Let’s Go Back to School: Trim and Moulding 101

August 2, 2021
by The Finished Space

There are a few common conversations that Metrie has with customers around the topic of trim and moulding that we find ourselves discussing often. You might find these answers to common questions helpful, so consider this a primer lesson on trim and moulding.

What Is the Difference Between Trim and Moulding?

Trim refers to a wide range of materials that are used to fill in the gaps in construction — applications like baseboard are used to cover up the space between the floor and wall, while window sills help provide insulation to the opening in your home. But trim is also in its own category of interior design product — and it can set the mood for an entire space.

Moulding is a type of trim and comes in a variety of product types to help finish the look in your space. You’re likely familiar with both trim and moulding. To sum up: Not all trim is moulding, but all moulding is trim.

So What Are the Most Common Types?

There are dozens of trim products to accentuate and elevate every area of your home. Among the most common are the following:

Dining Area with Metrie Trim
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Crown Moulding: Found at the top of wall columns, in intricate ceiling design and in spaces where the height needs to be elevated.

Architrave: Found throughout the home — especially in doorways, windows and hallways — to add visual interest around the house.

Chair Rails: Usually these are in dining rooms and kitchens where the top of the chairs might line up — originally railings were designed to protect the wall from scuffs and dings from the chairs. But these railings could also be used in wall designs where distinction is needed.

Bathroom with White Trimmed Windows
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Casings: Casings are found around doorways and windows, anywhere insulation and protection are needed.

Decorative moulding: Like casings, these thin strips of moulding are commonly used to hide seams and edges, or to customize projects.

Window sills: The interior trim on the bottom of a window.

Panel moulding: Think wainscoting or other kinds of decorative wall paneling that enhances a room.

Kitchen with White Shiplap Walls
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Shiplap: Shiplap is a high-demand product these days; these panels are found on walls in modern homes, quaint apartments and traditional cottages across the States.

Baseboards: These come in all heights and can enhance any kind of look you’re going for, in your flooring and overall room design.

Fireplace with White Moulding
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What Types of Materials Are Trim and Moulding Manufactured From?

Wood, usually pine and oak, is used most often to manufacture trim and moulding. Many products are also made from medium-density fiberboard, commonly chosen as a pre-primed and very affordable option.

PVC is also used to make trim and moulding because it’s lightweight, durable and easy to install. It can be sawed, drilled, nailed and glued, just like wood. Plus, it won’t decay or rot due to moisture exposure.

Where Can I Use Trim and Moulding in my Home Design?

Everywhere!

Okay, What Are the Most Common Spaces It’s Utilized?

You can find trim throughout homes, hotels, offices, restaurants and commercial buildings. Trim offers a finishing touch to any design, but it’s most commonly used in the following spaces.

Entryways and Mudrooms

Entryway with White Chair Rail from Metrie
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This chair rail and wall panel treatment adds inviting and engaging design appeal to this entryway. To learn about installing trim to set up your mudroom or entryway, check out this guide.

Kitchens and Dining Spaces

Modern Kitchen

From crown moulding to window sills to shelves to baseboards, you can define the look of your kitchen space and accentuate bold colors with the right moulding and trim products.

Bathrooms

Large Bathroom with Metrie Trim and Moulding
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Make your bathroom space a luxurious experience for your family and visitors alike. Moulding and trim products from Metrie help to enhance this home’s bath and vanity areas, from the ceiling to the floor.

Bedrooms

Bedroom with Crown Moulding

Design your bedroom so that it stands out from the rest of your home. Crown moulding, door trim, architrave and decorative moulding help give this room its own personality, distinct from the rest of the home.

Offices

Home Office with Moulding from Metrie

Add a touch of rustic elegance and an air of creativity to your office space with moulding and trim products that fit your work-from-home demands. The crown moulding enhances the height of the ceilings in the office space here and calls attention to the creative ceiling, and the straight lines throughout give the right amount of visual direction to the space, pointing towards the oversized windows that let in plenty of natural light.

Stairways

High-Ceiling Stairway with Metrie Moulding
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The stairway in a home sees a lot of traffic and sometimes doesn’t get the design attention it deserves. Trim and moulding work well in this space; they can help stairways stand out with the right details.

What Is the Installation Process Like?

Installing trim and moulding is a popular DIY project because the actual installation is simple. But you shouldn’t skip any steps before, during or after the process of installation.

1. Design: Really take some time to determine what style you’re after in your space. Are you modernizing an existing look? Building your dream home? Find a style that works with your personality and your family’s needs. Look through online catalogs, Instagram, Pinterest boards and Houzz for inspiration. There are also tools available to help you plan and sketch out what you want before you start building.

2. Measure: The design software you use will likely ask for measurements in a room, so start out with some baseline measurements when you start sketching out your design.

A Man Measures a Wall Before Adding Trim
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3. Measure Again: It never hurts to measure twice. This time you’re doing it to determine your products and the sizes and lengths that you’ll need for your trim.

4. Make Test Pieces: It might feel like an extra step, but before you start cutting all of your trim materials for installation, create a couple of test pieces to make sure your measurements make sense.

A Man in a Black Shirt Installing Metrie Trim
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5. Installation: First things first, get your safety gear and all the equipment and materials you’ll be using. PRO TIP: It’s helpful to set up wood in the space that you’re building in a few days before you start installation because wood needs time to acclimate to its environment.

There are often installation videos available for products on the manufacturer’s website if you’re looking for guidance.

Trim and Moulding Solutions for Any Design

There are a ton of design opportunities available when you find the right trim to work with. Learning which products work best for your project can cut down on decision-making time, and working with the right manufacturer will ensure you wind up with the space you’re after.

Inspired to start your moulding project? Here’s a video guide on how to install crown moulding to get you ready for your next steps.