19 Different Types of Trim Explained

Different Types of Trim

Did you finish building your dream house, and all that is left is to give it some decorative finish touches?

Or are you just a curious person on the internet that wants to know about the different types of trim and what it entails? Then this article is for you.

There are several different types of trim in numbers, and keeping track of them can become a bit confusing. But this article is here as a simple guide to some basics on each type.

Every day we spend hours surrounded by trim or molding. We might have also admired them without even knowing what they are. 

It is normal not to notice it right away, but the different types of trims have become one of the main features that accentuate the interior and sometimes exterior of your home. They protect and decorate walls and floors and can be installed to help create a classic and elegant design. 

Below in this article, we’ll attempt to distill necessary information on what a trim is, materials for making trims, and the different types of trims that exist in order for you to have enough options during installation that will suit your home best for the perfect finishing, and so much more about trims.

What is a Trim?

Trim, also known as “molding” or “casing,” is a type of millwork used on walls for decorative and practical purposes. It is an additional decoration typically at the edges and surfaces of walls.

Materials for Making Different Types Of Trims

Despite your taste for designs in your home, you might also be picky when it comes to the materials used in your home. Luckily, trims and moldings are not restricted to a type of material.

They can be made from materials like:

  1. Woods: They are traditional materials. Wood comes in many different designs. They are two main types of woods, hard and soft woods. Softwoods usually come pre-primed, making them easy to match with existing colors. Hardwoods, on the other hand, mainly add a bit of warmth or charm to where they are installed.
  2. Polystyrene: it is a foam-based material. It is cheaper than some other types of materials. It is also not so complex to install, but it is a delicate material.
  3. Polyurethane: They are a lightweight type of material. They are made up of rubber and plastic. Its unique structure makes it very flexible, even for bending. Unlike woods, they are irresistible to moisture and rotting.
  4. Plaster: they are heavy materials. They are for more opulent interiors. It is also usually more expensive.
  5. PVC ( polyvinyl chloride): is one of the most commonly used thermoplastic forms of material. They are naturally white.
  6. Some other materials also include stones and composite materials.

Factors That Determine the Type of Material to Use for Your Trims

  1. The humidity of a specific part of the country matters— It is crucial to be careful in choosing a material (like wood) to install based on the moisture content of the place it is being installed. PVC might be a better option as it holds up well to water damage.
  2. The budget for installation is also an important determinant when choosing your materials— Nevertheless, a suitable and durable material should be used to serve a better purpose. MDF is known to be the least expensive.
  3. The usage of the room— What kind of activity would be performed in the room is a determinant of the type of material to use for your trim.
  4. The foot traffic of the area— This is mainly about materials used exterior. How well they can withstand different weather conditions.

Purposes of Trim

  1. Trim can help protect surfaces; for example, the chair rail is a type of trim that helps prevent a sliding chair from striking the wall.
  2. Trim helps to cover the gaps between two areas, like the gaps between the ceiling and walls.
  3. Trim serves as a form of interior decoration by setting the style and tone of the rooms. They help state taste.
  4. It helps add finishing touches to homes.

Different Types of Trim

Trim can come in different designs and different forms for various purposes. Some of the common different types of trim include:

Crown molding, baseboard, picture rail, chair rail, panel molding, picture frame modeling, casings, architrave molding, pierced molding, corbel, rosette, corner block, wainscoting, beadboard, plinth, dentil, egg and dart, cove, batten and so on.

1. Crown Molding

Of course, the word King or Queen was brought to your mind. Crown molding is the king and queen of trim. Another name for crown molding is cornice molding. It is, thus, the most popular amongst the different types of trim used in many houses today. 

It helps to cover the joint where the walls and the ceiling meet. Crown molding is the trim that will add a bit of flourish to dwellings. It also hides imperfections in buildings. It is the kind of trim you will love when you see it.

There are some specific materials that are more suitable for use when making the crown molding, and they include Plaster, wood, MDF ( medium density fiberboard), flex ( a flexible rubber material often used against curved structures), etc.

2. Baseboard

Baseboards are also quite popular. You must have seen them because they are another most common type of trim used in houses.

Baseboards are known to be the opposite of crown molding because they are used instead to cover the joint where the wall and ceiling meet, this time, it’s used to cover the joint where the wall and floor meet.

Although, it is not so noticeable as crown molding because furniture often stands against it and covers it. It is usually also plainer than crown molding. Common materials used for baseboards include wood, MDF, and PVC.

