How Much Does Crown Molding Cost?

Katy Willis
Written by Katy Willis
Updated November 9, 2021
A crown molding with an intricate corner
Photo: Valeriy_G/iStock / Getty Images Plus / Getty Images

Crown molding for a couple of rooms costs $1,160 for installation and materials, on average

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To have a professional install crown molding, expect to pay between $4 and $15 per linear foot for materials and labor. A single room costs anywhere from $300 to $800, while a whole house installation costs between $3,200 and $12,000. Put your own twist on old-world interiors with some contemporary crown molding that's equal to any of the fancy pics you see in your Insta feed.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Crown Molding by Type?

Crown molding ranges in price based on material type. The base cost of crown molding materials differs, as does the time and labor required to complete the installation, as some materials are easier to work with than others.

Costs for 7 types of crown molding installation, with polystyrene foam costing the least

Solid Wood

Solid wood crown molding costs $10 to $45 per linear foot, depending on scarcity and hardness. There's a huge selection of wood types for crown molding to choose from, including common pine to exotic ironwood.

Common softwoods and young growth like new growth pine, maple, and aspen cost around $10 per linear foot, installed. Old-growth softwoods like mature, seasoned pine and common hardwoods like oak and mahogany cost $10 to $15 per linear foot. 

Exotic hardwoods like Brazilian cherry, padauk, and ipe cost $15 to $45 per linear foot. 

Hardwoods are popular because they are moderately priced and, once stained, add classic charm and warmth to a room. Common softwoods are a better option for those on a tight budget and anyone who plans to paint their crown molding or attempt DIY, as the wood is easier to cut and, if finished well, looks great painted.

Polyurethane

Per linear foot, polyurethane crown molding costs $5 to $10 per linear foot installed. It's a popular choice as it's budget-friendly and resists warping and rotting. However, it dents fairly easily and doesn't hold stain or paint particularly well.

Plaster

Premade plaster crown molding costs $9 to $20 per linear foot for installation. This is mainly due to the complexity of the installation and the skill required by the installer. However, because it’s made off-site, it costs far less than traditional plaster.

In contrast, traditional plaster molding is created in-situ, right on the wall, inside the home using wet plaster and a mold. This is even more costly and rarely done today. 

However, if your home already has traditional plaster molding and you find it needs repair and want to preserve rather than replace it, expect to pay $4,000 to $6,000 even for just a couple of linear feet. That’s because it takes a great deal of time and skill to rebuild or repair.

MDF

Good old MDF isn't fancy, but it's cost-effective at just $4 to $10 per linear foot. While it doesn't perform well in very humid conditions, it's lightweight and relatively easy to install. It does need a finish of some kind, but wood veneer mimics the look of real hardwood without the higher cost. Plus, MDF takes and holds paint well, so it's an excellent low-cost option for installing painted crown molding.

PVC

PVC crown molding costs $4 to $8 per linear foot and is a good budget-friendly option for rooms that tend to hold moisture, like kitchens and bathrooms. However, PVC molding is slick and doesn't hold paint well, so it tends to only be available in white.

Polystyrene Foam

Foam molding, or PVC molding, costs $3.50 to $8 per linear foot, including installation. Because it's synthetic and isn't porous, it's another good choice for humid locations like bathrooms. However, detail is very limited because it can't be molded and shaped like other conventional materials. On the other hand, it's super lightweight, and you can even cut it with a pair of scissors. Its lightness and flexibility make it a popular choice for budget DIY installations, as you can install it with double-sided tape or glue.

Metal

Metal crown molding costs $13 to $33 per linear foot, including installation. Aluminum, copper, and steel are popular choices for indoor and outdoor use. Aluminum is particularly lightweight and resistant to rust.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Crown Molding Near Me?

Crown molding installation costs vary by location as well as material type. The typical labor cost and price of materials in your area determine how much your crown molding project costs. Take a look at average costs across the country.

