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Common Moulding Terms

A

Apron

A piece of horizontal window trim applied against the wall immediately below the stool; used to cover the joint of the stool and the wall and add decoration below a window.

B

Baseboard

Moulding applied around the perimeter of a room where the floor meets the wall.

Base Shoe

A small piece, often similar to a quarter round trim, used at the bottom of baseboard where it meets the floor. Sometimes used decoratively, but often used to cover possible gaps between the wall and flooring which the baseboard may not cover on its own.

C

Cap

Used at the top of wainscot or wall paneling to finish the raw top edge.

Capital

Used at the top of a column to decoratively transition the column into the ceiling.

Casing

Decorative moulding used around doors and windows.

Ceiling Medallion

Ornamental, often round, ceiling accent. Frequently used where fans and light fixtures hang.

Chair Rail

Decorative moulding used to protect the lower section of the wall from damage due to furniture, such as chairs. Can also be used to separate two paint colors on a wall.

Chamfer

A corner of a board beveled at a 45-degree angle, often used to assist in installing crown moulding.

Column

Supporting or decorative pillar used in building. An upright, supporting piece of a circular or rectangular shaft with a base and capital.

Corbel

A large decorative bracket.

Cove

Moulding with a concave profile used primarily where two pieces meet at a right angle.

Crown

Most commonly used where the wall and ceiling meet, covering the joint of the two. Also frequently seen in the design of fireplace mantels.

D

Dentil

Series of small square blocks evenly spaced and projecting like teeth as used in cornice, front entrances and mantels, and crossheads. Often known as “teeth” and used in crown moulding.

J

Jamb

Inside casement of a door or window, often not decorative.

M

Moulding

Ornamental strip used to decorate a surface, often used to accent or emphasize the ornamentation of a structure and to conceal surface or angle joints.

N

Niche

A wall recess that is traditionally used to display a sculpture or ornamental object.

O

Ogee

Having an “S”-shaped or reverse-curve profile.

Ornaments

A group of select, highly decorative wall and ceiling motifs, such as garlands, leaves, scrolls, shells, shields, sunburst, and wreath embellishments. Ball ornaments include urns, acorns, pineapples, etc.

P

Picture Rail

A narrow moulding along the perimeter of the walls near the ceiling line to support hooks for picture hanging.

Plinth Block

Square block at the base of a column or pilaster; plinth blocks are sturdier and have a better appearance; are thicker and wider than the abutting pieces.

R

Rosette

A square block with a circular decorative design in the center usually used as a corner block as part of the casing around windows and doors. Also can be used as a decorative item, as desired.

S

Stool

Often known as sill, it is used at the base of a window and protrudes from the wall with space to add an apron below.

W

Wainscoting

A lower interior wall surface (usually 3 to 4 feet above the floor) that contrasts with the wall surface above it. An interior wall composed of two different interior wall surfaces, one above the other.

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