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What Is Door Trim?

Door trim is molding that surrounds doors and window openings. It is both utilitarian and decorative, in that it creates frames around doors and windows while hiding the transition between jambs and adjacent walls. Door trim can also be used to cover up insulation or other materials inside the wall cavity. Historically, door trim was the defining feature in a home and set the tone of a home’s interior.

Just as a frame accents a picture, door trim accents doors and windows and improves the overall visual impact of your home’s interior. Generally, homes have matching trim on both the windows and doors. Grand door openings and entry doors have more elaborate trim than interior doors.

Types of Door Trim

You can buy door trim made of solid wood or man-made materials, like medium-density fiberboard (MDF), vinyl, or aluminum. Door trim is available in raw form so that you can stain or paint the wood as you please. You can also buy pre-finished door trim.

Sometimes, door trim is built into the door frame itself, but in other cases, door trim is installed separately from the door and frame. Typically, door trim has a square or rectangular shape, but it can also have a rounded or oval shape. You can mix and match different types of door trim to achieve a creative, imaginative look that’s your very own. Even the most elaborate types of door trim can be built from standard stock door trim. It’s simply a matter of piecing several simple shapes together.

In contemporary homes, crisp, rounded trim looks best, while in colonial-style homes, arched door trim with elaborate designs and profiles is appropriate. In today’s homes, which are mass-produced, the door trim used is basic and has mitered joints. This is done to reduce building costs. In contrast, older homes typically feature impressive, elaborate door trim.

If you would like to eliminate the shrinkage gaps often found in the mitered joints of door trim, you can install rosettes in the corners of all the doors and windows in your home. Rosettes add an elegant touch. You can make your own rosettes or purchase premade ones.

Pilasters are large columns of vertical door trim that can be plain or ornate. Pilasters are embedded in the surface of a house’s wall. The pillars are narrow and the tops and bottoms are large and ornate. Pilasters can be used as door trim both inside and outside of a home.

How to Choose Door Trim for Your Home

As long as the scale and proportions are right, you can use a variety of period profiles in your home. The design and weight of the door trim you choose to use in the interior of your home must balance with your home’s architectural style and other moldings in your home. In general, door trim should be smaller and thicker than base molding. Select door trim that complements other features of your home so that it adds elegance and warmth.
Copyright ©2008, VITEK Moldings Inc. All rights reserved.
Manufacturer of VITEK Moldings - Crown Molding, Architectural Millwork and Trim
VITEK Molding and Medallion Store Division