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Casing & Blocks - Installation Overview
We produce our Casing and Blocks in several complementary styles. Our Casing, Baseboard and Base Blocks match if they have the same 70-series Design Number. However, any style of Casing can be used with any style of Block, provided they are properly matched for size, as shown on our Size Matching Chart. Style is thus a matter of personal choice.
You have some leeway in selecting the size of Casing you wish to use. Generally, we favor the use of larger Casings (5" size) on larger windows and doors and medium sized Casings (4" or 3-1/4") for smaller windows and doors. The smallest size should be reserved for special situations, as it is really too small for use around windows and doors.
It’s better to be a bit large, rather than to have the Casing look skimpy. If you’re unsure, you can order 3" samples of Casing (and/or Baseboard) for your comparison.
It is very important, size-wise, to match Block sizes to the Casings selected. Blocks should always be slightly larger than the Casing with which they will be used. The two larger Block sizes are 1/2" wider than the Casings they fit, and the two smaller Blocks are 1/4" wider than their respective Casings. When properly sized, Blocks will also be slightly thicker than the Casing.
This difference in Block / Casing size accomplishes two things. First, your Blocks will have a pleasing prominence when slightly smaller Casing is properly centered on each Block. Second, this size differential allows the Casing to offset away from the edge of your openings. This offset is called a "reveal" and is very important, as we explain in the next section.
If you are ordering both Casing and Blocks from us, you can refer to our Size Matching Chart. But if you’re ordering only Blocks or only Casings, to use with Casing or Blocks already present, keep the above size guidelines in mind, and order accordingly.
We’re available to answer any questions you may have in selecting the proper Casing and Blocks for your windows and doors. Don’t hesitate to give us a call!
The most finished effect will be achieved if your Casing is set back approximately 1/4" from the edge of the window or door opening (the jamb). This offset is known as a reveal. It’s the finishing carpenter’s trick to hide minor differences in the trueness of the opening. Also, the reveal minimizes the appearance of a seam between Casing and jamb.
Creating the reveal with Corner Blocks and Casing, the Blocks need to be 1/2" larger than the Casing to create a 1/4" offset. (For smaller Blocks, it is typical for them to be only 1/4" larger than the Casing, in order to maintain a proper sense of balance. To create a 1/4" offset when working with these smaller Blocks and Casing, merely move the Casing and Block back from the opening the proper amount, while still keeping the Casing centered on the Block.)
If your window frame (jamb) is made in the typical fashion with a rabbetted (notched) corner joint, then offsetting the Block as described above can leave a portion of this joint visible. If the joints are tight, this should not be a problem.
However, an optional approach which we have used in our offices, on a bank of windows with 3-1/4" Casing and 3-1/2" Blocks, is to leave a 1/8" reveal on the frame and the Block, with the outside edges of the Block aligned with the inside edges of the frame. This, of course, eliminates the problem of visible jamb joints.
MEASURING FOR CASING & BLOCKS
Typically, Corner Blocks, (or Head Blocks, if you want something a bit fancier) are placed at each top corner. For windows, if the sill allows, Blocks can also be used at the bottom corners. Casing is then installed between the Blocks, avoiding the need to make angled (miter) cuts. This greatly simplifies the installation process.
Important - Notice in the illustration above that the inside corner of the Corner Block aligns with the corner of the opening. Therefore, the ends of the Casing also align with the corners of the opening. This is the most typical installation and will work for most situations.
Thus, for Corner Blocks, your pieces of Casing will be cut to the same width and length as the opening. When installed, due to the reveal, they appear slightly longer than the dimensions of the window opening, but it is actually the extra width of the Blocks that is providing the extra length for the reveal. Casing should always be installed centered on the width of the Block.
Full Head Blocks will be installed with the lower corner of their center flat portions aligned with the corner of the opening.
When ordering your Casing and/or Blocks from Vintage Woodworks, please request your free copy of our booklet, Casing & Baseboard Installation System (Booklet #501f). This booklet includes the remaining few details, including preparation of the door and window openings prior to moulding installation. Armed with this simple information, you will be able to professionally install Casing and Blocks (as well as Baseboard), even if you’re not a professional!
Questions? Give us a call at 903-356-2158.
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