Knowledge Builders

what is trim in a home

by Alexandra Brekke Published 1 year ago Updated 5 months ago

A small yet mighty design element in a room, trim is a type of millwork used on walls for both practical and decorative purposes. “Typically, trim covers the gaps between two areas, but it can also be highly decorative, setting the style and tone of the room,” says Lowe's Project Expert Hunter Macfarlane.Jul 2, 2020

Full Answer

What is considered trim in a house?

What is considered trim in a house? A small yet mighty design element in a room, trim is a type of millwork used on walls for both practical and decorative purposes. “Typically, trim covers the gaps between two areas, but it can also be highly decorative, setting the style and tone of the room,” says Lowe's Project Expert Hunter Macfarlane.

What is the best material to use for exterior house trim?

Exterior House Trim Materials

  • Solid Wood. Solid wood trim is one of the oldest materials around. ...
  • Engineered Wood. Engineered wood has become a fast growing alternative to solid wood. ...
  • Fiber Cement Trim. Fiber cement has become another alternative that tends to get a lot of attention as being more durable and longer lasting than wood.
  • Plastic Trim. ...
  • Preservative-Treated Trim. ...

What material is used for exterior house trim?

  • specify vertical grain material (heartwood of durable species best)
  • specify exterior-exposure adhesive in joints
  • factory or field-apply oil-base prime coat on all surfaces.
  • use 2 coats of 100% acrylic latex paint for top coats (do not use stains)
  • maintain protective coating on regular basis
  • carefully detail architectural elements to minimize exposure

What is the best paint for exterior house trim?

  • Choose an oil-based paint. Oil-based paint ($20 to $50 per gallon) has a thicker consistency and longer drying time (as compared with water-based latex or acrylic paint) to ensure that ...
  • Pick a paint based on placement. ...
  • Opt for semi-gloss. ...


What is trim when building a house?

Trim a.k.a. Moldings – Trim, also known as molding is one of the best ways to add depth and beauty to any room. Baseboard, casing, crown molding, window, door and chair rail. Trim is a design element that adds depth, detail and richness to any room. Most people building a new home don’t give trim much thought.

What do you call trim around house?

Fascia and trim are both exterior elements of a home that contribute to moisture prevention and curb appeal. Loosely defined, trim is used as fascia, and some may refer to it as “fascia trim ,” showing that these two terms are often confused due to their similar purposes.

Is baseboard considered trim?

Baseboard is the wood (or other material) board that runs between the floor and the wall. It usually is between 3”-8” and comes in a variety of materials and profiles. Trim is a broad term that encompasses baseboard and other trim throughout the home.

Is door trim the same as baseboards?

Can you use baseboards as door trim? Yes, you can use baseboards as door trim. However, it can look visually unappealing to some due to the thickness of regular door trim versus, baseboard trim. The door trim is also designed to draw interest towards the door, whereas baseboards don’t do that.

What is the trim around an interior door called?

Interior door casing is the term used to describe the trim found around a door opening. According to This Old House, “Door casings are both decorative and utilitarian, enhancing the look of the door while also concealing the transition between the wall and the jamb.”

What is the door trim?

Door trim, or what carpenters commonly refer to as casing, is the flat trim piece that covers the door jamb and the space between the wall and the door jamb.

Does siding replacement include trim?

The answer to this question depends on the siding contractor that you hire. Some siding contractors include the cost of trim in their estimates, while others do not. To be sure, you should ask your siding contractor if the price quoted for siding replacement includes trim.

Should windows be installed before siding?

One option would be to install the windows first and then install the siding. This way, you can make sure that the windows are properly sealed and protected from the elements before the siding is installed.

Can you use wood trim with vinyl siding?

Yes, wood trim can be used with vinyl siding. The trim can be painted or stained to match the look of the vinyl siding.

How do you install wood siding and trim?

Installing wood siding and trim is a relatively simple process that can be completed by most do-it-yourselfers in a weekend or two. Here are the basic steps:

What goes at the top of vinyl siding?

The top of vinyl siding usually has a little lip that hooks over the edge of the house. This helps to keep the water from getting behind the vinyl siding.

Do you paint all sides of exterior trim?

No, you typically only need to paint the sides of exterior trim that are exposed to the elements. So, if you have trim on your home that is protected by an overhang or awning, you may not need to paint it.

What is exterior trim on a house made of?

Exterior trim on a house is typically made of wood, although plastic and aluminum are also used. Wood is the most popular choice because it is durable and easy to work with. However, it requires more maintenance than other materials and is susceptible to rot and insect damage.

