Crown Molding in a Bathroom: Things to Consider

The days of having an ordinary, uninspiring bathroom are gone. These days, people want their bathroom to be just as decorative as other places in their homes. So, if you want to jazz up your bathroom, can you install crown molding in it?

Yes. You can install crown molding in your bathroom. However, the bathroom has more moisture in it than any other room in your house. Therefore, there are certain things that you will have to do to make sure that crown molding holds up well in the bathroom.

crown molding in bathroom

One of the main things you don’t want is moisture to destroy your crown molding’s beauty. However, there are some other things to keep in mind when installing crown molding in the bathroom.


History of Crown Molding

Although crown molding seems to be all the rage nowadays, it isn’t a recent phenomenon. You will be surprised to know that this technique of decorating seams where the ceiling and wall meet dates back to antiquity. The Egyptians used a type of molding called Cavetto or Torus molding to decorate their temples. It was primarily found on the exterior of buildings, but it resembled the crown molding used in modern architecture.

Greeks and Romans also incorporated crown molding in their public buildings. They would create ornate crown molding made of stone or marble known as epikranitis. These moldings at the top of their temple walls were elaborate, made of various shapes and textures.

Over the centuries, this minor architectural feature grew to represent wealth. Very few people had this in their homes primarily because these unique details were hand-crafted by artisans. The more elaborate the crown molding, the wealthier the family was.

In the 1800s, crown molding became more readily available to the public, particularly middle-class families that were growing due to the industrial age. They primarily showed off their wealth by having elaborate crown molding in prominent areas of the home. Today, crown molding is readily available to anyone and is relatively easy to install for skilled artisans and DIYers.

Traditional Uses For Crown Molding

As previously mentioned, the ancients used this elaborate style as a way of adorning temples. It was primarily a design used in public places. Today, crown molding is no longer reserved for public buildings. However, it has been mainly installed in public areas of the home.

Crown molding may have become an architectural statement in most modern homes. However, in the past, it had a much more practical use. The place where the wall and the ceiling meet is usually not beautiful or symmetrical. To mask this issue, just as textured ceilings hide flaws with ceilings, crown molding became a way to hide these flaws between the wall and the ceiling. This technique can also make ceilings feel higher.

The most popular rooms for crown molding has been those that are in common areas of the home. These rooms include the kitchen, living room, family room, and formal dining rooms. However, crown molding is starting to make its way into private areas of the house, including bedrooms and bathrooms. No longer is it something to show off to the guests in your home.

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Instead, it is a very decorative piece that you can enjoy staring at in the pleasure of your bedroom as you relax. Even bathrooms are starting to get made over with crown molding. These rooms are typically small and crowded. And since crown molding is known to make rooms feel bigger, it is becoming much more sought after in bathrooms.

Why Crown Molding in Bathrooms is Trending

For many years, bathrooms were small, dank rooms that people were terrified to enter let alone, stay in for any period of time. However, now bathrooms are becoming more luxurious spaces in the home and are now becoming spa-like retreats for many. As such, people want decorative ceilings to match the sophisticated showers, toilets, sinks, and hardware in their bathrooms.

As these rooms become more regal, people want more elaborate crown molding. Sometimes the crown molding in these areas of the house may be more ornate than in other areas. Not only does crown molding drive up the aesthetic value of the home, but it also may boost the home’s value.

Crown molding in a remodeled bathroom may improve your home’s appraisal value, particularly if you are selling it. However, this is only if it has been installed professionally and not just added for the expressed purpose of improving return on investment (ROI). Crown molding is a rare feature in a bathroom and can increase the interest of potential buyers if installed correctly.

Although crown molding is primarily installed around the ceilings in the bathroom as it is in other areas of the home, this isn’t the only place where you will find crown molding in the bathroom. It is also being used to decorate cabinets and closets in the bathroom. Even vanity mirrors are being spruced up with crown molding. If you don’t want to include crown molding throughout the entire bathroom, placing them in these areas can still add aesthetic value without overdoing it.

What Types Of Crown Molding Exists

One of the most common types of crown molding is wood crown molding. This type of molding works very well in well-ventilated areas of the home. However, in moisture-rich areas of the home like the bathroom, wood may not be the best choice. The moisture from the shower can wreak havoc on the wood molding.

This can lead to wood warping and mold buildup, especially on wood that isn’t moisture-resistant such as pine. Even if the damage isn’t visible, it could be developing behind the crown molding between the wall and the ceiling seam.

Luckily, there are some other popular options for crown molding that exist. One popular type of crown molding is plaster. This type of crown molding is trendy because it can be shaped into any design you want. Unfortunately, this type of molding can be pretty hefty and is prone to cracking.

