Crown Moldings Materials
Crown molding is a delightful finish that frames the walls and ceiling in a room. The trim was traditionally used to cover up blemishes but has gained aesthetic popularity over time. Today, crown molding is a functional and decorative piece that brings together the varying elements of any space.
In the ancient Greek and Egyptian eras, crown molding was carved out of stone and fitted atop temples and sophisticated structures. Since then, the materials have evolved to incorporate wood, plaster, MDF, polyurethane and more. The choice of molding material depends on the installation location and the budget. This article dives into wood, MDF, and polyurethane crown molding materials.
Wood Crown Molding
Wood is an eternal component of home architecture. It communicates stability and warmth and is a handsome addition to the living room, drawing room, or any space of choice. Wood suggests agelessness and is an elegant element from centuries past. Wood crown molding is often elaborate and goes tastefully with classic home designs. Wood material can either be hard or soft varieties. Hardwoods like mahogany make solid trim that ages like fine wine. These types of trim go well with stain embellishment and do not require paint. Softwoods like pine are more easily available than hardwoods and are more pliant. They go well with paint jobs and are versatile in design.
The flipside: While wood crown molding is the go-to for a natural finish, the material lies on the more expensive side of the scale. Hardwoods are more costly than softwoods and the trim will make up a significant portion of the budget. As such, leaner budgets may benefit from alternative materials like polyurethane. Moreover, wood molding is delicate to install and can be messy without professional care. Wood trim needs precise cutting and placement to bring out its good side. Even the most spectacular piece of woodwork will be a sore look after poor installation.
MDF (Medium-Density Fiberboard) Crown Molding
Medium-density fiberboard is a cheaper yet durable alternative to wood. MDF is made out of sawdust and resin crushed together (talk about recycling). Its sturdy feature makes it ideal in populated spaces like the living room and dining room and on sensitive areas like cabinet and floor linings. MDF molding is versatile and easily paintable for varying layout options. Moreover, it comes with a thin coating that allows staining for that wood effect. MDF molding is light, flexible and easy to install. DIY projects will be fun and manageable when using the material.
The flip-side: Medium-density fiberboard is prone to damage when exposed to humidity. It swells when wet and is vulnerable as kitchen and bathroom cabinet lining and trim. The material may also be sensitive to damage when fixed to a window-sill experiencing moisture condensation. The only way to fix moisture damage is by replacing the molding altogether. Additionally, the material requires maintenance to stay intact. MDF scratches easily and the blemishes are not as easy to sand down as with wood molding. Such molding may not be suitable with playful kids or pets. Additionally, the material will spoil under extreme heat and is not suitable for exterior finishings.
Polyurethane Crown Molding
Polyurethane combines the rich feel of wood with endurance that make it a viable material for any room finish. Rubber and plastic come together to form light, malleable polyurethane material. It is resistant to insect and weather damage and will last even when used in exterior surfaces. The molding is flexible and easy to install as a DIY project. It does not require a lot of manpower and the job is doable if you can work the tools. The material cuts and fits effortlessly as long as you have the right equipment and lengths. Polyurethane is affordable to purchase and install, and holds even using adhesive only. The material is versatile and carries paint well for a stylish look. While crown molding is often painted white, polyurethane can accommodate multiple tones to meet the layout desire.
Flipside: Like any other material, polyurethane requires maintenance to retain its high quality. It dents easily and can be prone to damage in hectic environments. Moreover, it may require several layers of paint to give that satisfying look of painted wood. Even though wood makes attractive crown molding, other materials like MDF and polyurethane provide a similar effect but on a budget. Consider the overall style and preferences when selecting the molding material and enjoy the transformation it brings.