ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Polyurethane Molding Review

Updated on June 29, 2011
16" wide polyurethane crown molding
16" wide polyurethane crown molding

Polyuethane Moldings

Wood moldings have been available for centuries and millions of homes have been adorned by them. Wood, as a medium for moldings, has stood the test of time both in durability and suitability for shaping , painting and staining. Wood is readily available and has been a cost efficient material for moldings and other construction materials. However, with the advent of modern composites and manufacturing processes, other materials are changing the landscape of home improvement products in general and molding products in particular. Nowhere has this been more evident than with polyurethane molding products.



ornamental Crown molding
ornamental Crown molding

My review will discuss the differences between wood and polyurethane moldings. The advantages and disadvantages of both materials, wood and polyurethane, is best explained by the processes used to manufacture them. Wood moldings are shaped in a machine called a "molder" (no secret there). In a molding machine, a "blank" piece of wood (square all sides) is passed through a series of cutters that have the same profile as the finished molding piece. One cutter will typically shape one side of the "blank". For deeper cuts two molding "heads" will be used to make a rough and a final cut to get the proper depth and shape of the finished profile. So wood is passed through a molder.

Polyurethane molding, on the other hand, is made IN a mold. That is, the liquid polyurethane composite is poured into a "reverse" mold to obtain the final shape. After curing, the molding is "released" from the mold.


ornamental crown molding
ornamental crown molding

Both manufacturing processes yield their own significant advantages and disadvantages. Because polyurethane moldings are poured into a mold, very deep ornamentation is possible that is not possible in the wood molding process. That is why polyurethane moldings are known for their classical lines, shapes and motifs (see the image above). I should add at this point that ornamentation on wood moldings is possible but the best are hand carved (typically overseas) and not made in a molder (or at least not finished in a molder). See below. As such they are quite expensive . The 6" wide piece below retails for about $300.00 for an 8 foot piece in maple. An ornamented polyurethane molding of similar size would cost about $50.00.

Hand Carved Acanthus Leaf Maple Crown
Hand Carved Acanthus Leaf Maple Crown

Which brings me to the next comparison. Wood moldings of similar size to polyurethane moldings are quite a bit more expensive - but this is more true for larger pieces and truer still for wood moldings that are carved.

On the down side, because of the limitations on the length of polyurethane molds, the longest available lengths of polyurethane moldings are 8 -12 feet. Wood moldings (plain and not carved) of 16 feet are not uncommon, on the other hand.

Another advantage of wood molding is its suitableness for staining. Polyurethane moldings can be stained but since there is not grain pattern in polyurethane moldings a grain pattern will have to be simulated in the straining process.

Polyurethane is more stable than wood. That is, it is less likely to shrink, "cup" or twist than wood. And this is why it is not uncommon to manufacture polyurethane moldings that are16" in width and wider. This would not be possible with wood because of its susceptibility to movement but also because of the width restrictions of wood molders. Most wood molders are capable of wooden moldings no wider than 9-10 inches.

The installation of wood and polyurethane moldings is much the same. One difference is that construction adhesive should be used for the polyurethane moldings with a few finish nails to hold until the adhesive cures. Otherwise the cutting and finishing are the same.



Summary

To sum up:

  1. Polyurethane moldings, because they are manufactured in a mold, can offer quite a bit of ornamentation not possible with wood moldings produced in a molder.  
  2. Polyurethane moldings are less expensive.
  3. Wood molding are more suited for staining than polyurethane moldings. 
  4. Wood moldings can be purchased in longer lengths.
  5. Polyurethane is more stable than wood thus wider pieces are possible.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Lorenzo 

      8 years ago

      Just the answers I was looking for!!! Thank You

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)