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How much will your trim or molding installation cost?

Ashburn, VA 20149

Carpenters on Thumbtack cost$300 - $510

Average price

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  • Lowest price:$100
  • Most common low price:$300
  • Most common high price:$510
  • Highest price:$1480

How much does crown molding cost?

On average, crown molding costs $2,044 to install. How much you actually pay will vary significantly depending on several different factors, including the material you choose and the labor costs in your area.

Crown molding is the trim that runs horizontally along the top of an interior wall, concealing the angle where the wall meets the ceiling with a graceful curve or design. From ornate to classic to subdued, it can be added to ceilings, walls, cabinets and door frames for aesthetic reasons. However, molding can also be used to mask construction imperfections.

Keep reading to learn more about the cost to install crown molding, and find out how you can get an accurate estimate from professionals near you.

What’s in this cost guide?

Crown molding cost per linear foot

Because crown molding runs along the intersection of your wall and ceiling, calculating the number of linear feet that you need is the best way to estimate how to budget your installation project. Some materials cost less than $1 per linear foot, and others are $45 (or more) per linear foot.

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Crown molding prices by material:

Molding material

Estimated cost per linear foot

Polystyrene

Prices start at < $1

MDF

$1-$7

PVC

$2-$4

Finger joint pine

$3-$10

Oak & solid pine

$3-$13

Polyurethane foam

$4-$45

Plaster

$5-$30

Sources: 2020 National Repair & Remodeling Estimator, Bob VillaThis Old House

Once you’ve found the total length of the area, multiply it by the price per linear foot for different materials, such as wood or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The type of material you select will have a direct impact on how much you'll spend. Installing plaster or wood requires more craftsmanship and experience than, say, PVC. 

Crown molding varies in size. Stock sizing can range from 1.5 inches to 7.5 inches or more. The size refers to its width (how far it sticks out from the wall), but be sure to account for its depth (how tall it is on the wall), too, as more ornate designs may increase the size and price.

Polystyrene molding

Starting at less than $1 per linear foot, polystyrene is a quick and easy option for your crown molding. With a low price tag and easy installation, polystyrene goes up with an adhesive. However, it’s not as durable as plastic or wood. 

MDF crown molding

MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is formed by combining resin and sawdust and applying pressure. It costs approximately $1 to $7 per linear foot

Daniel Neaga of Neaga Remodeling & Design in Portland, Oregon, said MDF is the most popular crown molding material they install and can cost about $5 per linear foot (including materials). For a 275-linear-foot project using MDF, customers pay about $1,375 for molding that is 5.5 inches high, and the walls are 16 feet wide by 8 feet tall.

MDF is an easy-to-install material that can be pressed into various trim designs, ranging from small- to large-profile molding. It comes with a smooth exterior that you can easily paint or even stain if it includes a suitable veneer. However, this material is soft and prone to scratches and nicks.

PVC molding

PVC costs approximately $2 to $4 per linear foot, and it’s an excellent choice if you’re on a budget or looking to install crown molding in wet areas like bathrooms. Entirely warp- and rot-resistant, PVC boasts simple installation and it can be easily cut. The average cost of PVC is relatively low, though it can be difficult to paint due to its slick surfaces.

Finger joint pine molding

Finger jointed pine costs approximately $3 to $10 per linear foot and is typically made from solid pine wood. It features smaller pieces joined together in lines of small, interlocking fingers. These have a zig-zag shape and can be painted over if you don’t want them to be visible. Because it’s not one solid piece, finger-jointed pine doesn’t twist and warp as much as solid wood.

Ken Winters II of K2carpentry in Port Richey, Florida, said that the price to install finger joint pine molding (one of the most popular molding materials they install) is $6.50 per linear foot. This price accounts for a 5-inch-wide cove crown. For a 6.5-inch FJP double cove crown, it's $7.50 per linear foot.

