Work space with a white wall covered with decorative mouldings

How to Pick the Best Mouldings for Any Room

Mouldings are an easy way to update your home and refine the look and feel of a space. Learn about the different types of mouldings and moulding materials to choose from.

Moulding for Every Room
No matter what room you’re thinking of redoing, adding moulding is an easy way to significantly change its look and feel. Learn how to pick out moulding for each room, then shop online or in store to complete the process.

A Touch of Texture for Added Style

It’s easy to overlook moulding elements like casings, crowns, and baseboards when it comes to the style of a room. However, they can act as highly decorative additions that help to:

  • update the space and transform the look of your home,
  • hide small imperfections,
  • complement the style of any room,
  • make a transition from different materials (such as paint and wallpaper), and
  • emphasize contrasts between the same materials.

As you choose new mouldings, begin by asking yourself whether you are looking for functional or decorative mouldings, what is the overall style of the space, what is your ceiling height, and if you will finish the mouldings with paint or stain.

We’ve created this guide to fill you in on popular moulding designs and give you an idea of how to best use them in your home.

Dining room with a bare white wall
Before
Dining room with a decorative moulding wall
After
Interior Moulding Types
Collage of various standard mouldings
Primary Trim
The go-to option for most installations, primary trim includes crown mouldings, baseboards, and casings. It is typically used to cover up the gaps between different areas, but it can also be highly decorative and help set the style and feel of the space.
Collage of various design enhancing mouldings
Design Enhancing Trim
Design enhancing trim serves as an extra touch of style while bringing more dimension to the room as well. It includes panel moulding, architrave, and chair rail that can spruce up your walls and entryway.
Collage of various decorative mouldings
Decorative Trim
This category of trim includes rosettes, corner blocks, plinth blocks, and other accessories that can serve as a style accent in the space. Due to its embossed and detailed designs, decorative trim is often used with ornate mouldings.
Moulding Types by Location
Room decorated with different types of mouldings
1
Floor Moulding

Recommended mouldings: Base cap, base shoe, baseboard

Hide gaps between the floor and the wall with floor mouldings like a baseboard and supporting trim. These elements ensure that the transition from the wall to the floor is seamless. They also create a smoother transition between rooms.

2
Wall and Ceiling Moulding

Recommended mouldings: panel moulding, chair rail, and crown moulding

Tap into the design potential of your walls and ceilings with the right types of moulding. Use crown moulding to soften the wall-to-ceiling transition and make the room feel more luxurious. You can also create elegant wall frames with panel moulding and make it look even fancier with wallpaper or fabric.

3
Door and Window Moulding

Recommended mouldings: casing, architraves

Doors and windows are among the first features that people notice when they come into your home. Make a good first impression with the right moulding and trim elements.

4
Multipurpose Moulding

Recommended mouldings: screen beads, project boards, shiplap

Has always looking at the same old walls got you down? Sometimes, refreshing a space requires more than a new coat of paint. With some new moulding, you can give the room an exciting and custom look and feel. Depending on how handy you are with tools and on the size of the project, you can give the room a makeover in just one weekend. Some easy DIY projects you can try include adding shelving to the home office and putting up a shiplap accent wall in the family room.

1
Floor Moulding

Recommended mouldings: Base cap, base shoe, baseboard

Hide gaps between the floor and the wall with floor mouldings like a baseboard and supporting trim. These elements ensure that the transition from the wall to the floor is seamless. They also create a smoother transition between rooms.

2
Wall and Ceiling Moulding

Recommended mouldings: panel moulding, chair rail, and crown moulding

Tap into the design potential of your walls and ceilings with the right types of moulding. Use crown moulding to soften the wall-to-ceiling transition and make the room feel more luxurious. You can also create elegant wall frames with panel moulding and make it look even fancier with wallpaper or fabric.

3
Door and Window Moulding

Recommended mouldings: casing, architraves

Doors and windows are among the first features that people notice when they come into your home. Make a good first impression with the right moulding and trim elements.

4
Multipurpose Moulding

Recommended mouldings: screen beads, project boards, shiplap

Has always looking at the same old walls got you down? Sometimes, refreshing a space requires more than a new coat of paint. With some new moulding, you can give the room an exciting and custom look and feel. Depending on how handy you are with tools and on the size of the project, you can give the room a makeover in just one weekend. Some easy DIY projects you can try include adding shelving to the home office and putting up a shiplap accent wall in the family room.

Entrance with a white shiplap wall
Interior Moulding Shapes

Choosing the shape of your moulding is an important but challenging part of the process.

The decision should be based on your personal style preference, and a good way to narrow down your options is:

  1. Identify the area for the installation, and
  2. Choose between a traditional or modern style.

For a traditional style, select formal and delicate mouldings with ornate features like rounded edges and several curves. If you prefer the modern look, you can also find mouldings with a flat design, clean lines, and crisp, angled edges.

There are also many moulding options for a transitional style between classic and modern, and don’t forget that furniture, decor, and colour scheme will bring the design of the room together as well.

Decide what style is best for the room. Collect sample pieces of different shapes (called profiles) and experiment with them. If single profiles don’t fit your decor, build up or stack the different profiles together. You are only limited by your imagination!

