How Much Does It Cost To Replace Baseboards In 2024? (with Pictures)
Baseboards are one of those things that most people never notice until something goes wrong. Every home contains some kind of baseboard, but you might not have ever paid attention to yours until you take a chunk out of them while moving your couch. Like anything in a home, baseboards can break and wear down over time which will lead to a replacement job down the line.
How much does it cost to replace baseboards in 2023? The prices for baseboards have been pretty consistent for many years so getting a material quote is pretty easy to do. However, there are some unforeseen costs and options that can throw a homeowner for a loop. This article will dive into the material costs of baseboards, the labor costs for installation, and the hidden costs that may be waiting to pop up in the middle of a job.
Why Would You Replace Your Baseboards?
Baseboards wear down over time like anything in a home. Baseboards can get damaged by things like furniture or water. Baseboards also go out of style as people change what kind of look they enjoy in their home. Baseboards can get dirty and discolored. Home projects also often require replacing baseboards. Any one of these reasons can cause someone to look into replacing their baseboards.
Luckily, replacing baseboards is a fairly simple project that many people feel comfortable doing on their own. It is not cost-prohibitive and fresh baseboards are an easy way to spruce up an aging space.
Baseboards are a very visible part of a home, but they are not critical to the home’s health like, say, a roof is. Baseboards are replaced periodically, but it is not usually a project that is critical or time-sensitive.
How Much Do New Baseboards Cost?
The most common type of baseboard is primed wood. The vast majority of homes will have simple wooden baseboards that come pre-primed in white color. The good news is that this is also one of the cheapest options, and the prices are largely static. The average cost for a typically primed baseboard is $1 per foot. This makes getting a material quote very simple to do.
There are some options for baseboards outside of standard wood. You might run into MDF, which stands for medium-density fiberboard, which is a type of pressed composite material. Some environments also benefit from PVC baseboards which are the most expensive, but they are completely waterproof and can theoretically last a lifetime.
If you are looking to buy 250 linear feet of baseboard, you should budget around $250 for the material. Make sure to build in waste in your estimates, but we will talk more in-depth about waste.
Costs For Different Varieties of Baseboard (Per Linear Foot)
Source: Home Serve
Outside of the material cost comes the labor cost. Many people can replace baseboards on their own, but sometimes it is a good idea to have the work done by a professional. Labor costs for trim come in a wide variety of options. Many times, trim contractors will quote a job with all materials and extras included. This makes it easy to get a solid estimate for your home. Other contractors will simply charge for labor if the homeowner buys the material on their own.
If you budget $8 per foot for a baseboard job, that number will likely cover all of your costs, including labor. That means if you are looking to replace 250 linear feet of baseboard, you should budget $2,000 to complete the job out the door.
Labor Cost For Baseboard Installation
|$5–$8 per linear foot
|Labor With Materials
|$6–$9 per linear foot
|Painting The Baseboards
|$3 per linear foot
Source: Home Advisor
Baseboard replacement can come with a bevy of additional costs. None of these costs are guaranteed to show up in any particular job but there is a good chance that you will encounter at least one of them every time you replace your baseboards. It is good to know what kind of extras are lurking in the wings waiting to pop up. An unforeseen cost can really put a damper on a good project.
One of the biggest costs that people do not account for when purchasing things like baseboards is waste. Contractors often suggest building in at least 10% waste for these kinds of projects. That means if you were looking at buying 200 linear feet of baseboard you should buy 220 feet in order to account for waste.
Baseboard waste can come in many forms. Bad cuts are a big culprit of waste. You also have to work in the confines of the baseboard’s standard length, which is 16 feet. That means if you have a room that runs 18 feet, you will need two sticks of baseboards. You will either need to put in two 9-foot lengths of the board or one 16-foot length and one 2 foot length. The results will leave you with some odd-length boards that may or may not be used elsewhere in the project.
In some cases, waste can run as high as 20% for a project. If you did not account for waste in your measurements and estimates you could be in for a shock when the price comes in 20% over budget.
Paint or Stain
Baseboards come in two varieties, primed or raw. A primed baseboard is white and can easily be painted before or after installation. Many people leave their baseboards white but some people like to paint their baseboards. Baseboards can technically be painted any color but many people choose to simply paint them in a shade of white. Similarly, raw baseboard comes ready to be sealed or stained. If you plan on doing any additional work to your baseboards, you need to factor in the cost of paint or stain.
