We recently had a customer ask what the advantages and disadvantages of having a full dust cap/roof board, for a cornice? This is a great question and reveals the fact that there are multiple ways of constructing a cornice. Below I’ll try to outline the 3 typical types of cornice construction, all having to do with the ‘ceiling of the cornice’ and how it is braced, and I’ll offer a few advantages and disadvantages of each.
This information is especially important when an onsite GC is building the cornice rather than the drapery manufacturer. That’s why we’ve created the free downloadable resource card GC Cornices, just for you.
3 Types of Cornice Construction
The Full Dustcap is simple enough. As it sounds the full dust cap is usually a ¾ piece of plywood that runs the full length and depth of the valance. A full dust cap can be made with varying thicknesses of board and this point is of upmost importance for the drapery manufacture as it dictates the amount of deductions which need to be taken from the drapes.
Pros & Cons – A Full Dustcap/Roof Board provides the most support for the drapery hardware. Ceiling mounted hardware is installed into the roof board to hang the drapery. Since the roof board/cornice will be load bearing (the weight of the drapery hardware and drapery), it is very important that there is good blocking and the cornice is extremely secure.
1x2 Framing Construction replaces the full dust cap with a 1x2 frame along the front and sides of the cornice ceiling. The cornice is then attached to the ceiling via these frame pieces as braces.
Pros & Cons – This is often used where existing hardware is already in place and the desire is for a cornice to be added. A cornice built with 1x2 framing can be constructed to fit around existing hardware. Therefore existing drapery does not have to be taken down or adjusted. These cornices cannot be wall mounted over a certain width due to the fact that L brackets cannot be installed at the back of the cornice except at the ends. The 1x2 framing option may be slightly cheaper and lighter due to the absence of a full dust cap.
Although the Wall to Wall Face Board is not something we make here at Quiltcraft, we have begun to see it often in GC built cornices. This option is only done in scenarios where the cornice is built to span wall to wall space. This construction is similar to the 1x2 construction except that there are not side walls and therefore there is not side framing either. This is usually installed into the ceiling via metal L-brackets.
Pros & Cons – If treatments or the cornice is running wall to wall, this option can also provide the possibility of constructing a cornice around or, in this case, in front of existing hardware, and negating the need to take any hardware down or readjust drapery.
An extremely important concept as we discuss cornices is the blocking on the other side of the sheet rocked ceiling. Both the top treatment (cornice, valance or roman shade) as well as the hardware must be secured into this blocking. If you don’t understand this concept that’s quite alright. We get this question far more often than you make think. Make sure to download or Resource Card, ‘Blocking’ and check our out blog post ‘What is Blocking for Hospitality & Healthcare Window Treatments?’ to become educated.
We hope this has been a benefit to your selection process. If you need further help in deciding what the best treatment is for you fill out one of our 'Contact Us' forms and we would be happy to assist you.