Types Of Moulding
A wonderful variety of moulding profiles are available today, allowing homeowners the freedom to create magnificent interiors with relative ease. At the simplest level, a single moulding profile can be used as an interesting accent, such as crown moulding at the ceiling/wall junction or base moulding at the wall/floor junction. More ornate applications combine anywhere from two-to-six moulding profiles to achieve a desired look. Doorways can also be dressed up by replacing flat casing with fluted casing, and adding rosette blocks to the upper corners and plinth blocks at the bottom for a classic look.
Large expanses of wall can be made interesting by using a chair rail to create a visual horizontal break, or for a vertical break, panel moulding can be used to create a series of framed panels to make the wall look taller or shorter depending on the width and height of the frame. The interior of the framed area can also be painted a contrasting color from the rest of the wall to provide a bold accent. For added drama, moulding can be combined with raised wood paneling to create a warm look that is perfect for a library or den.
Types Of Materials
Plaster, the traditional moulding material in Europe for generations, is still used today, but technology has expanded the range of cost effective materials for moulding profiles. Decorative moulding is now available in wood, hardwoods, plastic, medium density fiberboard (MDF), and polyurethane.
How do you choose one material over another? Simple, just consider the price, durability, appearance and weight to determine the best moulding material for your project. Some environments need the tough resiliency of plastic moulding to deal with a harsh environment. Projects requiring a simple paint finish would be perfect for MDF moulding, since the lack of a grain pattern is not an issue. If a stained look is preferred, wood is your best choice. Both soft and hardwood
moulding come in two varieties: smooth and patterned. Patterned moulding is either 'embossed', where wood is removed to create a pattern, or 'overlay', where a wood-like putty is added to create intricate patterns. The softer woods such as pine can be stained to resemble other woods, but by nature, will be more sensitive to damage. Hardwood moulding, such as oak, cherry, walnut, mahogany or maple, are more expensive than softer woods, but posses an undeniable, intrinsic beauty that is impossible to duplicate. As Chris Gibbs of Hardwood Products Inc., a hardwood distributor in Houston for 20 years, explained, “Even when you stain hardwood, the beauty of the grain comes through and you can see the quality of the wood.” Why use hardwood versus pine? Gibbs cited examples where a client may want a kitchen outfitted with cherry cabinetry, or someone wants to add moulding to existing mahogany paneling. It each case it would be natural to use the same wood moulding to complete the design.
Polyurethane moulding is often used where weight is a major concern. Made from liquid polymers poured into molds and formed at high pressures, polyurethane moulding offers low weight, high strength and will not rot, crack or be attacked by insects. Almost any existing profile can be duplicated with polyurethane moulding, often with two or three individual moulding profiles combined into one light piece, making installation much easier. This product is often used for crown moulding, ceiling medallions around light fixtures, or as a lightweight alternative to ceiling domes; a five foot diameter plaster dome weights around 300 pounds! Ease of installation, durability and the ability to accept all latex and oil-based finishes makes polyurethane moulding a popular choice in Houston.
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