Know Your Moldings: 10 Popular Trim Styles to Spiff Up Any Space

Cove or crown, batten or baseboard? Differentiate between the types of molding most commonly used in homes today—and discover which style might be right for your residence.

Decorative Moldings

Wall Trim

Moldings exist in myriad forms. Each is designed for a specific purpose—framing a door, for example, or providing a visual transition at the junction of walls and flooring. So many types of molding decorate our homes today, it's often difficult to distinguish them—and learn which types you should purchase for your home remodeling project. But here's the good news: You never again have to be confused between batten and baseboard. Scroll through to discover your molding style, once and for all!

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Casing and Door Casing Styles

Casing is designed to cover the unfinished gap between walls and door or window frames. Though different variations of door casing styles are readily found, the width of casing usually spans two or three inches.

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Baseboard and Baseboard Styles

Baseboard and Baseboard Styles

Used to trim walls where they join flooring, baseboards usually measure three to five inches. Baseboard styles are usually simple, and accented with a small piece of quarter-round (semi-circular) trim.

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Types of Crown Molding

This molding is the "crowning" architectural feature of a room, as it decorates the transition between walls and the ceiling. Crown moldings, also known as cornice moldings, typically boast intricate silhouettes—although many types of crown molding exist.

Related: 10 Ways to Reinvent Any Room with Crown Molding

Chair Rail

Chair Rail

Chair railing is functional molding meant to protect walls from being damaged by furniture. Of course, it can also serve a purely decorative function, delineating two different types of wall coverings—paint and wallpaper, for instance.

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Picture Rail

Picture Rail

Picture railing, like this one installed by A Beautiful Mess, allows artwork frames to be hung without nails having to be driven directly into the wall. Often combined with crown molding, this type of molding is one or two inches tall and appears seven to nine feet off the floor.

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Cove Molding

Also known as coving, cove molding is plain, concave-shaped trim employed where walls and ceilings meet. It can also be used on stairs, at the meeting of risers and treads. In essence, cove may be considered a less ornate version of crown.

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Dentil Molding

An ornamental detail with a Classical pedigree, dentil molding consists of small, evenly spaced blocks in a repeating pattern. Incorporated into crown molding, dentils are frequently found in historic homes.

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Egg-and-Dart Molding

Mostly seen together with crown or chair railing, egg-and-dart molding includes oval egg shapes (modeled after ancient Greek template ornament) alternating with V-like darts. Available on Home Depot; $18.72.

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Batten Molding

Batten, also called board-and-batten, is a wall trim piece used to hide the joint between two pieces of paneling.

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Bead, Pearl

Bead Molding

Bead and pearl moldings are two different, though very similar, types of trim. Both feature a row of small, symmetrical spheres. Paired often with other designs—leaves, darts, or spindles—this variety of molding typically accompanies crown or chair railing.

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