Installing Crown Molding To Metal Studs

By Robert Robillard on Interior Repairs


Installing crown molding in commercial spaces often brings up the concern of steel studs.

Installing crown molding to metal studs seem to be the norm in more and more condos that we work in as well. Hand nailing crown molding into steel studs does not work and using an air gun makes for a very dangerous situation and installing angled nails just into the blue board is also not a quality installation and will show gaps and separations after the first heating season.

Screwing the molding with self tapping screws is no bargain since it causes a huge hole and eliminates the adjustment tolerances that nailing provides.

The best approach I’ve seen for installing crown molding to metal studs  is to fasten wood cleats to wall and ceiling area with self-tapping metal screws  and then install the crown molding onto the wood cleats.

Alternatively another option is to install a two piece molding, screwing a flat, decorative piece to the wall and the second crown molding will secure to the flat piece, hiding the screws.

While installing molding at our current Winchester project, we used 2 ½” self tapping drywall screws every 16” to secure the wood cleat.

The cleats were cut from 2×4 studs and were sized to fit in the triangular hollow behind the crown molding. Having the continuous nailer provides great securing options near inside & outside corners and at any joints.

Make sure the cleat is approx 1/8” to 3/16” smaller than the hollow behind the crown and NOT touching. This allows for the crown molding to be sucked tight to the wall and ceiling connections. Use 8 and 10 penny finish nails to secure the crown molding.

This approach takes a bit more time than a regular crown install over wood studs but the continuous nailer provides a superior job

~ a concord carpenter

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About the author

Robert Robillard

Robert Robillard

Carpenter / Remodeler / Editor / Writer / Video Talent

Robert Robillard is a remodeler, general contractor, and principal of a carpentry and renovation business located in Concord, Massachusetts. He also writes the "Ask the Carpenter" advice column in the Boston Globe, and serves as the Editor of Tool Box Buzz and founding editor of A Concord Carpenter . Rob is in charge of our Tool and Product Review - Tool and Product Review - Video Channel, , where we post all of our tool reviews and video tutorials. Rob enjoys using his knowledge and experience to help and educate building professionals as well as DIYers on best practices in the remodeling industry. The Concord Carpenter's motto: "Well done is better than well said!" : Read more about Rob <a href=""

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