What is interior house trim made of?

Trim is often made of lightweight wood such as pine or hemlock, but it can also be made of plastic, like PVC. In a purely aesthetic sense, trim is like trimming off the ragged edges of a room. Or it’s like outlining certain areas of a picture. It gives the room a nice, crisp, finished look.

What does trim mean when building a house?

The finish materials on the exterior of a building, such as moldings applied around openings (window trim, door trim), siding, windows, exterior doors, attic vents, crawl space vents, shutters, etc. Also, the physical work of installing these materials.

What is considered the trim?

Trim on a home’s exterior typically includes the material that edges the windows and doors, the fascia board that runs along the lower edge of the roof and the soffits beneath the roof. Depending on the style of your home, your trim could include more elements, like a horizontal trim board that runs beneath the fascia.

What are the four types of molding?

1) Compression Molding. The compression molding process is used to make rubber and plastic parts.

What is trim?

Before jumping into the different types of trim materials, it is important to understand what trim is and how it is used.

Types of interior trim materials

Each of the above-mentioned types of trim comes in several different material options. The four most common trim materials are MDF, wood, PVC, and tile. Prices are typically measured in linear feet of trim board.

Interior trim style and guidelines

When adding trim into your home’s design, you’ll want to take into account a few style principles. These general guidelines are not set in stone, but they can help bring visual dimension and character to your space.

Want to talk to a professional designer about trim?

Now that you’re developing your own expertise on trim materials and design principles, take the next step! Learn more about current interior design trends and how you can apply them to your own home in this article .

What is trim in a house?

Trim is a design element that adds depth, detail and richness to any room. Most people building a new home don’t give trim much thought. They don’t consider the size, style and material being used. How they flow together from room to room and how they match the overall style of the home.

How much does baseboard trim cost?

The basic base molding found in the vast majority of homes is 3 1/4″ wide and sells for about $1.50 per ft. Wider 7″ trim is generally found in larger homes with big rooms and runs around $3.50 per linear foot.

What is wainscoting for a wall?

Wainscoting is a way of finishing the lower area of the wall with something more ornate than sheet rock. Base trim is generally still included with wainscoting even if it’s something as simple a shoe molding. Wainscoting is custom built on site so styles are almost unlimited including simple wood panels, bead board, raised panels and horizontal wood paneling. The finish is generally all white with a semi gloss finish but it doesn’t have to be. We have many clients who’ve painted their wainscoting to match an overall color scheme in a room. Wainscoting can also be built out of oak or cherry and stained, a very expensive option for a particular style of high end luxury home.

Why is crown molding used?

Crown molding was designed for a specific purpose. In older homes where the ceiling and wall met it tended to crack. Old homes used lath and plaster, not sheetrock and spackle. Plaster is harder and had a tendency to crack. Out of this problem crown molding was born. It’s functional purpose was to cover up the cracks in the joining of two surfaces. As a side effect it just happens to be a beautiful look for just about any home.

How to trim a window at 45 degrees?

The most common way of trimming a window is to use 4 pieces of trim with the ends cut at a 45 degree angle. Nailed together they form a frame which is nailed to the sides, top and bottom of the window. Because all 4 sides match this is a cheap and easy way to trim any size window. This method called picture frame.

What is the baseboard in a house?

The baseboard (the tall, flat piece). The cap (an ornamental piece that sits on top of the baseboard). Modern base moldings which you’ll find in the majority of homes are 2 parts. Part 1 is the baseboard which combines the baseboard and cap into one piece. Part 2 which is the shoe.

How to coordinate window trim?

As with any of the other trim styles coordinate your window trim with the rest of the home. Make sure it fits with the overall style of the home, not just the other trim pieces. Look at lots of reference photos on your own or with your builder and choose rooms you love as inspiration.

What is door trim?

For those still asking the question “What is door trim?” it can be more accurately referred to as a doorway casing. Designers recommend that door trims stay consistent from room to room for consistency and flow because door trims come in a wide variety of styles that cater to everyone’s tastes.

What are the different types of door trims?

The different types of door trims can be categorized into four main categories. These include farmhouse, craftsman, minimal, and colonial ones.

What is a paint grade wood casing?

A paint-grade wood casing consists of bare wood that must be primed and painted. Painting the casing hides the joints, but staining allows for more depth. You can make a paint-grade wood casing more detailed than you can with manmade materials.

