Detailing Crown to Mask Truss Movement

Multiple-piece crown can disguise a multitude of sins. March 25, 2008

I installed crown in a vaulted area right against the trusses. Oops! Cracks and pull-aways after one year. Any solutions?

Forum Responses
(Cabinet and Millwork Installation Forum)
From contributor M:
What you have encountered is called "truss lift." It will happen every year. When putting crown on trussed homes, I try and get the owners to agree to let me place a 1x board with a decorative edge on the wall first, then place the crown over this nailed to the ceiling mostly (as few small brads as possible into the 1x). With the board stained or painted to match the crown, when the lift occurs, the crown will rise with the trusses and the board will stay. You won't see those cracks where the crown was caulked to the wall.

From the original questioner:
Thanks for the quick response. Contributor M, we are on the same page, but I thought it was just another hair-brained idea of mine. Actually, I was going to turn a piece of 4" base with the decorative edge out and fasten this to the wall. However, your idea is to fasten this to ceiling, and I'm thinking of fastening it to the base and not to the ceiling at all, because the truss will lift and not affect the crown. Keep in mind there is not enough of a nailer behind the crown to nail it to the ceiling, if I remember correctly. Or is it your idea to nail it to the truss so it will lift together?

From contributor M:
I would rip down a nailer to put against the ceiling and fasten it to the trusses. Then you can nail your crown to that. The idea is that the gap between the ceiling and the crown is what will be unsightly. If the crown will rise with the ceiling, the reveal being different along the upside-down baseboard along the wall will be the least obvious place to let it move. I thought it was a hair-brained idea as well when someone else suggested it to me, but I can tell you that it works well.

From contributor V:
I've been dealing with so many homeowners wanting crown on cathedral ceilings, especially scissor trusses, I had that on the brain. I am coming to the conclusion that all crown should be multiple piece. It helps hide so many other sins.