Have you ever walked into a space, admired the interior finishing so much; you wanted to duplicate the details in your own home? And did you then go online to do a search on all the lovely details, only to find out you didn’t know what that “thing above the door” was called? Here’s a handy guide to interior finishes – the terms and the descriptions so that when you are ready to buy – you know what to look for.

Crown Moulding

A moulding designed to sit at an angle between the wall and ceiling. They are sometimes referred to as a cornice. Crown moulding has many uses ? it can be integrated into the architrave or header over a door or window, as part of the mantel on a fireplace surround, or to encase the top of a column.


A form of trim used to accent the top of a doorway, window or opening. May also be referred to as a header or pediment.


A term used to indicate the method of carrying a moulding?s detail from the front of the moulding back to the wall. Generally a 45-degree cut is made to the front of the long moulding and an opposite 45-degree cut is made on a small piece to carry the detail to the wall.


Combining or layered two or more mouldings to create a new or custom look is called a build-up. Also called stacking, build-ups make it easy to create a custom look.

Panel Mould

A variety of moulding profiles most often used to create or embellish panels on either flat or recessed surfaces. These mouldings are commonly used on doors, architectural paneling, mantels and cornice assemblies.Casings are used generously in spaces and are often the most visible in a room. They are primarily used to go around a door or window, covering the gap between drywall and the door or window frame. Casings are generally thicker than base mouldings.


Handrails provide safety and support ? often used in furniture construction.

Tongue & Groove Paneling

A type of lumber with a machine tongue on one side and a groove on the other, so that when pushed together, the groove of one board fits snugly over the tongue of the adjacent board. Tongue & groove paneling can be used to cover walls or ceilings.

Chair Rail

Chair rails are practical, as well as decorative and are applied to a wall, anywhere from 24 to 72 inches up from the floor. They were typically specified to protect the wall from scuffs and dents from the backs of chairs, but are now used as beautiful room accents.


This is trimwork installed in the area below a chair rail. Numerous options are available including raised panel, shadow box and beaded. Combined with a chair rail and baseboard, wainscoting adds a dramatic look to any room.

Finish Boards

Finish boards come in either S4S (Surfaced 4 Sides) or S3S (Surfaced 3 Sides) and are used for a multitude of purposes including shelving, window liners, bases, casing, and DIY creative projects.

Window Stool

Also called windowsill, a window stool is the surface installed below the sash of a window. Trim installed under a window stool creates a distinctive look and adds a decorative touch.


A piece of horizontal window trim applied against the wall below the window stool.


A supporting or decorative pillar used in building that can be circular or rectangular. A decorative half column that is attached to the wall is referred to as a pilaster.

If you are “finishing” up a new space and would like to learn more about the various options, give our friendly Tree Court customer service team members a call at 636-225-7717.

Photo Credit: Metrie Interior Mouldings – one of our premier partners and suppliers.

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