Buying Guide

Types of Moulding

Styles and Profiles of Moulding

There are five primary styles and trim profiles for moulding, and many homeowners opt for more than one.

  • The five moulding and trim styles are Traditional, Country, Victorian, Arts & Crafts and Modern.
  • The five moulding and trim profiles, which are the shape as viewed from end to end, are Crown, Casing, Chair Rail, Baseboard and Base.
Moulding Materials

There are four primary materials that make up moulding: MDF, primed pine, pine and oak.

  • Primed medium density fiberboard (MDF) is pre-primed for a consistent, even-painted finish with superior workability.
  • Primed pine is natural wood-based paint-grade moulding that is also pre-primed.
  • Pine is a versatile softwood moulding that can be clear coated, stained or painted that offers a warm, rustic look.
  • Oak is a classic and traditional hardwood moulding with a distinctive grain pattern that can be clear coated, varnished or stained and offers a durable, rich look.

The applications of moulding are determined by position in the room during installation.

  • Ceiling moulding, or crown moulding, softens the transition from wall to ceiling to create a visually stunning effect. The rule of thumb is the larger and taller the room, the wider the crown moulding.
  • Door and window trim, or casing, is primarily used to conceal the gap between the drywall and door or window frame.
  • Wall and trim, specifically chair rails, hand rails, and panel moulding, adds warmth and charm while protecting the walls from scuffs and dents. Chair rails protect the walls from the backs of chairs, handrails are necessary for navigating stairways, and panel moulding is used to frame wall paneling and add a decorative touch to traditional wainscoting.
  • Floor trim, or baseboards, cover the gap between the wall surface and the floor. Baseboards are usually thinner than casings, but when both are selected, the result is a harmonious, cohesive look.

To complete your moulding project in style, consider these accessories.

  • Rosettes are corner blocks that are used for changing directions of mouldings that are the same size, such as at the top of a door or window.
  • Plinth blocks are baseboards that are used to join profiles of different widths, such as when a wide baseboard joins a narrower door casing.
  • Crown corners can be cut using a mitre saw or purchased preassembled. The preassembled inside and outside corner pieces simplify the installation process because you only have to cut butt joints to mate the lengths of crown moulding to the corner pieces.
  • Divider blocks are decorative blocks used during installation so the moulding can be cut straight instead of scarfed or cut at a 45-degree angle.
  • Intermediate blocks are also decorative blocks used during installation on straight runs of moulding so the moulding can be cut straight instead of making a scarf joint.