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  • Writer's pictureSteve Baker

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Which One is the Best?

The crown molding in a building might not be a structural piece of the architecture or load-bearing, but it does a lot for a building overall. It’s a huge part of a building’s atmosphere and highlights the design theme when it’s done properly. 

Traditionally, crown molding is made of wood, but just like everything else, technology has advanced, and there are alternatives in the modern world of architecture. 

Namely, there’s foam crown molding, and it’s the best competitor to traditional crown molding. 

Some project managers have wondered if it’s worth trying or if they should stick with traditional crown molding. We understand. As with any innovation, going with what you know is typically easier than trying something new. However, that can cost you in this situation. 

So, here’s a one-on-one comparison of foam crown molding vs traditional crown molding to help answer any questions you might have.

Let’s get right into it.

What is Traditional Crown Molding? 

We’ll start with traditional crown molding since you’re probably more familiar with it. 

This is made of various wood species depending on the visual effect you’re going for, and it’s cut and routed to create a multitude of designs. The wood is then lined up perfectly around corners to create a seamless appearance when it’s done properly. 

You have likely seen this in most buildings you've been in. It's the staple the industry has relied on for a long time; it's found in most homes, and in general, it's still the most commonly seen type of molding.

Foam crown molding vs traditional crown molding.

That may change in the coming years. With advances in modern technology, the benefits of traditional crown molding are disappearing entirely.

What is Foam Crown Molding?

Foam crown molding is relatively new. At least, the version that we use is. 

This is a form of crown molding that is made entirely from BAUTRIM or similar foam compounds that harden in a form and create stunning molding along with several other decorative and structural parts of modern architecture. 

Foam molding is now popular for a variety of projects because of this. It's often used extensively for themed environments, historical restorations, commercial buildings, homes, and other structures.

However, BAUTRIM and other compounds aren't only used for crown molding, they can also be used to make facades, trim, structural pieces, foam sculptures, and various other things.

Keep this in mind as you read through the comparison section, because you might want to use it in another part of your project once you understand the benefits a bit more.

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Cost

Cost is a primary focus for any project. So, we’ll start with this. 

In most cases, foam crown molding is the more cost-effective option. Unless you go with extremely cheap wood and entry-level craftsmen, it’s difficult to beat the price of foam. 

This isn’t due to quality differences, either. As you’ll see, foam crown molding has several advantages over traditional molding. It mostly has to do with raw material and labor costs.

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Durability

When you hear “foam” you probably don’t think about durability and strength. However, BAUTRIM and similar compounds are extremely durable. It hardens to incredible levels without being brittle, and it can easily beat the durability of wood.

It won’t chip, crack, dent, or anything else under normal circumstances, and this creates a long-lasting crown molding option that maintains its original appearance throughout the years. 

In comparison, wood is fairly fragile. It might not break easily, but most species will get scratched, gouged, and chipped with ease, and while those things aren’t the end of the world, they do take away from the overall appearance of your building.

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Maintenance

Foam crown molding is exceptionally easy to maintain. It’s practically maintenance-free. There’s no need to refinish, sand, paint, or anything like that.

Once it’s installed, the most you need to do is a normal cleaning routine. On top of its long lifespan, this essentially means you get beautiful trim you rarely have to worry about, and it won't need to be replaced any time soon. 

In comparison, traditional crown molding requires a lot of maintenance. Since it’s inside your building, it won’t be exposed to the elements, but its finish will fade over time.

That requires sanding and refinishing to bring it back to its original appearance, and eventually, that’s not even possible. The crown molding will also lose a little bit of its sharpness and detail every time you do this.

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Ease of Installation

Traditional crown molding is fairly difficult to install. First, it has to be cut perfectly. Any issues with the initial cutting and routing process will leave you with horrible-looking molding that has gaps and noticeable differentiation in size.

Foam crown molding vs traditional crown molding - installing crown molding.

A professional won’t allow this to happen, but it still requires a lot of skill. It’s also more difficult to create more complex designs due to the limitations of the material

In comparison, foam crown molding can take on any shape you need for your project extremely easily, and because it’s made with molds, it’s perfect every single time.

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Material Waste

This is another area where foam crown molding excels. The amount of material you waste not only increases the impact of the project on the environment but also increases your project costs. Every scrap of material wasted is something you paid for without getting results. 

Foam crown molding has virtually no waste, thanks to the molding process. That’s less garbage going into a landfill, and it’s less money wasted. 

Traditional molding can vary in the amount of waste it generates depending on the skill of the craftsmen installing it, how well the project was planned, and several other factors. It’s very easy to waste large amounts of money with it

Foam Crown Molding VS Traditional Crown Molding: Environmental Impact

Finally, making environmentally conscious decisions has been a positive trend in recent years, and if you’re wondering, foam crown molding does have some advantages in this department. 

While it’s a polymer, it lasts practically indefinitely. So, you’re not having to replace nearly as much. 

Also, since there’s less material waste, that’s another benefit. 

In comparison, traditional crown molding generates a lot of waste, degrades faster, and requires finishes that aren’t environmentally positive.

Where to Get Foam Crown Molding

If this comparison of foam crown molding vs traditional crown molding helped you and you’re looking to have foam crown molding installed in your next architecture project, themed environments for temporary displays, or anything else, our team of professionals at Baker Studios got you covered!

Contact us today.

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