Question re. appropriate width/size for door trim

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Old 05-15-08, 01:22 PM
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Question re. appropriate width/size for door trim

I'm replacing all the door trim in my two-bedroom townhouse. The existing trim was 2 3/4", standard stock trim. I'd like to replace it with something with more "punch". One contractor advised me to go with 3 1/4" trim throughout, but I'm concerned the house is too small to "carry off" the wider trim. In particular, there is a small landing with doorways leading to the bathroom, both bedrooms, and a hall closet.

Any suggestions for determining what width trim will look good in a small house?

Also, I'm considering trimming out a passageway between the kitchen and living room -- it's roughly a 3 1/2-foot opening. The contractor advised against it, saying that it will make the rooms look smaller. Do others agree with this advice? It looks pretty bare and unfinished with no trim at all.

Many thanks!
 
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Old 05-15-08, 02:00 PM
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A couple of things come to mind. A type of colonial molding, which is wide and somewhat ornate makes doors and windows stand out just fine. On the other hand, an easier method would be to use a fluted molding with plinth block bases and rosettes where the rails and stiles meet at the top. Easy, because there is no mitering to do, but you will have to cut back your base molding to accommodate the plinth blocks. It adds a nice touch, also. I would leave your passage way without trim, if it has none, now. Trimming it will make it look heavy. Of course a nice wood trim may define the opening as well. Only you can make that call.
 
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Old 05-15-08, 02:23 PM
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Width isn't the only aspect to think about when trying to get more "punch" from your trim. Without actually seeing the overall "look" of your townhouse, it's hard to say what will work with what. But, if the original trim was rather thin, and milled ornately, you could try a squared-edge approach, and give the same width trim (or add a quarter inch to it or so) a "beefed up" look simply by increasing the thickness and simplicity.

Pretty much everything in my house is trimmed out in 2-1/4" stock due to severe budget restrictions when it was built. It's not a big house either. I finally got around to updating one of the bathrooms and installed 1X4 pine around the door, window, mirror, and above the wainscoting. I ripped the 1X4 stock down to around 3-3/8". My worst fear was that all that extra width and thickness, not to mention the wainscoting, would make the room feel cramped, but it turned out really well in my opinion. So far, it's my favorite room in the whole house, aesthetically speaking.

I think the biggest factor in deciding if a particular trim package will work, other than whether or not it will physically fit (such as the landing you mention), is the finish. My bathroom trim is painted white, the walls above the wainscoting is a rich, but somewhat light, blue. This makes the bathroom feel much more spacious than it did with the smaller trim, which was stained fairly dark.

That's all just my opinion, of course.

Cheers,
Jeffrey
 
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Old 05-15-08, 03:50 PM
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To add to the other suggestions. Decorating is a purely personal thing, there are no rules. If you like it, do it. But consider what the next buyer might think, could be a turn on........or a turn off. Good suggestions above.
 
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Old 05-15-08, 04:08 PM
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I've always been fond of substantially sized woodwork. I'm not sure if you are considering casing only or the base as well. IMO big casing with small baseboard would look odd.
 
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Old 05-16-08, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by HogFan2000 View Post
Also, I'm considering trimming out a passageway between the kitchen and living room -- it's roughly a 3 1/2-foot opening. The contractor advised against it, saying that it will make the rooms look smaller. Do others agree with this advice? It looks pretty bare and unfinished with no trim at all.

Many thanks!
To me it really depends on the overall style your going for. I trimmed a couple of passage ways in my house that were previously bare and I really like the results.
 
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Old 05-22-08, 12:39 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks to all who responded -- the original trim was 2 1/4 inch standard stock trim. I think I'm going to trim out a couple of doorways with wider trim in a fairly simple profile, as some of you have suggested, and see what I think of it.

The baseboards will also be replaced -- the originals were two pieces, a 1x4 with base cap. So I think it will look fine with the wider trim.
 
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