Asked on Jan 2, 2012

Crown Molding Questions.

Dover Point DesignsPosh PatiosFaidra at  CA Global Inc


How do I find a good contractor who really knows how to put up crown molding? Many of them say they do but after I call on their references and see their work it is pretty shotty. Also need the same contractor to put up bead board. Also was is a reasonable costs per linear foot should I expect on putting this up. It amazes me that so many of these contractors try to take me on price because I am a woman. Not judging all companies and people, but I have had really some bad experiences. Any help would be appreciated.
13 answers
  • The Money Pit
    on Jan 2, 2012

    Deborah, Crown Molding is hard for some contractors that just don't understand compound angles. Here is a DIY option that is simple and looks just as great: If is a foam product that is super easy to cut and install.

  • Deborah C
    on Jan 2, 2012

    You would suggest this rather than the real thing The Money Pit? Have you seen this up? Does it look real?

  • ask him how he cuts it,,,,if he says upside down and backwards ,,,,,you found your guy,,,,,,,on standard miter box,,,,on slide compound,,,it falls at 32.5 ,,,by i believe 27,,degree,,,but unless your a pro dont use slide compound ,,,,,,,,cut your hand off on kickback ,,good luck

    • Aleta G.
      on Jun 29, 2014

      The truth is that there is only one real manufacture of a "molded" polystyrene crown molding in North America. Some people call foam or styrofoam. It is "Creative Crown" out of Texas. We are a distributor of theirs. It is the only molded crown molding that does not require any coatings. It is as smooth as a sheet of copy paper, no bead look and requires only one coat of a water-based paint. It is a lightweight and a high density material. "it does not contract or expand" It is not a urethane foam product that comes from China.

  • The foam product that Money Pit suggested is fine if your painting it. Depending on the brand purchased it has corners already cut and all you do it butt the long lengths against it. If you have really long lengths in the room however I would suggest against it as it tends to swell in length and shrink as well. Causing in some cased it to open up at the seams. The art of doing good molding trim work is like many trades dieing with the invention of all these types of products. But depending upon the complexity of the crown your planning to install, will determine exactly who you need and or want to do the job for you. Perhaps contacting a good quality kitchen installer? These guys work with stain type trims all the time and with that kind of work they need to do the job right because they cannot simply fill in the spaces of a incorrect cut. So their work would need to be done better. Just an idea for you to ponder.

  • The Money Pit
    on Jan 2, 2012

    Deborah, if you are painting it, then yes, this is definitely the way to go. Once installed, it is virtually indistinguishable from the real wood -- but is a lot less work to install.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jan 2, 2012

    Crown can be a real bugger for some...Upside down and backwards is one way...but I have a nifty set of crown Molding "jigs" that come in the 3 basic "spring angles" that molding is made in. These jigs help a ton... Paint grade molding is much easier as "mistakes" or minor variations in out of square walls can be easily covered with caulk...Stain grade work will need to be much more precise. And the skill of the carpenter will quickly become apparent Pricing will vary on many factors as I mentioned in this article I wrote on trim pricing. In the Photo below I installed over 2000 feet of trim in this home...some of it was crown...The rest was all custom milled window, door and base trim. In that Home I also refinished all of the interior doors and installed new stair railings.

    crown molding questions, wall decor, woodworking projects, stain grade crowncrown molding questions, wall decor, woodworking projects, door refinish workcrown molding questions, wall decor, woodworking projects, stair railings
  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Jan 2, 2012

    Deborah, May I suggest that you do your part in hiring any contractor. Have all the details fully documented so as to ask the carpenter to only have to install the material the way you have asked him to. What size and profile will this crown moulding be? Will it be one, two, three or more pieces? Are there specifications as to margins with numerous pieces? (I always made a Mock-up) What other details are pertainant? Will it be stain grade, paint grade, painted, stained? Thats your first hurdle. You are right and good in looking at prospective contractors work. A lot of general contractors don't know any where near how to install crown moulding. He will have a Trim Carpenter do the actual craft. Personally, I have only used the cope joints with oversized pieces. No scarf (Mid) joints if at all possible. Sorry to have to say it, but I have had to learn every single aspect and detail of every part of every project I have undertaken leaving nothing to chance or surprise. (good or bad) And I'm afraid you will have to also. Good luck.

  • Posh Patios
    on Jan 3, 2012

    I always ask cope or miter? As soon as miter is mentioned it tells me speed not long term quality. Both joints look the same short term but not long term. There is a technical reason for the cope if they dont know the answer...they dont understand trim. Do they use glue? Is it finished grade of paint grade?

  • Faidra at CA Global Inc
    on Jan 24, 2012

    Posh, what does "cope" mean versus miter

  • Miter is simply cutting angles into the lumber to create a corner or some sort of angle to fit around what ever it is your trimming out. A cope is part Miter but with the use of a coping saw. you back cut the miter so you end up with a sharp edge angle. This trim piece is then placed against the 2nd trim piece that was just cut off straight. The result is a more professional finish piece. This is done almost all the time when using woods that will only be stained as if done properly there is no gap left that is often the case with mitered joints. here is a U-Tube video on what I tried to say.

  • Faidra at CA Global Inc
    on Jan 24, 2012

    Thanks WE as I am having the same issue in GA as the lady who started the thread. Moulding makes the difference in a home, but done incorrectly it can be a nightmare - one which I haven't woke from yet.

  • Posh Patios
    on Jan 25, 2012

    The cope and the miter make look the same at the end of the day. However, over time the cope allows for proper wood movement. It takes longer to do and requires some extra skill so many people just miter the trim. A good trim guy can cope a piece of 5" crown in about 4 minutes.

  • Dover Point Designs
    on Apr 27, 2015

    As a "Hands-on" Designer, Remodeler, I often do my own carpentry for my projects. However, I also have my "go to" subs which each have their specialties. You may want to contact a designer in your area, who can set up a simple consultation and also recommend their favorite millwork contractor. You would only need and hour or two with the designer to discuss crown ideas.

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