Crown Moulding Reveals at Ceilings

You can get a nice effect with cabinet crown by holding it down 1/8" from the ceiling. April 29, 2011

I was talking to my sister who is very into interior design, and she mentioned that some designers have the crown moulding hung keeping 1/8" below the ceiling. I think it makes sense. You would have a nice shadow line and room to fudge and hide the ups and downs that will inevitably be in the ceiling. Has anyone done this?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor F:
Another trick to hide the ceiling imperfection is to paint a 3Ē or 4Ē wide strip if 1/8" material black. Nail it up behind the crown so that the edge is about 1/2" behind the edge where the crown would meet the ceiling. Leave the crown about 1/2" down from the ceiling. It will create the illusion that the crown is meeting the ceiling when you are standing back and just looking at the kitchen. Upon close inspection, you can tell, but in general (the way most people view a room) it does the trick. Give it a try with some scrap material, itís pretty neat.

From contributor L:
I just finished up a kitchen and they requested all the upper cabinets be 2" off the ceiling and the crown molding accordingly. I was skeptical at first but upon completion it looks great. I will keep that in my memory bank and suggest it to others in the future.

From contributor L:
Itís difficult at best and yes it has been done for years. There are several ways to do the install all are time consuming and exacting. Itís easier to rabbit the top of the crown or add to it. Second is the ceiling itself. It is either perfect or it must be skimmed.

From contributor P:
Crown moulding is meant to be tied into the ceiling and the wall for strength. Also, by putting it on half and half you will hide the imperfections of the wall IF installed correctly.

From the original questioner:
Yes, I agree crown should be fastened to the ceiling when doing a room of crown. I was more talking about hardwood crown on top of casework. Sure you can scribe it to the ceiling, but if you can get a nice look without the extra time, then why not? Also, in my experience, there is no need to nail hardwood crown to the ceiling if it is nailed well to the cabinet, or furniture board. We used to use 15 ga nails through the cabinet and into the ceiling, but for years now we have been using only brads into the cabinet (not into the ceiling) with excellent results. There are normally lots if inn's and out's in the cabinetry and that is where the structure is getting its strength.

Since this post I have installed a few jobs keeping it 1/8th off the ceiling and I am very happy with how it turned out! Also, it makes for a much easier time painting the ceiling!