This is the most common question that is asked during every consultation. Often when doing a walk through of a proposed crown moulding installation project, we come to one or the other spot in the house where we have to end or stop crown moulding. This is often happening in particular areas of your home; for example take a look at the ceiling on the first floor of your home in the area of stairwell opening, usually ceiling would end on one or the other side where it meets the stair opening to the second floor. Take a look at the following photo, this is the most effective and visually appealing way to end crown moulding when it reaches end of the ceiling in some area of your home.
This ending is called a "return" or another way to call it is crown moulding cap. The reason for doing a return is that it creates a pleasing to the eye and also logical finish of the crown moulding. If the crown moulding would be just cut straight or flush with the ceiling it would look awkward and unfinished, also exposing a large gap as it is hollow on the inside, this empty void or gap behind crown moulding is extremely difficult or hard to fill and finish. So to create this return we basically cut crown moulding as it's making a turn into the wall, just before the ceiling ends, therefore the name crown moulding return.
Another place to watch for is in bathrooms. This is where you commonly find walls that are tiled all the way to the ceiling, usually in open
tub or shower area. Because of the transition from drywall to tile, and also tiles being in the wet area of the room, we do not install crown moulding on tiles or stone walls. I guessed it you don't want to miss out on having crown moulding in your bathroom, so here is a few photos visualizing what we can do about this problem, by utilizing crown moulding return.
Before crown moulding