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Discussion Starter #1
For the past few days I've been obsessing about Crown moulding as ways of hiding rope lighting instead of creating soffits. It would look something like this.





I've been looking at these Polyurethane type mouldings which are much lighter (I hefted an 8 ft piece very easily, so install woudl be a snap) and can handle temperature changes a bit better etc. I've also found a video that shows the installation. Looks like something even I can handle. Cost is about 30 dollars Cdn for an 8 ft length.

http://store.balmer.com/howto/videos/quicktime/v4.html .


The only problem, is that it does not stain, so I may have to change my look a bit. Perhaps some faux staining. Anyone else use Polyurethane type products in their theatre?


I'd imagine that this may also be easier to install over fabric as well.
 

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We have a tray ceiling in our bedroom that is 16' x 12' x 1' and we just put in crown an inch or so up from the button edge with rope lighting inside. The only question I would have regards the lengths you will need to do what you want to do. As long as no lengths need to be cut over 8' so you can avoid having to do joins you could be ok. Sometimes joins in long runs are unavoidable but it looks best if you don't have any. For my latest effort I went and bought 16' lengths so I wouldn't have any joins.


After putting up crown in most of the rooms in my house I would say the easiest method I've found is to first mount baseboard molding upside down so it ends up extending about an inch or so below the lowest part of where the crown will be mounted. The baseboard is fastened to the studs which allows the crown to be mounted to the baseboard (1" nails) as frequently as needed to ensure a type fit.


Have you done rope lighting before? My first go around I used the stuff from HD/Lowes in my HT around the screen. It's not bad but I noticed with the clear coating you don't get as smooth of lighting and it is not cuttable to a specified length. This last time I saw another thread that showed a place on-line (can't remember name so do a search) where you could get a white coated rope lighting in any length you want and it is cuttable at 18" sections. It also can be spliced if need bit, especially if you need to replace a section down the road. I got 56' for under $100 shipped. Definitely better then trying to join a bunch of shorter runs since each joined area creates a small gap of no light.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey SMithb.. that's a good idea. re putting a bit of baseboard moulding first. THat way it's always consistent.


The only rope lighting install I've done is just to plop it down on the ground I'm afraid...
 

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Yea, the baseboard method helps a lot in putting it up as well as in looks since it gives it a bit more substance. Before that I did the book method of cutting out angled blocks from 2x4's and mounting them every foot along the walls where it meets the ceiling so that you would have something solid to anchor the molding into. back then I was also nailing by hand so puting the nails in the thickest part of the molding helped. It was a bit painful doing the first three rooms this way. Then I picked up the baseboard method and got a nail gun and everything went much faster. Using the new method I managed to do three more bedrooms, an HT room, the basement, and two bathrooms.


When doing rope lighting I found it best to get the track strips. You mount the track and then push the rope lighting into it. This provides much more even lighting. However, for some reason the track is always very tight and it is a bit of a pain pressing it in but all in all the end result is better.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Hmm. for the tack strips.. I take it those are plastic channels of some sort?


Why not use a rubber mallet to get them in?
 

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Yes, they are plastic channels. As far as using a rubber mallet to get it in, that will depend on how comfortable you feel about the stability of the crown molding you put up to use as a tray. In my case, I mounted .5" by .5" strip along the baseboard to give myself two places to fasten the molding (i.e., where the molding connects to the baseboard and around the center where the .5" blocks were fastened. I then layered the inside with the metallic tape and fastened the channel to the .5" strip on the inside. While it seemed pretty sturdy I don't think i would want to use a mallet on it. However, if I had thought of it at the time I might have used some soap and water to slicken the outside surface of the rope lighting before inserting it into the channel.
 

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smithb,


Great idea on using the baseboard piece with crown molding. I will try it.


I agree you don't want joints in your crown molding but when they are unavoidable I always do a 45 degree mitre at the joint. That way if a you create a gap or one develops over time you just see wood not wall. And it would work even better using your baseboard piece so I could nail more frequently than each stud.


How much of a gap are you leaving at the ceiling for the light to show? Guess you could call it the reveal.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by smithb
latest effort I went and bought 16' lengths so I wouldn't have any joins.


After putting up crown in most of the rooms in my house I would say the easiest method I've found is to first mount baseboard molding upside down so it ends up extending about an inch or so below the lowest part of where the crown will be mounted. The baseboard is fastened to the studs which allows the crown to be mounted to the baseboard (1" nails) as frequently as needed to ensure a type fit.
Do you have a piccie of this, the process, cross section or what not?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smithb
Have you done rope lighting before? My first go around I used the stuff from HD/Lowes in my HT around the screen. It's not bad but I noticed with the clear coating you don't get as smooth of lighting and it is not cuttable to a specified length. This last time I saw another thread that showed a place on-line (can't remember name so do a search) where you could get a white coated rope lighting in any length you want and it is cuttable at 18" sections. It also can be spliced if need bit, especially if you need to replace a section down the road. I got 56' for under $100 shipped. Definitely better then trying to join a bunch of shorter runs since each joined area creates a small gap of no light.
I was just thining about this, and was wondering.. hey.. why not spray paint or coat in some fashion a thin layer of white paint over the rope lighting? Since it's hidden by the crown etc, it doesn't need to look good. Just needs some dispersion. Perhaps even some sort of plastic, like those flourescent light refractor panels they use in offices. Cut them into small strips and just friction mount / snap them in.
 

