Crown Molding - How do I handle this vent detail?

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I'm wrapping a room with a small profile crown molding. There's an odd transition that I think I can handle, but it quickly runs into a heating vent. I can't move the vent due to the way it is ducted, so I have to figure out how to make this look good. I'll be replacing the vent it self with a new one, or cleaning and painting this sloppy old one a crisp white. Any ideas or methods?
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  18 answers
  • Nance Greenwell Nance Greenwell on Jan 12, 2014
    It isn't as big a problem as you may think. Take the cover off and if necessary reduce the opening size with drywall. Buy a smaller vent or custom make your own with decorative grill even build your own frame from stock molding. Take your measurements to the home store and you'll see plenty of options. Good luck and post pictures.

  • Dee Dee on Jan 12, 2014
    Go to the website Joy of molding, he explains how to do this to come out beautiful.

  • Hamtil Construction LLC Hamtil Construction LLC on Jan 13, 2014
    If I were performing the install, I would stop the crown at the next corner to the right, and cap it with a miter return. So, in other words, I would likely not install crown on the small 5"- 6" wall section. To the right of the register, I would stop the crown there as well, and cap it with a miter return. Then, perhaps a small cove trim or similar could be installed from each capped crown end, extending across and above the register. In my opinion, I would not try to jig out around the register, and "box" it in, as it is extremely difficult to do and have it come out looking halfway decent. If you must run the crown around and across the register, I would probably install it as you already are doing, but just use a sander to relieve out the 3/4" flat back of the crown (where it touches the wall) to notch it around the grill. Leave enough slack in the sanding so you can remove the grill later when needed.

  • Promark Painting Promark Painting on Jan 13, 2014
    In addition to all the other helpful hints, you could picture frame the vent and terminate the crown on the left side, and pick it back up on the right.

  • I agree with Hamtil Construction, simply notch out the back of the crown where the lower edge of the crown rests running across the grill. It will look just fine. Good Luck

  • Tina Tina on Jan 14, 2014
    I would paint the vent the the same color as the wall. Not so noticeable that way!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 14, 2014
    You have a great solution with Scott and Tina...notch out the back of the molding and slide the vent under AFTER you have painted it the same color as the wall.

  • Nancee Barnett Nancee Barnett on Jan 14, 2014
    I have done this in two homes now and it comes out perfect. Do exactly what Scott and Tina said, Notch and Paint. Don't leave the wall without it's crown.

  • Barbara Turner Barbara Turner on Jan 14, 2014
    If you have really good skills with a hack saw, you can simply place the mouldiing right on top of the vent, measure VERY CAREFULLY the width of the vent and the height of the difference, cut that out and continue with the moulding. It's not as hard as you think. You really need to measure carefully though. Good luck. On the other hand like the writer stated a few above, you CAN try to find a vent to fit a smaller piece of drywall HOWEVER that's going to mean all that EXTRA work of cutting drywall from around the vent, patching and joint compounding, more expense for that tub, then hoping you don't crack the drywall screwing it into the studs, yada yada yada, Just do the moulding route and I think you'll be much happier "detouring" around the vent that's there. You will save yourself a ton of extra $$'s spent for all that other work that really shouldn't even be done for this.

  • Cindy Cindy on Jan 14, 2014
    Go with Scott and Tina...it will look fine.

  • Debbie Harris Debbie Harris on Jan 14, 2014
    Hamtil Construction has it right. notch it out and continue the molding.

  • John @ AZ DIY Guy John @ AZ DIY Guy on Feb 12, 2014
    Thanks everyone!!! I'm well underway. I've taken all your advice and run with it. The whole story will come out on an upcoming blog post, but here's a sneak peak progress shot. I bought a new grill and notched the crown with a razor knife and straight edge. You guys rock!

  • Bernice H Bernice H on Apr 25, 2015
    Looks great!

  • The solution employed was reasonable enough. The unfortunately that crown molding profile is installed upside down. The small cove detail installed at the ceiling here should be at the bottom on the wall and the large cyma recta detail goes at the top. Remember smaller details (like the cove in this case) go lower and closer to eye level.

  • Marion Nesbitt Marion Nesbitt on Apr 26, 2015
    Would not paint the vent crisp white. I'd paint it the same colour as the walls or it will stick out like a sore thumb.

  • Mcantor Mcantor on Jun 20, 2018
    Does anybody realize that by going over the vent you are blocking air flow! In the situation discussed here ultimately the crown was across the grill, not the vent openings. It looks terrible partially covering the vent. It looks like a mistake. The way to finish that is to terminate the moulding at each end of the vent. That would look like somebody knew what they were doing. And yes, apparently that molding is installed upside down from as intended, but I guess if the homeowner likes it that way.... They say art is subjective. !
    Oh, Hi, my name is Mike. I've been a buiding inspector for 28 years.

  • John White John White on Jun 28, 2018
    I have read your thread. It doesn't look like a big issue at all as you may think. You should try to take off the cover and if not necessary then reduce the opening size of the drywall. Take the new measurement and make a custom grill or buy a smaller vent to cover it. Good luck.