Choosing Mouldings For Your Home

Published July 20, 2012

Architectural details such as mouldings can create the illusion of height and depth in a room and have the ability to camouflage irregular walls. They can also give a room grace and presence and help define its style. Decorators will agree that mouldings often enhance furniture and easily define otherwise mediocre rooms.

When renovating or building a new home, the choice of moulding can be very overwhelming. Not only are there a myriad of choices on the market but the style and varieties are endless.

If you are in the process of building or renovating, perhaps the following guidelines will help you next time you are faced with the ominous decision of mouldings.

Firstly, there are two main types to consider. Architectural mouldings are used along ceilings, floors, walls and doors for many purposes ranging from softening joints to protecting walls. Examples include baseboards, chair rail, ceiling and applied panel. The second main type is finishing mouldings.  These mouldings are designed to camouflage assembly joints and are often used to enhance furniture. Many times, finishing mouldings draw your attention to details on walls. Chair rail is a classic example of a finishing moulding.

Depending on the job at hand, you will have to decide which type of moulding to use. Each type  offers many styles and purposes.

Some of the most popular are crown moulding, baseboards and casings. If you plan to install mouldings it’s important to remember not to overdo it. Sometimes one or two simple mouldings are enough, especially if cost is an issue. Another option is to add mouldings in stages over time. Just remember that there are some rules-of-thumb that you may want to heed. One of which is you should never have crown moulding without a complimentary baseboard. Otherwise the room will appear top heavy.

Attempt to install your mouldings in a consistent manner. Begin with your baseboards and casings around your doors and windows then follow with crown moulding. Other mouldings such as chair rail and panel  may be applied at a later date.

Another rule of thumb for moulding is to pay attention to the size you are choosing. In general, for a standard 8′ high ceiling you should choose a baseboard of no less than 6 to 7 inches and the casing should have a face measurement of no less that 3 -1/2″.

It’s also important to consider the moulding materials. There are many different choices of moulding material being used today. The most popular are wood and synthetic. Wood mouldings include pine, maple and oak and are very popular for stylish interiors especially if you are planning to stain them. If painted mouldings are what you have planned then you may want to take a look at the polyurethane (vinyl) choices. These mouldings are fantastic for those curved ceilings and walls. Once painted, you cannot tell they are vinyl versus wood.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry, your contractor or finishing wood carpenter are experts in this field and can guide you in the right direction on what is best for your home. If you are a do-it-yourself kind of person, visit your local hardware store for any inquires you may have.