help needed: connecting crown moldings

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Forum topic by Gone_Tropical posted 06-28-2011 06:43 PM 7040 views 0 times favorited 23 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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7 posts in 2531 days

06-28-2011 06:43 PM

my dilemma: how do I connect to different crown moldings?

we paid a neighbor’s friend to install the crown molding in the family room, so I asked him to come before he purchased the material to make sure he gets the right one since it connects to the existing crown molding in the kitchen.
he installs it, and then tells me the two don’t fit and I would have to pay him 300 dollars for tearing down the existing one and purchasing the new one. I told him no.
He cut off a large piece of the existing part trying to match them, and while doing so, broke the part into pieces, and that was the end of it. he does not answer my phone calls :-/

any suggestions on how to fix this is greatly appreciated! are there decorative end pieces available? can something be designed to make it look somewhat acceptable?

please help

PS: if that is in the wrong forum, I apologize.

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

23 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)


10388 posts in 3645 days

#1 posted 06-29-2011 12:19 AM

To make it look right, do it all in the same moulding.

I’m sorry the situation happened. I’ve been in situations where a client
(in this case you) really, really wanted to save money so I tried to
save them money by mickey-mousing around their limited budget
and trying to make what they’ve already got work nicely with something
new…. and it usually turns out bad.

This is why contractors who’ve been around usually insist on tearing
a bathroom down to the studs rather than working around the
customers “money saving” ideas of replacing “just the bad parts”.

While it was dumb of the guy to break the old moulding, it could be
it was not possible to get it down without breaking it. Then
he’s in a situation where you expect he can just go and get the
same moulding… and he can’t because it’s not longer available
locally. Now he’s holding the bag on a small favor-level job
and there’s no way out except to install what he can get and
hope to please you.

Now you’re mad ‘cause it doesn’t match, he’s got to get on to
the next gig so he can pay his bills, and you’re wondering how
to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

.... bad situation.

Get the same guy or another guy to do it right with the new
moulding. That’s the only reasonable way you’re going to get
it looking good.

View Manitario's profile


2630 posts in 2881 days

#2 posted 06-29-2011 12:32 AM

It’s hard to see from the pic you put up if the joint is at a 90o corner; as Loren said, make sure you get matching crown molding or it won’t look right. Personally, I’d just cut another length off of the existing crown molding and bring it to a big box store first to see if they have anything that matches, if not, you can probably find a lumber store where you live that will have a large selection of crown molding, so that you won’t have to replace all the old stuff to match the new. Installation is fairly easy with a mitre saw; you can find a number of different sites on the internet that will explain it, and you can splice the old into the new using a scarf joint.

-- Sometimes the creative process requires foul language. -- Charles Neil

View Gone_Tropical's profile


7 posts in 2531 days

#3 posted 06-29-2011 02:14 AM

loren, sounds like I am the bad girl here ;-) not so, I did not haggle with the carpenter, and when he came to give his estimate, I did point out the part were the molding ended from kitchen to living room. his mistake of not measuring, no? but again, I don’t bother him any longer, but want to fix it myself (or rather make DH fix it)
The kitchen molding came with the house, so no way to track down the builder.

Manitario, thanks for posting, yes, it is a 90o corner. The carpenter did show me that there is no way to attach the new to the old since the size difference is about 2 inches. He suggested a decorative end piece.

So, since I trust the guys on this forum, I see there is no easy and quick fix. I am thinking the best is to rip out one of them moldings and replace it with the matching sized molding. sigh

thanks guys :-)

did I mention, I am actually at home at the sister site GardenTenders, if you ever have a garden related question, let me hear it ;-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View yrob's profile


340 posts in 3650 days

#4 posted 06-29-2011 02:21 AM

One thing you could do to fix it:

1) if it is the same profile and does not fit, it is probably because the ceiling is not 90 degrees to the wall and he needed to make a compound cut to connect.

2) if you dont want to replace the whole thing, you could possibly use corner blocks to hide the connection.

they make some that are pretty nice looking and they are very inexpensive. You could just carry that accross the room in every corner and everything will look like it matches.

-- Yves

View Gone_Tropical's profile


7 posts in 2531 days

#5 posted 06-29-2011 02:30 AM

thanks yrob,no the profile is not the same. But 2) sounds like what I am thinking of. corner blocks. I will check at the box store and see what I can find. tomorrow :-)

-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3891 days

#6 posted 06-29-2011 02:45 AM

you could, aside from stop blocks, cope either crown into the other. ...........

