Crowning Touch

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Crowning Touch

Many use molding to add a decorative accent to their living rooms, dining rooms and bedrooms.  However, it’s often a forgotten finishing touch in the kitchen and bath. Polyurethane molding makes finishing a room more cost-effective than ever, and it’s ideal for kitchens and baths.

Type and function 
Molding comes in a range of shapes, styles and sizes. In some spaces, it can be a subtle element that goes unnoticed, but it’s crucial to the decorating scheme. It can be the piece that ties everything together, according to Kelley Blanton, a certified kitchen designer from The Home Depot. “You can have really nice cabinets, but without the molding it’s just not going to be as attractive as it could be,” she says.

Molding can be used to make a bold statement, highlight a room’s architecture or serve as a unifying element. “There are different types of moldings for different placements in a room and there are rules which assist the decorator, homeowner or finishing contractor,” says Tom Gough of Architectural Ornament.

For example, crown molding is installed where the ceiling meets the wall. In older homes, it may be ornate. Decorating styles that mirror more classical looks still utilize ornate patterns, also known as profiles.

“The next most noticeable molding in a room would probably be baseboard molding, where the wall meets the floor,” Gough says.  Be careful when making this decision he warns: “The wrong type of molding can make a room appear smaller.” Blanton agrees, “Whenever you have ceilings that are the standard 8 feet, you don’t want a 10-inch crown molding and a 10-inch base molding. It will actually enclose the space,” she adds.

Other molding types include: chair railing, panel molding and door and window casings. “All of these should be chosen carefully and in coordination with one another,” Blanton says.

Molding materials
It’s not only the style you need to consider, look at the materials. Some cost more than others. So, your first consideration will be finding the profile you want in a material that fits your budget.

In the past, all moldings were wood. Over the years, the costs of hardwoods have become cost prohibitive. More affordable molding is made of pine, spruce, MDF (medium-density fiberboard) and polyurethane.

There are a number of factors when choosing a material. For example, how long will it last? Wood can be prone to warping with moisture.  It expands and contracts with heat and cold and can be a feast for insects.

Then there’s ease of installation issues. Think it doesn’t matter if you’re not installing it?  It will when the contractor presents the bill, which will be higher in proportion to the labor involved.

One thing that tends to take the most time is getting the corners cut correctly.  There is a new solution. “The new corner block is an element made in the same profile as the accompanying molding. It fits neatly into corners and joins the straight molding which meets it on either side,” Gough says.

The dense composition of polyurethane allows for a high level of accuracy during the manufacturing process. “So, the joints between the straight pieces and the corner blocks are invisible, once mounted and painted,” he adds.

A wide array of profiles is available ranging from traditional to modern. Once installed, it’s virtually indistinguishable from wood.  In fact, it’s often used to replace older moldings without changing the appearance. In addition, it’s shown itself to be a durable investment. It is impervious to moisture, insects and rot. So, it’s perfect for both interior and exterior applications.

When remodeling your kitchen or bath, look at how molding can enhance your overall design. It is an affordable aesthetic option that can round out your room’s new look.

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