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Featured Article: How to Install Crown Moulding Yourself
First, find out what you need for materials. You will need to determine what type of moulding and how much of it you will need to buy. You will need to measure and mark your walls for the best estimate on materials. Measure each individual wall and round up to the next foot. If any of your walls measure within a few inches of a length of moulding always buy the next size up just to be on the safe side.
Second - create a plan of attack. We will be installing each piece of crown moulding in an ordered sequence, so we should do a quick sketch of the room, top view, as if we were looking down to see which wall we start with. Let's make this a bit easier and start with the wall opposite the door and then number each wall going counterclockwise. Let's also set up our guides for installation on the walls. Hold a piece of moulding at each inside and outside corner to mark the position of the bottom edge. Use a chalk line stretched between the two opposite ends to mark the wall for your installation line. Also, locate and mark the position of studs and joists just below the installation line.
Third - install the first length. Measure your starting wall and cut the first piece of moulding square at both ends using a miter saw. Then align the piece of moulding with your installation line and begin nailing 8d finish nails working from the center out. Make sure that your nails are centered in the moulding between top and bottom.
Fourth - cutting an inside corner joint. For inside cuts we use a coped cut to ensure that the face of the moulding joins properly. Place the moulding on the saw with the ceiling edge against the table and the bottom edge against the saw fence. Make sure that the saw is set to a 45 degree angle. If you are coping a left side corner swing the saw to the left and right for the right side. You are doing it correctly if the long edge of the moulding is on the back.
To make sure that we will have a joint that fits tightly we will now cope the inside corner joint. Mark the face of the moulding with a pen on the very edge of the miter cut. Set your coping saw at a 5 degree angle and use the pen marked edge as your guide. Hold the piece in place on the wall to make sure your fit is tight.
Note: Before moving to the next step check to see what type of cut the other end of your moulding needs. If it is another inside corner take a measurement from the top edge of the number 1 piece that you have already installed to this corner. Mark the length of this measurement on your coped moulding and use your miter saw to make a square cut. You can now nail up that piece of moulding.
Fifth - cutting an outside corner joint. To determine the length of your moulding piece if it ends on an outside corner cut two scrap pieces of moulding at opposite 45 degree angles. Join these pieces together and hold them in place at your outside corner. We can now take a measurement from the top edge of your installed starting piece to the edge of the corner piece you are holding in place. Use that length to cut your coped piece of moulding.
Sixth - The installation process If the opposite end of your next piece of moulding ends on an inside that does not require a coped end, repeat the measuring and cutting you just did in order to but the outside corner joining end. Then measure and cut the opposite end to but the squared end against the wall.
If the opposite end of your next piece of moulding does end in a corner that requires a coped cut repeat step four and complete your outside corner.
Lastly, you will work your way around the room in this same way. Cope your inside corners and miter your outside corners. Check your measurements and make your cuts. If you run into problems like excessively uneven walls, ceilings or ceiling heights due to your house settling or shifting consult a moulding installation professional to avoid any unnecessary cost and aggravation.
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