“Moulding and trim options are virtually limitless today,” said Christopher Van Tuyl, President of Nassau Suffolk Lumber & Supply. “Technology has advanced so much over the last twenty years – there is now a wide range of materials and complex patterns to choose from,” he added. “Styles are moving back to the elaborate designs of years past, many customers are looking to replicate moulding patterns from one hundred years ago.”
Allan Sarfati of Garden State Lumber, one of the regions largest distributors of premium mouldings agrees. “Twelve years ago a typical moulding catalog was about 8 pages – now it’s over 90 and that doesn’t even account for profiles in multiple species,” he said.
Both men agree that the biggest innovation in the moulding industry is the quality of Ultralite MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) moulding. “Mills are making big, substantial patterns in long lengths with no bending issues at a really competitive price,” said Sarfati. “MDF’s smooth, no grain finish is ideal for painting as well,” he added. “Builders and remodelers are now purchasing MDF for its quality, not its price point.”
According to Chris Van Tuyl, proportion is everything when designing architectural details for any space. “For example, if you have a 6’8” door opening and an 8’ ceiling, using a 4’1/2” casing and 6-1/2” crown leaves only a few inches of wall space between the moulding, and that looks odd,” he added.
Here’s a general guide:
||Maximum Casing Width
||Maximum Base Height
||Maximum Crown Height
“Proportion is very important,” added Patrick Madigan, of Morgan Creek Construction, a Huntington, NY custom home builder. “It’s important to be respectful of the style of the house. Many of our homes feature a simple head detail on the doors which is more elegant than just casing alone,” he said. “We also pick one or two areas of the home to showcase moulding detail – usually the dining room, living room and foyer. Simple coffered ceilings, tall flat panel details and the classic lines of a Hampton’s beach style home are very popular,” he said. According to Madigan, Morgan Creek uses mostly MDF crown moulding because its stability provides for less shrinkage in a new home.
“We work with our customers to provide them and their clients with advice on the attributes of the many species available – from finger joint and primed pine, poplar, hardwoods, polyurethane and PVC mouldings – to matching an existing profile or suggesting profiles to meet a specific design style,” said Van Tuyl. “Architectural details really give builders and remodelers a chance to add value to their projects and create a unique look for their clients,” he added.