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I did it in our nursery a couple of years ago. I put it on a dimmer and it gives a really cool atmosphere. Here's a couple of pics.

 

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Good idea on the baseboard.. main downside is the additional cost, but I suppose it's only around $0.60 a foot or so more.


One idea I had on the rope lighting being even (not being able to cut at the exact length), is that you could have a hole the size of the lighting in a corner, and run the extra out that hole, and in the case of klutzo's ceiling picture in the OP, you could carry it into the next one, and leave some extra on the last one.
 

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You can often find "standard issue" baseboard bundled into "contractor packs" at Home Depot pretty inexpensively. I've used this several times with great results.


I install the baseboard on both the walls and ceiling, and nail the top and bottom edge of the crown to the baseboard. While this does slow down the installation (especially when mounting the baseboard to the ceiling - runs that are parallel to the ceiling joists require the use of hollow wall anchors...), the final result is visually impressive.


Another trick I've used is to put an additional band of molding on the wall, about 2" or so below the bottom edge of the baseboard/crown combination. Then, paint all the molding and the gap between the moldings the same color. This gives the impression of a very large, complicated molding treatment.


Good luck,


Dwight
 

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Does anyone have any close up pictures they could share? I'm guess I'm a site kind of person. Hard for me to imagine with just words.

thanks
 

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I'll try and take a picture as well as provide a quick cross-section drawing.


Buying contractor packs is a great suggestion. I've gone through 3 purchases of contactor packs for the baseboard. Even if they have a few damaged spots you did not see they are about half price. Unfortunately, I've never found packs of the crown.


As for the comment about cutting it to the right length. It somewhat depends on the overall length you are needing. For longer runs you can adjust how the rope sits to handle a bit of slack here and there.


I also tend to use pine for the baseboard but MDF for the crown. The MDF has less imperfections, paints better, and is not as stiff so it handles deviation better. Unfortunately, you can't get MDF in the longer lengths because of strength.


Extending molding below and painting the wall area between is another good suggestion for tall walls. Its a good cheat we have used in foyers to give the impression of much taller molding.


The place I bought my ropelighting was Novelty Lights online. Check them out.
 

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This is the first time I've seen lighting with the rope light like this. I did something similar at my place but with flourescent lighting tubes...they span about 8 feet each side of my living room. I was wondering if the rope lighting is enough to light up a room or is it just for asthetics?
 

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tv4184,


If you're planning on reading in the room, I wouldn't suggest just rope light. It gives you plenty of light to get up and move around the room. It's mainly for asthetics. Here is a picture with the rope light on in my theater room (still under construction). I plan on a very dark ceiling and black soffits, so it's suck up that light even more. You'll want additional lighting for things like task lighting like vacuuming, etc.

http://images12.fotki.com/v254/photo...CP_2707-vi.jpg


Bud
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by miltimj
Another good idea, Dwight. Do you have any pictures of your multiple baseboard/moulding install?
Hi Tim,


I don't have any photos of the baseboard/crown combo handy (I did that in a friend's house before I moved out of NJ) - but, I do have a sample of the crown molding with an additional band of molding a couple of inches below it. It's a very effective trick-of-the-eye that makes the ceiling molding look pretty dramatic. Even more so when the baseboard is added to the crown...


Dwight
 

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Have any of you guys tried a drywall supplier type store for your ceiling moldings? Every time I've seen stuff like this installed (dad was a drywaller/taper and often did this) it's been during the drywalling phase of construction. The moldings have all been styrofoam with 1/4" or less of plaster on the finish edge. Dad would install them by covering the 2 sides that contact the ceiling/wall with taping mud (is much more glue-like than finishing compound), and put a drywall screw through it every few feet to hold it till it dries. Tape/sand/finish the seams in it just like any other drywall seam. To get fancier, sometimes he'd layer it on top of a piece or two of drywall - so you'd go from the wall out a 1/2" step (whatever thickness drywall your using), up an inch or so, then into the molding.


Anyways - kinda off-topic. I'm not sure that I'd want to lay rope-lighting on the styrofoam core of these products, or trust them to hold much weight if only glued to the wall and not the ceiling (to leave room for the light). It's just that this thread made installing a molding sound so much more difficult than it should be.
 

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I don't think it's as much the difficulty part of it, as it is to do it right so it's strong (multiple connection points instead of just the bottom), and look good (various ideas have been shared on this as well).
 
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