A gallon of paint runs around $25, and a gallon of stain will set you back $50. Labor costs for painting or staining baseboards run around $3 per linear foot in most markets.
Sanding and Touch Up
While baseboards are relatively easy to replace, sometimes the job requires touching up after it is complete. Touch-ups can require small amounts of paint or primer. It can require wood putty, sandpaper, or caulk. Do not always expect to step back at the end of the project and see that everything is 100% correct. That is often not the case. While touch-up work does not cost much, it can add additional costs to a budget if you were not planning on buying sandpaper or putty to touch up some areas.
It is always good to build in some cushion for touch-up work just in case.
Shoe Mold Or Quarter Round
Some baseboard replacement jobs will require the addition of a shoe mold or quarter round. This is particularly true of projects that coincide with new floors. New flooring can cause gaps between the floor and the baseboard or things like cabinets where there were no gaps before. Shoe mold and quarter round cover these gaps to give a more cohesive look.
If you require shoe mold or quarter round to be added to your baseboard you should factor in $0.50 to $1.00 per foot of baseboard being replaced as an additional cost.
Sometimes, baseboards can be hiding damage to the drywall underneath. It is also possible to damage the underlying drywall when removing the baseboards. If you are too rough when prying away the old boards you can accidentally rip out pieces of old drywall. Damaged drywall will require repair before putting up new baseboards.
If the damage is minor and confined to a small space, it should be easy to patch by the homeowner, but it will still cost a little extra to gather the supplies needed. In some instances, such as if the baseboards were damaged by water the underlying drywall might need a more extensive repair.
Drywall repair can run anywhere from $25 to $200 depending on the severity and scope of the damage. In some cases, the contractor will do the repair as part of the job but not always.
What Do You Need In Order To Replace Baseboards Yourself?
Unlike some home improvement projects, baseboards are something that most homeowners can do themselves. In order to successfully replace your old baseboards, you will need the following items.
The cost of doing this kind of job yourself is going to depend on how many of these items you already own. A finish nail gun and a miter saw can cost you up to $600 for the pair. However, if you already have the tools needed to do the job, replacing the baseboard can be very affordable. All you would need is the molding itself and make sure you have the right finish nails for your gun.
Projects That Often Include Baseboard Replacement
Not everyone sets out to replace their baseboards on their own. Many times, baseboards get replaced in conjunction with another job. Even if you aren’t thinking about replacing your baseboards right now, these types of jobs often require all new baseboards after they are finished.
Replacing old floors often results in the old baseboard being taken out along with them. The demolition process can damage the existing baseboard. New floors are also often a different thickness than the old floors, which will leave your baseboards either in the way or floating above the new floors. The result is that many flooring contractors will take out the baseboards completely and replace them after the floors are installed.
Oftentimes this results in a bill for new baseboards throughout the area where the new floors are being put in, so it is good to know how much baseboard costs ahead of time.
Layout changes are all the rage right now. Many designers and contractors are blowing out walls, changing door openings, and redoing the placement of key features of the home. Any time a wall is taken out or a door opening moved or changed, the baseboards also have to be replaced. While the cost of baseboards might not be very much in comparison to a full layout overhaul, it is going to factor into the overall price either upfront or on the backend.
Some people like to change their baseboards when they paint. Painting is a good time to give your home a fresh start, and many times, old baseboards look dirty, faded, or out of place next to new paint. Also, baseboards can get covered in paint during the painting process. No matter how much you tape up the dang baseboards, there are dozens of feet of the board along the walls that are vulnerable to getting painted. Some people prefer to paint and then replace the baseboards when they are done to avoid annoying clean-up and bad-looking baseboards.
Getting a solid estimate for baseboard replacement is relatively easy. The cost of baseboards is standard, there are not that many options, and labor is simple. This allows you to get ahead on a good price quickly by simply measuring your home’s baseboards and doing some easy calculations. The costs will largely depend on how large of an area you are trying to replace, but there should be few surprises in the endeavor.
Featured Image Credit: VH-studio, Shutterstock