Solid pine molding

Solid pine costs between $3 to $13 per linear foot. Whereas finger-jointed pine features small pieces joined together, solid pine is formed from long, continuous pieces from single cuts. While this makes it more susceptible to warping and twisting, it also makes it a more elegant choice for staining and more natural looks. 

Oak molding

Also costing about $3 to $13 per linear foot, installing oak hardwood is an excellent choice if you don't want to compromise quality and durability. Oak and other hardwoods are dent-resistant, beautifully textured choices that hold stains well and can feature knife-edge definition on crown molding corners. Oak is a great choice to match a hardwood floor, while other exotic woods can be used to complement other aspects of a home.

Polyurethane foam molding

Lightweight and easy to handle, polyurethane foam molding costs $4 to $45 per linear foot and is insect-, moisture- and rot-resistant. It’s perfect for high-humidity areas like bathrooms. The moldings are easy to cut and are relatively inexpensive. Design choices are more limited than other types of moldings, however, and it should be painted.

Plaster molding

Costing about $5 to $30 per linear foot, plaster molding is a bit pricier than other options. It’s a higher-end material that’s perfect for an elegant trim installation. With high versatility in terms of shape and design, plaster works best for tall ceilings and for rooms that include plaster walls. 

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Cost to remove crown molding

In general, the average cost to remove molding and trim is $0.30 to $0.70 per linear foot.

Additional price factors

The material, linear feet and labor rate are the main price factors. But several other factors will play a role as well: 

Room size

Your room's size will impact the linear square footage of molding material required. Larger rooms may also require more equipment and ladders — which may drive up the price.

Complexity and intricacy

Hardwood, metal and plaster can require extreme precision to install correctly. Inner and outer corners may take extra work, especially if your walls are slightly out of square or if the molding’s pattern is particularly intricate. The more corners and built-ins the pro has to work around, the longer it will take — and the more you'll pay.

Painting

If you have pros paint your crown molding for you, this will add to the price. Applying several coats of paint also requires waiting for the previous coat to dry, which the pro may have to charge for.

Labor costs in your area

Contractors and carpenters may charge more or less depending on their city. Insert your zip code below to get an idea of labor rates in your area. 

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How to hire a professional

To hire a crown molding pro, start by searching for high-rated specialists on Thumbtack. Look at their ratings and reviews, paying special attention to any customer reviews that include photos of their work. 

Be sure to ask the pro questions — how long will the project take? How many people will be in the house? Do they provide free estimates or consultations? What can you do to help them prepare? 

If the pro gives a free estimate, make sure they do a detailed job of breaking down how much you can expect to pay. This may involve an in-person or remote walk-through of the house. For more tips on how to hire a pro, read Thumbtack’s Smart Hiring guide.

Find a crown molding professional near you

If you’re ready to install new molding in your home, start looking for the best pro available to get the job done. Crown molding can add a touch of elegance, class and character to your home, so make sure you hire the best pro in your area by searching on Thumbtack.

Related content: How much does a carpenter cost?

FAQs

Is it easy to install crown molding?

Certain types of crown molding, such as foam and polystyrene, are easy to install. However, it all depends on your (or the pro’s) skill level and familiarity with tools. For example, you will likely need to know how to expertly use a miter saw to create miter joints, a nail gun and other tools for this project.

Is crown molding a good investment?

It can give homes a high-end, well-designed feel that may provide a return on your investment. Talk to a real estate expert in your area to figure out what types of home improvement projects you should invest in. 

What is the cheapest crown molding?

The cheapest type is typically foam, MDF and PVC.

What rooms should have crown molding?

Generally, it can be installed in any room in the house, perhaps excluding less-visible areas like closets, storage rooms, utility rooms and so on.

Does crown molding make a room look bigger or smaller?

If it's the same or lighter color as the walls, it will tend to make a room feel taller and bigger. However, if the crown molding is too large or wide, it can make the walls and room feel smaller. This is especially true if you have low ceilings. If you're adding it to a room with high ceilings, wider molding can work.

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How do we know these prices?

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