Keith Sagalow
Certified Building Contractor 
Sarasota, Florida 34241-5923
(941) 342-1341
License No. CBC1251528

Mouldings A-Z


Apron – A piece of horizontal sash or window trim applied against the wall immediately below the stool; serves to conceal the joint made by the sash or window frame sill & the plaster on interior finish surface.

Astragal – An interior moulding attached to one of a pair of doors or sash in order to prevent swinging through; also used with sliding doors to ensure tighter fitting where the doors meet.

Baluster (Spindle) - Vertical piece used to fill an open area between railing and floor or tread, helping to support the railing. Square or turned spindle-like vertical stair pieces supporting the stair rail.

Balustrade - A barrier system which includes handrails, newels and balusters. A railing that consists of a series of balusters resting on a base, usually the treads, and supporting a continuous horizontal stair or hand rail.

Base - Moulding applied around the perimeter of a room at the point of intersection of the wall and finish floor; base shoe is generally used with it, forming a two piece base; (also baseboard, mopboard or skirting.)

Bead - Semicircular or rounded profile worked on wood; also a small moulding to secure glass or panels to doors, hence "glass bead."

Bead and Cove - Combination of a "bead" and a "cove" profile.

Bracket – Primarily for decorative exterior use including porches, cornices, and part of gable end decoration. Interior uses can support or hide joints between beam and wall, embellishments for doorways, supports for shelving, and hanging objects. A wood piece originally intended to support verge boards, hoods for porches or stoops, overhangs and cornices; today, used primarily decorative.

Cap - Upper piece of an entrance, wainscot, partition or pilaster; (also cap trim, wainscot cap, dado moulding, chair rail cap); top portion, above the fluted area, of a pilaster; (also capital).

Capital – Marks the termination of a shaft and the beginning of a horizontal support of beam (entablature) or lintel or of arch and support; same as Cap.

Casing – Moulded or surfaced-four-sides pieces of various widths and thicknesses for trimming out door and window openings; casing may be classified as “exterior” or “interior” as far as window and exterior door frames are concerned; also classified as “side” or “head” casing.

Ceiling Medallion - Plaster like ornamental round ceiling accent, sometimes used as a trim collar for ceiling fans or hanging lights. Can be used in a sequence to create interesting ceiling and wall designs.

Chair Rail - Part of a group of mouldings used to define the lower section of the wall, and to protect the wall from harsh scratches, as from furniture. When used in conjunction with paneling or wainscoting the rail serves as an ornamental cap. An interior moulding originally intended to be applied along the wall of a room to prevent the chair from marring the wall.

Chamfer – A corner of a board beveled at a 45-degree angle; two boards butt-jointed & with chamfered edges form a “V” joint or right angle.

Column - Supporting or decorative pillar used in building. Upright supporting piece circular or rectangular in plan consisting of base, shaft and capital.

Corbel - A large decorative bracket.

Corner Blocks – Square blocks used in place of mitering the sides and head casing.

Cornice (Cornice Mouldings) - Prominent horizontal projection moulding that crowns the wall of a building. Moulding such as crown, bead and cove applied to cornice construction. 1 a : the molded and projecting horizontal piece that crowns an architectural composition b : a top course that crowns a wall. The exterior trim of a structure at the meeting of the roof and wall; usually consisting of boards and mouldings; also the interior trim at the meeting of the ceiling and sidewalls; the top part of the entablature.

Cove Moulding - Moulding with a concave profile used primarily where two pieces meet at a right angle; a rounded inside corner; opposite to a bullnose; (also scotia, cavetto, ceiling cornice). 1 : a recessed place. a : an architectural piece with a concave cross section b : a trough for concealed lighting at the upper part of a wall.

Crown Moulding - Moulding used on cornice or wherever an interior angle is to be covered. A sprung moulding used where two surfaces meet at an angle; usually applied wherever a larger angle is to be covered; (also cornice moulding).

Dentil Block - Smaller rectangle block which can be spaced closely together in a series or in sequence with moulding.

Dentil Moulding (Dentil Trim) (D) - Series of small square blocks evenly spaced and projecting like teeth as used in cornice, front entrances and mantels and crossheads.

Door Casings/Window Casings - To case in a door or window is to enclose it with a moulding or series of mouldings. These are called casings and are part of the stock of most millwork suppliers. Casings range from simple beaded boards to highly complex series of profiles. In addition to mouldings, window or door casing might include such elements as corner blocks, a keystone, and base blocks. (See arches, door heads, pilasters, door/window moulding).

Door/Window Moulding - Trim moulding used as part of door or window casing. Often used along with door or window crosshead and rosettes.

