What Is a Cornice

If you’re planning to redecorate your home or building, you may have heard of the term “cornice.” But what exactly is a cornice? In this article, we’ll define what is cornice, discuss its types and uses, and provide some tips on how to choose the best cornice for your space.

What is a Cornice?

A cornice is a decorative architectural element that is typically placed at the top of a wall, over a door or window, or at the edge of a roof. It is often made of plaster, wood, or metal, and can be painted or left as is. Cornices come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from simple and understated to ornate and intricate.

Types of Cornices

Classical Cornice

The classical cornice is a common type of cornice that is used in traditional architecture. It consists of three parts: the cornice molding, the frieze, and the architrave. The cornice molding is the decorative top part of the cornice that typically protrudes out from the wall. The frieze is the horizontal band that runs between the cornice molding and the architrave, and it usually contains some sort of decorative element such as a pattern or relief. The architrave is the horizontal beam that sits directly on top of the columns or pilasters and supports the cornice.

Modern Cornice

The modern cornice, on the other hand, is a more simplified version of the classical cornice. It typically features a straight, clean line without any elaborate detailing. Modern cornices are often made of metal or concrete, and they are commonly used in contemporary architecture.

Box Cornice

A box cornice is a type of cornice that is typically used on flat-roofed buildings. It is called a “box” cornice because it is made up of a wooden box frame that is covered with metal flashing. This type of cornice is often used on commercial buildings, as it provides a simple yet elegant look.

Dentil Cornice

The dentil cornice is a type of cornice that is characterized by a series of small rectangular blocks that are spaced evenly along the top of the cornice molding. These blocks are called “dentils,” and they provide a decorative element to the cornice. The dentil cornice is commonly used in traditional architecture.

Uses of Cornices

Decorative Element

One of the most common uses of cornices is as a decorative element. Cornices can add a touch of elegance and sophistication to a room or building, and they can help tie together different architectural elements.


Cornices can also be used to conceal unsightly elements, such as ductwork or wiring. By placing a cornice over these elements, they can be hidden from view, creating a more polished and refined look.

Water Management

Cornices can also be used for water management. By extending the roofline beyond the edge of the building and placing a cornice at the edge, rainwater can be directed away from the walls and foundation of the building, preventing water damage.

How to Choose the Right Cornice

When choosing a cornice, it’s important to consider the overall style and architecture of your space. If you have a traditional or classic space, a classical or dentil cornice may be the best fit. For a more modern space, a simple, straight-line modern cornice may be more appropriate.

You’ll also want to consider the size of your space and the scale of your architectural elements. A small room with low ceilings may not be able to accommodate a large, elaborate cornice, while a large, If you want to know about coving for bathroom visit us

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