A question for the architect/builder types

I’ll be installing some wainscot paneling in my home. While at Home Depot perusing my options for cap/chair rail moulding, I happened across a moulding with a profile that I liked. According to the description affixed to it though, it is case moulding (for around doors/windows, correct?).

My immediate thought was, “well, I certainly can’t use that.”

But, as I continued my search I began to realize that, given the limited choices, in order to acheive the look I was after I’d have to build my own out of several different mouldings.

“Hmmm, I like the look of that case moulding, which of these other mouldings would I need to combine to make a similar profile. Okay, 40’ of this one, the same of this, and oh yeah that’ll look nice…Waitaminute, why don’t I just use the case moulding???”

I’m thinking, to the casual observer, it won’t make a difference - they’ll never know I used the wrong type of moulding. But, to my architecture-savvy friends (of which I have a few, but I’m embarassed to ask them about this), it’ll stick out like the proverbial sore thumb - “HaHa what a fool! He used case moulding as cap rail! HaHaHaHaHa!!”

So, my question is, is it acceptable in this case to use a material designed for one application to satisfy another?

Thank you.

I sell mouldings (congratulations on the correct spelling, BTW) and millwork for a living, and I can assure you that you can use any profile any way you want to.

Casing is called casing because that is what it is generally used for. Can casing be used as a panel mould? Sure, as long as the scale is right and it makes you happy. Many moulding profiles serve multiple purposes: for example, many panel mouldings are also used as base caps or backbands. Look through any big moulding catalogue and you’ll find the same profile listed in different sections.

Go for it.

IANABuilder, but I say “Go for it”.

Most architects I know say “Give the client what he or she wants, and try to keep the price within budget.”

Sounds like you’ve got both of those under control.

(As an aside, I once saw an amateur fixer-upper person use wall tile on the floor – it’s much thinner and liable to breakage. In that case, the material was certainly not appropriate for the application.)