Basic Moulding Vocabulary

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(1a) cornice; (1b) cornice corner; (2) chair rail; (3a) baseboard; (3b) baseboard corner; (4a) casing; (4b) corner block; (4c) plinth block; (4d) pilaster; (5) panel moulding; (6a); (6b) ornament; (7) mantel.


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Back Band--Outer moulding of door or window casing.

Baseboard--Base moulding, used in decorative architecture, to protect the lower portions of walls and covers gaps between wall and floor. 

Base Cap--A decorative moulding applied flush against the wall on top of a baseboard or used with other moulding for combinations such as chair rail. Also a versatile panel moulding.

Base Corner--Traditional architectural detail used to join two sections of baseboard at the inside or outside corners of a room. Allows for miterless baseboard installation.

Base Mould--Moulding applied where floors and walls meet. May be used with base cap and/or base shoe.

Base Shoe--Applied where base moulding meets the floor. Protects base moulding from damage by cleaning tools. Conceals any uneven lines where base meets the floor.

Bed Mould--Any moulding beneath a projection, such as a cornice, or the lowest of a band of moulding.

Brick Mould--This is an exterior moulding used as a door or window casing. It is a thick moulding providing a surface for brick or other siding to butt against.

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Capital--A crown accent used on columns and pilasters. Referred to as a pilaster capital when used on a pilaster.

Casing--Trim used around the inside and outside of a doorway or window frame to conceal gap between jambs and walls (the inside member at each side and top of a doorframe, window frame, or door lining). 

Chair Rail--A horizontal strip, usually of wood, affixed to a plaster wall at a height which prevents the back of chairs from damaging the wall surface (see Decorating Ideas - Scale).  Also used to cover the edges of wallpaper or wainscoting.

Corbel--A decorative bracket, typically used as a shelf support or mantel accent. 

Corner Block--Decorative accent block used at the corner of window and door casings to eliminate the need for miter joint installation.

Corner Guard--Moulding that wraps around outside corners of drywall or plaster for protection in vulnerable areas. 

Cornice--An ornamental moulding running round the walls of a room at the juncture of walls and ceiling.  Also called crown moulding.

Cornice Corner--Assembled cornice corner used to join two sections of cornice moulding at the inside or outside corners of a room. Allows for miterless cornice installation. 


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Keystone Block--An accent block mounted in the middle of a door or window pediment.



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Mantel--All of the work or facing around a fireplace.  A shelf mantel is typically made of cornice moulding with a solid top and bottom, which is mounted over a firebox opening. A full surround mantel consists of a shelf mantel, and a surround, which is made up of a breastplate and pilaster legs. The full surround completely encloses the firebox opening. 

Millwork--Includes woodwork such as moulding, inside and outside doors, window and door frames, stairwork and cabinets. Does not include flooring, ceiling, or siding.

Moulding--Element of construction or decoration used to create varieties of contours and of light and shadow. Moulding is generally used to mark the boundary between different architectural features, or between different parts of the same feature. The surface of moulding is modeled with recesses and reliefs, which either maintain a constant profile or are set in rhythmically repeated patterns.

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Ornament--Primarily used on walls, cabinetry, furniture and mantels.


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Panel Moulding--A moulding used on a wall or a door to create a framed area, giving the illusion of a panel. 

Pediment--A heavy horizontal moulding used over doors or windows.  Typically used in entryway openings. 

Picture Frame Moulding--Decorative moulding with a special routing at the back, used as a frame for artwork or mirrors. 

Pilaster--Typically used as a simulated pillar in entrances and other door openings and fireplace mantels, similar to a casing. 

Plinth Block--A square or rectangular base for a column, pilaster or door framing.  Plinth blocks are usually thicker, wider and taller than the mouldings that lead into them. 

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Rosette--Decorative moulding used with casing to eliminate need for a miter cut.


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Stop--In door trim, stop is nailed to the faces of the door frame to prevent the door from swinging through. As window trim, stop holds the bottom sash of a double-hung window in place.

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Tongue and Groove--Method of joining wooden elements; the projecting tongue of one element is inserted into the groove of another element.

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Wainscott--A lower interior wall surface (usually extending three to four feet up from the floor) that contrasts with the wall surface above it. Wainscott can be decorative or protective. The term originally referred to quartered oak, then to boarding or paneling made of it, then to sheathing or lining for walls.

Window Stool--An interior trim piece on a window; extends the sill and acts as a narrow shelf.

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 The Hardwood Company
Main Office: 550 North Main Street
PO Box 126, Granite Falls, NC  28630
Phone: 828-396-1556  Fax: 828-396-8182
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