Casing Molding Installation Casing Molding Installation

The use of casing molding around your doors and windows is a great way to give them a unique look that will enhance the overall interior design of your home. Before you learn the basics of installing casing molding it helps to understand the different designs and materials used in its production.

Types of Casing Molding

Casing molding can range in sizes from 2 1/4 inches wide all the way up to 4 inches wide depending on your preference. The most common sizes in use in most homes range from 2 1/2 inches to 3 1/2 inches depending on the size of the window or door. Larger doors and windows usually work better with wider casing to give the finished door or window a more symmetrical look. This molding is also manufactured using 2 main types of material.

The first type, called MDF molding, is manufactured using recycled cardboard fibers and comes pre-primed from the factory. This is the ideal type if you are going to use a painted finish for the molding.  The second type is manufactured using a finger-jointed solid wood such as pine, oak or maple. This type is the ideal choice if you plan on using a stain finish for your casing molding.

Measuring Casing Molding

The first step in a quality installation is taking accurate measurements of your door or window frame. Accurate measurements will ensure that the casing molding is square to the door frame allowing a consistent reveal between the molding and frame.  To begin, measure one side of the jamb from the floor to the edge of the header of the frame. Now transfer the measurements to a piece of casing and make the necessary miter cut.

Take the cut piece of casing and lay it back to back with an uncut piece and transfer the measurements. This will ensure that the molding on each jamb is the exact same measurement. To get the size of the last piece just measure the distance between each individual jamb molding. For the most accurate measurement make sure the blade of the tape measure is flush with the bottom of the angle for each molding piece.

Installing Casing Molding

When installing casing molding it’s best to use a finish nail gun rather than a traditional hammer, nail, and nail set. Using a nail gun will help prevent damage to the molding and allow for a clean installation. In order to maintain a uniform look you’ll want to keep a consistent reveal around the entire frame. Most carpenters use a 1/8 inch reveal but the dimension can be increased or decreased depending on your preference.  Work your way with the nail gun from the top of the casing down to the bottom and pay particularly close attention to the miter joint. You can use painter's putty to fill the nail holes and painter's caulk to fill the miter joints. There are also special caulks that add an adhesive during the manufacturing process. The use of this caulk will strengthen the miter joint and prevent it from separating over time.

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