Choosing Molding for Your Home
By: Danny Lipford
Looking for an easy, quick way to freshen up a room? Adding or replacing decorative molding is a simple, DIY project that’s even easier today thanks to prefinished plastic moldings. Before you strap on your tool belt, here are some tips on how to choose the right moldings for your home.
Choose molding that reflects the style of your home. Contemporary homes should stick with simple moldings with little detail while elaborately detailed Victorian homes look great dressed in detailed decorative moldings. Experienced designers can mix and match décor, but it’s harder to integrate different styles in the same space.
One of the great things about plastic molding is that it can be made to resemble almost any material, including the look of wood grain. Since plastic moldings are created in a mold rather than milled, they can be made into virtually any pattern or design. That gives a lot of flexibility in choosing the look that works best for your home.
Molding should enrich the look of a room, not overpower it. Select the width of crown and other moldings based on the height of the ceiling in the room. The higher the ceiling, the wider the molding should be. Test the size by holding up samples of molding or cut a piece of cardboard to size to see how the molding will look when installed.
Since many plastics are more flexible than wood, plastic moldings can be more forgiving when installed on uneven ceilings or crooked walls. Some plastic moldings can even be applied to curved surfaces, which would be difficult—if not impossible—to do with wood moldings.
High Moisture Conditions
For high-moisture rooms—such as bathrooms, basements, kitchens, and utility rooms—plastic moldings are the best choice since they’re impervious to moisture and resist warping, rotting, and mold.
Buy more molding than you think you will need, since having some extra material on hand will give you some wiggle room if you make a mistake. Plastic moldings can be cut and installed with the same tools used for traditional wood. Since plastic moldings won’t crack, splinter or split, you’ll have less waste than with wood moldings.
If the molding will require painting or staining, do it before installation. Plastic moldings are available in a wide range of prefinished colors that may not require painting or staining, making installation much less labor intensive.
You can even find plastic moldings that are made from recycled plastic. One manufacturer, Timbron (available at The Home Depot), uses recycled plastic foam packaging to make their products. The company has already recycled enough plastic to fill the Empire State building twice!
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