How Much Does It Cost to Install Trim?

Kelly Weimert
Written by Kelly Weimert
Updated January 17, 2022
view of house hallway and stairway
Ursula Page -stock.adobe.com

Highlights

  • The cost to install trim ranges between $604 to $1,994

  • The national average cost of installing trim is $1,280

  • Several factors affect the cost to install trim, including type and size

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Trim is a great way to enhance your interior aesthetic, helping to define room spaces while adding visual intrigue. You can also use trim to hide any gaps between the wall and the floor or ceiling, giving your home a more polished appearance. 

Trim can work wonders to elevate most interiors, no matter your style sensibilities, and comes in a wide variety of styles, finishes, and materials. It generally costs around $604 to $1,994 to install trim, but costs vary based on factors like type, size, and whether you're replacing existing trim or installing it in a brand new location.

How Much Does It Cost to Install Trim by Type?

There are several types of trim, which are generally differentiated by their location on your wall. The type you choose affects the overall cost to install it. 

Shoe Molding Installation Costs

Shoe molding is often installed on a baseboard to hide gaps between the baseboard and the floor. It's a narrow type of molding composed of two inward-facing flat sides and one outward-facing concave side. Installing shoe molding typically costs around $0.50 per linear foot. 

Quarter-Round Installation Costs

Like shoe molding, quarter-round molding is commonly used to fill gaps between the floor and baseboards. Shaped like one-fourth of a circle, hence the name, quarter-round molding features a curved edge and costs about $0.50 per linear foot to install. 

Base Molding Installation Costs

Base molding, or baseboards, are used to create definition at the bottom of your walls and hide gaps between the floor and the wall. It's available in a variety of finishes and materials, with fiberboard usually costing $0.60 per linear foot to install and wood base molding costing around $1.20 per linear foot

Crown Molding Installation Costs

Although it's often purely decorative, crown molding also hides any gaps between the wall and ceiling. You can opt for very basic crown molding or install elaborate, custom moldings, but the type you choose affects the cost. Basic crown molding averages $2 to $3 per linear foot, while custom moldings run between $8 and $10 per linear foot.  

Casing Installation Costs

Casing is primarily used around door frames and windows to add definition. Casing and baseboards typically look alike in terms of style and design, but casing is thinner—often no more than two inches tall. It generally costs $0.60 to $1.20 per linear foot to install casing.  

Chair Rail Installation Costs

Chair rails typically run horizontally along the wall about 3 feet above the floor. Originally used to protect walls from chairs bumping against them, chair rails are now often purely decorative, coming in a wide range of colors and finishes. They're a visually interesting way to delineate a wall or bring together two different types of wallpaper or paint. Chair rails range from $1 to $2 per linear foot to install. 

Picture Rail Installation Costs

Aptly named, picture rails provide places on the wall to hang pictures without drilling into drywall. They look like chair rails but are typically narrower, and they often feature a top lip to anchor hanging wires on a frame. Picture rail installation costs around $1 to $2 per linear foot

Wall Frame Installation Costs

Unlike other trim types, wall frames come in pre-cut squares rather than lengths. They're decorative accents often found in high-end homes. Depending on their size, wall frames can cost anywhere from $8 to $25 per linear foot

How Much Does It Cost to Install Trim by Style, Material, and Length?

white and olive wall entrywa
Iriana Shiyan - stock.adobe.com

Trim costs are often calculated by eight-foot lengths, and they vary quite a bit depending on the trim's style and material. 

Style and Material Costs per Eight-Foot Length

  • Crown molding (PVC, MDF): $10

  • Crown molding (wood): $25

  • Crown molding (polyurethane): $32

  • Baseboard molding (pine, PVC): $10

  • Shoe and quarter-round molding (pine, PVC): $3–$4

  • Plain chair rail (wood): $4

  • Intricate or embossed chair rail (wood): $20

  • Intricate or embossed chair rail (MDF): $12

How Much Does Trim Installation Labor Cost?

If you hire a pro to install your trim, then you'll need to pay labor costs in addition to the cost of the trim itself. It typically costs around $65 to $105 per hour to install new trim. Trim installation projects take an average of 6.3 hours to complete, so you're looking at a total labor cost of around $410 to $660

How Much Does it Cost to Replace Trim?

It generally costs more to replace trim rather than install trim in a new location since you'll need to pay the cost of removing the old trim in addition to installing the new trim. The cost to remove existing trim ranges from $0.55 to $1.17 per linear foot, which amounts to about $70 to $150 for a house with 125 linear feet of trim. When budgeting for a trim replacement, you should add these costs to the standard labor costs for installation.  

DIY Trim Installation vs. Hire a Pro

While installing trim yourself will save you money on labor costs, trim installation requires significant carpentry expertise to create tight joints, smooth runs, and exact cuts. 

Even experienced DIY carpenters may struggle with trim installation unless it's on completely flat walls, which is rarely the case. A professional carpenter can ensure that your trim looks polished and precise. 

What Factors Influence the Cost to Install Trim?

From length to material and style, several factors affect the cost to install trim, so it's helpful to give some consideration to each one to make sure you find the right fit for your home and budget. 

Trim Material and Style

Trim prices vary quite a bit by material and style. For instance, wood crown molding usually costs around $32 per eight-foot length, while plain wood chair rails typically only cost about $4 per eight-foot length

Trim Length

How much trim you install will affect the overall price since trim costs are calculated by linear foot. Depending on the type, material, and size you choose, trim can cost anywhere from $3 to $32 per eight-foot length

Replacing vs. Installing New Trim

If you're replacing your trim, then you'll need to pay the labor costs associated with removing your existing trim in addition to the costs to install it. Removing existing trim typically adds about $70 to $150 to the overall cost to install new trim. 

FAQs About Trim Installation

Can I install trim on a crooked wall?

Many old houses have walls that aren't completely flat due to warping and settling over long periods of time. An experienced carpenter can install trim on these walls, but it might require more time, increasing the overall cost of installation. 

What's the difference between trim and molding?

In short, molding is a type of trim. Trim is a broad term that refers to strips of material on the wall near the ceiling or floor. It also refers to strips of material around any openings, like doors and windows. Molding is a decorative type of trim that often features ornate detail used to enhance the overall aesthetic of an interior.

Do I need trim?

Trim is a type of millwork that’s purely for cosmetic use, so it's not generally necessary, but it's a great way to hide any cracks or gaps between your walls and the floor or ceiling. It can also help to define and add sophistication to your interior aesthetic. Additionally, installing new trim can increase your home's resale value

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