Adding crown moulding to your home is a great way to provide an extra dash of class and character, but there are plenty of decisions you'll need to mull over before work begins. Before you get to profile styles and colours, you'll really need to think long and hard about what kind of material to use. Most people opt for solid timber, but it's often tempting to use an artificial wood instead to save a bit of money.
However, there are plenty of reasons why artificial wood is vastly inferior to solid timber when it comes to crown moulding, and here are just five.
1. Requires Greater Installation Care
You might think that artificial crown moulding would be easier to install, but this isn't actually the case. Artificial wood bends, while genuine timber does not, and plenty of dust is produced when it is cut. From the outset, genuine timber proves itself to be the more convenient option.
2. Takes Damage Easier
Artificial wood is a lot softer and lighter than natural timber, especially most of the hardwoods that tend to be used for interior carpentry. As such, it's much easier to damage artificial wood, with even the tightest knock making a little nick or dent in the surface. Crown moulding is very visible so any damage will be too – it only makes sense to use timber.
3. Tolerates Moisture Poorly
One of the major issues with artificial wood is that it is terrible at tolerating moisture. In fact, it tends to absorb any water and swell up, which is why you rarely see skirting boards made from artificial wood. Crown moulding is also vulnerable to moisture, so it's best to use a quality timber than can be treated to prevent damage.
4. Doesn't Cut as Sharply
Something many people don't realise about artificial wood is that it's hard to get a very sharp edge. When you make a cut, the edges will feel quite blunt and soft. That's problematic with any joinery since two pieces will not fit together as closely or neatly. Where your crown moulding meets in mitre joints, the join simply won't look as good.
5. Looks Cheaper
Regardless of the project, the main benefit that comes with using an artificial wood instead of solid timber is reduced cost. The problem is that the price difference will be discernible whenever anyone checks out your moulding. Unfortunately, artificial wood simply looks a lot cheaper than genuine timber. That's going to stand out more than ever with crown moulding since crown moulding is supposed to look elegant and luxurious.
Talk to your residential carpenter about getting your crown moulding made from real wood.