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How To Build an Arched Opening

Many times people will create an opening through a wall between two rooms similar to a large window opening to try to make their home feel more open or bigger. These openings really can make a big difference but adding an extra feature to them like an arched top makes them more appealing to the eye.

This can be also done to existing interior doorways, niches or even hallways. Building the arch and adding it is what I will explain in this article.

Difficulty Level
3 / 12

Tools Required

Construction Instructions

To make this project work you need to build a arched frame the desired size you need. I usually cut arch shaped ribs out of plywood and use 2x4 material as spacers between two plywood ribs to create each arch I need for the project.

So if you are doing a doorway or opening you should only need two plywood arch shapes spaced appropriately for the thickness of your wall. If you are doing a whole hallway you will need to make up multiple arches and space them about 16" apart along the length of the hallway ceiling.

To make the plywood arches I use 5/8" plywood and I cut it into strips that are the height I want to use then I draw out the radius of the arch at both ends and connect the tops of the two radiuses with a straight line

TIP: Do not make the radius to small or you will have trouble making drywall bend to fit it. I try not to go smaller than a 12" radius.

Now that you have one plywood arch marked out cut it out with a jig saw and use it as a template to draw out the rest you will need. After you have your plywood pieces all cut then figure out how wide you need to cut your spacers that will go between the two plywood side arches. Cut your 2x4 material to that width and then cut pieces that will go between the plywood to space it apart. Glue and screw or nail the units together.

Sorry we didn't take photos during the actual construction of the arch, but here are some photos of the completed arch ready to be installed to the framing:

Arch framing finished

Arch closeup

Now you can install the unit by screwing through the spacer material and into your wall framing. After the main unit is in then cut some 1/8" hardboard (masonite) to the same width as your completed rib and bend and attach it around the arch. Your opening and arch are now ready to drywall. See the "hanging drywall video" to further finish the arch drywalling.

Adding the arch tops to openings can be a very nice look or finishing touch so good luck.

Arch being installed screwed into place

Arch finishing touches

Arch completed and installed into wall