Home Improvement – Installing the Crown Molding

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 78,752
    Licensed contractor Bill Frishman with BGB builders demonstrates how to install the crown molding.

    Bill Frishman

    Bill is president of BGB Builders, out of Haymarket, Virginia. BGB Builders specializes in Custom Homes, Detached Garages, Additions, Remodeling, and Commercial Projects. Since receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance in 1990, Bill has built over 250 homes and businesses in the Northern Virginia area. Some of Bill’s credentials include a Class A Contractors license, OSHA certification, and he is a Fairfax County certified land disturber. He also has extensive experience in land development, re-zoning, and bond release. BGB is fully licensed and insured. BGB Builders takes pride in building a strong foundation and quality home or business that will stand for generations to come.

    Hi, I am Bill Frishman with BGV Builders. Today our project is how to install crown molding and right now we are talking about nailing. Now the first thing we want to do when we get ready to put the crown mold in place and nail it is to put a chalk line on the wall. You are going to need someone to help you in this case. I have my wife Jenna; she will take the other side of the chalk line. Now, you can see that I have measured down the spring line of the crown mold - and when I say spring line I am talking about the measurement from the ceiling or the top of the crown mold to the bottom of the crown mold. And in this case that measurement was three and an eighth; so I have marked three and an eighth on both sides and I have Jenna pull her end of the tape and I pull my end of the tape, I am going to snap the line, and that is our chalk line. Now, if we line the crown molding with the bottom of that line, we should be level. Now the ceiling may go up and down a little bit; we can hide that with cock in the middle spans, but when you get to the corners thats where -- if the corner is more than 90 degrees, you are going to have to re-cut the angle if its more plus or minus five degrees. You will be able to tell when you put the pieces together. If it is a less than 90-degree corner, then you can use this coping saw here. You can cut out the parts of the crown mold that may be preventing it from closing to a 90 degree corner.

    Now, when you nail the crown mold, what we are going to do is, aim for this top plate. Each wall has a top plate, and if we shoot through the middle of the crown, that is why I suggested using a minimum two and a half inch nail; if you use a two and a half inch nail or bigger, we will be able to go through the crown mold and hit the top plate. Now, if you are in new construction, sometimes even in existing construction, you can tell where the screw holes are or where the nail holes are, and you will be able to tell where the studs are.

    If it is a non-bearing partition, it will be W24 apart and if it is a bearing partition that will be 16 apart. So you can also nail into the studs, which may be required if your crown mold gets real big; you may not be able to do what I just said. But up to a certain point, the crown mold I am using is three and a quarter inch crown mold up to probably four or five inch crown mold, this technique will work. When you get to a real big crown mold, you may also want to try and find the studs.

    So, with that being said, lets put the crown mold in place. Now you should have about an eighth of an inch between the chalk line and the bottom of the crown mold. Now I am going to shoot through the middle of the crown and aim for the top plate of the wall. And I am going to repeat those steps about every 16 inches; I am going to come back and fill in the nails if it is loose. Now that we have nailed our crown molding in place, we are going to go ahead and do the next piece. We have moved to a different area in the room, and in this instance we have what we call a splice cut. This is where the wall is greater than 16 foot, which is longer than a standard piece of crown mold. So, what we are going to do, instead of having one long piece, we are going to have two pieces which will be spliced together right here.

    You can see our splice cut is nice and tight. Each board is cut at a 45 degree angle opposite of each other. When I nail again, I am going to nail through the middle section of the crown mold like I talked about, and try and hit the top plate. But also, we are going to locate our studs which should be 16 foot on center or 24 inch on center. Thats our splice cut. The next cut that we are going to show you is the inside corner. Now here we have got an inside corner, so we are going to move the crown mold up in place and if the angles look okay and the cuts are okay, we are going to nail it. That corner there looks pretty good. If the joint didnt look good, we would have two choices; we could try with our coping saw to see if we can cope out enough of the back of the crown molding to make the angle fit square, or we could goad back and re-cut with the minor saw and adjust the angle to get the proper angle that that corner was. Coming up next on our crown mold project, is cock putty and paint.