By Dan Fritschen

moulding for kitchens

Photo by Steve Snodgrass

Trim and moldings can make a surprising difference in how a room looks. In some cases, you can make over a kitchen with just the addition of new moldings, trim and a paint job.  Not only is it easier but it can save a lot on the cost to remodel a kitchen.  The use of moldings can make a difference in ways other than just appearance of the kitchen and can add some elegance and flair to the project.

For example, you can use baseboards to cover the intersection between the walls and floors.  These provide protection for the lower wall against damage. The addition of 3/4-round boards at the bottom of the regular baseboard (“shoe molding”), makes the project looks nicer. A chair rail provides a nice finish to a dining room and provides protection to the wall from chairs. In a country-based kitchen makeover, you can add a picture rail.

You can also add door and window casings to your moldings. For example, in a country-based kitchen, a 1″ X 6″ molding may be a great option for framing the windows and doors. In a regular kitchen, ornate or delicate molding can be placed over a 1″ X 6″ or 1″ X 4″ board to add interest.  The two pieces can be painted in a coordinating, contrasting or matching color.

You can stain moldings or buy them in a type of wood which matches your existing cabinets. Moldings can also be painted.  Use moldings to frame openings or arches between two rooms to create a more finished look. There is always “crown molding” which is placed at the intersection of the wall and ceiling to add a neat touch to your kitchen remodeling project.
Some homeowners add wainscoting to a dining space. It can be stained or painted and it can be made from vinyl or wood. It also adds a lot to a kitchen makeover project. Wainscoting can cover the lower part of the wall to either chair rail height or about five feet from the floor. It can be challenging to install wainscoting, depending on how intricate the design is or how straight you find your walls to be.

If you are painting your molding, you can use less expensive wood as it will be covered.  Plastic or vinyl molding is also inexpensive.

Moldings are diverse and come in a variety of styles and decorations. You can have a very plain-looking baseboard, while using more ornate window and door casings. Moldings that are larger or more decorative provide more visual impact. It’s one thing to have a three or four inch molding, but quite another to make it up to six or eight inches.  Your chair rail certainly can be plain, but you can also put in a decorated, delicate chair rail.  Crown moldings are usually considered a touch of elegance in any project.

When you compare moldings to some of the other materials used for a kitchen makeover, you’ll find that the moldings often will be more expensive. On the other hand, many homeowners feel it is worth the cost due to the nice finishing effects of such an addition. If your budget doesn’t accommodate moldings, however, you can delay purchasing such additions to the project to a later date.