How To Install Crown Moulding
Some basics before we begin:
Cutting Crown Moulding
Two Common Methods of Cutting Crown Moulding
There are two common methods of cutting crown moulding which will be explained now. The two common methods are:
1. In position
The “in position” method of cutting crown moulding requires you to place the crown moulding on the mitre saw at the angle it will be installed at and use only the mitre portion of the saw (and not the bevel portion of your saw).For example, for an 80-degree corner you just set the mitre to 40-degrees.
For this, you will require a good protractor to get the corner angles, and crown-stops to hold it in position.
The advantage of cutting in this position is that it’s much easier to measure and to cut. We recommend this position for beginners.
However, you must be careful that the crown moulding stays in perfect position. If it moves slightly out of position you won’t get a perfect cut. You can only cut crown that will fit on your saw sitting at its spring angle.
You also have to cut it upside down and that makes the corner backwards, so you have to stay on your toes. Try cutting a few scraps first to get the hang of it.
- Get the crowns run
- Set the crown stops in place on your saw
- Try cutting some scrap pieces. All of your crown will be cut this way; the only thing that will change is the mitre.
- Get your measurements and get the corner angles with the protractor.
- Mark out the studs on the wall if needed, and the rise of the crown using a “gauge block”, which is faster than measuring each one. Use painters tape to mark the studs and put your rise marks on there as well so you’ll know the crowns bottom position. Then just remove the tape.
- Start with your outside corners and work into the inside corners. The outsides need to be perfect but the insides can be a bit off, because if necessary you can add a little caulking to an inside corner.
Inside 90-degree corners
You will use the Flat Cut method when the crown moulding is too large to cut “in position” on your mitre saw. In this method you use the mitre and bevel settings on your saw, with the crown laying flat. You can then cut using those compound angles.
Warning: Real world angles do not match mitre saw angles so get a chart or a protractor that will convert those angles for you.
Cutting crown using the flat cut method is more precise since it can be held straight on the mitre saw easier. However, you either have to flip the crown, or move the bevel (flip if you can as that keeps the bevel constant) and remembering whether the top or bottom hits the fence and which side to cut can get difficult to remember. Visual references can be helpful to have nearby for this method.
- Determine your spring angle (we will use a 45-degree spring angle for this tutorial)
- 45-degree sprung crown needs a bevel of 30-degress and a Mitre setting on 35.26-degrees.
- Determine your corner angle. We will use inside 90-degree and outside 270-degree wall corners
- For outside right and inside left mitres you place the top of the crown to the fence and swing the mitre to the right
- For outside left and inside right mitres you place the bottom on the crown to the fence and swing the mitre to the left.
A crown with a 38-degree spring angle requires a 31.6-degree mitre and a 33.9-degree bevel.
A crown moulding with a 45-degree spring angle requires a 35.3-degree mitre and a 30-degree bevel.
Four of the Basics You Need to Know
1. Which way is up?
One of our knowledgeable sales staff can help clarify for you which way is up on the crown moulding if there’s any doubt. However, if you get your crown moulding home and realize you don’t know which way is up here are some tips to help you figure it out.
A fairly common element in crown moulding is its shape called the “ogee”. Most of the time this will be at the ceiling.
2. What’s a bevel and what’s a mitre?
Bevel is moving the blade side to side to the angle on the arm (Bevel: tilt of the blade)
Miter is moving the blade side to side to the angle on the table (Miter: angle on the table)]
3. The Spring Angle
4. Angle Generator
|angle between walls||52/38° crown moulding||45/45° crown moulding|
|miter setting||bevel setting||miter setting||bevel setting|
Installing Crown Moulding
Crown Installation Questions
1. What am I nailing to?
Typically crown moulding gets nailed to a framed stud wall. Studs are generally 16” on center for 2X4 walls and 24” on center for 2X6 walls. The ceiling joists are usually stick framed 12”, 16” or 24” on center trusses.
Nailing into the top plates or studs at the bottom of the crown fastens it. Then cross nailing will hold the top tight to most ceilings. You can also caulk the top and bottom joints so it’s secure as a system.
Use a stud finder- on older lathe and plaster walls use the “deep scan” setting on your stud finder
Look for indentations from the drywall screws, you may be able to locate one or two studs and measure from there
Use a 2” or longer finishing nail and move along the wall at 1” intervals more than 2-1/2” down from the ceiling (top plates)
Once you’ve located one stud center, measure the 16” or 24” on center for more
Leave the nail in your first found stud and hook the tape on that, mark the studs out just below the bottom of the crown
2. What am I nailing with?
Crown is typically nailed up with a 2” finishing nail and a compressor and finishing gun. Outside corners are usually done with a brad nailer and 1” brad nails with glue.
Studs are generally 3-1/2”, drywall a ½” and the crown moulding a minimum of ½”; therefore 2” finishing nails are necessary.
For 3” rise or less crown moulding you won’t need to mark out the studs, as you will nail into the top plates. (Remember that a 5” crown may have a 3” total rise depending on its spring angle.)
Nail into the higher profiles of the crown, as it is easier for the painter to fill and sand than if you nail into a crevice.
3. How much crown moulding do I need?
You must first determine where the moulding is to be used and then estimate the quantity of each type you’ll need. Mouldings are available in 3’ to 16’ lengths. Whenever possible, try to use short pieces rather than buying a long piece for a space where several short ones would do the job as well. It is estimated that over half of a home’s interior trim consists of lengths under 8 feet.
Make a list of the specific lengths you’ll need and then round your measurements up to the next largest foot to allow for cutting and trimming.
