.

Just like every product in the Artiteq’s range, they are designed, manufactured and quality tested by TUV in the Netherlands. All Artiteq’s products are covered by a 10-years warranty for your peace of mind.

The Artiteq Shadowline Rails: Which Hanging Wires and Hooks?

We often receive the following question:

“Which hanging wires would suit my Artiteq picture rail?”

Our answer: all of them!

The Artiteq’s hanging wires and hooks are designed to be interchangeable with any of the picture rails in the Artiteq’s range. There is a broad range of options you can choose from in terms of hanging wires and hooks, and the differences mainly revolve around:

  • How much load would you like to hang? It is possible to choose from hanging wires and hooks whose loadbearing capacities range from as little as 4Kg up to 20Kg.
  • Attachment to rail: you can opt for the practical Twister technology, which allows you to pop the wires in and out of the rail, at any point along their length. Have you got high ceilings and you are probably not going to get up there that often? Go for the Solid Slider technology instead: you slide them in the rail once, and they will stay engaged with the rail permanently.
  • Type of service expected for your picture hanging system: in other words, if you expect to rotate or adjust your artwork very often (e.g., art gallery), you’re better off opting for stainless steel wires, which offer unlimited lifespan. If you’re just looking to set up your own home gallery, and don’t expect to make more than 2-3 adjustments per year, you can go for Nylon wires.
  • Aesthetics: are you more for a discrete, nearly “invisible” look? Go for the transparent nylon wires (Perlon). Are you seeking that “industrial” look and perhaps you have beautiful stone walls? No doubt here, you should definitely go for the stainless-steel wires then!
  • Price: Perlon wires are cheaper than stainless-steel ones
Artiteq 2 mm Twister hanging wires

Bulkheads and Shadowline Ceilings: The Bottom Line

Bulkheads and shadow line ceilings are both two aesthetically appealing solutions to add a touch of personality your interior spaces. They can also to serve to other purposes, such as concealing work behind services (such as aircon pipes, electrical services, not very appealing to the eye).

Now you probably know that there is a smarter way to create a shadowline profile in your ceilings: have a built-in picture hanging system installed in your house. You will amaze all of your guests with the unique shadow line effect, and at the same time, with incredible artworks displayed on your walls. You will be able to change them as often as you like (e.g. you may want to consider renting art instead of buying). Rest assured your walls will stay pristine for years to come, as the system eliminates the need for wall hooks or nails, which means zero repair required on your walls.

Time for an upgrade?

Are you looking to know more about how can you improve the beauty and efficiency of your art gallery, private home, office, etc.?

Whether you are looking for something simple to keep your rendered brick walls tidy and pristine or comprehensive systems to create an impressive art display, we are just a phone call away.

Contact us today by calling us on 0432 924 305 or email us at [email protected] for a FREE consultation. Or, if you prefer to work things out yourself, sift through our frequently asked questions.