You can create a lot of additional depth and character with crown moldings, which have been around for centuries. However, other features can create obstacles when you're installing moldings around the house — and vents are at the top of the list. If you don't feel like messing around with your drywall and re-positioning the vent return, your moldings and vents can co-exist with the appropriate workmanship.
What Type of Molding Are You Installing?
How you approach your installation will rely heavily on what materials you're working with. From solid wood to MDF to foam to plastic, you have plenty of options that each carry their own respective characteristics.
Many traditional options, especially wood, require precise cuts for all of the joints to fit well together, and they can also call for different fastening methods — like nails through the face, adhesive and others — that might vary in effectiveness, depending on the dimensions of your vent.
Some people prefer to just cut a notch from the molding segment that overlaps the vent, but doing so might be more distracting depending on the look of the molding. If you have a design that focuses on ornate details, it will be more evident than if you made cuts in an embellishment that's more basic. Alternatively, you can create a transitional piece of sorts and use the different fit on the vent to your advantage.
Cutting the Molding to Place Around the Vent
If you want to fit a full molding piece on top of the vent, you'll want to measure the latter first and give about 1/8" of leeway on each side. You can then create two small, 1" transition pieces, or returns, to bounce around the vent piece. With this approach, you're taking the vent and using it as a decorative advantage. You'll want to account for corners and other lengths accordingly. You can also cut a piece out of the back to go around the vent. Watch the video below to see how Tom Silva from This Old House easily installed our molding around a vent.
How Our Moldings Fit Easily Around Vents
We produce polyurethane molding kits that significantly ease the challenges associated with working around vents.
Polyurethane is easier to cut and handle than other materials, and our kits' included components make installation more accessible. You can configure our QuickClips™ to fit within your allotted space, and then cut and install the molding pieces as necessary. You won't need to stress as much about creating proper transitional pieces either, as you can use our Molding Mates™ to cover gaps within a 4" margin of error. The Mates match with the panels, so it will keep the entire molding set looking seamless despite the presence of a vent.