Types Of Oak Mouldings

Whether refurbishing or renovating a room, or adding a final flourish to a new build, there are many types of oak moulding that can be employed. Oak mouldings are a cost effective way of adding a new aesthetic touch without the need for a full refurbishment. They can be used to tie in new oak flooring or panelling to the existing look of a home. Alternatively, they can be a simple way to update and embellish existing woodwork and refresh a tired, dated room. Using oak wood moulding and trim also adds value to your home without costing a fortune. For a budget conscious owner looking to update and add value they can be the perfect solution.

What Are Timber Mouldings Used For?

Oak mouldings are used for two main reasons. Firstly, they are a quick and easy way to improve the look of a room with little effort and investment. Secondly, they are an easy way to cover up any imperfections in the finish of existing woodwork.

1. Aesthetic Use of Timber Mouldings

While there are several basic designs of decorative timber mouldings that are eternally popular, the possibilities are endless. Bespoke oak mouldings are simple to produce with modern machining processes. Originally they would have been hand carved additions to existing to structural timbers. In the 18th century, a wide variety of oak mouldings profiles were created to be manufactured separately and added to existing timbers. These rapidly became a status symbol, as complex decorative designs were labour intensive and expensive. Poorer households rarely if ever possessed decorative mouldings due to their cost. As decorative mouldings are now easy to produce in a variety of materials, they are cheaper and widely available. This puts them within the reach of even a modest budget.

2. Practical Use of Timber Mouldings

This falls into two categories, protection and concealment. Traditionally mouldings such as skirting boards and dado rails were added to protect wall surfaces and prevent damage to paintwork and wallpaper. As it was not common to regularly redecorate a home, it was important to retain the finish for as long as possible. The addition of timber mouldings provided a barrier to damage that could then be decorated as the owner saw fit. Mouldings are also used to conceal joins between woodwork and adjoining surfaces. For example, modern laminate floors are fitted with a gap at the edges to allow for expansion as they settle. A skirting board will conceal this, providing a smooth transition with no unsightly gaps. Oak beading between wooden wall panels serves a similar purpose, hiding any joins while providing a decorative finish.

What Are The Different Types Of Trim And Mouldings?

While they all originally had a practical purpose, virtually all uses of mouldings and trim are now decorative. Some still offer protection in areas of heavy traffic, but this is usually complemented by some level of decoration.

1. Skirting Boards

Along with door and window frames, skirting boards (also known as base boards) are the most common type of moulding. They are familiar to everyone and used worldwide as a standard domestic fitting. Originally fitted to prevent damage to the base of walls, they neatly define the transition from floor to wall. While they are usually of the traditional Edwardian or Victorian style, a modern twist can add interest to the most functional moulding. Even a relatively plain oak bullnose moulding can be combined with a curved cove moulding for an attractive, smooth transition.

2. Architraves and Door Trims

What is the trim around the door called? All interior doors have a solid wood frame for support and definition. Where this meets the wall, the join is concealed by a timber surround which protects the plaster wall coating. In its plainest form this is known as the trim or as an architrave if decorated. This can be as simple as a basic sloped chamfer or a more complex grooved Taurus or Ogee design. The addition of corner blocks, known as rosettes, can further enhance this for a truly eye catching design. Architraves are a perfect example of the combination of aesthetic and practical elements in oak mouldings.

3.Door Thresholds and Floor Beading

When fitting wooden floors, an expansion gap must be left around the perimeter. Floor beading can be used to conceal this, allowing the floor to settle without warping. Usually a curved chamfer or oak bullnose moulding, floor beading gives a smooth, organic transition. Where a shallow step exists between rooms or in an exterior doorway, an oak door threshold can provide a gentle slope. This not only looks attractive and can complement existing oak fittings, but can provide easy access for homeowners with mobility issues

4.Dado Rails

These originally came into use in the 19th Century, when dining chairs would be positioned against walls when not in use. They would be fitted between three and four feet from the floor to protect the wall from damage from chair backs. Obviously, this is no longer the norm and their use is purely decorative. They can be as simple or complex as the owner desires. Often, they are combined with a two colour decorative scheme, forming a border between the two.

5. Picture Rails

Similar to dado rails, picture rails are positioned higher up the wall and are now mainly just a decorative feature. As the name suggests, they were originally used to hang pictures without leaving nail marks in the walls. Traditional designs slope upwards with a curved top for heavy picture hooks. Unless this is the intended use, modern designs can incorporate any features the owner desires.

6. Crown and Cove Mouldings

Crown or cornice mouldings are used to decorate the transition from wall to ceiling. This gives a more organic flow while providing an attractive feature to the room. Crown mouldings can be difficult to install as only the edges fit against the wall, with a hollow cavity inside. Cove mouldings occupy the same space, but usually have a simpler design, with a concave, curved appearance.

7. Beading and Batten Mouldings

Battens are thin strips of trim used to conceal joins between woodwork, usually used on wooden wall panels. They are often plain but can incorporate simple decoration. While beading is used interchangeably as a term, traditionally it consists of a row of small spheres (or beads) with other decoration. Beading can be paired with other wall mouldings for more complex designs.


While we have discussed the main types of oak mouldings here, there are many variations and embellishments. At Hardwoods Group we specialise in the production and supply of bespoke oak designs. Contact us to discuss your requirements, we will be happy to help.