How Much Does Crown Molding Cost?

Typical Range:

$570 - $1,913

Find out how much your project will cost.

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 5,059 HomeAdvisor members. Embed this data

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  • Homeowners use HomeAdvisor to find pros for home projects.
  • When their projects are done, they fill out a short cost survey.
  • We compile the data and report costs back to you.

Updated October 18, 2022

Reviewed by Andy Kilborn, Expert Home Building and Remodeling Contributor.

Written by HomeAdvisor.

The average cost to install crown molding is around $1,241, with average room costs ranging from $570 and $1,913. The cost of labor and materials is about $4 to $23 per linear foot. High-end materials, like exotic woods or metal, and custom installations can drive the price. The cost to install crown molding throughout a home is around $3,000.

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National Average $1,241
Typical Range $570 - $1,913
Low End - High End $200 - $4,200

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by 5,059 HomeAdvisor members.

What Is Crown Molding?

Crown molding is the decorative board that runs along the perimeter of the top of walls and edges of a ceiling in a room. It is used to add more character to a space or a finishing touch, although it was once used to disguise cracks or other imperfections along the walls and ceilings. This trim can make a room look larger or more complete.

"Crown molding is a great way to cover up cracks or issues at the ceiling or wall boundary or to hide new wiring,” says Andy Kilborn, Angi Expert Review Board member and owner of Andy's Handyman Service in Des Moines, IA. “It's a DIY project that isn't terribly difficult if you have the tools and patience."

Crown Molding Costs

Average cost for crown molding is $1 to $30 per linear foot

The price of installing crown molding depends primarily on the cost of the materials and hiring a professional.

Crown Molding Cost per Linear Foot

Most crown molding materials cost $1 to $15 per linear foot for molding that is 5 inches or shorter. Crown molding can range from as little as $1 per linear foot for less expensive materials, like MDF or PVC, or over $30 per linear foot for luxury woods, not including installation costs. 

Labor Costs to Install Crown Molding

Professional installation adds $3 to $12 per linear foot, although custom crown molding may cost $15 to $20 per linear foot. A professional may also charge by the hour instead of by the foot; if so, the cost is about $50 to $100 an hour. Installing crown molding in a room takes about 2 or 3 hours, including setup and cleanup.

Cost to Install Crown Molding by Material

Crown molding costs anywhere from $1 to $30 per linear foot for just the materials. Most people spend far less than the top end, usually coming in around $1 to $15 per linear foot. Wood and polyurethane are the most common types of crown molding, while MDF, PVC, and polystyrene are some of the least expensive options.

Only high-end materials that are tough to work with, like exotic hardwoods, plaster, and metals, cost more than $15 per linear foot.

Material Cost per Linear Foot*
Oak & Wood* $3 – $12
Polyurethane* $2 – $10
Plaster $6 – $20
Exotic Woods $15 – $30
MDF $1 – $7
PVC $1 – $4
Polystyrene "foam" $1 – $4
Metal $10 – $30

*Prices excluding labor, which adds $3 to $12 per linear foot.

Oak and Wood

Common wood moldings range from $3 to $12 per linear foot, depending on the type of wood. Softwood and new growth woods fall in the lower end of this range, while exotic hardwoods can cost $15 to $30 per linear foot, not including the cost of professional installation.

  • Common softwood and new growth: Pine, maple, poplar, and aspen cost $3 to $10 per linear foot.

  • Common hardwoods: Old growth pine and oak are at the higher end of the average range, costing around $10 to $12 per linear foot.

  • Exotic hardwoods: Extremely uncommon and often custom-made woods are more expensive at $15 to $30 per linear foot.

Hardwoods like oak and mahogany stain beautifully, and their natural grains add warmth and appeal to any room. Softwoods like pine or aspen can be easier to cut and sand; these are an excellent choice if you’re planning to paint your molding.

Polyurethane Molding

Polyurethane molding costs $2 to $10 per linear foot. This material is resistant to warping, scratching, and rotting. Polyurethane is a versatile material that can be worked into almost any design. However, like MDF molding, it’s prone to denting and may not hold paint or stain for a proper finishing.

Plaster Molding 

You’ll spend $6 to $20 per linear foot for premade plaster molding. You’ll also need to budget for labor, as plaster requires detailed installation by an experienced professional. This type of crown molding is typically customized, which is why it is more expensive than some other common crown molding materials.

Medium Density Fiberboard

Medium density fiberboard (MDF) crown molding averages $1 to $7 per linear foot. MDF is a good option for those who want the look of wood without the costs associated with it. It’s lightweight and takes paint well, making it a great choice in any but the most humid rooms.

PVC Molding

PVC crown molding costs $1 to $4 per linear foot. It’s tough to paint and usually only comes in white. Unlike MDF, it’s great for moist areas, like kitchens and bathrooms.

