Working With MDF Crown Moulding In A Residential Remodel

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Working With MDF Crown Moulding In A Residential Remodel

2 March 2022
, Blog

One way you can improve the look of any room in your home is to install crown moulding. Crown moulding stands out and adds a designer style to any room and fits into any architectural style.

If you are remodeling a home and want to install decorative crown moulding, then using medium-density fiberboard (MDF) moulding has many advantages over traditional wood moulding.  

The main advantages of MDF are it is:

  • durable
  • inexpensive
  • millable and cuttable with ordinary woodworking tools
  • paintable

MDF mouldings are sold pre-primed and provide a fantastic painting surface.

In addition, if you want to custom-mill edges with a router to make unique crown mouldings, MDF leaves a very crisp profile void of the burning, tearing out, or splintering that can happen when milling traditional hardwood.

Disadvantages of MDF

Every building material has advantages and disadvantages and MDF crown mouldings are no different. Since MDF is made essentially of sawdust mixed with glue, pressed into molds, and then heated, it has a few disadvantages to be aware of, including:

  • MDF cannot be stained
  • MDF cannot get wet
  • Cutting, milling, or sanding MDF produces an excessive amount of very fine dust

MDF works well as crown moulding, but it is not ideal for use as a baseboard for any solid surface or tile floor that will be mopped. When MDF gets wet, it turns soft and falls apart. This is a problem when it is used somewhere like a kitchen or bathroom where it will continually come into contact with mop water.

Since MDF is prone to producing a lot of dust, you can remove this disadvantage by cutting it outdoors and wearing dust protection. 

MDF Requires Pre-Drilling and Countersinking for Screws

MDF is very hard. It is hard enough to make nailing it to the wall nearly impossible without a nail gun. In addition, because it is made with a softer core between two hard sides, it will split if you try to drive in a screw too close to the edge. In addition, if you don't drill out a countersink recess for your screw heads, then they will push out chips of wood or crack. 

You can avoid much of the frustration of working with MDF crown moulding simply by pre-drilling screw holes and using a countersinking drill bit.

Making MDF Crown Moulding Installation Simple

To make installing your crown moulding as simple as possible, you can paint it before installation.

Once dry, apply some construction adhesive to the back of the moulding and use a finishing nail gun to attach it to the walls. If you want to fill in the nail holes, use shrink-free spackle.

Finally, you should run a thin bead of caulking along the top and bottom of the crown moulding to seal any gaps from irregularities in the wall.

Contact a company like Saguaro Moulding Inc. for more information.