Crown Moulding Proportions in Rooms

Thoughts on what makes crown moulding look right-sized to our eyes. January 20, 2010

Is there a rule of thumb for what size crown moulding to use for certain ceiling or cabinet heights?

Forum Responses
(Architectural Woodworking Forum)
From contributor L:
I don't know if there is a standard, but I use a 4-4 1/2" crown on an 8' ceiling and a 5-6" crown on a 9-10' ceiling. After that I start using multiple crowns as a build up.

From contributor B:
Your question is a good one. I remember this came up in a meeting with several CKD certified designers and we all agreed - when in doubt, go big...

From contributor I:
I am with contributor L. 4 1/2 is the biggest I like with an 8' ceiling and if you need more than a 6"crown, build it up with multiple pieces to minimize shrinkage problems and create more depth.

From contributor R:
Rule of thumb: the higher the ceiling, the bigger the profile. Big wide crown in an eight foot room looks tacky. For most modern architecture, simple narrow profiles, including built-up ones, look great. A two-piece build-up, with a flat piece on the lid and the crown below, gives the room a taller, yet still elegant feel.

From Gary Katz, forum technical advisor:
Funny how everyone pretty much agrees on the 4 1/2 in. for 8 ft. ceilings and 5-6 for nine foot, etc. That goes to show how our eyes and minds develop the same (at least for most of us) when it comes to proportion. I think it's probably because the rules of proportion are based on human scale.

Here's a pretty simple review of a few of those rules:
Some Hints on Proportion