Some examples of the differences between cathedral and vaulted ceilings are chalet and ranch style homes, schoolhouses, and churches with walls that are either equal or dissimilar in height. In architectural terms, a vaulted ceiling is an arched form used to create space in a ceiling or roof.
Cathedral ceilings and domes are technically examples of vaulted ceilings. In modern usage, there is a tendency to differentiate between cathedral and vaulted ceilings. Cathedral ceilings are symmetrical and extend from a central point equally, have walls that are the same height and generally follow the roof line of a structure. Examples include the simple designs of churches and schoolhouses built by early settlers and pioneers.
Vaulted ceilings usually have asymmetric designs with single or unequally sloping sides and do not necessarily follow roof lines. Modern examples include apartment buildings, condominiums and freestanding homes that feature various types of vaults as design features on lower floors and levels below the roof, as well as buildings with high ceilings that have walls of different heights.