Polyurethane crown moldings
Photo: Victor Schrager
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Best for: This product works in most installations.

Pros: Less expensive, more stable, and more rot- and insect-repellent than wood, this extruded product is an excellent imitation. It mills and cuts like pine, goes up with the same nails, and takes paint equally well. It also comes in elaborate, plasterlike profiles.

Cons: Slightly softer than wood, it dents easily (so it requires a light touch to install) and is only good for painted applications.

From left: (1) Concord dentil, about $3,
(2) Governor’s Place cove, about $10,
(3) Tall Randal crown, about $16; all from Focal Point AP
(4) Egg and dart, about $3; Architectural Ornament
(5) Elaborate Georgian dentil, about $12; Inviting Home
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