Crown Molding 101: The Basics

This weekend, I had planned to install crown molding in my dining room.  If I had any idea how complicated it would be, I would have started researching weeks ago.

I found myself reading tutorials written by professionals, that used so much foreign terminology I had to look up definitions just to understand what they were talking about! After all my headache, I thought I would create a no-fuss guide to the basics of crown molding for other beginners like myself to use. So here it is; PART 1:

The first step to a crown molding project is selecting your crown molding.  There are a LOT of options out there to choose from, here is what you need to know to help you decide:



The three measurements given for crown molding are the HEIGHT, PROJECTION and FACE. The HEIGHT is the length it will cover on the wall and the PROJECTION is the length it will cover on the ceiling. The FACE is the length of the crown molding itself.

The higher your wall height, the larger face your wall can accommodate.  The above recommendation for face size to wall height is from this site.

Lesson 2. “Spring Angle”


The spring angle is the angle that the crown molding creates with the wall.  Crown molding generally comes in three angles: 38°, 45° and 52º.  The higher the ceiling, the larger the angle you want on the spring angle.  This is because the higher the ceiling is, the further away your crown molding will be when you are looking up at it.

With those two factors, you should be able to find a crown molding that fits your room.  There is a HUGE variety of styles, but that depends more on the architecture style of your home and your personal interior style than it does on the dimensions of your room or the height of your walls.

I personally decided on this crown molding with a 4 5/8″ face and a 38° spring angle to accommodate my 8′ ceilings.  I hope this has helped you decide on the perfect size crown molding for your own project.

Come back tomorrow and I will break down the methods of cutting crown molding to fit a corner!

One thought on “Crown Molding 101: The Basics

  1. Pingback: Crown Molding 102: Deciding on a Cut Method | Dress This Nest

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