Can Apartments be Renovated to Change the Ceiling Height?

Poste date: Monday, June 3, 2024

Compared to those in Western countries, the ceiling heights of Japanese houses are said to be low. In this article, we will compare ceiling heights in Japan and Western countries and explain the advantages and disadvantages of high ceilings.

What is ceiling height?

It refers to the height from the floor to the ceiling in a living room.A living room is ‘a room that is used continuously for the purpose of living, working, or entertainment, etc.’, so, entrance, toilet, bathroom, corridor, etc. are not included in a living room. If a room has sections with different ceiling heights, it will be the average height of the ceiling.

Ceiling height of houses in Japan

Building Standard Act

The living room area are required to have the height of at least 2 m 10 cm

Average ceiling height of houses

・2m 40cm on the first floor
・2m 20cm on the second floor

Average ceiling height of apartments

・2m 20cm-2m 30cm if the building is more than 40 years old
・The current mainstream is 2m 40cm-2m 50cm
・Luxury apartments may have 3m or more

Ceiling height of houses in Europe and the United States

Average ceiling height of houses

・2m 70cm on the first floor
・2m 40cm on the second floor

Average ceiling height of apartments

・2m 40cm-2m 70cm
・Luxury apartments may have 3m or more

Advantages of housing with high ceiling

Can feel a sense of openness

When a ceiling is high, the ceiling is no longer in view. This makes the room feel less oppressive and more spacious than it is.

Easy to let in sunlight

Windows can be fitted higher, allowing sunlight to enter the room more efficiently, and making it easier for sunlight to reach all corners of the room.

Improves ventilation

Large windows can be fitted to create a well-ventilated living room.

Can create a sense of luxury

It is possible to install long pendant lights, chandeliers, and tall furniture to create a luxurious space.

More flexibility for designing a living room

A unique living room with steps can be created, such as by making a small, raised floor.

Disadvantages of housing with high ceiling

Utility costs may be higher

Because the space is expanded, the efficiency of heating and cooling may be reduced.

* Ceiling fans that improve air circulation seem to have a good effect.

Sound resonates more easily

If the ceiling is very high, such as an open ceiling space, the space will be larger, sound travels more easily and household noises such as television and conversation are more likely to resonate.

* Curtains, carpets, and rugs are said to have a soundproofing effect.

Construction costs, etc. may be higher

The construction cost may be higher due to the reasons such as increase in the construction area and extra materials to be used in addition to the materials for the standard size building.

Difficult to clean and maintain

If the height is up to about 3m, you can work by yourself using a stepladder, etc., but if it is more than 5m in the open ceiling space, you need to ask a professional contractor to clean the ceiling and replace the light bulbs.

Can apartments be renovated to change the ceiling height?

There are the following two types of ceiling, which are impossible ceiling type and possible ceiling type.

Impossible ceiling type (Exposed ceiling)

This type of ceiling is wallpapered directly on the concrete frame. There is no room for space to raise the height any further.

Possible ceiling type (Double ceiling)

This type of ceiling comes with the ceiling board which is suspended under a concrete frame. It may be possible to raise the height by using the space between the concrete frame and the ceiling board.



In the days when people often lived sitting on tatami mats, houses in Japan were often made with a ceiling height of 2 m 20 cm, which is based on the eye level when sitting down, but as Japanese lifestyles have changed and people now live mainly with chairs and sofas, ceilings have been designed to be higher. Especially in the case of newly built apartments and luxury apartments, it seems that the ceiling height is almost the same as that of Western housing.

Ceiling height is one of the most important factors affecting the impression and comfort of a room, but it may be difficult to tell just by looking at the drawings. Please experience a variety of housing types and find the one with the right ceiling height for your lifestyle.

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