What Crown Molding to Choose? [Various Types Assessed]

If you've already decided that you'd like to install crown molding in your home, the next step is to choose what type you'd like to purchase. Rather than spend time researching your options, we've done it for you. So, you can make the best decision for your home and get to work on this project!

Because of its versatility, wood is the best type of crown molding if you are willing to invest money in your home's trim. If you are looking for a more budget-friendly option, foam is the best choice. These are the most popular types of crown moldings:

  • Wood
  • Plaster
  • Metal
  • Polyurethane 
  • Medium density fiberboard 
  • Foam 

Please keep reading as we explore each of these crown molding types to help you determine which one is best for your home. We'll delve into the durability of these molding materials, the cost, and ease of installation. We'll also touch on how crown molding can influence a room's size and style and how to coordinate it with baseboards.

A white crown molding inside a living room, What Crown Molding to Choose? [Various Types Assessed]

Types of Crown Molding 


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Wood is one of the most traditional materials for crown molding. It is an excellent choice for someone who wants a classic look. Because wood goes with any color or style, there is no need to make any changes before installing it. If a different color is desired, it is easy to achieve a different wood finish by staining or applying paint to change the molding's color. Wood is also reasonably durable and is not prone to breakage the way some of the more fragile materials are. 

A downside to the wood material, though, is that it is costly. Unless you have a sufficient budget to use for trim, you may find that you will not be able to complete all of the room you'd like to with wooden molding. 


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Plaster is another traditional crown molding material. Because plaster crown molding is usually made to order, you can purchase the crown molding style you prefer. However, this could be a problem, as well. Plaster is a very fragile material, so it is naturally expensive. The cost of the material and the fact that it is custom made makes it difficult to replace plaster crown molding if it cracks or breaks. 


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Metal crown molding is not as readily available as some of the other materials, but it is also a great choice for your home. Crown molding made of metals offers versatility in the way it is installed and what metal is used for the crown molding. It can be found in tin or aluminum, to name a few, and it can be installed using traditional hammer and nail or adhesive. This may make it easier for homeowners to install on their own. A disadvantage to metal crown molding is that it eventually looks damaged with age. It can be susceptible to rusting, denting, or tarnishing. 


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Polyurethane is one of the budget crown molding materials. It is significantly less expensive than plaster or wood, and it is just as versatile. It can be painted to match your home's color scheme, and it is resistant to damage. Where wood can be attacked by insects and may rot with age, polyurethane does not come with these downsides. However, since it is a softer material than the others, it is more prone to dents. 

Medium Density Fiberboard 

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While medium density fiberboard is made of wood byproducts and probably the least expensive crown molding material, it will still create an attractive and elegant look in your home. In addition to being a good price, fiberboard crown molding is easily customized to fit your home's look, as it can be painted and comes in many different styles. A caveat to this material, though, is that it is susceptible to nicks and dents. 


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Foam is the most readily available of the budget crown molding materials. This is a popular choice for crown molding since it mimics the look of the more expensive materials so well. Once installed, it's impossible to tell that your crown molding is foam instead of wood. Because of its weight, foam crown molding is easier to install, making it possible for homeowners to do it themselves, saving money on both parts and labor. Foam is also very customizable. You can purchase foam crown molding in any style to meet your home's needs, and it can be painted to match your color scheme. 

Choosing the right type of crown molding will depend on your budget and the style you are looking to achieve.  All of the materials available look stunning when installed, as long as it is done properly, so you are likely to find the perfect crown molding material for your taste and budget. 

Additional Questions 

Other questions need to be considered when choosing whether and where to install crown molding in your home. We have conducted the necessary research to help you with these as well. 

Does Crown Molding Make a Room Look Bigger or Smaller? 

While crown molding can be added to many places in the home, it is typically installed at the wall and ceiling juncture. Adding crown molding here makes your ceiling look more expansive, which will make your room look bigger. Even in a small room, crown molding will not make a room look cramped or smaller. 

We've covered this in-depth; please read, Does Crown Molding Make A Room Look Bigger Or Smaller?

When Should You Use Crown Molding? 

Crown molding can be used to frame a room's look and add some elegance to your home. The only time crown molding is not recommended is when your ceilings are vaulted because installation is much more difficult in that case. 

Should You Put Crown Molding in Every Room? 

You can certainly put crown molding in every room if you wish. However, if you want to choose just a few key rooms in which to install crown molding, you can install it in the home's main rooms. These rooms are the living room, kitchen, and dining room. 

Is Crown Molding Outdated? 

Crown molding is a classic look that has been around for decades. However, it is a timeless design feature. With advancements in crown molding design, you can find it in more materials than ever, making it more accessible to homeowners on any budget. 

Crown molding also comes in various styles so that it complements even the most modern design themes. This means that your room will not look old-fashioned or outdated, even with the addition of crown molding. 

Does Crown Molding Have to Match the Baseboards? 

Crown molding does not have to match the baseboards exactly, although they certainly can. Having crown molding and baseboards in the same color will help the room look cohesive. However, you can still achieve a well put together look by choosing crown molding and baseboards that complement one another instead of being identical. You can ensure that they coordinate through matching color, style, or size. 

For more information on this topic, please read Should Baseboards And Crown Molding Match? 


There are many material options for crown molding, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. To choose the material that best works for you, consider the style you are trying to achieve and where you plan to install your crown molding. For example, you will need more moisture-resistant material in your bathroom than you would need in your living room.

You will also want to consider your budget and how you want to purchase your crown molding. If you are going to a retail store in your area, you may find a more limited selection than purchasing your crown molding online. When in doubt, experts in home improvement retailers can be a great resource for you. 


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