Emboss - Pressing a pattern into the wood by changing the wood fibers.

Entablature – The portion of a building faced with horizontal mouldings lengthwise above a series of columns or pilasters and comprising the architrave, frieze and cornice; the structure that rests on the top of the capital of a column.

Egg and Dart - Moulding design using an egg and dart alternately. The egg is said to represent life, and the dart death.

Elliptical - Shaped like an ellipse (which is a closed plane curve that is oval in shape).

Fascia Moulding - Trim moulding applied to fascia board (horizontal facing board just below edge of roof line). A flat board, band, or face, used sometimes by itself, but usually in combination with mouldings, often located at outer face of cornice.

Finger Joint - Small pieces of wood are recycled and jointed together to create long lengths of wood for millwork at a inexpensive price.

Finial - Ornament at the top of a gable or spire, or at the end of certain structures. (See Balls).

Flute - One of the long, parallel, rounded, decorative grooves on the shaft of a column or pilaster.

Frieze - A decorative, often sculptured, horizontal band along the upper part of a building or a wall in a room. In house construction, a horizontal piece connecting the top of the siding with the soffit of the cornice.

Hardwood – One of the botanical groups of trees that has broad leaves in contrast to the needle-like leaves of the conifers or softwoods; hardwoods are (1) deciduous (shed their leaves in the fall or at the end of each growing season), (2) have shorter-length wood fibers than softwoods, (3) contain cells (vessels) of relatively large diameters (in addition to the wood fibers) and (4) have seed enclosed by an ovary.

Jamb - Top and two sides of a door or window frame which contact the door or sash; top jamb and side jambs.

Keystone – Traditionally the topmost piece of an arch. Most often appears as part of an entryway surround or window crosshead. Available in three styles including plain, recessed panel, and art deco.

Moulding - Ornamental strip used to decorate a surface, often used to accent or emphasize the ornamentation of a structure and to conceal surface or angle joints.

Moulding Block (Inside, Outside) - A moulded corner system that eliminates the need for difficult angled cuts. Lineal mouldings easily join up to these preformed corners.

Mullion – The upright or vertical piece dividing the panels in a door; the vertical piece of a sash, window or door frame between openings in a multiple-opening frame. It forms a division between units of a window, door, or screen or can be used decoratively.

Niche - A wall recess that is traditionally used to display a sculpture or ornamental object.

Ogee – Having an “S”-shaped or reverse-curve profile; the “ogee” arch was pointed with an “ogee” curve on each side and was prominent in Gothic architecture. 1 : a molding with an S-shaped profile. 2 : a pointed arch having on each side a reversed curve near the apex.

Ornaments – A group of select, highly decorative wall and ceiling motifs, such as garlands, leaves, scrolls, shells, shields, sunburst, and wreath embellishments. Ball ornaments include urns, acorns, pineapples, etc.

Pediment - Used to describe the topmost piece of a formal entryway (Pediment stacks above the crosshead) and includes the caps or heads which ornament windows and interior door. A low-pitched triangular entrance head or cap; triangle formed by sloping roof and horizontal cornice.

Picture Moulding – A narrow moulding along the perimeter of the walls near the ceiling line to support hooks for picture hanging.

Pilaster - Vertical column, often ornamental, that projects slightly from the wall. Most are purely decorative. May be rectangle or half round; often has a base (plinth block), shaft (middle section), and capital. Used most often as simulated columns in entryways and other door openings as well as fireplace mantels.

Plinth Block - Square block at the base of a column or pilaster; plinth blocks are sturdier and have a better appearance; are thicker and wider than the abutting pieces.

Railing - Horizontal bar supported at both ends or at intervals by posts, as in a balustrade, and used as a barrier. The horizontal piece of a window or door sash.

Rosette - A square block with a circular decorative design in the center usually used as a corner block as part of the casing around windows and doors. Also, a turned (usually circular or oval) decorative wood plaque secured to a plastered wall and abutted by the end of the stair rail. Can simply be used as a decorative item, as desired.

Scallop - One of a series of curves shaped like semicircles that form a border.

Shoe Moulding - Quarter round trim applied at the bottom of baseboard where it meets the floor.

Softwoods – One of the botanical groups of trees that has continuous needle-like or scale-like leaves; softwoods are evergreen (only three important native species being deciduous), have longer-length fibers than hardwoods, do not contain vessels and have seeds naked; also known as “cone bearers” or “conifers.” Fast growing softwoods.

Wainscoting - A lower interior wall surface (usually 3 to 4 feet above the floor) that contrasts with the wall surface above it. An interior wall composed of two different interior wall surfaces, one above the other.