Molding, or moulding (Commonwealth), also known as coving (UK, Australia), is a strip of material with various profiles used to cover transitions between surfaces or for decoration. It is traditionally made from solid milled wood or plaster, but may be made from plastic or reformed wood. In classical architecture and sculpture, the molding is often carved in marble or other stones.
A "sprung" molding has bevelled edges that allow mounting between two non-parallel planes (such as a wall and a ceiling), with an open space behind the molding. Other types of molding are referred to as "plain".
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Examples of molding types
Bed molding ? a narrow molding used at the junction of a wall and ceiling. Bed moldings can be either sprung or plain.
Bolection ? a molding which is raised, projecting proud of the face frame. It is located at the intersection of the different surface levels between the frame and inset panel on a door or wood panel. It will sometimes have a rebate (or rabbet) at the back, the depth of the difference in levels, so that it can lay over the front of both the face frame and the inset panel and can in some instances thus give more space to nail the molding to the frame, leaving the inset panel free to expand or contract in varying climates, as timber is prone to do.
Cable molding or ropework ? Convex molding carved in imitation of a twisted rope or cord, and used for decorative moldings of the Romanesque style in England, France and Spain and adapted for 18th-century silver and furniture design (Thomas Sheraton)3
Cabled fluting or cable ? Convex circular molding sunk in the concave fluting of a classic column, and rising about one-third of the height of the shaft2
Casing ? Final trim or finished frame around the top, and both sides of a door or window opening
Cartouche (French) escutcheon ? framed panel in the form of a scroll with an inscribed centre, or surrounded by compound moldings decorated with floral motifs
Cavetto ? (Italian) cavare: "to hollow", concave, quarter-round molding sometimes employed in the place of the cymatium of a cornice, as in the Doric order of the Theatre of Marcellus. It forms the crowning feature of the Egyptian temples, and took the place of the cymatium in many of the Etruscan temples.
Chair rail ? horizontal molding placed part way up a wall to protect the surface from chair-backs, and used simply as decoration
Chamfer ? bevelled edge connecting two adjacent surfaces
Chin-beak ? Concave quarter-round molding. There are few examples of this in ancient buildings, but is common in more recent times.2