What is a trim level?from

Trim levels further identify a vehicle by a particular set of special features. Higher trim levels either will add to the features of the entry-level model (often called the "base" model) or replace them with something else. Trim levels are where you'll come across terms such as EX, LTZ, Touring and Grand Touring, among countless others. On Edmunds, you might also encounter the word "style."

How to learn the difference between trims?from

A great way to learn the differences between the trims is to read Edmunds car reviews. Click the "Read Full Review" button for the car and go to "Trim Levels & Features" for all the details.

What is beadboard trim?from

Beadboard is a type of wainscoting (meaning it, too, is paneling and not technically trim or molding) comprising a row of vertical boards separated by ridges known as beads. It’s also framed by trim.

What is casing in millwork?from

“Trim and molding are used interchangeably to describe types of millwork,” says Macfarlane. “Casing is a specific type of molding used to trim windows and doors.”

What is trim level hierarchy?from

Trim level hierarchy remains consistent throughout an automaker's vehicle lineup. Trim levels are the only things you need to keep track of when shopping for a Honda. Porsche offers a number of options and accessories for owners to customize their vehicles. Mercedes and other luxury brands tend to bundle options in packages.

Which car brands have option free trim?from

While some automakers have certain vehicles with option-free trim levels, only Honda and Acura (Honda's luxury brand) apply this concept to all their vehicles. With this simplified trim structure, the only things you have to decide upon are the color and trim level.

Is wainscoting the same as trim?from

Though it is technically paneling and not trim or molding, wainscoting is often placed under the same umbrella as decorative millwork for walls. Wainscoting is paneling set on the lower portion of walls framed by trim. SHOP NOW WallDesign Recessed White Birch Wainscot Wall Panel, $15.97. Spiderstock Getty Images.

What is polymer trim?

Polymer. Polymer trim is manufactured by injecting a polypropylene resin into pre-formed molds of various sizes. On the plus side, polymer trim is easy to work with and easy to paint, which can save you time.

Why do people prefer wood trim?

Many homeowners prefer wood trim because of its natural look and feel but quality wood products are becoming scarcer, and therefore more expensive. In addition, wood is prone to rot and insects, which means repair and replacement are more necessary than with other trim options.

How long is fiber cement trim good for?

Depending on the manufacturer, fiber cement trim comes with up to a 15 year warranty. While slightly more than primed wood trim and decidedly less than PVC trim, fiber cement trim is a solid choice for exterior trim.

What is cellular PVC trim?

Cellular PVC exterior house trim is manufactured from polyvinyl chloride and molded to various styles and sizes. It is easy to install using standard woodworking tools, but it tends to be on the higher end of the price spectrum. It is also not suitable for areas with dramatic temperature changes.

Can PVC trim be painted?

Though the technology has improved over the years, there still are issues with PVC trim and heat. This trim can be easily painted or simply used as is if you desire white.

Is fiber cement trim durable?

Fiber cement trim is one of the most stable and durable trims in the industry. It will not support combustion. It is also rot, insect and impact resistant. Because of this, there is less maintenance than other trims.

What is a trim?

TRIM is a general term that refers to all molding in a home (i.e. window casing, door casing, baseboards, etc.). MOLDING (or moulding) is a broad classification of millwork (any type of woodwork that is produced in a mill … typically decorative) in the home that adds non-structural details (or ornamentation) and beauty to a room.

What is trim molding?

This is a common question, and the answer is pretty simple. TRIM is a general term that refers to all molding in a home (i.e. window casing, door casing, baseboards, etc.).

What is window casing?

Window casing is the functional (and decorative) molding used to frame your windows.

What is wainscoting in a wall?

Wainscoting is a broad term that refers to any decorative paneling used on a wall. The original purpose of wainscoting was: to prevent damage to walls, to cover up wall damage, to provide extra insulation, and as a decorative accent.

Is it normal for trim to crack?

There is the ONE negative to trim work (and it is the ONLY negative other than cost) … your gorgeous trim work will crack. A LOT (sniff sniff)! Cracking with custom trim work is normal … REALLY frustrating … but normal!

Can you cover a wall with wainscoting?

Some people even cover their entire wall with wainscoting … and it looks stunning! Wainscot is still used as a protective measure against wall damage, but it is primarily used as a decorative accent in homes. It comes in MANY styles and is usually capped at the top with a chair rail.

Can you add trim to a new construction home?

If you want to add molding and trim work to your new construction home (or to customize your current home), but aren’t fully sure of what options you have, this post is for YOU! Incorporating interior trim and molding makes a HUGE custom home design statement!


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