Have you ever wondered what the difference is between crown molding and baseboard? Although they serve a similar purpose, they are different. 

Crown molding is a decorative item added to the top of walls, cabinets, and even columns. It often carries through design elements from elsewhere in the room. The baseboard is also a decorative element, but it sits at the bottom of the wall. It covers the joint where the wall and floor meet. 

The main difference between baseboard and crown molding is that the former is designed to be flat while the latter is typically angled. They often work together in a home and complement each other. Many homeowners want their crown molding to match their baseboards, giving the room a more cohesive and sophisticated appearance. 

You will find baseboard more often than crown molding in homes as it serves both an aesthetic and functional purpose. Since it lacks the angling, it is easier for homeowners who want a do-it-yourself project to install. It also protects your drywall, keeping shoes, dirt and other potential hazards away. Plus, baseboard gives your home a tighter joint between the floor and wall, since no wall is entirely straight. 

Can I Use Crown Molding as Baseboard?

You could use crown molding as baseboard, but it is not something we'd recommend. Since crown molding is angled, it would meet the floor at an angle, and wouldn't look as good as you'd like. Other reasons to avoid this approach include: 

  • Many moldings, including ours, are made from dense foam, so they would get dinged up on the floor
  • They are not designed for this application
  • Pets, children and even adults can step on the molding and break it, since it sits at an angle and not flush against the wall

Can I Use Baseboard as Crown Molding? 

You can use baseboard as crown molding and many people choose to do so, so you would not be alone if you do this. While it can look nice in some applications, it's better to use baseboard for its intended purpose on the floor. Flat baseboard does not give the room the profile that angled crown molding does.

Plus, crown molding often disguises flaws in the ceiling, especially in older homes where walls have shifted. Baseboard won't hide these flaws. Flat baseboard also can break when added near the ceiling because it doesn't receive the support it needs in the middle. 

Final Thoughts on Crown Molding and Baseboards

Both crown molding and baseboard have their place in home design. They create beautiful transition points on your walls and hide tiny flaws. They look best when used for their intended purposes instead of putting them somewhere they were not designed for. Used together, they can enhance the look of a room and improve its profile.

If you're in the market for new crown molding, buy one of our DIY kits. Crown molding can be harder to install than baseboard because of the angle, but our clip-on connectors and corners make the process easy, eliminating the difficult elements of a typical installation.