Q: What are some things we need to know before installing crown molding in our dining room?

A: Crown molding is a subtle way to add elegance, texture and dimension to any room. You can use crown molding to trim walls, fireplaces, baseboards and so much more.  Its versatility is a key reason that architects have used crown molding to trim rooms for generations. Molding creates depth, adds visual interest and has a very traditional, stately look.

Wood is the most popular material used to construct crown molding. It’s affordable and can be purchased stock from manufacturers in a variety of styles and wood types. Although it’s the standard material, not all crown molding is constructed from wood. It can be made from other materials such as: 

  • Plaster – Plaster molding is custom created and molded directly to the walls. It has a sophisticated look, but comes with a premium price tag. Plaster molding needs to be professionally installed and can be susceptible to cracking or shrinking depending on the humidity of the room.
  • Polystyrene – It’s an inexpensive plastic material that resembles Styrofoam, so it needs to be painted. Polystyrene is very easy to install. All you need to do is apply an adhesive to the back and press it into place.
  • PVC – This molding is great for humid rooms (like the bathroom) because the plastic material will not be damaged by water condensation. The stock supply may be a bit limited, but the material can be painted.

After the molding has been installed, you can embellish the look with a finish such as a stain or paint. The molding can either match your walls or contrast them: depending on the look you want to create. And you don’t have to use the same crown molding throughout your entire home. You can create a palette with different moldings that correlate with each other to create a cohesive, yet varied look.

Analyze the humidity levels, available space and ceiling heights to determine what type of crown molding is right for your dining room.