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Expert advice

Choosing mouldings
  •  Making the right choice isn’t always easy, given the wide range of baseboard and casing profiles available these days. But there is one rule to follow: Casings should always wider than the baseboards. Choosing a profile boils down to a question of taste, but be sure to prioritize the same curves to ensure a harmonious effect. 
  • Large-sized mouldings are the big trend these days. You can make your existing mouldings larger by applying smaller mouldings directly above or below them. Alternatively, you can paint the space between mouldings the same colour as your walls. This creates a perfect illusion.
  • Basements and bathrooms:
    Because MDF mouldings are affected by fluctuations in humidity and temperature, they are not recommended for basements or bathrooms - unless you paint all four sides of the moulding. After installation, be sure to seal the top and bottom of the moulding with an appropriate product.  
  • The dimension of crown mouldings:
    It's all a question of balance. For example, a 3 ½-inch crown is suitable for a 10 x 10 ft. or a 10 x 12 ft. room. A 4 ½-inch crown is more suited to a 12 x 12 ft. room or larger. Colour can also play a major role. 
  • The term “cove” can also be used for large crowns, otherwise known as French coves. Coves are cut and installed in the same way as crown mouldings.
 Installing mouldings
  • Before installing mouldings, allow them to acclimatize in the room for 24 to 48 hours. 
  •  The standard height of a chair rail ranges from 36 to 42 inches off the floor. The height of your ceilings and the height of your baseboards will influence this decision. While a 38-inch height may often seem ideal, you also need to account for existing constraints such as air conditioning or heating systems, electrical outlets or switches, etc. 
  • It’s worth knowing that there are notched baseboards and chair rails specifically designed for finishing wall panelling. 
  • Crowns combined with several mouldings:
    It is much easier to cut and install a combined crown rather than a single-piece crown. The reason is simple: when combined, smaller mouldings are easier to handle, cut and adjust than larger mouldings.
  • When cutting left and right inside crown corners, cut the back point with an Exacto-type knife. This will facilitate adjustments because wall corners are never at a perfect 90-degree angle.
  •  The use of pre-cut corners for crowns, baseboard corners, rosettes and base blocks will eliminate the need to make compound angle cuts. At the same time, you’ll be adding an extra touch of style to your mouldings.
  •  You won’t have to sand your cuts if you use a well sharpened blade. Sanding only risks modifying the moulding’s angle or curve.
  •  When working with hardwood, pre-drill the moulding before nailing to prevent splitting. This is particularly important if you are using hand tools.
  •  Use moulding cutters to cut small mouldings. Their angle table will ensure you get clean cuts regardless of the desired angle.
  •  When installing wall panels, you’ll be better able to evaluate the correct dimensions and quantities by first using masking tape. This simple approach will give you a good idea of the final result while helping to avoid any disappointments… and wastage.
 Finishing mouldings
  • If you are investing in mouldings to be stained, first perform a stain test to ensure the end result. It is very important that this test be done on the same wood species and on a piece that has been sanded with the same grade of sandpaper used on your mouldings.
  • Paint mouldings in a higher sheen than that of your walls. This will highlight the mouldings’ curves and make them easier to maintain.
  •  When done properly, a faux-finish can give your MDF mouldings the look of natural wood.
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