The Downsides of Using Styrofoam Moldings in Your Home Décor

March 27, 2023

By: The Finished Space

From door frames to crown mouldings, Styrofoam has found its way into homes around the world, and it’s not hard to understand why.

Pros of Styrofoam Trim and Molding


Styrofoam has been a part of the design world for a few years, and there are some good reasons for that. Here are some of the main advantages of using Styrofoam trim and molding:


The first item in the pro column is an age-old benefit that every consumer loves – a good bargain. Styrofoam molding is a real money saver that is far more affordable than traditional materials like natural hardwood or MDF. As a result, it’s an enticing option for home designers and developers on a budget.

Ease of Installation

Another significant benefit is that you don’t have to be an experienced DIYer to install Styrofoam molding. They’re often light and easy to handle. Plus, you can cut them using a knife, so there’s no need for you to break out a miter saw.

Design Versatility

If you’re looking for something custom or intricately designed, you’re going to have a lot of luck with Styrofoam molding. Manufacturers can create trim in a wide array of designs and styles, so there’s always an option available, no matter your design aesthetic.

Cons of Styrofoam Trim and Molding

Pink Trim Bathroom - After - Closeup

You might not be surprised to learn that there are some pretty serious disadvantages to choosing Styrofoam as your moulding material.

Environmental Impact

Styrofoam isn’t the best choice if you want to protect the environment. This synthetic material isn’t biodegradable, which means it can stick around for thousands of years. Plus, producing it requires tons of fossil fuels, which is terrible for the environment. If you want to create an environmentally-friendly home, Styrofoam might not be the right material for you.

Health Concerns

Styrofoam molding can also raise some health and safety red flags. When burned, it releases toxic gases. And while you might not plan on setting your moldings on fire, accidents do happen. Also, some people are very allergic to Styrofoam, so it’s not the safest material for pets, children, and guests.


Styrofoam moulding is admittedly lightweight and easy to handle, but it’s not very durable. We shouldn’t be super surprised about this since you can cut it with a knife. It’s vulnerable to dents, cracks, and damage from pests, which means you’ll have to replace it more often than you would when using other, more durable materials.

Poor Wood-Like Appearance

Despite the best efforts of many companies around the world, Styrofoam trim and molding often fall short of imitating the real thing. Its finish can look fake and cheap, especially up close. For anyone seeking a high-end material that looks like natural hardwood, this can be a significant disadvantage.

Better Alternatives to Styrofoam Crown Molding

Option M - Vintage Industrial - Office - Baseboard - 2022 - Cropped

If Styrofoam isn’t the go-to choice, what is? At Metrie, we highly recommend different molding and trim materials: wood and MDF (medium-density fiberboard).

Wood is the traditional choice, and it’s a natural, warm aesthetic that Styrofoam can’t match. It’s durable and long-lasting, sometimes lasting for multiple generations. Plus, it comes in a variety of different wood species, each with its unique grain and color.

MDF is a cost-effective alternative to wood. It’s made from wood fibers combined with resin and, as a result, has the look and feel of natural hardwood. It’s also super easy to work with and more moisture-resistant than natural wood. 

It’s customizable in the right manufacturer’s hands, so it can be just as versatile as Styrofoam.

Both materials offer a superior appearance and increased durability compared to Styrofoam. They may be a bit pricier and require more skill to install, but they’re still very affordable choices, and the long-term benefits outweigh the initial challenges.

Choose Quality Molding and Trim Materials for Your Home Décor

Styrofoam moldings and trim have their place in the design world, but they also come with some pretty significant downsides. They’re not environmentally-friendly, and they pose potential health risks, lack durability, and often fall short in the aesthetic department.

If you’re looking for something that can stand the test of time, you should definitely consider using quality materials like wood and MDF. At Metrie, we specialize in creating environmentally-safe products that use high-quality materials that are both affordable and stylish.