Polystyrene "Foam" Molding

Polystyrene, or foam, molding costs $1 to $4 per linear foot. You can cut it with scissors, and it’s incredibly lightweight and flexible, making installation with tape or glue easy. Although foam crown molding is cost-effective and can be applied to virtually any surface in any design, it doesn’t provide much detail. It may not offer quite the same flourish provided by higher quality materials, like wood or plaster.

Aluminum, Copper, and Steel

Metal moldings run $10 to $30 per linear foot, plus the cost of labor. You can use these both inside and out, making a seamless transition between indoor and outdoor living.

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Other Factors Affecting Crown Molding Installation Cost

Some materials look fine as-is, but you may want to customize the crown molding design or paint it, which will increase the project cost. Additional trim or accents can also impact the project cost.

Custom Crown Molding

Custom crown molding costs about $10 to $30 per linear foot for the materials alone, plus an additional $15 to $20 per linear foot for labor.

Installing Trim and Baseboards

The cost to install trim and baseboards is $600 to $2,065. This project can make a room look fully finished and add a cohesive feel throughout a home.

Installing Wainscotting and Beadboard

Wainscotting and beadboard cost an average of $1,325 for a 5-foot-high installation in a 12-foot-by-12-foot room. Wainscotting refers to decorative wall panels, and beadboard is a specific type of wainscotting panel.

Painting Crown Molding

Painting crown molding costs $1 to $3.50 per linear foot for the materials and labor. The final cost depends on the size and intricacy of the crown molding and the quality of the paint. Always use a high-quality interior paint for better coverage and a longer-lasting finish.

Enhancements 

These days, crown molding can do a lot more than just trim the walls and ceilings in a room. You can hide electronic cables inside crown molding or install lighting for a unique look, although crown molding won’t be flush against the ceiling. Hiding cables costs about $35 per 8 feet, and installing LED or indirect lighting costs an additional $20 to $80 per 6.25 feet of crown molding.

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DIY vs. Professional Crown Molding Installation

You can save $3 to $12 per linear foot by installing crown molding yourself, but you should only do so if you have experience as a finish carpenter. Each joint is made of compound angles. Getting those angles right requires patience, a certain aptitude for spatial relationships, and the correct tools. Plaster molding, exotic hardwoods, or custom designs should always be handled by the pros.

Considering the cost of extra materials needed if you make mistakes, hiring a contractor may actually save you money in the end. Find a crown molding installer near you today.

DIY Steps to Install Crown Molding

DIY crown molding installation is possible, but it can be tricky. Be prepared to do a bit of math to ensure a snug fit against the walls and corners of the room. You’ll also need a fully stocked toolbox to finish this job.

  • Gather materials: You’ll need a miter saw, coping saw, sandpaper, level, paintable caulk and caulk gun, nail gun, nails, chalk line, drill, carpenter’s glue, putty, and paint. “Ensure you utilize a sharp finishing blade,” says Kilborn. “Using an incorrect blade can make the project look rough.

  • Measure and cut corners: One of the trickiest parts of the installation is properly preparing the molding for the inside and outside corners.

  • Create a guide: You’ll need to draw a guide using a level in order to guarantee the crown molding aligns and is straight.

  • Mark the studs: Use a stud finder to mark the studs around the room. The crown molding joists must attach to studs.

  • Install the molding: Start in a corner, and use a nail gun to attach the crown molding to the wall studs and ceiling joists.

  • Add caulk and putty: Once the molding is in place, use caulk to fill in the trim and putty to hide any nails or nail holes.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is it easy to install crown molding?

Some materials, like polystyrene or softwoods, are easier for homeowners who want to save some money and install crown molding themselves. Heavier materials, like hardwoods and plaster, are difficult to install and should always be handled by a professional.

Is crown molding expensive?

Crown molding costs can range from as little as $1 per linear foot to as much as $30 per linear foot, depending on the material. There’s an option for just about every budget.

Who installs crown molding?

Usually, crown molding gets installed by a professional finish carpenter or painter who specializes in it.

What's the cheapest type of crown molding?

Polystyrene, PVC, and MDF are some of the least expensive options for crown molding, with prices starting as low as $1 per linear foot.

Where can I put crown molding in my house?

You can put crown molding anywhere in your house you’d like. It’s usually used where the walls meet the ceiling. But you can also put it around doors, windows, mirrors, or the top of cabinets.

How to calculate how much crown molding I need?

You’ll need to measure the distance around the room you’re installing it. Measure each wall and add them together. This is how many linear feet you’ll need. “Make sure to round up a bit to account for scrap associated with cutting angles,” says Andy Kilborn. “Additionally,  you may find using an extra full-length piece or two, depending on the dimensions of your room, will eliminate some joints, making installation easier.”