Home Experts: Local News
How to Choose Crown Molding
Story Updated: Aug 22, 2011
Crown molding adds character and detail to any room and serves as delineation between the wall and ceiling. Crown molding is available in hundreds of styles and widths. Consider the style of your home, the height of the ceiling and the decorative effect desired before choosing a crown molding.
- Define your home's architectural style or the style you wish to achieve. Choose a crown molding style that complements the overall look you want. For example, a craftsman style home warrants a molding profile that reflects the arts and crafts style. If you desire a contemporary feel, choose a crown molding with simple lines and few intricate details.
- Visit local home improvement stores, custom lumber mills and interior design showplaces to view different crown molding choices. Consider going to model homes or open houses with a similar style to yours. Take pictures, if allowed, or bring home samples from the stores. Try different samples in your home to get a feel for different profile effects and molding heights.
- Research the range of materials available for crown molding. Different materials used include wood, medium density fiberboard, plastic and plaster. Each material accomplishes a different look and offers a wide material price range.
- Determine the size of crown molding that fits your room's dimensions. Crown molding too small in a grand room gets lost, and large crown molding in a small room overpowers it. Use a guideline when measuring for moldings based on ceiling height. Allow 1 inch of crown molding height for every foot of ceiling height. If your home has 10-foot ceilings, for example, use 10-inch-tall crown molding.
- Decide whether you want to use decorative corner blocks or miter the corners for a smooth fit. Decorative corner blocks should match the style of the crown molding and add interest to the room.
- Consider adding dramatic detail to formal rooms or grand spaces. Layers of crown molding, called steps, build a dramatic look for a custom touch. Decorative details such as rope trim, dentil molding or intricate patterns provide dimension and interest.
- Match or coordinate the trim finish with the rest of the house. Staining molding requires stain-grade material, and MDF trim molding offers a smooth finish for paint. Keeping a single trim color throughout the house adds to the visual flow from room-to-room.