Crown molding is the literal pinnacle of interior decor. Set high up to rest against the wall and the ceiling, it is the final piece that brings everything else in a room together. Well-sized molding will provide a delightful transition between the wall and the ceiling. It will be useful in hiding uneven and blemished surfaces. It will also provide a perfect frame for a fixture such as a chandelier.

Crown molding is made of varying materials. Traditionally, most molding was made out of stone and was mostly afforded by the more affluent members of a community. It was considered an elegant addition to a home, especially because of the intricate design that went into some of the molding styles.

Over time, as home designs also changed, wood became an important and impressive material for crown molding. It added gracefulness and warmth into any room. Because natural wood is hard to imitate, it also provided a certain uniqueness and charm to a space.

However, wood had its limitations. Besides being expensive, it was moisture absorbent and therefore not suitable for some spaces such as the bathroom and kitchen. It was prone to developing mold and mildew, and also more prone to warping and cracking.

To counter all of these and make this fine decor piece accessible to most homes, several alternative options have come up. These include polyurethane, flex, pvc and polystyrene (foam) and more.

Of these, today we’ll consider foam and polyurethane and how they compare to each other.

Foam crown molding

Foam crown molding is designed for the budget-sensitive person that wants to spruce up their home at a cost-effective investment. It is also ideal for the not-so-experienced installer that needs trim they can handle with ease.

This crown molding is made from material such as styrofoam that is light and pliable, therefore quite flexible. It is easy to cut using simple tools such as scissors.or a knife.

The pros of foam crown molding

It is easy to install

Foam is easy to manipulate and install using very few tools. In fact, the most you will probably need is construction adhesive.  It will not require nails, screws or saws.  As such, it makes for a great DIY project with no stress.

It is malleable

Foam molding is made from light material that is pliable, meaning it can bend without breaking. This will come in handy for uneven wall surfaces or for special projects that will need the molding to curve in some places.

This is a huge advantage over material such as wood which does not bend as flexibly.

It is affordable

Foam crown molding is probably one of the most affordable in the market. It is a cost-effective option for interior decor enthusiasts that desire to add a spark to their space but on a tight budget.

The cons of foam crown molding

It is not suitable for textured walls or ceilings

Foam crown molding does not rest comfortably against textured walls or ceilings as wood molding would. Seeing as it is installed using only adhesive, foam molding will not hold securely against such a surface.

The edges are not crisp

From a distance, foam crown molding appears as elegant as any other higher quality material like wood. However, a close inspection will reveal the resemblance to a coffee-paper-cup and the less-finished edges.

Polyurethane crown molding

Polyurethane is perhaps the most versatile material for crown molding in the market today. It offers the amazing perks of wood while overcoming some of its shortcomings. It is a great imitation that feels and cuts like pine. It comes in numerous styles, from simple, plain surfaces to more intricate designs.

At Dreamwall Decor, all of our trim including crown molding, is made from high-density polyurethane that is high quality and affordable.

The pros of polyurethane crown molding

It is moisture resistant

Polyurethane is made from moisture-resistant material. As such, it is less prone to rotting and allowing the growth of mold and mildew. This makes it suitable even for rooms with high humidity such as the kitchen, the bathroom and the house exterior.

It is resistant to warping and cracking.

A significant limitation with wood is it’s reaction to temperature changes. Heat exposes wood to warping and cracking, which lowers its quality and aesthetic appeal.

Polyurethane material is resistant to these changes and will remain intact with the changing seasons.

It is pliable and easy to install

While it is not as light as foam molding, it is still flexible and easy to work with. The work of cutting, sanding and installing is not tasking and will be hassle-free even for a beginner, as long as they have the right tools such as a miter saw.

It is durable

Resistance to mold and mildew and to cracking enhances the quality of polyurethane crown molding. As such, it is designed to last a good, long while and retain it’s high quality all the way.

It is affordable

Given how versatile polyurethane is, one would expect it to be costly or at the very least, beyond their price range. This is hardly the case. Polyurethane crown molding is budget-friendly and given how long-lasting it is, makes for a fantastic investment.

The cons of polyurethane crown molding

It dents easily

Polyurethane is lighter than wood and will be more prone to damage. For this reason, installation ought to be light and careful to prevent any denting.

Installation will be slightly more expensive than foam molding

While foam molding can be installed using adhesive and a knife only, polyurethane crown molding requires more equipment for a good job. Slightly superior tools you will need include a miter saw for mitered edges and a coping saw for coped edges. These automatically mean that the costs for putting the molding up will be more expensive.


Foam and polyurethane are both good materials for crown molding, each with their benefits and shortcomings. The best choice for your DIY project will largely depend on the aesthetic needs and budget, as well the durability desired.

On the whole, polyurethane makes for a far more superior material in terms of quality and longevity. Take a walk down our crown molding portfolio for a glimpse into the wonderful options we have in stock.

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