solid wood crown moldings
Photo: Victor Schrager
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Solid Wood

Best for: Most installations.

Pros: Like plaster, natural wood is a traditional material that is hard to imitate. Solid wood mills and carves into crisp edges, and hardwoods like oak and mahogany stain beautifully. Its color and grain patterns add warmth to a room. Wood comes in myriad simple stock profiles; more ornate reliefs can also be achieved by embossing wood composites onto solid wood.

Cons: Cutting and installing wood molding can vex even the most skilled carpenter, and the material can shrink and swell with changes in the weather.

From left: (1) Dentil detailing, about $8; Ornamental Mouldings
(2) Maryland acanthus leaf, about $10; Inviting Home
(3) Hand-carved floral and dentil, about $18,
(4) Embossed wreath, about $11; both from Bendix Architectural
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