3. Picture Rail

Picture rails are mainly installed a foot or two feet below the ceiling. They can be used to hang pictures or art without causing damage to the wall. You have to nail the photographs or art into the rail instead of nailing directly into the wall. Picture rail also serves a decorative purpose in houses.  

4. Chair Rail

This is one of the most practical trims. The primary function of the chair rail trim is to protect the wall from chairs. You know when we put our chair against the wall and in the process, the chair leaves marks or perhaps damages the wall? Yes, a chair rail helps protect the wall in situations like that.

As such, this type of trim is popularly used in the dining segment of a house. The common materials used in making this type of trim are wood and sometimes composite materials.

5. Panel Molding

Panel molding is like a remodified picture rail type of trim, and it is usually installed directly on walls. It is undoubtedly a decorative type of panel, though it is not as common as some others.

6. Picture Frame Molding

Now don’t get confused. This type of trim doesn’t look like the picture rail. It is only called picture frame molding because it is decorated in a way that looks like a picture frame directly against the wall.

They come in square or rectangle-shaped designs. It is usually like a picture without art is hung against the wall. It can be designed to mimic the panel type of trim, or it can be designed to stand alone.

7. Door or Window Trim

As mentioned earlier, another name for trim is casing. To bolster that, any trim that surrounds a door or a window is known as casing. It is one of the different types of trim that serves two primary purposes, decorative and practical.

Casings are practical in the sense that they help with the connection of window frames to the wall. For decorative purposes, I don’t need to explain that. Right?

8. Architrave Molding

Architrave molding is a door casing, door surround, or door frame, usually in an arch form above doors or windows. It is usually used for decorative purposes around doors. And also quite popular.

9. Pierced Molding

This is one of those trims that adds a decorative effect to walls and furniture. Pierced molding comes in a wide range of designs. The designs are usually cut through to show the wall behind them.

10. Corbel

These are loosely L-shaped designs installed on vertical and horizontal surfaces in houses. These surfaces could include a ceiling or a countertop. They serve a weight-bearing purpose as well as a decorative purpose.

11. Rosette

Rosette trims usually serve as corner designs for casings, that is, windows and door frame designs. They are typically made of either wood or MDF (Medium Density Fibreboard).

12. Corner Block

This type of trim primarily serves a decorative purpose. As the name precedes, corner blocks are placed or installed at the corner of houses, usually interiorly, to give an elegant look to the building. It is installed at the intersection of vertical and horizontal trims or casings.

13. Wainscoting

Wainscoting is usually installed at the lower portion of walls. It is often categorized as panels but is under the decorative millwork for walls.

14. Beadboard

Like wainscoting, beadboard is a type of panel, not trim or molding. It is usually used to compromise a row of vertical boards separated by ridges known as beads. It is generally framed by trim.

15. Plinths

You might have noticed this type of trim because it is pretty common at the base of doors. It is a block type of molding that is usually found at the bottom of doors as an additional decoration to casings. They are often used exteriorly.

16. Dentil

It is a dated type of trim, usually found in historic homes. It can be used inside and outside of buildings. The dentil type of trim is costly, unlike others. The installation process is also quite stressful because each block has to be cut, accurately measured, and installed individually.

17. Egg and Dart

From the name, it is a type of molding that resembles or looks like an egg-shaped block interspersed with arrows or anchors. The egg and dart molding or trim are often paired with crown molding or chair rails molding. It can also be referred to as egg and tongue molding.

18. Cove

Cove, also known as coving, is a primary type of trim. It is a concave-shaped trim installed mainly where walls and ceilings meet. At this point, you might be a little confused about the similarities of some types of trims, but it should be noted that what makes this type of trim remarkably different is that it is plain.

19. Batten

Batten can also be referred to as “board and batten. It is a type of trim that mainly hides the joint between two pieces of paneling. 

How to Maintain Different Types of Trim?

  1. An excellent way to start is to have a regular check-up on them from time to time.
  2. Change their paintings when it is needed.
  3. Repair when needed. Do not manage them when damaged
  4. As mentioned earlier, only install trim that is suitable for its environment.
  5. Clean them out when necessary
  6. In the warm season, avoid direct sunlight as sunlight can cause the deterioration of some materials.
  7. Avoid pouring water on them as much as possible to help preserve them.

To sum it up, we have discussed extensively the different types of trim or molding available and the materials used to make them. At this juncture, you should have a kind of trim in mind that you would like to install in that your new apartment.

Each type of trim comes in different styles and can be tricky or even difficult to install. For help getting the siding styles you want or choosing a quality siding replacement, work with a professional to ensure a quality installation experience.

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