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4 Types of Wood Trim and Moulding: A Guide to Interior Trim Styles

One of the most common purposes of architectural millwork is making interior wood trim pieces. Custom trim is an element of architectural design that is mostly aesthetic in nature. Whether you are designing an entire home or renovating a single room, it is important to be familiar with the types of wood trim available, in order to pick the best fit for you. 

Learn everything you need to know about the types of wood trim in your home. Learn how each type of trim serves an important functional and decorative purpose. And, find out which material you should choose when picking custom wood trim for the interior of your home. 

4 Types of Interior Wood Trim: A Guide to Choosing Custom Millwork

Wood trim and molding millwork serve both aesthetic and functional purposes. From an architectural standpoint, trim is a subtle influencer of perspective. Ceiling trim can draw the eye upwards, and the opposite is true with baseboard trim. 

It gives any room a clean, finished aesthetic, which is an important function of custom trim. Doorway trim serves to cover the unfinished, rough drywall edges around doorways and windows. Likewise, it covers the spaces between flooring and the wall. It, both protects the edging of carpets and flooring from damage and provides a refined visual appearance. 

The most important thing to understand about wood trim and molding is the purposes each type serves. There are 4 main types of wood trim and molding that you find in most indoor spaces. These include door and window trim, crown molding, baseboard trim, and chair rail trim. 

What is Window and Door Trim?

That which frames doorways and windows is door and window trim. This type of trim hides rough drywall and plaster on the perimeter of doorways and windows. It also serves to cover up exposed hardware from construction on the periphery of your door and window frames.

Door and window wood trim is cut to an angle at the intersections of the horizontal and vertical pieces. The corners of the door and window trim match up seamlessly with the walls. 

The door and window trim can be simple and subtly blend into the room, or it can create a focal point. Some homes and buildings feature wide intricately designed, finely finished wood trim on doors and windows, showcasing handcrafted, custom millwork. 

Thin door and window framing can stand out with a contrasting color to that of the walls. Wide door and window trim can add subtle refinement and warmth when finished to the same hue as the walls. Wide, darkly colored hardwood trim around doors and windows exudes an unmistakably and outspokenly upscale aesthetic.

What is Crown Molding?

Crown molding is the most important type of trim for creating an aesthetic of elegance. Crown molding wood trim runs along with the junction points of your walls and ceiling. This type of trim is often the strongest subconscious influence of your home’s sense of refinement. A room with crown molding trim has personality, whereas, without crown molding, it is simply four walls and a ceiling.

Like door and window trim, crown molding serves to cover cracked or crumbling drywall and plaster. Crown molding, however, is more aesthetically important, than functionally. By painting crown molding the same color as the ceiling, it creates a smooth transition between the walls and ceiling connection points. 

The meeting points for horizontal strips of crown molding are cut with great precision. There must exist no gap between pieces of molding, which means precision measurements and cutting along the connection points. Most rooms are installed, precisely at 45-degree angles, however, the more intricate the house, the more intricate cope, and miter joint angles must be cut to create smooth transitions between trim pieces. 

What is Chair Rail Trim?

You notice chair rail trim immediately after entering a room. Backing up your chair into the wall can leave dents and scratches. At about waist height, chair rail trim wraps around the periphery of a room to protect the walls from damage.

The most commonplace to see chair trim is in dining rooms, studies, and offices. It serves a functional purpose, and also adds a decadent touch to the aesthetic of a room. Most often, chair rail trim is thin and a contrasting color from the wall upon which it is mounted. 

What is Baseboard Trim?

Baseboard trim serves a dual purpose, of equal parts function and fashion. It provides a parallel decorative aesthetic from the crown molding, as well as protects the walls from damage. Baseboards serve to visually transition the walls to the floor but also prevents cracks or damage to the bass of the wall. 

More importantly, baseboard trim helps to prevent pests and insects from entering underneath walls, by creating a flush seam with the floor. Likewise, it helps to prevent dust and dirt from collecting behind the cracks where the floorboards meet the wall. 

Baseboard comes in many different types of wood and is often 2 to 8 inches in height, from the floor. Thin baseboard is easier for manipulating to conform to a wall’s curvature. Thick, darkly colored baseboard, however, is an elegant touch of refinement for any room.  

Choosing Wood Trim for Your Home

When picking the type of trim you want in your home, remember to consider the type of wood. Softwood, like pine and fir, is less expensive, for projects on a budget, and takes well to paint. Hardwood, like oak and maple, costs more, but it is more durable, scratch-resistant, and more beautiful in appearance. 

You don’t have to be a king to feel like you live in a castle. Trim is the essential piece of architectural millwork that gives a home its spirit and personality. To learn more about the wood trim styles available for your project, talk to a custom millwork specialist, today.