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Material World – Mouldings

Like icing on a cake, mouldings top off a room, transforming it from “done” to “finished.” Mouldings come in a wide variety of styles and sizes, but they all function similarly–to add proportion and scale to a room.

What are mouldings?

Most often, when we’re talking about mouldings, we’re talking about strips of wood, though they can sometimes be alternative materials. Mouldings often serve dual purposes–a functional one (most specifically to cover an unsightly area where two edges meet) and a decorative one too.


Types of Mouldings

Baseboard

Trim that joins the floor to the wall. It can be super simple and thin, or can be more ornate, even using two different trim types at once to create a custom look. 

Quarter round

A standard addition to baseboards to help conceal any gaps between board and floor. 

Casing

Trim found around door frames and window sills that create a seamless transition between the opening and the wall surrounding it. 

Crown

Similar to a baseboard, crown moulding joins the top of the wall to the ceiling. Crown moulding is known for being elegant and ornate, but a simple style can be just as impactful. Taller ceilings in bigger rooms can handle wider crown mouldings; again, it’s all about proportion! 

Chair Railing

While the name may have you believing chair rail should be installed at chair back height, that’s not actually the case. Chair railing got its name from the Shakers–they’d use the railing to hang chairs while they cleaned the floors. Most often, going with the literal height of most chairs will disrupt the room’s sense of proportion. Popular guidance says chair railing should be installed at one third the distance of the ceiling height. 

Picture Rail

Installed between seven to nine feet above the floor, folks use this thinner moulding to hang art (and not put holes in their walls). 

Board and Batten

A board that covers a joint between two wall panels. 

Shiplap

Chip and Joanna Gaines really gave shiplap its moment over the last decade–and no matter who’s installing it, it usually confers a more rustic vibe. Wood panels are connected at 90 degree angles.

Beadboard

Another type of wood paneling, but it is usually vertical and not as thick as shiplap.

Wainscoting

Decorative wood paneling that often covers the bottom portion of a wall. 

  • Shiplap: Chip and Joanna Gaines really gave shiplap its moment over the last decade–and no matter who’s installing it, it usually confers a more rustic vibe. Wood panels are connected at 90 degree angles 
  • Beadboard: Another type of wood paneling, but it is usually vertical and not as thick as shiplap.

Moulding Extras

Corner blocks finish off moulding–there’s plenty of options, from crown corners (exactly what you think), rosettes (allow you to “change directions”), plinth (connects trim of different widths to make everything look even), divider and intermediate (blocks that bypass the need to cut trim at angle at corners).


Moulding Materials

Pine

Affordable, can be stained and sanded, looks nice on its own

PVC

Looks like wood, but much more durable; won’t crack or chip

MDF

Another affordable option that can be stained or painted to look consistent throughout your home


Moulding Tips

Measure

Check out our measuring guide with handy ma’am for our best tips on measuring. We said it there and we’ll say it again here–measure twice, cut once!

Style

Before you head to the store to choose moulding, be sure to think about the type that would fit best with your style and home. Pay attention to the moulding in homes you like or have saved on social media. Super simple? Ornate? Modern? Somewhere in between?

Buy more

Buy up to 20 percent more trim than you measure for to account for miscalculations or mis-cutting.

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