There is no single type of molding to fit every situation when it comes to the interior of a home. Whether you are looking to replace current molding or add entirely new molding to the interior of your home, there are many considerations you should make. One of the most important considerations that you need to make is what type of interior molding is best going to meet your needs. There are many different sizes, shapes, styles and materials to choose from and each is going to create a different finished look. It will benefit you to first know what your options are, so that you can then make the right purchasing decisions for your home.
Materials for Moldings
- Clear hardwood moldings tend to be found on the costlier side of the spectrum, and they are most ideal when you are looking to apply a varnish or a varnish combined with a stain.
- Clear pine moldings are typically knot-free, and so they work particularly well for varnishing or staining and varnishing.
- Clear, primed moldings are meant to be painted. They are typically comprised of several shorter pieces of woods that have been finger-jointed together.
- Medium-Density Fiberboard (MDF) moldings are more economical than hardwood options, and they are typically sold in a pre-primed state that is ready to receive paint. This type of molding is designed to look and feel just like wood would. It also cuts just like wood would. However, it’s much more economical than wood is, and tends to be a lot easier to work with in addition to being cost effective.
- Polymer moldings offer attractive wood-grain finishes when you buy them, but they are also ready to be either painted or stained.
- Prefinished options tend to be made out of polystyrene, and they are typically available in a variety of different wood-grain patterns. They tend to be a lot cheaper than traditional wood styles. What makes this style of molding particularly attractive is the fact that it is pre-finished, meaning that you simply need to cut it and install it however you like. Prefinished molding can be found in different wood-grain finishes as well as unfinished versions so you can alter it however you need to suit the room. Because installation is so easy, this is a favorite type of molding among many DIY homeowners.
Styles of Molding
- Crown molding can be found in a wide variety of different styles and sizes. Crown molding is the type of molding that you find along the top of the wall, pressing up against the ceiling. Crown molding is a popular way to add style to a room because there are so many different types of molding to choose from, each boasting its own unique style.
- Baseboard molding, on the other hand, can be found running along the bottom of the wall. The most common types of baseboard molding are flat boards topped with narrow caps, or single pieces with routed top edges that feature a decorative profile.
- Shoe molding is also known as quarter-round molding. This type of molding exists to fill in the seam between flooring and the baseboard. The article will revisit more about this type of molding later.
- Chair rail is a type of wall molding that goes flat against the wall, typically around 30 inches to 36 inches above the floor. This is purely decorative molding, and offers a unique appearance that is different from anything that crown molding or baseboard molding can offer.
- Beadboard is most commonly topped with decorative trim that has been rabbetted. Rabbets are recesses or grooves cut into machined materials, most commonly wood. Beadboard is most commonly used in the creation of wainscoting, wooden paneling lining the lower part of a room’s walls.
- Colonial trim is a type of molding that is most commonly used for casings around doors and windows. Installation of this type of trim typically requires the use of mitered corners. This type of molding works especially well in conjunction with crown and baseboard molding, since it creates a distinct, traditional design that is cohesive across the room.
When you’re choosing crown molding you need to consider the purpose of the room. Crown molding was traditionally used to create impressive designs in rooms such as parlors, foyers and fancy dining rooms. For private spaces on the other hand, you would typically find less elaborate and smaller crown molding styles. If you want to create these same look as the traditional crown molding styles, then you will want to follow these same basic ideas.
When choosing crown molding, you will definitely want to play off of the existing trim styles that are in the home. For example, are there existing baseboards or is there trim around the doors and windows in the room? You should be aiming to create a similar scale across the different types of trim, meaning that the crown molding should not be much thicker than the baseboards or the trim around the doors and windows. It is also important for you to measure the height of the ceiling when you are considering crown molding styles, because ceiling height tends to be considered the ultimate arbiter when it comes to size. When you have standard ceilings of around 8 feet, for example, your crown molding height should be between 2.5 inches and 6 inches. When your ceilings are 9 feet, 3 inches to 7.5 inches may be more appropriate. Finally, for 10 foot ceilings, you can go as tall as 3.5 inches to 8 inches, but should not go much further than that.
Baseboard molding does not typically come in as many different styles as crown molding, but is still available in enough styles and sizes that you can customize the appearance of your molding fairly easily. Baseboard molding is typically available already primed for painting, or in a clear form that is available to be stained and varnished, or simply varnished.
Some types of molding have very specific purposes. Quarter round molding, for example, is specifically intended to cover the gap that exists between the baseboard molding and the flooring. Many types of flooring “float” without touching the walls. Hardwood flooring and laminate are two examples. The quarter-round molding covers the gap that exists between the flooring and the wall, allowing the flooring to expand and contract as necessary without any visual blemishes.
The purpose of build-ups is to combine different types of molding on top of one another to create a single cohesive design. You can easily layer different pieces of inexpensive molding to create a much more complex design without having to break the bank to do it. You can create some truly stunning designs without a lot of effort, simply by pairing different types of molding pieces that stack well together. Using a compound miter saw, nail gun and construction adhesive you can create some truly impressive molding designs without a lot of know-how. The shapes and sizes of molding pieces make it really easy to stack and build-up the designs to create entirely new designs. If you want molding in your home that is sure to impress, then this is an option that is well worth your consideration.
Molding is a really great, inexpensive way for you to bring value to your home. There are many different styles of molding and trim for you to choose from, whether you’re looking for crown molding to line your ceilings, or baseboard molding to line your floors. Any room can be fitted with the right type of molding, as long as you are willing to explore your options and choose the right type of molding for each space in your home. It is important that you put some time and effort into choosing molding for each space, creating a cohesive design while allowing each room to be a little distinct from the others.
Molding is typically available by the foot. This makes it easy to get exactly how much molding you need without needing to buy more than is necessary for your specific project.
Choosing the right type of molding is really only the first step in the process. If you want to make sure that your molding is installed correctly, then it will behoove you to consider hiring a professional home contractor to help with the process. At the very least, such a contractor will be able to help you ensure you are doing the process correctly if you intend to go the DIY route. A contractor will also be able to guarantee high quality installation of the right molding for your home. If you want your molding to last, whether you’re installing crown molding or baseboard molding, or something else entirely, hiring a contractor is often the best course of action. Call us today to learn more about our molding installation services and the many types of molding available to you.