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Crown molding, the interior trim that runs along the top edge of walls where they meet a ceiling, enhances the overall look of the room and draws the eye up and away from the floor. Given crown molding’s height on a wall and distinct architectural characteristics, the loftiness of crown molding (pun intended) can dramatically change a room’s appearance and character.

Home remodelers, builders, and even do-it-yourselfers find crown molding to be an easy and relatively inexpensive way to both update and change the look of any room in the house – subtly or dramatically. Here we provide the basics of what you need to know before taking on any project for installing crown molding.

What to Know About Crown Molding

  • The style of the home and decor matter when choosing a molding style. Molding comes in styles from clean and simple to curvy and intricate. The style of molding you choose should complement the home type or room where it will be installed. For example, contemporary home styles should have crown molding with clean lines and little pattern so as to maintain the simple look of the home’s overall design.
    Crown molding with a more ornate design works well in homes that typically have more detailed decorative elements, such as those found in Mediterranean, Victorian, and Queen Anne styles. Other trim elements such as baseboards and chair rails, if already installed, are good indicators of how plain or how detailed the crown molding should be.
  • Use ceiling height to gauge the best size for molding width. If the crown molding is too wide for the height of the room, it will overpower and make the room appear smaller. Likewise, too narrow a crown molding against a high ceiling in a large room can get completely overlooked. According to This Old House, crown molding width for standard 8-foot ceilings can be 2 ½ to 6 inches; for 9-foot ceilings, molding width can be 3 to 7 ½ inches; and for 10-foot ceilings, 3 ½ to 8 inches wide. Just remember to keep the scale and size of the molding proportionate to the size of the room and the height of the ceiling.
  • Molding profiles can be as plain or as fancy as you like. Here is where your imagination can run wild. Crown molding profiles come in hundreds of designs – too numerous to list here. Among the most popular you will find bead and curve molding; double bead style; cove style; molding with dentils; art deco; classical styles in ancient Greek and Roman tradition; classical style with leaves or garland motifs; stair-step molding; simple crown style that mimics an S-curve – the list goes on and on. A professional designer can help you choose a pattern and style that’s best for your room, or you can check online for inspiration.
  • Crown molding materials vary. Crown molding comes in a variety of materials. The material you use for your crown molding will depend on the complexity of the design you choose, the room where the crown molding will be installed, your budget, and other factors.The most common materials used to make crown molding include: solid wood which can be stained and painted; plaster, which can be cast into detailed and intricate designs not possible with wood; medium density fiberboard (MDF), as a more economical option than wood; polystyrene, for easy installation and small budgets; polyurethane, which works well in the majority of installations given that it comes in a multitude of designs and can be easily painted; PVC, which is most typically used in rooms where moisture is present; and flexible molding that can be bent around walls that are curved.

Crown molding is an architectural detail that adds a finishing touch to any room where it is installed. If you would like to learn more about how crown molding can work in your home, Sovereign Construction Services can help. Sovereign Construction Services is a full-service home renovating and remodeling company. Owner Steve Rush brings thoughtful suggestions and ideas to every home construction and renovation project. He can answer all your questions about crown molding and how it will change and update the look of your home. Call him today at 610-639-2986 or contact him here.