Don't cope pre-finished crown molding?


I'm having new new kitchen cabinets for the first time. Normally, I would do this kind of work myself, but with my day job/travel, I don't want my family to be without a kitchen for the several weeks it would take me to do it myself. To save some badly-needed cash however, I plan on installing the crown molding myself. I ordered pre-finished (matching) crown molding from the cabinet manufacturer that will go above the cabinets and all the way around the perimeter of the kitchen ceiling as well. I've done a reasonable amount of crown molding installation myself over the years and am comfortable doing it. I know the basic procedures of cutting the molding upside down on the miter saw and coping the inside corners.
The guy installing my cabinets mentioned that because the molding is pre-finished, I should *not* cope the inside corners, and should miter them instead. He explained that since it's pre-finished, I won't be able to fill the gaps with caulk, paint, etc., which of course is true. But this advice is opposite to everything I've ever heard, read, or done regarding crown molding. I thought a coped inside corner should better hide the gaps that come from non-orthogonal walls and ceilings, and from expansion / contraction that can occur with time, temperature, humidity variation, etc. We certainly have a large humidity range here in Detroit throughout the season.
My cabinet installer is a nice guy, and has a lot more experience than I do. But he's not exactly motivated to explain it further to me, since he would prefer I hire him for the job. That's just not in my budget though ...
Can anyone shed some light on why a mitered inside corner would be better than a coped one for *pre-finished* crown molding?
Mo
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Mo wrote: ...

What specifically, is this pre-finished moulding? Simply the same finish as the cabinets on solid wood, formed plastic, ... ???
If the former, no reason at all. If the latter, still doable either way but can be harder to cut cleanly and can tend to chip when doing the cope and is more difficult to touchup cleanly than is wood. Not that it can't be done, just isn't as simple to put a finish on the manufactured products as is wood.
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I haven't opened all the boxes with the molding yet, but as far as I know, it's solid wood with the same painted/glazed finish as the cabinets.
I understand what you mean about the chipping. I guess I could apply painter's tape to the surface before I cut it, or is there a better way to avoid chipping?
Mo

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Mo wrote:

Then I'd cope.
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I think he's wrong and you are right. The whole point of coping inside corners is that they don't open up with temperature and moisture changes like a mitered corner can. I used prefinished maple crown for my kitchen and coped the inside corners as usual w/o any problems. Well w/o any problems other than the fact that coping the maple was a pita but that's life.
cheers ml
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I'm not sure I would want the guy installing my cabinets. Fill gaps with caulk, paint?
That's a hack way of fitting anything!
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wrote:

I would tell him that I'd love to hire him but I just can't afford it now, and I'll hire you for things in the future, but not this, and please explain to me whateever you want explained.
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wrote:
<snip>

A mitered inside corner saves time and money for the installer. It will look good immediately after the install, but some corners may eventually open up and look like crap for everybody to see. Do it right and cope.
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wrote:
wITH simple quarterround molding, rather than miter, one can use a hole saw or something to just drill perpendicular to the molding and cut out a quarter-round hole. Then it goes right over the other piece.
I think this works with other molding profiles as well.
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mm wrote:

No, it doesn't because the profiles aren't (necessarily) round circles but ellipses (and, actually, even base shoe isn't and some quarter-round may not be quite altho unless it is very large diameter the difference may not be obvious).
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In my experience either can work. To miter it right, takes a good amount of skill and effort, and a lot of very accurate measurements. Coping also takes skill and some careful measuring, but allows for some variations. I would suggest the best might be what you are most skilled at.
Good Luck
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