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Cost to Install Crown Molding in 2022 (Average Price Guide)

Decorative crown molding

The cost of installing crown molding depends on the professional you hire, the size of the room, your location, and the materials involved.

You’re looking at anywhere from $4 to $15 for a single foot. Depending on the size of the room, that’s about $300 to $800 for the room. A whole house will cost thousands of dollars, ranging from $3,200 to $12,000.

As you might imagine, your cost will be broken into two different categories: materials and labor. Both of these can vary widely, depending on your area and the crown molding that you choose. Exotic materials will cost more, as will rushed delivery and more experienced professionals.

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Cost Based on Material

All materials have different prices. Some are cheaper than others. When choosing which material to use in your home, you’ll want to consider the aesthetics and the price.

1. Wood

Wood crown molding is typically moderately priced. Some types of wood are cheaper than others. Typically, it can cost anywhere from $10 to $45 per linear foot.

Common softwoods that grow quickly are on the lower end of this range, usually around $10. These softwoods include things like pine, maple, and aspen. More mature woods like pine and oak will cost a bit more, at around $15.

Exotic woods can be quite expensive. Brazilian cherry, ipe, and padauk can cost as much as $45 per foot.

Hardwoods are the most popular option because they provide a classical look. Softwoods are perfect for those on a budget. It is also easier to cut and install, typically leading to lower installation costs.

cabinet crown molding
Image Credit: timltv, Shutterstock

2. MDF

MDF isn’t a premium choice and it is cost-effective. Typically, it costs $4 to $10 per foot.

However, before deciding on this budget option, it is vital to ensure that it can work in your climate. It doesn’t work well in humid conditions. In some cases, you may end up spending more money in the long run if you use MDF improperly.

That said, this material is extremely easy to install and paint. Many DIYers choose it for this reason.


3. Plaster

Plaster molding cost about $9 to $20 for materials and installation. While plaster itself is cheap, it is difficult to install properly. Often, you’ll need to hire a more experienced professional for longer, which ends up costing more money.

Most plasters installed today are pre-made. Traditional plaster molding will cost even more, but there are few benefits to it. They can cost thousands of dollars per foot.


4. Polyurethane

Polyurethane is a popular choice due to its budget-friendliness. It cost about $5 to $10 a linear foot. However, you can’t do much with it. It doesn’t stain or paint that well. Dents show up easily, and it isn’t the most durable choice. It is cheap, though!


5. Metal

Metal molding can cost anywhere from $15 to $30, depending on the type of metal. Aluminum is particularly popular because it is durable, aesthetically pleasing, and cheap. It is also lightweight and easy to install.

Copper and steel are also available, though these are often slightly more expensive.


6. Polystyrene Foam

Also called PVC molding, this type of crown molding is extremely inexpensive. It can cost as little as $3.50 per foot. Since it is synthetic, it works well for bathrooms and other humid areas.

However, you can’t do that much with it. It cannot be shaped as easily as other materials on the market. It is lightweight, though, which makes it easy to install. You can even cut it with scissors! You can often install it easily with double-sided tape or glue.


7. PVC

At $4 to $8 a linear foot, PVC molding is often a solid budget option. It’s useful for rooms that tend to hold in moisture, like bathrooms. However, it is slick and can’t be painted. Therefore, the available coloration is usually white.

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Cost Per House Size

Generally, small houses are going to be more expensive per foot than larger homes. Professionals will often charge a base cost and then add more costs as necessary. After all, they have to haul all their equipment to your house, even if they’re only doing a single room.

Many homes have around 500 to 1,000 linear feet that need crown molding. Often, this means you’re spending thousands of dollars for the whole house. However, if you only need a room, you’re still looking at a few hundred dollars.

You may decide to get different crown molding in different rooms due to the high costs. Some nicer moldings aren’t useful for high-moisture areas. Out of necessity, bathrooms and kitchens often need different molding than the living room.

Labor Cost of Crown Molding

Installation depends on the material. Some materials are easy to install, while others take more effort. The more difficult a particular type of molding is to install, the more expensive the labor costs will be. It will often take them longer, and specialized materials may be necessary.

Most installations run anywhere from $3 to $8 per foot. This is for labor alone. Materials will need to be purchased separately.

Customer installations often cost even more. For instance, they can easily reach over $15 per foot.

In higher-priced areas, you can expect to pay a bit more.

man installing crown molding
Image Credit: ungvar, Shutterstock

Extra Costs

When you’re budgeting for crown molding, there are a few other things that you need to consider.

Re-trimming Doors and Windows

If you want to re-trim your doors or windows to match your new crown molding, the costs can quickly add up. Each door or window can cost as much as $200 to re-trim.

Painting

Some materials do come pre-painted, and some don’t need to be painted at all. However, if you want to purchase the material and then paint it, you’re looking at extra costs. Often, you can expect to pay an extra $2 or so per linear foot.

Of course, if you paint it yourself, your costs may be a bit less expensive. The cost of the paint and the size of the molding both affect the price.

Waste

You aren’t going to use every inch of molding that you purchase. Every time you cut an angle or make a mistake, you’ll waste a bit of material. Rectangular rooms are often easy and produce little waste. More complicated rooms with multiple angles produce more waste and will be more expensive.

Waste can add up quickly and often means you’ll need to purchase extra materials.

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Final Thoughts

Crown molding often costs between $1,500 and $10,000 for a whole house. If you’re doing just a room, you can expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

The biggest deciding factor in cost is the material that you choose. Some crown moldings are extremely expensive. Others are less so. If you want to use exotic wood, you can expect to pay more than if you use PVC.

Costs also vary based on location and difficulty of installation. Different materials are harder or easier to install. You also have to consider the size and angles of your rooms.

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Featured Image Credit: Roka, Shutterstock

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