Types of Crown Moldings

Types of Crown Moldings

Learn the features that separate the different kinds of crown molding

By Kaye Morris

Cutaway view of crown molding
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Crown molding is a popular addition to almost any room and provides an elegant finish to furniture, cabinets and window cornices. A variety of crown molding is available, both in size and shape. Study the room or object for which you wish to add crown molding and make note of dimensions such as height, room size or object size and other molding already in use in order to determine the best type of crown molding for your project.

Crown Molding Materials

Crown molding is available in wood or other manufactured finishes such as polyurethane. Soft wood moldings, such as pine, are often cheaper than high-grade wood moldings or manufactured molding. Pine and other soft woods are excellent choices for molding that will be painted. Higher-grade woods such as oak or cherry often give better results if you want to stain the molding. Polyurethane molding is manufactured with color, usually white, and will not hold paint or stain for a proper finish. Polyurethane moldings have gained some popularity due to longevity, but they rarely look like real wood.

Crown Molding Angles

Crown molding has a spring angle and a crown slope angle. The spring angle is the angle from the back of the molding to the wall. The crown slope angle is measured from the back of the molding to the turning point of the molding on the wall. Common crown molding angles are 52/38 degree molding and 45/45 degree molding. Make sure all molding that will be connected when installed is the same angle. Different angles of molding will not fit together on the wall.

Crown Molding Widths

Crown molding comes in widths ranging from 1.5 inches to almost 2 feet. If you are installing the molding at the ceiling, you should choose a molding based on the height of the ceiling and the size of the room. A 1.5 inch crown molding installed in a large room with vaulted ceilings will likely appear too small. Likewise, a 10 inch molding installed in a small room with 8 feet ceilings will likely make the room appear smaller and the ceiling lower. You should also take into account the size of the baseboards in the room when selecting a crown molding. Crown molding used on furniture should be in proportion to the furniture itself.

Crown Molding Shapes

Crown molding comes in many shapes, and if you own a router, you can make your own shapes. Traditional crown molding curves in an "S" shape at the top and bottom, but the size and distance of the curves vary among manufacturers. Dentil molding is a popular crown molding that has edged squares at the bottom. Crown molding can also be carved into shapes like vines or seashells. Polyurethane molding comes in many decorative forms, including round molding that can be installed over arches.

About the Author

Kaye Morris has 20 years of real estate development experience and is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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