Miter Dude

Crown Moulding Installation

With crown moulding, the general rule of thumb is that the higher your ceiling, the more crown moulding you should use. For example, with 10-foot or higher ceilings, you might want to use a base mould/crown mould combination. For 8-foot ceilings, you should probably use 3- or 4-inch crown moulding. Remember: if you get confused about what to buy, ask for help.

Hang the first piece of crown moulding

  • For the first piece of crown moulding, select a wall that has inside corners to the left and right (if possible, choose a short wall that won’t require two pieces of moulding).
  • Measure the length of the wall and cut a piece of crown moulding to size. – Use a 90-degree, or “butt,” cut for the first piece – Because crown moulding is fairly flexible, you can add about 1/16th inch to the length of your first piece to ensure a good tight fit. If the piece appears too long, don’t force it — remeasure and cut again. – If the wall is too long for one piece of moulding, splice in another piece using 45-degree joints, which produce finer joint lines and are less noticeable than butt joints.
  • Butt the two ends against the inside corners and nail the crown moulding into place. – Start toward the middle of the moulding and be sure to nail into the wall studs (figure A) . – You can place blocking behind the crown moulding to create a better nailing surface. – For short pieces and on the ends of the crown moulding, drill pilot holes before nailing. This prevents the wood from splitting (figure B). – Don’t hammer the nails all the way into the wood; you could damage the moulding. Leave about 1/4 inch of the nail showing and finish it with a nail set. Cut the next pieces of crown moulding

Miter Box

  • When using a miter box, place the moulding on the saw at the same angle as it will be between the wall and ceiling. Place the mould base flat against the saw base and the side flat against the fence.
  • For square corners, cut the joints at 45-degree angles (figure C) . – Pay careful attention to the direction of your cut as well as the position of your crown moulding on the saw.
  • For outside corners, use a coping saw to remove the back portion of the mould (figure D) . – Be sure your coping saw has a sharp blade.

Compound Miter Saw

  • For inside corners, cut joints at a 45-degree angle.
  • For outside corners, set the bevel at 34 degrees and the table at 31.5 degrees (figure E) .
  • Place the crown moulding flat on the base of the saw, with the bottom of the crown facing away from the fence.
  • Slide the moulding into position and make the cut (figure F) .
  • For the other side of the moulding, leave the bevel at 34 degrees and turn the table to the opposite 31.5 degree mark (i.e., if your first cut was on the left, your next cut should be on the right) (figure G) .
  • Place the crown moulding flat on the base of the saw, with the bottom facing toward the fence.
  • Slide the moulding into position and make the cut.
  • After the pieces are cut, nail the remaining crown moulding into place.
  • If you don’t plan to extend your crown moulding past an outside corner, you’ll need to create a “return,” which is a small piece of moulding that serves as a corner end piece. A return has an outside corner cut on the side touching the moulding and a 90-degree cut on the side touching the wall. When attaching a return, use wood glue instead of nailing it into place (figure H) .
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