Common Types of Moulding
Moldings exist in myriad forms. Each is designed for a specific purpose—framing a door, for example, or providing a visual transition at the junction of walls and flooring. So many types of molding decorate our homes today, it's often difficult to distinguish them—and learn which types you should purchase for your home remodeling project. But here's the good news: You never again have to be confused between batten and baseboard. Scroll through to discover your molding style, once and for all!
This molding is the "crowning" architectural feature of a room, as it decorates the transition between walls and the ceiling. Crown moldings, also known as cornice moldings, typically boast intricate silhouettes—although many types of crown molding exist.
Used to trim walls where they join flooring, baseboards usually measure three to five inches. Baseboard styles are usually simple, and accented with a small piece of quarter-round (semi-circular) trim.
Casing is designed to cover the unfinished gap between walls and door or window frames. Though different variations of door casing styles are readily found, the width of casing usually spans two or three inches.
Cove molding is plain, concave-shaped trim employed where walls and ceilings meet. It can also be used on stairs, at the meeting of risers and treads. In essence, cove may be considered a less ornate version of crown.
Picture railing allows artwork frames to be hung without nails having to be driven directly into the wall. Often combined with crown molding, this type of molding is one or two inches tall and appears seven to nine feet off the floor.
Batten, also called board-and-batten, is a wall trim piece used to hide the joint between two pieces of paneling.
An ornamental detail with a Classical pedigree, dentil molding consists of small, evenly spaced blocks in a repeating pattern. Incorporated into crown molding, dentils are frequently found in historic homes.
Chair railing is functional molding meant to protect walls from being damaged by furniture. Of course, it can also serve a purely decorative function, delineating two different types of wall coverings—paint and wallpaper, for instance.
Egg and Dart
Mostly seen together with crown or chair railing, egg-and-dart molding includes oval egg shapes (modeled after ancient Greek template ornament) alternating with V-like darts.
Bead and Pearl
Bead and pearl moldings are two different, though very similar, types of trim. Both feature a row of small, symmetrical spheres. Paired often with other designs—leaves, darts, or spindles—this variety of molding typically accompanies crown or chair railing.
Material Used for Moulding
Moulding comes in a variety of species and densities. Understanding the material differences and selecting the right one for your project is a key step in a successful installation and end result.
MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) is a high-grade, composite material. Moulding products tend to come primed, making it easy to paint.
Primed Finger Joint Products are available in Pine and Poplar wood. This engineered moulding is made by fitting smaller pieces together to create one long board. Finger Joint moulding looks best when painted.
Poplar is a favored material by design professionals. The crisp grain lines and rich wood tones accept paint and stain, making it a perfect wood type for any room.
Pine adds a distinct character to a room. The lines from the grain and occasional knots can create interest and texture.
Fir offers two distinct grain patterns. Mixed Grain (MG) offers coarse, wide, and light to dark patterns. Vertical Grain (VG) has a more consistent and tighter grain pattern and less color variation. This wood should be stained to bring out its natural beauty.
Oak moulding is typically milled from Red or White Oak, which are among the hardest and most durable wood species. Both have great grain appeal and are easy to sand, cut and finish. Your choice of stain color can really enhance the character of this material for a style that is all yours.
Polyurethane moulding is made from high-density polyurethane that won’t warp, rot or split. This product will create detailed patterns without the expense of wood. It’s lightweight for easy handling, saws like wood and comes preprimed and ready to paint.
Polystyrene prefinished moulding is lightweight and simple to cut using conventional saws, making installation a one-person job. These mouldings can be installed with construction adhesive or finishing nails and are slightly flexible, making them perfect for walls that aren’t true. They’re also moisture resistant—an ideal solution for kitchens and bathrooms.
PVC gives you the look of wood with moisture protection, inside or out. Strong and durable, PVC moulding is easy to cut and installs without chipping, splitting or cracking.