Crown Moulding Materials: A Complete Guide

May 13, 2021

By: The Finished Space

Crown Moulding and Casing Close Up.jpeg 

Picking the style and color for your crown moulding is only part of the equation. You also have to consider the material. What are the top choices for crown moulding materials, and which is best for your project?

From oak crown moulding to PVC and MDF – there’s no shortage of terrific options available on the market. It’s all about your personal preferences and goals.

Let’s take a look at some of the top materials for crown moulding, so you can decide which is best for your space.

Breaking Down Crown Moulding Materials

Crown Moulding Below View.jpeg 

PVC, wood, and MDF are the top three picks for crown moulding material. They each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Let’s review each of these crown moulding materials at length: 


PVC Crown Moulding.jpeg

PVC stands for polyvinyl chloride. It’s a human-made material, and it’s a top choice for budget-conscious homeowners. Moulding made from PVC is terrific for areas with a lot of moisture because it won’t damage or rot away. However, it can be damaged from excess heat or sun, so it’s not an option you want to use near windows!

PVC is lightweight, easy-to-cut, and flexible, and it’s usually installed with an adhesive – so it’s really DIY-friendly. PVC can be the right choice of material for you as long as you’re aware of the potential pitfalls, and you aren’t too concerned with an authentic appearance.


Applying Crown Hands.jpeg

Wood crown moulding is a top choice for homeowners who love traditional materials. Wood comes in a variety of grains, including oak and pine. Wood is an excellent material because it’s easy to prime and paint, and if you don’t like the look of wood, it’s simple to sand and install.

Wood also allows you to create the most ornate and extravagant moulding designs out there, so you’re never limited on style with wood moulding. The downside of wood is that it can be susceptible to damage. From water damage to termites, to rot and more – wood can be tough to keep in tip-top shape. However, despite its vulnerability, it’s a very durable material, and if you take care of it, it can last for many years to come without issues.

Another potential drawback to wood is its hefty price tag. When you get really elaborate with your designs and features, you can pay up to thirty dollars per foot. However, the investment can be worth it, especially for the eco-conscious homeowner. Wood is 100% sustainable. Different grains of wood will come with different costs. Oak or mahogany will cost more than pine, but it’s possible to find wood moulding that can fit your budget.


MDF Crown Moulding.jpeg

MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard. It’s made by combining resin and recycled wood products, like sawdust, wood branches, or leftover wood scraps to create an authentic-looking finished product.

MDF has a smooth finish, so you never have to worry about imperfections. It’s also easy to paint. Unlike wood, it doesn’t split, making installation a breeze. MDF is also incredibly cost-effective, so even budget-conscious homeowners can get on board with this stylish moulding option.

MDF somehow marries the benefits of both PVC and wood moulding. It’s luxurious in its appearance, and it can seamlessly mimic the look of natural wood moulding. Despite its high-end look, it’s easy on the budget and simple to install. 

Plus, many MDF moulding options actually come primed, making installation and painting even quicker!

When in doubt, MDF is always a solid choice. You can’t really go wrong with this moulding material option.

Choosing the Right Material for Your Crown Moulding

Grey Trim Dining Room.jpeg


Ultimately, the right crown moulding material for you will depend on your individual aesthetic, budget, and installation goals. If you’re really focusing on the budget or you’re applying trim in a wet area like the bathroom – PVC might be the perfect choice for you. If you’re all about authenticity, then wood is always a winner.

If you’re looking to blend style and budget without sacrificing that wood-like appearance, then you can’t go wrong with MDF.

There are also a couple of options we didn’t discuss, including polystyrene moulding and plaster crown moulding, mostly because they aren’t super popular.

Polystyrene is really cheap and easy to install, but it’s a lower-quality material that dents very easily. It looks a lot like the foam used to make disposable cups. On the other hand, plaster crown moulding is a costly, custom-designed moulding used for historic buildings and elaborate designs. It’s not a very popular option for homeowners.

At the end of the day, the material choice is up to you. When in doubt, go with MDF for a high-end, budget-friendly moulding option.

If you still need some inspiration for your crown moulding’s style, give Option {M} a try. There’s a quick quiz that helps match you with the perfect design aesthetic and trim options for your style.