how to install moldings

How will you work your moldings around the limiting factors in your rooms?

[This is part of Our Molding Makeover series.  See all updates here.]

What’s Standing Between You & the Moldings You Want?

Most rooms in your home will have at least one obstacle that gets in the way of installing the moldings you want — like a an AC vent in the path of your crown molding or a door jamb too close to a wall.

You can usually come up with some kind of improvised workaround.  But the challenge is in creating workarounds that look good after the moldings have been installed and painted.

Your solution, ideally, should look natural, as if the room were originally designed with your solution in mind, and not draw too much attention to itself, unless that is your solution, to draw attention to it rather than away from the fix.  Both are acceptable strategies.

Our half bathroom has five such limiting factors.

Here they are in their before condition.

Limiting Factor 1:  Exhaust Fan

Most bathroom exhaust fans are mounted on the ceiling.  Ours is mounted on the wall because the ceilings were lowered when the contractor converted our house from an apartment to a condo/townhouse and added central heat/AC.

I’ll be happy to work around this lowered ceiling in exchange for the cold air that blows through the duct during the toasty Tucson summers!

bathroom exhaust fan

Exhaust fan limited crown molding drop and interrupts the wall panels.

Limiting Factor 2:  Light Switch

I’m not qualified to give advice on anything electrical.

So I will only post the after picture, but not the specifics, of how I dealt with this limiting factor.

double light switch and moldings

Limiting Factor 3:  Toilet Water Supply Line

I ended up raising the height of my baseboard fascia to help me work around this water supply line.

Because this is a wet wall, and brad nails could potentially puncture the water supply line (Read Bang, Bang, Psssssssh!  Wet Walls & Stud Finders for a real life cautionary tale.), I used a lot of Liquid Nails and 1″ long 23 gauge micro pins to hold the flat-stock in place.

toilet water supply line

However this one turns out, it won’t be pretty. I’m glad it’s behind the toilet!

Limiting Factor 4:  Door Jamb in Corner

You will rarely find a doorway centered on a wall in any room, in any home, anywhere.

Rather, the door jamb will be crammed in a corner that forces you to create a molding dissolve instead of a full treatment.  Our bathroom is no exception.  The solution is a molding dissolve.

half bathroom moldings

The doorway requires I dissolve the door trim into the wall and the low ceiling severely limits crown molding size.

Limiting Factor 5:  Bathroom Light Box

This light box will have to be moved down to make room for the upper wall moldings.

The light fixture itself will be replaced with something nicer (wouldn’t take much, would it?) and that we can incorporate into the trompe mirror I am going to make.

how to install bathroom moldings

I’m hoping to come up with a really elegant solution to this light fixture.

Stay Tuned!

You can see how I worked around each of the limiting factors as I post the installation steps in the coming days.  Or you can wait until the end of the project when I add the after pictures to each limiting factor to this post.

What Are Your Limiting Factors?

Look around the next you’re going to install moldings in and consider the obstacles between you and the moldings you want.

Can you think of a solution that won’t draw too much attention to itself?  Or, will you have to change your design altogether?


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