Sizes of Interior Mouldings

Moulding size is an important factor to consider, and it should depend on both the size of the room and the height of the ceiling. Keep these size recommendations in mind while you browse:

  • Larger rooms with higher ceilings require larger mouldings.
  • Crown, case, baseboard, and chair rail mouldings usually come in lengths of 16’ but are available in lengths of 8’, 10’, 12’, 14’ and 15’ as well.
Recommended Moulding Sizes
Ceiling Height
Crown Size
Casing Size
Base Size
8-9’
3 ¼” to 4 ¼”
2 ¼” to 3 ¼”
3 ¼” to 4 ¼”
9-10’
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
2 ¼” to 3 ¼”
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
10-11’
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
2 ¼” to 3 ¼”
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
11-12’
4 5/8” or more
3 ¼” or more
5 ¼” or more
12’ or more
7” or more
3 ¼” or more
7” or more
Ceiling Height
Crown Size
Casing Size
Base Size
8-9’
3 ¼” to 4 ¼”
2 ¼” to 3 ¼”
3 ¼” to 4 ¼”
9-10’
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
2 ¼” to 3 ¼”
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
10-11’
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
2 ¼” to 3 ¼”
4 ¼” to 5 ¼”
11-12’
4 5/8” or more
3 ¼” or more
5 ¼” or more
12’ or more
7” or more
3 ¼” or more
7” or more
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Pro Tip

Add 5% to the calculated moulding quantity to account for cutting waste.
Moulding Material Options
Ensure a successful installation by choosing a material substrate suited to your project. Use this chart of common wood options as a convenient reference to help you pick a moulding substrate that works with your budget and the demands of the project.
MDF
Flex Trim and PVC
Finger Joint
Softwood
Hardwood
Materials
Wood fibres and resin
Synthetic plastic polymer
Pine, Poplar
Pine, Fir, Hemlock, Alder, Poplar
Oak, Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Walnut
Best way to finish
Painted
Painted or not, depending on the application
Painted
Clear, stained, or painted
Clear or stained
Weight
Moderate
Light
Moderate
Moderate
Heavy
Installation
Similar to solid wood, but produces more sawdust
Can be cut, drilled, screwed, nailed, and painted just like wood
Same as softwoods
Can be cut with hand tools
Difficult to cut with hand tools; requires pre-drilling before nailing
Cost
Budget-friendly
Budget-friendly
Budget-friendly to moderate
Moderate
Investment
Pros
Long, consistent lengths available and is less impacted by humidity and temperature than wood
Great for outside use and is resistant to insect damage, rot, and decay
Environment-friendly; smaller lengths jointed together to limit waste
Stainable at a moderate price
Crisp edges can be milled into hardwoods
Cons
Moulded edges must be softened to avoid flaking
Doesn’t move because of moisture the way wood does, but move because of temperature
Finger joints can become visible through paint
More susceptible to denting when used in high-traffic areas
There can be restrictions in trim lengths and widths
MDF
Flex Trim and PVC
Finger Joint
Softwood
Hardwood
Materials
Wood fibres and resin
Synthetic plastic polymer
Pine, Poplar
Pine, Fir, Hemlock, Alder, Poplar
Oak, Maple, Cherry, Mahogany, Walnut
Best way to finish
Painted
Painted or not, depending on the application
Painted
Clear, stained, or painted
Clear or stained
Weight
Moderate
Light
Moderate
Moderate
Heavy
Installation
Similar to solid wood, but produces more sawdust
Can be cut, drilled, screwed, nailed, and painted just like wood
Same as softwoods
Can be cut with hand tools
Difficult to cut with hand tools; requires pre-drilling before nailing
Cost
Budget-friendly
Budget-friendly
Budget-friendly to moderate
Moderate
Investment
Pros
Long, consistent lengths available and is less impacted by humidity and temperature than wood
Great for outside use and is resistant to insect damage, rot, and decay
Environment-friendly; smaller lengths jointed together to limit waste
Stainable at a moderate price
Crisp edges can be milled into hardwoods
Cons
Moulded edges must be softened to avoid flaking
Doesn’t move because of moisture the way wood does, but move because of temperature
Finger joints can become visible through paint
More susceptible to denting when used in high-traffic areas
There can be restrictions in trim lengths and widths
Pre-Finished Mouldings (Painted or Stained)
If you want to quickly refresh a room with minimal mess and hassle, then pre-finished mouldings are an excellent choice. Though pricier on the outset than their raw counterparts, these products can save not only your time but the cost of paint and other supplies as well.
Wall with the lower part covered with picture-frame mouldings
How to Install Mouldings

The tools required for the installation of mouldings largely depend on the type of moulding and its material. A basic tool list includes:

Find out all about how to install different types of moulding from our DIY projects.

Grey house with white mouldings
Exterior PVC Moulding
PVC moulding is an excellent choice for all of your exterior trim. It can be cut, sawn, drilled, screwed, nailed, and painted just like wood. Unlike wood, however, it won’t warp or split. PVC moulding is also impervious to insect damage, rot, and decay. Think of PVC moulding as a permanent solution to all of your exterior trim needs.
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