Wall trim is designed to hide joints, gaps, and other imperfections on surfaces, but most people add trim to their rooms because it is a bold design statement. White trim is a striking accent against a field of dark-colored walls, imbuing these rooms with a formal, traditional look.
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Chair rail is a horizontal piece of trim typically 3 to 4 feet above the floor that originally served the purpose of protecting walls from chairs. Today, chair rail is used more as a type of decorative element.
Where to Install: Dining rooms or any room that has a number of chairs.
Pros: Functional as well as attractive, chair rail is often combined with a lower section of wainscot to give the wall added protection.
Cons: Chair rail, like any other horizontal surface, attracts dust. Unfortunately, this is a highly visible surface that cannot be ignored, as it is just below eye level.
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Where to Install: Mostly in living rooms, dining rooms, and other public rooms.
Pros: The drywall junction between the wall and ceiling does not need to be finely finished as the crown will cover it up. This is highly valuable for do-it-yourself homeowners who are not confident about their drywall mudding and sanding skills.
Cons: It is difficult to effectively cut tight, gap-free angles on crown molding. There is a significant learning curve associated with hanging smart-looking crown molding. This is one type of molding you may want to consider hiring a finish carpenter for.
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Baseboards are the most common type of trim found in houses. Baseboards range from the very narrow type all the way up to 6 inch or higher wide baseboards found in many older houses.
Baseboards dress up a room and serve as a defining line at the bottom of the walls. However, baseboards also hide gaps between the bottoms of the walls and the flooring.
Where to Install: Every room of the house will generally have baseboards.
Pros: Baseboards, when tightly installed against a floor (especially when quarter-round is added, as shown here), keep drafts out of the house.
Cons: Baseboards may eventually develop gaps near the floor. Repositioning the quarter-round, shoe molding, or the baseboard itself can cure this problem.
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Picture Frame Wall Molding
Wall picture frame molding is not common. You may see wall frame molding in houses that are striving for a very formal, English look. It is a purely decorative wall element. The most common use is when you find four pieces of molding assembled to create the look of a picture frame.
The molding can be painted a different color from the wall, but if it is painted the same color as the wall, shadow effects are pronounced.
Where to Install: Mostly in the formal public rooms, such as dining or living rooms.
Pros: This is a unique look that few homes have. Plus, it is very easy to build. Adding picture frame wall molding is one of the quickest and easiest ways to make a room look more elegant.
Cons: This molding entirely fits into the category of "nice to look at but completely non-functional." Improved aesthetics will be your only gain with this one.Continue to 5 of 5 below.
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Picture rail is similar to chair rail in that it is placed horizontally around the perimeter of the room. However, it is installed much higher on the wall and has a different profile than chair rail. Less common than other types of trim, picture rail traditionally served the function of holding the hooks for hanging pictures with wire.
Where to Install: Living and dining rooms, bedrooms, hallways
Pros: Functionally, picture rail will allow you to move pictures in and out of rooms with ease. Aesthetically, it can help break up the monotony of rooms with very tall ceilings.
Cons: Due to its higher position, it can interfere with windows.