When to Use a Crown Molding End Cap

Written by Milan Jara on 3rd Oct 2022

Crown Molding End Cap

Crown moldings turn a bland-looking home into a glamorous one. Knowing when to use a crown molding end cap can help maintain the professional and glam look.

For the DIY connoisseur, installing crown molding can initially be a bit daunting. There are inside corners to cut, outside corners to fabricate, and joints to create. Armed with a can-do attitude, simple woodworking skills, crown molding, and a how-to guide, you can achieve this feat. However, ending a crown molding is a different ball game. Knowing when and how to end it sets you a notch higher than the regular DIYers. Buckle up, and let's dive into the details of when to use a crown molding end cap.

When Does Crown Molding End?

Typically, crown molding ends where the vertical aspect meets the horizontal surface and vice versa. To put this into perspective, consider a corner where crown molding across the ceiling meets a doorway. You must end the corner with a distinct style that doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

Another case where crown molding ends is when the end abuts against a doorway. Depending on the material, the door may expand at different rates. An end gap allows for expansion during the warmer periods and contraction during the colder times. You can learn how to cap the open end of crown molding when it meets a doorway.

Crown Molding In Bedroom

Also, when the crown molding encounters a change in ceiling height or a wall panel, you cannot just continue fixing the molding. You need a way to blend the crown molding with the adjacent ceiling or the wall tile. You can even combine the two since the end gap is more functional than aesthetic, while the crown molding is more aesthetic.

Do You Need a Crown Molding End Cap?

In most homes, the crown molding runs seamlessly from wall to wall across the ceiling. However, not all homes are the same, with height differences, doorway extensions, and other asymmetrical fixtures. There are multiple ways of terminating crown molding when you encounter height differences. Hanging return, corbel, and dead-end crown molding are some options you can explore to end crown molding.

Crown Molding

If your crown molding meets the wall, a doorway extension, a cabinet, or a urethane baseboard molding from the floor, you can use an end cap. An end cap is necessary to provide space for expansion where the molding meets another fitted piece, such as a doorway. The cap protects a small portion of the covering which is essential in ensuring the integrity and durability of the crown molding. End caps are also easy to remove, meaning you can update your crown moldings with little fuss. Choose an end cap with the same color as your wall panel or tiling for an improved aesthetic look.

How to Install a Crown Molding End Cap

Assuming you have made the wise decision to affix an end cap to corners and meeting points of your molding and walls and doorways, you must know how to use an end cap to end crown molding. End caps are usually square-shaped; therefore, you'll fit them with no fuss. For this process, you will need the following tools and supplies:

  • Miter saw
  • Wood glue
  • Finish nails
  • Caulk
  • Crown molding end cap
  • Crown molding

After gathering your supplies, follow our five-step procedure to install the crown molding end cap.

Miter Cut

1. Make a Miter Cut

On the end where you want to install the end gap, make a 45-degree miter cut using a miter saw. You may need a miter box to set the angle. Alternatively, you can use a compound miter saw. Measure the length of the crown molding needed to complete the corner and put the crown molding against the miter saw such that the crown’s bottom edge sits against the fence of the saw and the other edge against the table. Carefully cut.

2. Make the Cut on a Cap Molding

We all know the golden rule of woodworking is to measure twice and cut once. But even if you measure a quintillion times, you may make an error while cutting. To avoid this, create a cut on scrap molding that is at least a foot long. Make an outside cut just as you did in the previous step (set the angle to 45 degrees). Learn more about how to make cuts on the molding the correct way.

3. Resize the Cap

If the builders fitted your house with all angles correctly, i.e., at 90 degrees, you are in luck. You can skip this step. However, since most corners and ends of the crown molding aren't perfect angles, you may need to make the cap wedge-shaped. To do this, place the scrap molding on the saw and cut it such that the piece comes to a point coinciding with the bottom edge.

Please note that if your crown molding is meeting your doorway at a perfect 45-45 angle, you will need a square-shaped cap meaning you’ll set the miter saw to 90 degrees.

4. Fit the End Cap

Slide the cap to fit the squares and use wood glue to fasten the end cap instead of nailing it. Using nails might break the fragile cap. After fixing the cap, nail the adjoining end of the crown molding. If the crown molding ends, fix it against the tile or the doorway.

5. Put in Caulk

After fitting an end cap, you may have large, unsightly gaps. Fill in the spaces with caulk, but don't overdo it to avoid closing the gap completely. Using a caulking gun will help you determine the correct amount of caulk.


Don’t have unappealing gaps when the crown moldings end. You can use an end gap to complete a professional crown molding installation. Once you know when to use a crown molding end gap, you can follow our steps to install a crown molding end gap. Happy DIYing your crown molding installations!

At Decorative Ceiling Tiles, we are keen on quality moldings as the foundational steps to a glam-looking crib. Check out our selection of crown moldings, basement trims, and ceiling tiles to spruce up your house’s interior.

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