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Polystyrene is another option. This looks much like Styrofoam. It is effortless to cut, shape, and install, but its drawback is that it can look substantially cheaper than other crown moldings. Unfortunately, this cheap look will defeat the purpose of adding it to a luxurious bathroom.

Another option for crown molding in the bathroom could be Polyvinyl chloride (PVC). This is a plastic polymer that works well in moisture-rich areas like the bathroom. Polyurethane is also another plastic crown molding that could work well in the bathroom. It is very resistant to rot, but it is much more susceptible to damage than wood crown molding.

Flex crown molding is yet another type of crown molding that you can use in the bathroom. This type of molding can be shaped into a highly ornate design, and it is flexible because it is made of a kind of rubbery substance.

The best crown molding to use in bathrooms is moisture-resistant crown molding. PVC, flex, and Polyurethane crown molding will be the best choices for use in bathrooms. Plaster can be used in the bathroom too. Unfortunately, it chips frequently, and maintenance on it can be pretty daunting.

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Crown Molding in Bathrooms

When it comes to installing crown molding in bathrooms, there are many advantages. One is that it can make a very dull, drab bathroom much more elegant. Adding crown molding can make a simple bathroom feel upscale. It can also make the bathroom feel roomier, and the ceilings feel taller.

Since it is rare to find crown molding in bathrooms, proper installation and a gorgeous design can add value to your home. Another great thing about crown molding in your bathroom is that it can hide unsightly imperfections where the ceiling and the wall meet.

While crown molding in your bathroom may be a great addition, unfortunately, there are some drawbacks. One of the significant drawbacks of crown molding in bathrooms is that since this area has a high humidity level, it can damage the wood crown molding.

Therefore, it is best to either install wood treated for waterproofing or simply bypass wood altogether and opt for more moisture-resistant options. Unfortunately, the alternative wood options don’t always look as elegant, but they are much more functional.

How to Install Crown Molding in Bathrooms

By now, you have explored the pros and cons of installing crown molding in a bathroom. You also know the various types of crown molding that will work best in your bathroom. So, now the only thing left to do is install it. So, how do you do it?

Installing PVC and Polyurethane Crown Molding

One great thing about installing these plastic crown molding options is that you don’t have to be highly skilled to cut and install them. They are very delicate, however. Therefore, you have to be careful that you don’t dent or ding them when installing them.

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Installing plastic crown molding is very similar to installing wood crown molding. However, putting the ends together is quite different. Wood requires the crown molding to be cut at specific angles to fit together correctly. Plastic crown molding may come with inside and outside corner blocks and a connector block.

If you are not a fan of the blocks and want the pieces to fit together resembling wood, you can skip the blocks. Instead of using scarf joints as you do with wood crown molding, you can use butt joints to put the ends together. Then, you can use a bead of caulk on the ends to hide imperfections. When you are ready to hang the molding, you can use an adhesive to stick the molding to the wall.

The plastic molding will require screws instead of nails to keep from damaging the molding. The screws will need to be drilled into the studs. Just like with wood, you can finish off imperfections with nail screws and gaps with caulking. In the bathroom, it’s best to use silicone caulk because it is better to use in moisture-prone areas.

Installing Flex Crown Molding

You can cut flex molding just like wood. You must be careful that you acclimate the flex molding to about 70 degrees before you start working with it, however. Otherwise, there will be all types of problems with installation, particularly cracking. Once the flex molding is ready to install, you can glue it to the wall using a polyurethane adhesive.

Flex molding is exceptionally easy to install, even easier than plastic. Once you cut it, you can glue it to the wall. It will need to be nailed also but keep the nails to a minimum. It is best to install this using two people to ensure that it fits snuggly and doesn’t droop. Again, like with wood crown molding and plastic crown molding, you can fix imperfections by caulking them.

Installing Plaster Crown Molding

Although plaster molding may not be one of the best choices in the bathroom, it is still a charming type of molding that you may want to consider for the area. You will have to be extra careful with plaster because it can easily chip if not handled appropriately.

Cutting plaster crown molding can be done in the same way that wood is cut at 45-degree angles for inside and outside cuts. These types of molding also don’t require a scarf joint and instead use a butt joint for longer sections of crown molding along the wall.

Plaster crown molding will need to be affixed to the wall using an adhesive. You can use finishing nails to help with installation but just like with plastic, you can also use screws. Like all crown molding, you can fix all gaps and nail holes with caulk, preferably silicone caulk, because it is less susceptible to moisture issues.