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Slanted ceilings add elegance and height to an average room. Unfortunately, these ceilings aren’t easy to finish with crown moldings because of their aforementioned slope. As a result, you’ll find crown molding to be a bit more difficult to install on slanted ceilings like a cathedral or vaulted ceiling than it’s on traditional ceilings. But does this mean it’s impossible? Can you put crown molding on a slanted ceiling?
Yes! Installing crown molding on slanted/ sloped ceilings is a task that can be done by both DIYers and crown molding installation pros alike. However, for your project to be successful, you’ll need a few specialized tools like an angle finder and a compound miter saw. Alternatively, you can contact a local professional to take the challenge of installing crown molding on a slanted ceiling for you.
Luckily, in this article, I’ll show you all the steps you need to follow when installing crown molding on slanted ceilings! Let’s get into it!
Step-by-step guide on how to install crown molding on a slanted/ sloped ceiling
Step 1: Gather your tools & materials
As already mentioned, crown molding installation on a slanted ceiling requires more tools than most DIY home upgrade projects. However, you should handle some of these tools with extreme care, especially if you’re a novice DIYer. Such tools include a power nailer and compound miter saw.
If you’re a seasoned DIYer, you probably have all the tools and materials needed to complete this task. However, if you’re a beginner, you’ll need to buy the following for your crown molding installation project;
- Measuring tape
- Miter divider/ angle finder
- Best nailer for crown molding
- Best compound miter saw for crown molding
- Caulk & caulk gun
- 2” finishing nails
Step 2: Measure the slope of your cathedral/ slanted ceiling
The first thing you need to do when installing crown molding on a slanted ceiling is to calculate the slope of the ceiling. This will help you to determine the angle you need to cut your molding on.
That said, there are various methods you can use to calculate the slope of a slanted ceiling. However, the most convenient method is to use an angle finder. One thing you need to note though is that an angle finder is either available as a manual or digital tool. A digital finder is highly recommended since it will save you time in converting between inches and angle degrees.
If you’ve got an angle finder, place one of its arms flat against the wall right below the ceiling. Then open the angle finder until the 2nd arm is flush against the slope of your vaulted ceiling. Some digital angle finders provided an automatic reading of the slope. However, with some models, you have to push the buttons first to determine the angle measurement.
Step 3: Adjust the miter saw settings
Now that you’ve determined the slope of your vaulted ceiling, the next step is to make the miter cuts on the crown molding. But before you do that, you need to prepare your miter saw first!
Divide the angle of your vaulted ceiling by 2 to find the angle you need to set for your crown molding miter saw. If the resulting number has decimals, round it off to one decimal place. For instance, if the angle of your slope is 37 degrees according to the angle finder, the setting of your miter saw’s gauge should be 18.5 degrees. Also, as part of the preparation, make sure you safely set up your miter saw in a well-ventilated, child-free area.
Step 4: Make Test cuts
When installing crown molding in a slanted ceiling, it’s always a good practice to buy a lot more pieces than you would under normal circumstances. This is because cutting crown molding for a slanted ceiling requires a significant amount of practice. Moreover, this will allow you to find the most precise cut for your molding. At the same time, this will help you to determine what the miter cuts of your crown moldings will look like.
With that in mind, use the spare crown molding materials to practice your cuts. Once you feel confident in the alignment of your test cuts, turn the first piece of your actual molding upside down. Adjust the miter saw stops until the hold your piece firmly in place. Turn on the miter saw and slowly lower the blade to cut your angle as cleanly as possible. Complete all your cuts and proceed to install the crown molding pieces to the ceiling.
Step 5: Attach the crown molding to the ceiling
After cleanly cutting through your pieces of crown molding, fit the to the ceiling at the desired angle, starting with the 1st piece. First, fit the back of your crown molding with paintable caulk, wood putty, or backer board and fit it just beneath the ceiling. Use your preferred nail gun for crown molding to attach 2” finishing guns to the ceiling joists and studs.
Repeat these steps with the other pieces, ensuring that they form a perfect pit and touch the ceiling’s edge. Lastly, fill any spots or cracks with a bit of caulk. In addition, you may want to use caulk to securely bond separate pieces of crown molding.
Why should crown molding touch the ceiling?
Always try to keep your crown molding as close to the ceiling as possible, especially when installing it on vaulted ceilings. This will ensure a tight fit is formed between the molding and the ceiling, hence providing a more professional look. More importantly, a tight fit will ensure that the molding doesn’t slip away from the ceiling in many years to come.
Professional Vs DIY Crown Molding installation in slanted/ sloped ceiling
The Do-it-Yourself approach is intended to help homeowners save money on their home improvement projects. However, this approach isn’t always the best option, especially when it comes to installing crown molding on an angled ceiling. Although you can try installing the crown molding on an angle process, this process requires a lot of calculations and practice ahead of time. For that reason, it’s highly recommended that you get a local professional for your project. That way, they can install the molding on your sloped ceiling, while you work on other home renovation tasks. Besides, the cost of hiring a professional to install crown molding in vaulted ceiling ranges from $ 4 – $15 per linear foot for both labor and materials.
In short, Yes, you can install crown molding on a slanted ceiling. However, you need to ensure that you do your calculations well and have the right tools in hand before you start the project. Alternatively, you can hire an expert to install the molding for you to make sure you get perfect results!