If required by local codes, tape paper tape inside the corner prior to installing the crown molding. Always wear safety glasses when using miter saws. If necessary, attach some plywood to the miter saw backstop so that the part is supported as shown. Break the saw to the left for a right inside or left outside corner. Break the saw to the right for a left inside or right outside corner. For additional support, place the free foam spacer pieces near the blade. Use a fine-tooth cross-cut blade. To ensure accuracy, make the miter cuts slowly.

Contracted to do the drywall installation on a new residential construction project, Gary Johnston, owner of Gary Johnston Plastering and Drywall Inc., of Geneva, Ill., saw samples of a vinyl crown molding during a visit to his material yard.

Remembering several customers who were familiar with "old-time" crown and plaster cornice work, Johnston took some information with him on the product and soon decided to follow up and introduce the crown molding to his customers. Perhaps his company would finally be able to offer crown molding without the price and labor obstacles.

Installers can use layering techniques to build a custom-sized crown mold. The contractor pictured is creating a 7-inch crown with two layers of 1/2-inch drywall.
"The cost of crown or cornice work is big and the labor is intensive," Johnston says. "With the vinyl crown molding, you get that old plaster look and once painted, it has a totally finished look."

These moldings are available in 2 1⁄2- and 3 1⁄2-inch sizes.

Divinyl intervention

According to Johnston, the market is currently evolving, with demand changing from stained wood to painted crown molding.

"The gentlemen I'd introduced it to, they were using painted wood crown mold," Johnston explains. "What this does is give a better finish and is more cost effective. From a time standpoint, it's ready to go. I don't need a carpenter to come in and put it up."

Dry-fitting the bead before installation is recommended prior to applying the 847 spray adhesive and 710 adhesive caulk.
In the past, Johnston says, installation of crown molding was a process that the carpenters were doing.

"They were coming in after the drywall was installed and painter primed, whereas now, we are installing the molding at the same time of the drywall installation and finishing. It's ready for primer once we walk out the door."

Double 1/2-inch decorative L-bead is installed to the exposed two layers of drywall, completing the detail.
The product is already helping Johnston stay a step above his competition, giving his company a service edge over those who don't offer such products. His technicians continue to perfect their use of the molding, manufactured by Trim-Tex Inc.

"We're perfecting the cuttings and designs we are able to achieve with the moldings," he explains. "We want to give the crown molding an effect of many members. With old-time plaster, you'd run several different members. Now, we can do it with vinyl and it's very cost-effective. Against plaster, it's unbelieveable and it's faster and more reasonable than wood."

Since the contractor did not tape the inside corner, there is substantial time and material savings.

Practice makes perfect

In Johnston's current project, he's introducing crown molding in the master bedroom ceiling, in addition to specialty rooms such as the dining room.

"Dining rooms typically have painted moldings, more of a classy look," Johnston says. "We're looking to do more wall panels in the future."

One of the qualities of this rigid vinyl molding is its designed ability to absorb movement from settling or truss uplift.
Although traditional plaster and wood crown molding requires extensive experience, Johnston says another advantage to the vinyl crown is its simplicity: He was not intimidated by its installation requirements.

"We jumped into it," he continues, "and you learn as you go. As you increase the detail, it's a simple product to put up. We're trying to take it further. We tried several saw blades for our miter box and made up a couple of jigs for this. We want a perfect cut but we don't want to throw caulk into it. It cuts very similar to wood and it's a little more flexible but we're still perfecting our application approach."