How to Install Crown Molding
Many people think to install crown molding they need a ton of experience and special tools while others feel this type of job is simply too difficult to tackle. Although there are some tips to making the job easier and the results successful, the installation of crown molding is actually not overly complicated. Below, we have provided some helpful information to alleviate stress and reduce potential for errors but one note in particular is that for the final project to surpass your expectations, make sure all measurements are double, if not triple checked.
The great thing about installing molding of this type is that it can enhance the beauty and add character to virtually any home. In other words, if you were to install crown molding in a 100-year-old home with 12-foot ceilings, the change would add to the home’s original charm. However, crown molding installed in an extremely contemporary home with 8-foot ceilings would highlight specific features while creating a little warmth. With a huge selection of styles, materials, colors, and designs, crown molding is the perfect addition to any room of the home. When you get ready to install crown molding make sure you have the appropriate tools and supplies, and that adequate time has been set aside.
For tools to install crown molding, you could use a miter saw with a tilt and rotating blade, as well as a simple miter saw. The only difference is that with a simple saw, you would need to lay the crown molding at the right angle when cutting whereas with the tilting and rotating saw, the molding would be laid flat and the saw would handle angles. In both scenarios, the crown molding would be set at a 45-degree angle so the perfect bevel and miter is achieved.
• When ordering the crown molding we suggest you purchase a three-quarter sheet of plywood. With this, you would build what is known as a “guide fence”. The goal is to rip the plywood, followed by using 8d nails to secure it to the ceiling. Be sure a gap is left in the corners to allow the crown molding to slide past, as well as rest flush to the wall.
• Next, you want to run the first piece so it is square to the wall and then keep moving in a counterclockwise direction around the room. For the next piece, you want to cope it so it fits against the other piece to create a tight corner. Make sure a test piece is used, which can be done by cutting a four-foot piece and then cutting a 45-degree bevel on the right side.
• With a coping saw, the 45 would be cut off to the line at the location where the fresh cut was made with the saw and where the outside meets. If needed, a Dremel or utility knife could be used to make any minor changes. After this test piece is complete, you would continue along the other walls, making sure the left hand side of the crown molding butts firmly against the wall, as well as the coped right side.
• When working on longer walls, it would be necessary to use two pieces to install the crown molding. For this, the pieces should be cut about halfway using the 45-degree compound miter saw. Now, sometimes ceilings are not flat in that particular area so if you run into this situation, the angle may of the cut may need to be adjusted somewhat. If preferred, you could make another small test piece before cutting into the actual crown molding. Regardless, the two 45-degree beveled ends of the molding would need to be matched up, and then if you plan to paint, caulked.
The greatest challenge you will likely face when ready to install crown molding is the corners, especially those on the outside. For this, you would need to use a compound miter saw, cutting with the miter sloping toward the center. For this, we strongly recommend that you cut a sample piece first, which will help with matching angles. With that, you would be able to make necessary adjustments without wasting the molding pieces. In addition, to help you track the correct adjusted degrees, it would be beneficial to write them down. That way, guesswork and ultimately mistakes are avoided.
• To fasten the corners when you install crown molding, you will need quality wood glue and 4d nails. To make sure the corners are secure, you want to hammer one nail into each side. After using the glue, use a clean, damp cloth to wipe off any excess.
In summary, to install crown molding, you would use plywood to cut strips to create a guide fence and for test pieces. Then, the first piece would be run so it fits tightly to the wall. Additionally, always move in a counterclockwise direction as you work around the room. The right side of the molding would be cut at a 45-degree angle with a miter saw and the rest would be coped.
When working on longer walls, you want to install crown molding in two pieces, cutting with a miter saw at a 45-degree angle so the two ends meet. To hide the seam, a small amount of caulk could be used. For outside corners, a compound miter would be used to cut the bevel in towards the center of the cut.