A Basic Guide to Molding

A Basic Guide to Molding

Think of it as the final touches to an aesthetic masterpiece!

Molding — millwork used as elements for crowns, casings and baseboards etc — adds a lot more to a home than just the perfect finish.

Typically used to incorporate a facet of sophistication and character to your overall interior design, home moldings can pretty much take your architectural design to a whole new level.

So let’s dive into the details and learn as much as we can about moldings and how we can use them to beautify an otherwise simple home.

Learning about Moldings


Moldings are broadly separated into three categories:

Primary Trim

These are the crown moldings, casings and baseboards. Also the most functional trim since they cover the gaps or seams between two sections, the primary trim is usually decorative, and used to set the tone and style of the room.

Design Enhancing Trim

These are the trims on the walls and entryways. Also chair rails, architraves and panel molding. These add an extra dimension and depth to the style.

Decorative Trim

This is the additional detailed molding, the corner blocks, rosettes, plinth blocks and more that add specific detailing to different aspects of the room.

Decorative Trim

Aesthetic Purpose and Usage

Ceiling and Floors

Typically, crown moldings are used to soften the look from wall to ceiling, whereas panel moldings are added as basic wall frames that can be dressed up with fabric or wallpaper.


Base caps, base shoes and baseboards are added to cover the gaps between floor boards, adjoining walls etc to create a smoother transition from room-to-room.

Windows and Doors

Especially for entryways, architraves are used to establish an overall style for the house. Casings are then used to incorporate the windows with the home design.

General Purpose

Additional moldings and trim elements such as screen beads; lattice and corner moldings are used to add a special touch of design to an otherwise simpler home interior.


Basic materials that are used for molding and millwork include:

  • Oak (hardest, durable, easy to sand and cut, great grain appeal, potential for better color)
  • Pine (distinctive, interesting texture)
  • Fir (available in mixed grain and vertical grain)
  • Aspen (light, soft wood, better for ornate molding)
  • Poplar (a favorite amongst interior designers, crisp grain lines and deep wood tones)
  • MDF or Medium Density Fiberboard (high-grade, easy to paint)
  • PVC (strong , durable, easy to cut without risks of cracking or splitting, offers moisture protection)
  • Polystyrene (lightweight, usually installed with adhesive, flexible, moisture resistant)
  • Polyurethane (resistant to rot and warping, offers potential for detailed patterns)

Choosing the right material usually depends on the design you want. And for that, you need to have a professional at hand who can do the job right!

Hire a Professional!

NYLoft offers custom millwork and interior design services to all in NYC. As a leading firm in home and interior design, we have the materials and the professional skills necessary to give your home the touch of perfection it deserves.

Contact us today at 212-206-7400 and book a consultation!