Crown Molding without the Cuts
Article by: John Watkins, Nashville Home Inspection
November 2012 Monthly Tips
Molding was used as a decorative architectural element in prehistoric times, and continues to remain popular today. According to designers, it is meant to literally “crown” the room, enhancing the feeling of space, height and richness.
Do-it-yourselfers have struggled with crown molding in the past, because of the difficulty of making the wood cuts necessary, especially the wood pieces needed to fit snugly and squarely in a corner. Until recently, crown molding installation has always required an understanding of complex miter angles and cuts. Cutting compound angles is not something the average homeowner feels comfortable trying to do. Many feet of crown molding have been ruined due to wrong angles and bad cuts.
Many options exist today to help the seasoned craftsman as well as the novice homeowner add the elegant touch of crown molding to interior rooms.
Some homeowners are happy to work with some of the flexible crown moldings available for use. They can be painted or stained, are lightweight and easy to cut because they are made of poly-foam materials.
Another option is using crown corner blocks in ceiling corners, to eliminate the need for complicated miter cuts or copying. Corner blocks require a straight, flat cut, which is possible for most do-it-yourselfers, even beginners. Corner block prices are affordable and can be purchased from big-box home centers as well as on the internet. They are available in flexible-material or wood styles. These blocks will meet flush in corners, with no need for compound cuts.
To install corner blocks, the type and size of the molding needs to be considered, and matched to the type and size of the room in which it will be installed. Molding that is too large can over-power a room, while molding that is too small can disappear into the depths of walls and ceilings.
If possible, it is best to buy molding and corners at the same time, hopefully from the same run so that wood type and grain is the same. If corners and molding do not come stained, it is easiest to stain them before installation. Even better is purchasing pre-primed pieces.
Corners should be installed before the rest of the molding is hung. By having the corners adhered, the exact measurements for the rest of the molding can be accurately determined. The molding should fit snuggly between the corners, where they will sit flush to the blocks. Molding pieces can be cut using a straight cut because there are no angles to accommodate.
To ensure the best fit, the molding can be gently tapped into place before being nailed or adhesive applied. If any gaps do remain, painter’s caulk can fill them and make them unnoticeable.
Source: John Watkins, Nashville Home Inspection | Blog distribution provided by Kenneth Bargers and Bargers Solutions, member of Pilkerton Realtors, residential real estate services located in Nashville, Tennessee