Arches add a touch of elegance to doorways, windows, and other wall openings. A number of preformed arches are currently available on the market, turning a once specialized and labor-intensive building technique into an easy, do-it-yourself project.
Preformed arches are fabricated from various materials, in a variety of styles, for a number of applications. Steel track arches are ideal for new framing, while wallboard forms are great for creating archways in remodels . Forms are also available for applications involving plaster. You can find forms to accommodate just about any arch radius, from a perfect half-circle at a doorway to a subtle elliptical arc for a kitchen passthrough. You can even use a series of preformed arches to create a barrel-arch ceiling in a hallway or entryway.
Whether made from metal track or wallboard , the installation of most preformed arches is the same: Frame the opening as you normally would, then center the form in the opening and fasten it to the framing with wallboard screws. Some products require additional blocking and others are installed after the wallboard is hung. Once installed, preformed arches are finished using traditional wallboard techniques.
Although installing a preformed arch is simple, always follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the product you choose.
Corner forms are installed in the top corners of a wall opening to create an arch. Some are affixed into the corner and fit flush with the walls ; others snap over the walls and are screwed to the door jambs. Cover with joint compound and paint.