Types of Kitchen Cabinet Molding – Infographic

March 17, 2020

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Moldings used for decorative purposes have been around for centuries, with early examples dating back to the ancient Greeks, who were responsible for creating design styles that became known by such names as Corinthian or Ionian.

Centuries have passed from the era when moldings were used in temples, and now we use them as decorative elements in our homes, including our kitchens. They add a lovely element to the design and certainly offer a more upscale look. Some are also applied for practical reasons.

Here’s a closer look at the different kinds of molding available.

Types of Kitchen Cabinet Molding (Infographic)

Crown Molding

A decorative trim that sits at the top of the cabinet and provides a smooth transition from the cabinet to the ceiling, crown molding comes in many shapes and sizes and adds detail that’s pleasing to the eye and indicative of the homeowner’s personal style

There are four common types of crown molding:


A traditional crown molding serves to fill the gap between the top of the cabinet and the standard ceiling, which is generally 8-9 feet high. It usually measures 3-6 inches in height and includes just one layer, often designed with indented lines. It looks very classic and simple.

Interior Crown Molding

Interior crown molding serves the same purpose as traditional molding – to fill a gap – but instead of looking like an extension of the cabinet it looks more like part of the ceiling. It is placed around the ceiling perimeter and generally has more than one layer, making it a bit more ornate than traditional crown molding.

Stacked crown molding

Most popular in kitchens with high ceilings, stacked crown molding is used with kitchen cabinets that are of the same height and alignment. It includes multiple layers, which makes the cabinets look taller and, as such, not dwarfed by the very high ceilings.

Stepped crown molding

If you’re looking to create a staggered look at the top of your cabinets, stepped crown molding should be your choice. It can be used with kitchen cabinets of different heights and alignment and looks great in rooms with high ceilings.

Starter/Riser Molding

Riser or starter moldings are used with crown moldings that have multiple layers either to provide additional height in order to reach the ceiling or to offer additional support. Starter moldings are also useful in disguising ceilings that are uneven.

Corner Molding

These moldings are used to shape cabinet edges or to address corner gaps. They are available in two types:

Outer corner moldings

Outer corner moldings are applied to rough exposed raw corner edges in order to provide a more finished, polished look.

Inner corner moldings

Inner corner moldings are applied inside a cabinet at the point where two intersecting panels converge.

Light Rail Molding

Light rail molding is used in conjunction with under cabinet lighting. It functions as the bottom frame of a wall cabinet and serves to focus light onto the countertop or work area, keeping it from scattering elsewhere.

So that it doesn’t weigh down the cabinet but still conceals the lighting, light rail molding is generally only .5 inches wide.

Base Molding

To make kitchen islands or peninsulas look more like pieces of furniture, base moldings are placed around the lower edge, giving them a more upscale look. Base molding is applied to all sides of the island and to only the exposed side of a peninsula.

Toe Kick Molding

A toe kick molding is attached to the area under the lower base cabinets in order to provide additional space – extra toe room – under that cabinet. This way, someone standing in front of the cabinet can stand closer to the countertop while preparing food or doing other tasks.

Remember, kitchen cabinet moldings may seem like a small detail but they can provide a clean, finished, upscale look to your kitchen design. In addition, they are functional as well and each serves a particular purpose. Ask our professionals for more information about choosing kitchen cabinet moldings for your refacing project.

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