Types of Mouldings & Trim

Popular wall trim and crown moulding found in today's homes.
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Decorative Mouldings

With so many types of molding decorating our homes today, it's often difficult to distinguish them. Each type of molding and trim is designed for a specific purpose and has its own name. Below we have compiled a handful of terms your painting contractor may use when talking architectural trim. We hope you will find it useful and make things easier when communicating what you want to see in your home. 

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Crown Moulding

Most Popular and Most Known

This molding is the "crowning" architectural feature of a room, as it decorates the transition between walls and the ceiling. Crown moldings, also known as cornice moldings, typically boast intricate silhouettes – although many types of crown molding exist.

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Baseboard

Used to trim walls where they join flooring, baseboards usually measure three to five inches. Baseboard styles are usually simple, and accented with a small piece of quarter-round (semi-circular) trim.

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Door & Window Casing

Casing is designed to cover the unfinished gap between walls and door or window frames. Though different variations of door casing styles are readily found, the width of casing usually spans two or three inches.

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Chair Railing

Chair railing is functional molding meant to protect walls from being damaged by furniture. Of course, it can also serve a purely decorative function, delineating two different types of wall coverings—paint and wallpaper, for instance.

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Picture Railing

Picture railing allows artwork frames to be hung without nails having to be driven directly into the wall. Often combined with crown molding, this type of molding is one or two inches tall and appears seven to nine feet off the floor.

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Cove Moulding

Also known as coving, cove molding is plain, concave-shaped trim employed where walls and ceilings meet. It can also be used on stairs, at the meeting of risers and treads. In essence, cove may be considered a less ornate version of crown.

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Dentil Moulding

An ornamental detail with a Classical pedigree, dentil molding consists of small, evenly spaced blocks in a repeating pattern. Incorporated into crown molding, dentils are frequently found in historic homes.

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Egg & Dart Moulding

Mostly seen together with crown or chair railing, egg-and-dart molding includes oval egg shapes (modeled after ancient Greek template ornament) alternating with V-like darts.

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Board & Batten Wall Trim

Batten, also called board-and-batten, is a wall trim piece used to hide the joint between two pieces of paneling.

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Bead & Pearl Molding

Bead and pearl moldings are two different, though very similar, types of trim. Both feature a row of small, symmetrical spheres. Paired often with other designs—leaves, darts, or spindles—this variety of molding typically accompanies crown or chair railing.

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