Please STOP! Read this first! (before rushing out to buy a ceiling medallion)

by projectbuddy


Since my last post about the ceiling medallions, I have learned a lot and also have been hoping that everyone following my blog did not go out immediately and buy ceiling medallions to install in their homes. If that was you, I want to say, ” Please STOP! Read this first!”

There are at least two different types of ceiling medallions: one for chandeliers and one for fans. A ceiling medallion designed for a chandelier can be thick in middle without causing any difficulty with installation. A ceiling medallion designed for a fan needs to be thin in the middle to allow for proper installation close to the electrical box in the ceiling.

Although I had done a great deal of research on styles because I wanted to make sure that the medallion for the dining room and ceiling were the same style (just different sizes) to help them appear as being original to the house, I had done no research into the types of ceiling medallions. It was a shocker to me to find out that my ceiling fan could not be installed with my living room ceiling medallion as it was when it came out of the box. Modifications were going to be necessary in order to “make it work.”

While I was doing all of the planning for the modifications, I kept wondering, “What if all of the people following my blog go out and buy ceiling medallions before I am able to post how to solve this problem?!?” After all, these ceiling medallions really do look incredible! Why wouldn’t someone want one..or more!!!

But there is a problem with adapting a ceiling medallion designed to work with a chandelier to make it work with a fan that is the cause of my statement, “Please STOP! Read this first!”

The solution was actually quite simple, although it took some time (and much wailing and gnashing of teeth) to figure it out. Basically I had to lower the electrical box so that it was no longer even with the surface of the ceiling. The electrical box…although even with the ceiling…is not part of the ceiling. It is actually an enclosed unit attached to the ceiling joist. If the ceiling was removed (and my numerous demolition experiences have proven this), there would still be an electrical box attached to the joist!

The shape of the hole in the ceiling had to be modified from the original round “O” shape to a “D” shape to accommodate a vertical board that supports the electrical box and bracket. This boards and electrical box are then adjusted up and down in order to make it align properly with the ceiling medallion.

Photograph 1 shows how the ceiling medallion and chandelier are made to go together. The canopy of the chandelier fits perfectly into the recessed center portion of the ceiling medallion.

Photograph 2 shows how the ceiling medallions for the dining room and living room have the same style and just differ in size. Although larger in overall diameter, the recessed center portion of the larger living room medallion is the same size as that of the smaller dining room medallion.

Photograph 3 shows the living room ceiling medallion after the recessed portion has been cut out to allow for the electrical box to be lowered. The roll of red duct tape that you see here roughly matches the height and diameter of a metal electrical box. The black fan hanger bracket is resting on the red duct tape in roughly the same position that it will need to be when finally installed.

Photograph 4 shows the fan canopy in place over the fan hanger bracket. If you flip Photograph 3 and 4 upside down, you can see better how they will look once in place.

Photograph 5 shows the metal electrical box that has been secured to a vertical 1″ x 4″ board being lowered through the hole in the ceiling to its approximate final position.

Photograph 6 shows the black fan hanger bracket attached to the electrical box and a small board and protective old t-shirts being used to prevent damage to the ceiling medallion. Most of the directions that I read said to use nails or screws to hold the medallion in place while the adhesive dries, however I didn’t want the extra work of filling in the hole, and honestly my hammering skills are not that great, and upside down, they are close to non-existent!

There are other ways to do this, and if I needed to do this in another room, I would probably install the ceiling medallion first and then install the electrical box that had been bolted to the vertical 1″ x 4″ board after that. This would save a good deal of fiddling and adjusting while trying to hold up the ceiling medallion which tends to slide when the wet adhesive is applied. It also seems to get heavier the longer you hold it up! The small board and protective old t-shirts can still be used if another small board is used across the ceiling joists in the attic.

Now, go shopping for a ceiling medallion, and “make it work!”

These photographs were taken February 2013.