Selecting moulding materials & style
Our clients in Port Alberni, Parksville & Nanaimo areas have access to a large selection of moulding materials to choose from.
Some advice on choosing moulding materials & style
Man- made materials such as MDF and various plastics offer many profiles and styles with virtually none of the defects that inevitably show up in traditional wood moulding. Even so, lumber millwork remains much in demand and is the only choice for naturally finished trim. Before deciding on the materials to use, you’ll also need to choose the style and scale of the trim you’ll be installing. The trim style you choose should complement or harmonize with the architecture of the house. And if you’re looking for a custom look, there are nearly an infinite variety of ways to use and combine trim.
If you are remodeling or adding on to an existing house that was built in a distinct architectural era, it’s likely the decision about style is already made for you: you will simply match the new trim with the old. If you are not constrained to a particular style period, however, the design options are wide open. To narrow down your choices, first decide whether you are looking for a formal or informal look. Formal trim tends toward ornate, complex profiles and is often painted to put the emphasis on its form rather than the material itself. Informal trim, on the other hand, trends toward ornate, complex profiles and is often painted to put the emphasis on its form rather than the material itself. Informal trim, on the other hand, tends toward simple profiles and is often finished clear so that the grain of the wood is visible.
To develop a sense of the kind of trim that most appeals to you, leaf through home magazines or, better yet, tour finished homes. Once you have answered the question about the style of the trim, the next consideration is how to size it properly. The size of trim is directly related to the scale of its surroundings. For example, a certain size crown moulding might seem too large if used in a room with 8-ft. ceilings, yet in another room with a high ceiling it might appear too small. This scaling effect is true with all trim elements: The size of the space dictates the size of the components.
As you are looking at trim examples, also be aware of how trim can affect the sense of proportion of doors, windows, walls, and even the entire room. For instance, tiny windows set in a large expanse of wall usually look “fanny” and out-of-place if trimmed out with mouldings sized to the windows rather than to the scale of the room. In this case, larger-than-usual mouldings can help make the windows look larger and therefore in more pleasing proportion to the room. As an example of how mouldings can dramatically affect the overall feeling of a room, notice how tall, monolithic-like walls are tamed to feel comfortably human-scale with the addition of char rails, wainscoting or perhaps horizontal headers that run over the top of the windows and doors.
You will find that most lumberyards and building centers carry a wide selection of the mouldings you should, however, be sure to check that you can obtain the mouldings you want before getting too far into the design and planning process. Sometimes the material will have to be ordered or specially made, which will add to your project’s time and cost. What if you want the moulding to go around a curved wall? Bendable mouldings made of a type of urethane plastic are now available that simplify installation over or around curved surfaces. They are available in almost any moulding style. Mouldings are priced by the lineal foot – the more complex and the larger in size the moulding profile, the higher the cost per foot.