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Loren's profile (online now)


10388 posts in 3645 days

#7 posted 06-29-2011 03:03 AM

It’s fussy to do it and looks a little weird, but you can make a return
on the wider moulding and cope the smaller moulding into the
return. Usually when this is done it’s coping a much smaller moulding
into a larger one, not mouldings so close in size.

View MichaelA's profile


778 posts in 2886 days

#8 posted 06-29-2011 05:03 AM

Gone tropical. No you are not a bad girl. You just did not hire a proffessional finish carpenter who would of never let this problem happen. Also he did not admit his mistake and correct it. You told him you had existing crown moulding. Yes a stop block would allow the two crowns to join. But if the person who allowed this to happen has any respect for the trade. He or she would correct their error by installing the proper size crown!!!!! there should only be one type of client happy and proud of their house.

-- The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart. "Helen Keller"

View emart's profile


445 posts in 2625 days

#9 posted 06-29-2011 05:33 AM

if you truly want to have it all match there are companies that can make new molding that will match the existing. i am not sure how much it will cost (im sure it isnt cheap) however depending on how much trim is still up it might be a better alternative than having to frankenstien the 2 different types together or ripping it all down to put up modern trim. unfortunately the only options you have are to either band-aid it and live with the defect or do it the expensive way and have it all match.

wish i could help more but sometimes there just isnt an easy fix.

-- tools are only as good as the hands that hold them

View David Grimes's profile

David Grimes

2078 posts in 2637 days

#10 posted 06-29-2011 05:38 AM

The big boxes have some, but usually for 3 5/8” and smaller.

Here’s an example from the web because I don’t use them… ‘cause I don’t need no stinkin’ bandaid ! ;=)

My guess is that the guy does not have the skill to wrap around the corner with the new and cope into the returned other… or he would have done that. Nothing worse than a rank amateur without a plan (or a clue).

-- If you're going to stir the pot, think BIG spoon or SMALL boat paddle. David Grimes, Georgia

View Gone_Tropical's profile


7 posts in 2531 days

#11 posted 06-29-2011 12:42 PM

MichalA, just my thought! but it is my own fault for not hiring a company but wanting to help out Jose. Jose should not be an amateur, he worked as carpenter in construction (until he lost his job), but he obviously does not know how to deal with this corner or else he would have done it :-/

ok, I could do the ‘bandaid’ until I have the extra cash to rip out the smaller molding in the kitchen to replace with the wider, new one :-)

(”cope either crown into the other.” – I don’t think DH’s skill level is that advanced. )

I was depressed and frustrated with this problem, but you all lifted my spirits. Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. :-)
I’ll keep you posted with the outcome!


-- Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ Gone Tropical Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ

View rusty2010's profile


150 posts in 2555 days

#12 posted 06-29-2011 01:57 PM

GT, As a builder, we would have checked and rechecked the crown size and profile foe an exact match before attempting this project. As you stated and requested, your carpenter should have done the same.
Crown blocks are a good alternative. I would search local lumber yards for the profile. If the crown is original to the house it probaly came from a lumber yard. If it was an add on later, it probaly came from a super store.

-- check, recheck then check again

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2691 days

#13 posted 06-29-2011 02:03 PM

LOL with David. This is an unfortunate joint and I’m sorry you’re wrestling with it. Outside of switching one/the other molding or placing an eyesore cap, you could handcarve a polygonal piece and match the main grooves. It won’t look good at all; maybe terrible, I guess it depends upon the vantage point in the room. I was remodeling a home in New Orleans and ran into this problem. I wasted about $300 before I bought a used shaper and just recut ALL the molding. I don’t recommend this; I mention it only to show that I sympathize with you:)

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View jonnytranscend's profile


96 posts in 2537 days

#14 posted 06-29-2011 03:09 PM

Even is he did find the same crown. This stuff tends to very from lot to lot. The slightest degree or dimension effects everything. Also at the angle that he or the original installer cut it. I hand tons every year and in this situation when i know i need to have perfection joining to existing crown i would have said you need new crown all the way through. However with not being there it still is possible something else could have been done but hard to say.

View HerbC's profile


1756 posts in 2857 days

#15 posted 06-29-2011 09:04 PM


Jose may have been employed as a carpenter before but that doesn’t mean he knows how to do this job properly. There are several types of carpenters, Jose was probably a good “rough” or “framing” carpenter but he doesn’t seem to be a very good “finish” or “trim” carpenter…

Good Luck and…

Be Careful!


-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!"

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