Moulding Dictionary

Moulding and Trim are general terms, often used to describe all types of moulding and millwork; it is a strip of material with various profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration and typically made from solid milled wood. 

Apron: A piece of horizontal sash applied to the wall immediately below the window still; the apron serves to conceal the joint made by the window and the interior wall surface.

Architrave: Moulding installed high above a window to add grandeur. Architrave moulding also helps disguise miter lines.

Astragal: An interior moulding attached to a pair of doors or sash in order to prevent swing-through. Astragal ensures a tight fit where the doors meet; a flat astragal is one applied to the face of the meeting stile of the door and a T astragal is rabbeted (notched) to the approximate thickness of the swinging door.

Back Band: A narrow, rabbeted (notched) moulding used in conjunction with baseboard moulding and applied to the outside corner and edge of interior window and door casing or along the floor to create a heavy trim look; this increases both the ornamentation as well as the width of the trim.

Band Moulding: A flat, decorative or protective strip that’s flush or raised above the surface; this moulding is similar to a panel moulding as well as an apron profile, and it’s often used to trim mantels or cabinets.

Base:  Moulding that runs around the lower perimeter of the room along a finished floor. It is used for hiding the transition between the wall and the floor.  Base is typically about 3-14” wide and is also called baseboard or wall board.

Base Cap: A moulding applied atop a piece of base moulding flush with the wall to create a decorative look. It’s sometimes used with baseboard. Base cap may also be used as a panel moulding or multipurpose profile.

Base Shoe: Also called shoe or floor mould, this narrow moulding provides a transition between finished floors and walls or cabinets; it protects the base from damage and conceals uneven lines or cracks where the base meets the floor. Shoe moulding may be used in place of quarter round.

Bead Moulding: Plain or sprung moulding that’s applied where two surfaces come together at an angle; the profile usually consists of a bead and a cove; it’s often used in place of crown where the walls and the ceiling meet.

Brick Mould: A thick moulding used on an exterior door and/or window as a casing that joins the exterior facing and provides a surface for brick or other siding to butt against. It may be used to form a rabbet for screens, a storm sash or a combination door.

Casing: Moulding that frames either a door or a window to hide the transition where the wall meets a window or door. Casing is typically narrower and thicker than base.

Chair Rail: Interior moulding applied on the wall about 1/3 of the way up from the floor, paralleling any base or crown moulding, and encircling the room. Originally used to prevent chairs from damaging the walls, it’s now used more for decorative purposes. It can be made from more than one piece of moulding to build up the effect, especially when used in conjunction with wainscoting.

Corner Blocks: Square blocks used in place of mitering the side and head casings.

Corner Guards: Moulding used to protect the edge of the wall from damage at an outside corner.

Cove:  A moulding with a concave profile used to soften the transition between two planes at right angles to each other. It may be used as a crown moulding around the ceiling or on the inside of a vertical corner as a corner guard.

Crown Moulding: Also called cornice moulding, it is used to cover the intersection where the walls and the ceiling meet – usually over a large angle. Crown moulding is always installed sprung (angled).

Dentil Moulding: Moulding featuring a series of small square blocks uniformly spaced along the bottom edge of the crown moulding.

Full Rounds: Rod-shaped millwork used as closet poles, curtain rods and/or towel bars.

Lattice: Thin strips of woven wood surfaced on four sides.

Moulding: A narrow strip of wood shaped to a curved profile that’s used to accent and emphasize the ornamentation of a structure and to conceal surface or angle joints. Moulding may be exterior or interior.

Mullion: Also called the mull. A mullion is the vertical member of a sash, window or doorframe between openings in a multiple opening frame.

Panel Mould: A decorative moulding used to trim out raised-panel wall construction.

Picture Frame Moulding: A narrow moulding along the perimeter of the walls near the ceiling line to support hooks for picture hanging. It can be used to make decorative, formal squares on the wall. Picture moulding is also called picture rail moulding or picture frame moulding.

Plinth Block: A decorative block of wood that is thicker and wider than a door casing and used as part of the door trim at the base to enhance the appearance. Plinth block is also called a base block, foot block or pilaster block.

Primed Moulding: Moulding with a layer of paint or primer applied to it for ease of painting the moulding.

Quarter Round: Moulding that’s 1/4 of a full circle rod and may be used as a base shoe or inside-corner moulding.

Rosette: A decorative wood plaque used at the intersection of two materials, secured to a wall and abutted by the end of a stair rail. It may also be used as ornamental decoration at the corners of either window or doorjambs.

Screen Mould: A small moulding used to hold mesh screening into a wood frame. Also good for edge trim on shelving or as wood trim for wallpaper.

Shoe Moulding: Moulding that is often used at the bottom of the baseboard to cover a small gap or uneven edge between the flooring and the baseboard; also called toe moulding or quarter-round.

Stool Moulding: A moulded interior trim member serving as a sash or window frame sill cap – these are generally rabbeted.

Stop Moulding: In window trim, a moulding that holds the bottom sash of a double-hung window in place and can also be used as an apron under window stools. In door trim, a stop is nailed to the faces of the doorframe to prevent the door from swinging through the frame.

Trim Moulding: A general term used for molding, larger than an astragal, often at the base of a column.

Wainscot: A lower-interior wall surface that contrasts with the wall surface above it and is generally 3 to 4 feet in height, often with a chair rail added to its top perimeter and a base around its bottom perimeter.

Wainscot Cap: A finishing piece for the top edge of wainscoting. May be used with a chair rail to create a larger profile.