Baseboard installation costs an average of $2,302, or $1.54 to over $20 per linear foot — it all depends on your project’s scope, size and details. For example, do you want wood baseboards and trim? Do you want to install a base shoe to an existing baseboard? Do you want any decorative edges or designs? All of these details will impact how much you spend on materials and labor.
A baseboard is the trim that goes along the base of your wall adjoining the floor. If you think your boards are ready for replacement or if you’re installing baseboards for the first time, keep reading to learn how to estimate your project costs and get free quotes from baseboard installers near you.
What’s in this cost guide?
The estimated cost to install baseboards is between $1.54 to $22.41 per linear foot. That’s a wide range so let’s use a hypothetical (yet realistic) example: You’re installing new baseboard trim in your home, and a contractor estimates it will cost $7.50 per linear foot. Based on this price, here’s how much you can expect to pay for installation:
Installation cost estimate
You can estimate how much your baseboards will cost by doing a few measurements beforehand. Place a tape measure tightly along each wall, and measure from corner to corner. If there are any doorways or openings in the wall, subtract that space.
Once you have the total number of inches, divide that number by 12 to get the linear feet. You want to add a bit more material than you have measured to account for cutting angles and outside corners. This could be added by simply taking the measurement of the shortest wall and doubling it. Or, just add an extra 10 percent to your measurements.
After you’ve decided on a type of baseboard, multiply the measurement by the cost per linear foot of the boards to get your total estimated price.
Related content: How much does trim installation cost?
These are the main factors to consider when estimating the cost of materials and installation:
Some baseboard, trim and molding styles are simple and easy-to-install, while others are more eye-catching and will take a bit more to install. For example, if you choose a wood baseboard with shoe or cap molding, that will add a bit more time to the installation process, which likely means a higher price.
Painting and staining
Baseboards are also available pre-painted, stained or bare. If you decide on buying bare wood, you can ask your installer if staining and painting are included in the price.
Removing old baseboards
You should also factor in the cost of removing old baseboards. The professional will need to take the time to remove the old boards and then prep the wall for your new baseboards to be installed properly and tightly. This includes cutting away old paint or caulking to pry the old trim away from the wall, then scraping and sanding any leftover glue or caulking. If you have an older home, the installer may have to do extra work to fill in any gaps.
A baseboard heater is a supplemental heating option for your home. If you also decide to install an hydronic baseboard heating system or an electric baseboard heater, expect to pay more.
The average cost of labor in your area will impact the cost of installation. In some areas where the cost of living is high, you can expect prices to be much higher for trim and baseboard installation services. In areas where the cost of living is low, average labor rates will likely be lower.
Baseboards and trim range in style and functionality. They can be available primed, painted, stained or bare, depending on the material. There are several types of wood trim and molding you can install, or you can choose a non-wood material.
- MDF (medium-density fiberboard) is a popular material due to its low price and ease of use. It’s a great option if you want painted trim, but it does not take staining well as it is an engineered wood without grain. You can find MDF baseboards for as little as $1.57 per linear foot at retailers.
- Oak and maple hardwoods are a beautiful option if you desire a real wood look. They take to staining well and will give your home a rich look. One retailer sells 96-inch pieces of oak or maple baseboard for roughly $25.
- Vinyl baseboards are water- and termite-resistant, so they could be suitable for your bathroom or any outdoor spaces that are susceptible to moisture. At one retailer, you can purchase a 120-foot roll of vinyl molding for $160.
- Jointed pine molding is another real wood option that comes at a much lower price than oak or maple. It comes treated and is typically available pre-primed or unprimed. Installing finger joint pine bases costs roughly $1.50-$5.60 per linear foot.
Baseboards also come in different styles and shapes that can give your home either a more contemporary feel or a traditional look. For example:
- Shoe molding and quarter-round trim are similar and fill the space between your baseboard and the floor with a dowel for a smooth, rounded finish.
- Rounded or stepped baseboard has a rounded trim design directly on the board that flows into the wall at the top of the baseboard.
- Flat baseboard is just what the name implies. It has a clean, flat surface that can be easily installed in any room.
- Sculpted baseboards come in different height options with a sculpted design of either scallops or steps tapered toward the wall.
Related content: How much does crown molding cost?
Whether you spend a few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars on new baseboards, take steps to keep them in excellent condition after installation. For example, don’t forget to add dusting your baseboards to your cleaning routine. If you don’t want to do this work yourself, hire a house cleaner to do it on a monthly or weekly basis.
You should also keep an eye on any damage, including chipped paint, dents and scratches. You may be able to DIY small, straightforward repairs. But hire a handyman or carpenter for any repairs that are outside of your expertise.
If you want to replace your current baseboard or install a new one, a carpenter, contractor or handyman service in your area will be able to help. If you’re having new floors put in, the same company that installs your flooring could probably also install your baseboards.
Go online to find baseboard installation professionals near you. Look at their profiles to see past client reviews and photos, and learn more about their experience and expertise.
Once you’ve identified a few contractors who seem capable of the job, start contacting them. Have your measurements ready, and let them know if you want a wood trim or a different type of material. Provide as many details as you can so they can give you accurate free estimates. If you’re not sure what type of material you should get, ask the contractor for advice.
You should also ask the professional what you should expect during the installation process. For example, what prep work should you do before they arrive? And how long do they expect installation will take?
Baseboards not only cover that unattractive joint between your wall and floor, but they also provide a subtle architectural element to your space. Hiring a baseboard installation service in your area will ensure a clean, tight and beautiful finish to your home.
Is it best to paint baseboards before installing them?
You can paint baseboards before installation. In fact, it’s often easier to paint them before they’re attached to the wall. Any minor scuffs that occur during installation can easily be touched up after.
Are baseboards worth replacing?
If there’s significant damage — such as warping or water damage — it might be best to replace them instead of repairing them. If your baseboards are still in fine condition, a minor paint touch-up could be all you need. Ask a contractor for their opinion if you’re still unsure.
How much should you pay a carpenter per hour?
Carpenters’ hourly rates range from $35-$90, on average, depending on your area and the type of job required. Some carpenters charge per linear foot instead of per hour for trim work. As an example, a carpenter could charge $5 labor per linear foot of baseboard.
Additional source: 2020 National Repair & Remodeling Estimator