Wood vs. Foam Crown Molding: Which One Is Right for Your Renovation Project?

Written by Milan Jara on 20th May 2019

DIY Foam Crown Molding - 3.5' Wide 95.5' Long - #CC 351

If a home renovation project is on your list of to-dos this weekend, here’s an easy place to get started: crown molding. Transforming a room has never been easier with crown molding. One thing to decide before you get started is whether you want to use wood or foam crown mold bases. The benefits and drawbacks of each type of crown molding will determine which one is best for your upcoming project.

Crown molding is described as the focal point of every room. It is a large and decorative piece of design that acts as a connection between the wall and ceiling. Not only does it close the gap between the two structures, but it also adds an element of aesthetic design that will make any room look top-of-the-line without much effort.

You can find the crown molding process in many Greek structures from over 2,000 years ago all the way up to today’s buildings. While the original crown moldings were made with stone, materials for crown molding have certainly changed overtime. Any mold can now look great and are now made of wood, PVC, polyurethane foam, Styrofoam (injection molding) and other unconventional materials.

It is important before deciding which type of crown molding is right for your home to ensure that the material is up to safety codes. Building inspectors will be able to tell you whether or not the material you choose is right for your home.

If you’re deciding between wood or foam crown molding, here are some things to consider about each type before you get started.



Wood Crown Molding

DIY Foam Crown Molding - 5.5' wide 95.5' long - #CC551 - Plain White

Traditional crown molding is made of wood. These crown moldings are similar in shape and size to foam crown molding, but the material is much heavier. They require much more heavy-duty tools to install and could experience rotting or water damage.

The great thing about wood crown molding is it comes in a variety of wood options. With different types of wood to choose from, wood crown molding can have a unique coloring that is enhanced by the natural wood coloring.



Pros of Wood Crown Molding

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Easy to Stain

Staining your wood crown molding is easy to do as the wood soaks up stains easily. This will give you a variety of options to choose from when it comes to wood styles. If you aren’t particularly fond of the natural wood coloring, you can easily stain the wood to meet your design needs.

Great for Adding High Value

Wood crown molding is great for adding value to any home. Because wood is a more expensive material, opting to put wood crown molding in your home could boost the value quickly. While it might cost you more money up front, you will reap the benefits later during resale.

Different Types of Wood to Choose From

Nature produces beautiful wood in a variety of colorings. This makes the option to use natural wood crown molding even better. From pine to cedar, you can bring nature into your home with wood crown molding.



Cons of Wood Crown Molding

Not Cost-Efficient

Anything made from wood is going to be more expensive when it comes to building. That’s why so many people choose foam crown molding over wood crown molding. You will spend more money upfront to get the wood crown molding in all of the need places in your home than if you chose a faux material.

Harder to Cut and More Difficult to Install

Lighter materials, such as foam crown molding, are easier to cut than wood crown molding. You will need more power tools to cut the actual wood crown molding, which you might not have on hand at your home. This can make installation more difficult and require more help than you have available.

Foam Crown Molding

The great thing about foam crown molding is it is cost-efficient and looks the same as wood crown molding. Any person who is willing to do their home renovations themselves can take on foam crown molding without any problems. Foam crown molding is made of flexible materials such as Styrofoam which allows it to be pliable. Here are some pros and cons of foam crown molding to help you decide whether it is the right fit for your home project.



Pros of Foam Crown Molding

DIY Foam Crown Molding - 3.5' wide 95.5' Long - #CC351 - Plain White

Easy to Install

Foam crown molding differs from wood crown molding in the fact that it is easy to install by yourself. You don’t need a team to help you or any expensive tools or equipment either. Because foam crown molding is lightweight, you can install the molding yourself and with as little as constructive adhesive. No nails, screws, or saws needed. You could easily install your foam crown molding by yourself in one day.


Wood crown molding is made from real wood, which can hike up costs. Foam crown molding is made of less-expensive materials such as Styrofoam, which makes the cost for your overall project much less than if you used real wood. For most projects, foam crown molding will look just as high quality as real wood, which means you can add value to your home without spending a fortune up front.


Styrofoam or foam is easy to bend and shape. This makes putting foam crown moldings in your home easier when it comes to the curvature of your rooms or unique projects you want to complete. Wood crown moldings are not pliable and will not allow you to bend them how you need to.



Cons of Foam Crown Molding

Not Suitable for Textured Walls or Ceilings

A set back to using foam crown molding is that it is not compatible with textured walls or ceilings. The foam does not sit flush against the textures as wood crown moldings would. Because you’re only using an adhesive to place the foam crown molding on the wall/ceiling, you won’t be able to get good adhesion with foam crown molding.

Quality Might Suffer

While most foam crown molding projects will be on ceilings or in places that no one can get close to, projects that require frequent interaction such as chair railing might suffer due to the lower quality. Wood crown molding might work better for chair rails or other places that see frequent passersby.

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