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Crown molding is more than just a slab of trim upon a ceiling. It is an essential part of interior decor that plays both a decorative and architectural role in any room.

As an ornamental piece, it provides a fluid link between the wall and the ceiling, instantly transforming a space from blandness to elegance. It offers balance and proportion to a room, framing it as a neat, little bow would.

Functionally, it hides uneven surfaces and blemishes such as gaps. Crown molding can be used to show the difference and transition between rooms. The deliberate use of crown molding in large, public rooms will distinguish them from more informal/casual and private spaces. This distinction is achieved by artistically applying different sizes of molding.

Today, we will consider the role that size of crown molding plays and how to pick it just right.

Why does size matter?

A beautiful crown molding finish depends first and foremost on the crown molding selected. A wide piece of trim in a small room may end up overwhelming the room and making it appear even smaller. Moreover, it will likely overshadow the rest of the decor and give the room a congested appearance.

Narrow molding in a larger room on the other hand will disappear into the wall and ceiling and hardly stand out. If anything, it will be like adorning a glittering belt hidden under folds of cloth.

What should you consider before selecting a crown molding size?

    The room’s purpose

Over the course of history, crown molding was used to make a statement in grand public areas such as the dining room, drawing room, or entry foyer. As the installation became more popular even in smaller rooms, size became a key differentiating element. The latter such as bedrooms or the powder room is fixed with smaller, less elaborate molding pieces.

    The existing trim

Crown molding is supposed to complement existing trim rather than compete with it. To achieve harmony, consider the other trim dimensions such as the baseboard or window casing. Matching the baseboard and crown molding sizes is a quick ticket to achieving a polished look.

If you are more daring and perhaps desire to put up a built-up crown molding, envision the complete look first and analyze how the separate trim will come together.

    The ceiling height

Ceiling height is the most important factor and a reference point in determining the appropriate crown molding size.

How do we use the ceiling height to determine crown molding size?

8 feet or lower ceiling height

Rooms with a ceiling height of 8 feet or slightly lower will be better suited for relatively narrower crown molding. Here, consider crown molding that is 2 ½”- 6” wide. The larger the room, the wider the molding option ought to be.

For a smaller room, consider getting molding that projects out onto the ceiling as it will create the illusion of a higher ceiling height.

9-10 feet ceiling height

In a room with a ceiling height measuring 9-10 feet, install crown molding that is 3”- 7 ½” wide. This higher height will accommodate a built-up molding if you desire to install something that stands out even more.

Tip: To estimate the crown molding size you need, permit ½” rise per foot of ceiling height.

10 feet and above

Larger rooms will be framed better by more outstanding crown molding. For less formal rooms, a minimum of 4” crown molding will do. For more formal areas, you are allowed to be even bolder by installing up to 9” of crown molding.

A built-up profile is a magnificent installation for such rooms as it is visible and elaborately sophisticated in the same measure.

Tip: To estimate the crown molding size you need for such rooms, permit about 1” rise per foot of ceiling height.


With these simple guidelines, you will transform your space into one you cannot help but smile about!

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