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How To Install Crown Moulding

 
Installing crown moulding

Crown moulding or ceiling trim is an inexpensive way to bring value and beauty to your home. It is one of the most dramatic and visually pleasing additions to any interior, and can range from simple to very elaborate depending on your budget and the size and style of your home.


Several moulding profiles used together are called build-ups. These combinations may look complex, but they are installed basically the same as regular crown moulding. Outside corners are mitered, but inside corners should be coped. (A coped joint is one in which one moulding is cut to nest against the profile of another). This helps to disguise out-of-square corners, wall irregularities and problems caused by wood expansion.

 


Preparation


• If this is your first time hanging crown moulding purchase a few extra yards of moulding and make some
  practice cuts. Label your best practice pieces to use later as templates.

• Prime and paint (or stain and varish) all sides of the moulding, including the back, before you install it. This
  will help keep it from warping, and save you considerable time later.
 

Safety


 • Always exercise caution when cutting your moulding. Wear appropriate hearing and eye protection, and 
   follow other manufacturers' instructions when operating power equipment.
 

Savings


• Using a nail gun is a great way to save time and achieve better results when hanging your crown moulding.
  If you don't already own one, and you plan to do crown moulding in more than one room, the purchase of a
  nail gun combo kit could be well worth the investment.
 

WHAT YOU NEED FOR THIS JOB:

TOOLS:

MATERIALS:


Step 1: Plan your installation

Plan your installation Some joints are more visible than others, and these are the ones you want to look best. Experienced carpenters install crown moulding in the order above for the easiest and best-looking job. Start on the wall opposite the door (1) and install a piece that's square at both ends. This presents the best (and easiest to cut) side of the joint to anyone entering the room. The moulding on the second wall (2) is coped where it meets the installed moulding, and square where it meets the other wall. The third wall (3) is treated the same way, and the fourth wall (4) is coped at both ends.
  

Step 2: Measure the room and mark the stud locations

Measure the room and mark the stud locations You'll nail the moulding into the wall studs. Locate the studs with a stud finder and make faint pencil marks high on the wall (where they won't be covered by moulding) to guide you as you nail.
  

Step 3: Put the moulding against a framing square

Put the moulding against a framing square noting the distance between the face of the moulding edge and the corner Note the distance between the face of the moulding edge and the corner. Cut a scrap of lumber to the correct dimension and draw layout lines on the wall and ceiling. When you install the moulding, align it with the layout lines.
  

Step 4: Begin at the wall opposite the door

Begin at the wall opposite the door and cut moulding to that length Begin at the wall opposite the door and cut moulding to that length. Mark the locations of the studs by holding the moulding in place and transferring the marks onto the moulding. To prevent splitting, drill pilot holes the diameter of the finishing nails. Drill holes at each mark at the top and bottom of the moulding. Nail in place.
  

Step 5: Lay out the cope joint

Lay out the cope joint on a second piece of moulding Lay out the cope joint on a second piece of moulding and start with a piece a few inches longer than the finished length and flex it in place. At the end that you'll cope, draw a line in the general direction you'll cut at roughly a 45-degree angle (it's OK if the line isn't straight).
  

Step 6: Set up the miter saw

Set up the miter saw Position the moulding so that the ceiling edge is flat on the bottom of the miter box and the wall edge is tight against the fence. Set the saw to cut at 45 degrees in the general direction of the line you drew in Step 5. (If the blade and line won't come close to aligning, turn the moulding upside down and try again.) Cut a miter close to the end.
  

Step 7: Undercut along the profile with a coping saw

Undercut along the profile with a coping saw Look at the face of the moulding. The miter cut exposed the profile of the moulding, outlined here in pencil. Cutting away the excess wood beneath the profile creates an outline that can nest against the adjacent moulding. Tilt the coping saw back at a 45-degree angle to create a razor-thin edge where the two mouldings will meet.
  

Step 8: Test-fit the cut

Test-fit the cut Check the joint by fitting it against a cutoff. Be prepared for an imperfect fit; even experienced carpenters may have to fine-tune the joint until it fits.
  

Step 9: Sand and file any high spots to create a tight fit

Sand and file any high spots to create a tight fit When the joint fits, measure the wall. Cut the moulding 1⁄8 inch longer than measured (usually by making a square cut on the uncoped end). Flex the moulding in place. The extra length will help push the cope joint closed.
  

Step 10: Nail the moulding in place

Nail the moulding in place When the moulding fits together without any gaps, nail the moulding to the wall and ceiling. Putty the nail holes. If you're painting the moulding, run a bead of caulk in the seam and wipe it smooth with a wet finger.