In mitering, allow for the width of the cut by adding the width of the mitered pieces to give you an outside dimension.
4. How do I Apply Filler?
To fill nail holes, repair scratches, dents and gouges, simply sand the affected area lightly. Use non-shrinking filler and follow the manufacturer’s directions for the best results. For stainable mouldings, use filler that closely matches the wood colour. Once holes have been filled and allowed to dry, lightly sand the areas to remove any rough spots. To fill scratches on stained wood after installation use a wax-based filler crayon to conceal any marks. Be aware that you cannot stain over wax-based fillers and therefore they must only be applied after the moulding has been stained.
FAQ about Crown Moulding
1. What tools do I need?
Power miter saw
Chalk line to create a reference line on a wall with an uneven ceiling
Drill/driver to pre-drill nail holes where molding is prone to split
Hammer and nailset (preferably nail gun with compressor)
Wood putty for filling nail holes
Paint or stain for finishing the crown moulding
2. I have a curved wall. What do I do?
Curved crown moulding
Ultra-Flex is the new easy-to-use lighter weight moulding material that delivers the ultimate in strength and flexibility, great for interior or exterior applications.
Ultra-Flex acts just like wood, machines like wood and has a case-hard surface that can take a beating better than wood. Guaranteed against breaking, cracking and splitting, Ultra-Flex is perfect for curved walls, crown, custom-shaped arches, arch jamb, jamb extensions and provides outstanding performance in hot or cold climates.
Curved crown moulding must be pre-formed by the factory in order to be properly installed on a curved wall. When ordering curved crown moulding it is necessary for you to supply us with the radius of the wall, whether it is concave or convex and which side of the crown is being mounted against the wall.
3. What size crown moulding should I use?
Deciding what size of crown moulding to use may take time but the reward is worth it. Our crown moulding is available in sizes ranging from 2-1/4” to 7-1/4”. First, consider the style of your home and choose a size that coordinates with it. Select a moulding size appropriate for the ceiling height of the room. The taller the ceilings, the wider the crown moulding can be. We have samples in store of our crown mouldings. Feel free to take a couple different sized samples home and see what works in your room. Any of our knowledgeable sales representatives will be happy to help you decide on the best size crown moulding for your home.
4. The difference between wood and MDF crown mouldings
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard and is a recycled wood product. It is densely packed with binders and resins to bind it together. The entire board is squeezed under pressure to be very dense. MDF crown mouldings come in pre-specified lengths (usually 14’ or 16’ lengths) only.
Wood mouldings are made of any wood that has been dried in a heated kiln to lower the materials moisture content to between the 6% and 12% range. We have a wild selection of wood crown mouldings in stock to suit your style. Wood mouldings come in a convenient variety of lengths up to 16’. We also have a line of pre-primed wood mouldings that come in 16’ lengths. Paint or stain, these wood mouldings can be finished in an assortment of ways.
HOW TO INSTALL HARDWOOD FLOORING
Remove the existing flooring. Vinyl can be left in place if well adhered and difficult to remove. Remove the baseboard and shoe moulding and sweep up any dust & debris from the work area. Stack the flooring inside nearby and let sit for 2 to 3 days to acclimate to the house temperature and humidity prior to installation.
If a plywood subfloor is required, install using screws and fasten into the joists. If there is already a sufficient sub floor, add additional screws to the sub floor to help to prevent squeaks in the future. Plane down any large humps in the floor.
If there is tile or another surface that is higher than the subfloor, butt a piece of flooring up to it and see if the finished floor will be flush to the tile. If it is not flush, consider installing a sub floor the appropriate thickness to make the hardwood floor and tile the same level. You might be able to grout the flush transition between the flooring and the tile. Grout will look more finished than having to use a transition strip. However, sometimes it is not recommended to grout if there is a risk of the flooring expanding and cracking the grout.
Wax paper will help to reduce noise and adds a moisture barrier. Cut the door jambs and casing so that the hardwood flooring fits underneath of it. Determine the direction(s) of the floor and your starting point. If you are changing directions you want to be perpendicular 90 degrees from the adjacent floor when you change directions. Don’t assume your walls are 90 degrees to each other.
Snap a chalk line at your starting point parallel to the direction of the floor and leave a ½” to ¾” expansion gap (or whatever the flooring manufacturer recommends).
Open 3 or 4 boxes of flooring and discard any pieces that are badly warped. Sort the lengths into 3 or 4 piles. Choose long, straight starter pieces to lay along the chalk line with the tongue facing away from the starting wall. The flooring nail gun will not fit on the first 2 to 4 rows so they will have to be nailed with finishing nails. Pre-drill the holes if using a hammer to install the finishing nails. Face nail the pieces 2 inches from the end of the board, and every 6 inches after. Fill the holes with colour matched wax putty.
Stagger the joints randomly and keep the joints at least 6 inches apart from the joints in the previous row. Avoid ladder stepping the joints.
Use a Table saw, jig saw or band saw to cut the planks to fit around obstacles such as floor vents and door jambs. Leave an expansion gap on solid floors when butting up against ceramic tile.
If you need to reverse the direction, install a spline in the groove side of the board. Once your are near the opposite wall and almost finished you will need to nail the last 2 to 4 rows using the finishing nails through the tongue on a 45 degree angle. If the last row is less than the width of the board it will need to be cut down. Face nail the final row and putty.
If you are replacing the baseboard, go to The Royal Wood Shop Ltd and buy your new baseboard and shoe moulding. You should consider replacing the trim or add a back band while you are still in construction mode.