CityCost RangeAverage Cost
Orlando, FL$510 – $1,970$1,230
Raleigh, NC$550 – $1,455$1,000
New York City$870 – $2,490$1,680
Portland, ME$265 – $630$445
Chicago$520 – $1,645$1,080
Manhattan, KS$975 – $1,025$1,000
Dallas$460 – $1,320$825
Phoenix$485 – $1,760$1,045
Denver$410 – $1,285$810
Sacramento, CA$625 – $1,690$1,145
Portland, OR$525 – $1,705$1,105

What Crown Molding Can I Get On My Budget?

Your budget determines what type of crown molding you can use, whether it has to be a DIY project or whether you can hire a professional crown molding installer, and how many rooms you can install crown molding in.

$500

$500 is enough for a DIYer to install budget- to moderately priced crown molding like MDF, polyurethane, or polystyrene foam in an average-sized living room of 16’ x 17’ and a kitchen or bathroom of 10’ x 10’. You could also afford to stretch to a common softwood for a single room up to 16’ x 17’. Or, you could hire a professional crown molding installer for a single room with budget-friendly materials.

$1,000

With a $1,000 budget, you could install crown molding in your bathroom (10’ x 5’) and living area (16’ x 17’) and use middle-of-the-road materials like common softwoods at $10 per linear foot. If you wanted to use common hardwoods like oak at $15 per foot, you could stretch to a 16’ x 17’ room.

$2,500

At $2,500, you could stretch to a small amount of luxury crown molding like having a 10’ x 10’ kitchen fitted with ipe molding at $45 per linear foot and still have a little left over for staining the molding or touching up walls and trim.

$5,000

With a budget of $5,000, you could get the whole house fitted with moderately priced crown molding such as common hardwood. Or, you could get a large living area of up to 27’ x 28’ fitted with premium exotic hardwood crown molding.

$12,000

$12,000 gets you 800 linear feet of crown molding at up to $15 per linear foot. That's enough to fit out an average home with common softwood or hardwoods.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Crown Molding Yourself?

If you know what you're doing and pick the right materials, it is possible to install crown molding yourself. Generally, around 25% of the price a pro quotes you is for labor, so you can save around a quarter of the project price if you go the DIY route.

However, for the best results, it's always a good idea to hire a local carpenter, particularly if you're installing hardwoods or exotic hardwoods, as these are tough to DIY successfully.

If you choose to use metal, MDF, or plastic molding, a local decorator may be able to help. 

If you do go the DIY route, be aware that you'll need a miter saw, a coping saw, and a protractor as a bare minimum, and, depending on what type of molding you're installing, you may need a nail gun, too.

What Factors Influence Crown Molding Installation Cost?

Detail of a man’s hands installing crown molding
Photo: yunava1 / Adobe Stock

Aside from the type of material and how much of it you need, the most significant factor that influences the cost of crown molding is the molding profile.

Type of MoldingCost per Linear Foot
Bead and curve$1.50 – $5
Rope molding$3 – $10
Dentil molding$4 – $10
Double bead molding$5 – $9
Leaf molding$6 – $12
Stairsteps molding$7 – $11
Egg and dart molding$8 – $30
Garland molding$13 – $16
Ornamental ovolo molding$16 – $25

FAQs About Crown Molding Installation Costs

How do I measure how much crown molding I need?

To find out how much crown molding you need, measure all the walls in the rooms where you want to install crown molding, and add the total to find the number of linear feet. Remember to measure and include alcoves, chimneys, and other features that add linear feet.

How long does it take to install crown molding?

How long it takes to install crown molding depends on the material you choose and the size of the room. However, it typically takes 1 to 3 hours per room for a professional to install crown molding. You, on the other hand, may need more time.

Does crown molding add value to your home?

Yes, crown molding adds value to your home because it increases the aesthetic appeal. It also covers up blemishes and imperfections along the ceiling and wall meeting points. Installed in every room, crown molding adds an attractive cohesiveness to the overall feel of your home that can improve perceived value.

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