Choosing Moldings for Your Home Choosing Moldings for Your Home

There are many kinds of decorative moldings used in North American homes, all basically designed to add a creative touch to the appearance of the rooms. Some decorative moldings are so widely used (baseboards and window and door casings for example) that if they aren't in a room, it isn't considered finished. Other types of moldings are used to add beauty and warmth to a room and moldings such as wainscoting, chair rails and crown molding enhance the overall appeal of your homes as well as improve it's resale value. Here's some ideas on using decorative molding in your home.

Molding functions

  • All moldings all have the same basic function - to make a home look better. In addition, many home buyers believe decorative moldings are signs of high end construction indicate quality building as well as adding sophistication to a home.
  • Moldings can also have more practical functions such as covering up small gaps between different building materials and where floors meet walls or hiding wires that connect audio and video equipment spread around a room.

Considerations for choosing moldings

  • The moldings your choose for your home will be influenced by a number of factors. Naturally price is a prime consideration, but the size, design or profile and the material they are made from will also impact your decision.
  • You want to choose moldings that are consistent with your space and existing decor as well as choose moldings that integrate with your current design and architectural style and the size and scale of a molding should be be appropriate for a particular room. For example, high ceilings can more easily handle large, ornate crown moldings (in fact the larger moldings can make your ceilings appear higher) while installing large crown moldings in a room with low ceilings could actually make it appear smaller and more cramped.
  • However, as with many decorating decisions, there are no hard and fast rules and as with any decorating decision in your home, personal taste rather than conventional wisdom should be the most important influence on your choice of moldings. While larger moldings may work better in a larger room, often times people want to choose moldings that have a consistent appearance (size and profile)throughout their homes. So if you already have large moldings in some areas, you may want to use similar moldings in smaller rooms,even though some people might consider them 'too big'.

Types of decorative moldings

  • Baseboards cover the gap between the floor and your walls, are available in a wide range of profiles and are commonly between 3" and 5" tall. Typically the profile of baseboards is similar to the profile of window and door casings.
  • Crown moldings cover the joint between the walls and the ceiling and can be as plain as a simple 1" strip of wood or ornate carved boards 8"or even 10" wide.
  • Chair rails are installed flat against the wall in a continuous band all around the room and can provide a dual function. Typically 32" up from the floor. (where they serve a practical purpose and protect plaster walls from being damaged dining room chairs) chair rails can actually be placed at any height and are commonly used to provide a transition between sections of a wall where for example, the upper section is painted and the lower section is wall papered or painted a different color.
Murray Anderson is an experienced freelance writer with over 600 articles published on the web as well as in print magazines and newspapers in both the United States and Canada. He writes on a wide range of topics and is a regular contributor to He can be contacted at [email protected]

Got a New Project You're Proud of?

Post it on Your Projects!