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Woodwork Should Work to Enhance a Room's Beauty

March 21, 1998|From Associated Press

If you're adding a room or remodeling, don't take the interior trim for granted. The woodwork you select for the baseboard, doors and windows goes a long way toward adding personality to the room--even before the curtains, rugs and furnishings are brought in.

For a custom look, you'll want something other than the off-the-shelf moldings.

One alternative is based on a style popular until the early 1950s. It's distinguished by flat door and window casings made from nominal 1-inch stock (three-quarters-inch thick), with corner blocks at the upper corners of windows and doors and plinth blocks at the bottom of door casings. The corner and plinth blocks are made from 5/4 material (about 1 1/16 inches thick), and the windows feature a traditional stool and apron. A three-piece baseboard made up of 1-inch stock, baseboard cap and quarter-round shoe molding completes the job.

Stock sizes you use should correspond to the proportions of your room. The choice of 1-by-6, 1-by-8 or 1-by-10 lumber for the baseboard trim largely depends on the scale of the room, particularly height. Door and window trim can vary from 1-by-4 to 1-by-6. For a width in between standard lumber sizes, rip wider stock to your desired dimension.

If you're renovating an existing space and have removed all the old woodwork, installing new material begins at the door. If you're taking over the trim carpenter's job on a new addition, you'll probably find that the doors need to be hung first. These days, most interior doors come pre-hung. The door is bored and mortised for a lock set; the hinges are installed, and the door is mounted to the jamb assembly. Once the pre-hung door is trimmed to size, shimmed and secured to the wall framing, it's time to install the trim.

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