Typically crown molding will cost between $200 and $600 dollars to install per room. Many factors play into the average cost, such as:
- If you DIY or hire professionals
- Size of your room
- Amount of molding you need
- The type of crown molding you use
- Style and width of crown molding
- If you want the molding stained or painted
The sophisticated trim comes in so many varieties and installation methods, but you can find averages based on combinations of the factors above. If you're looking to save big, try a DIY crown molding option.
Installing crown molding to a space provides a polished look and even adds value to your home, so you'll want to have an idea at least of how much you can expect to spend. We'll break down prices for professional installation, cheaper and expensive crown molding as well as the cost of doing it yourself. With those averages, you can get a better idea of what crown molding works best for your budget and home.
Since there are so many options out there, we'll start with a range to give you an idea of the average cost. At Focal Point, you can find crown molding in prices from $219 to $319 for a 13-foot by 13-foot space. For a more substantial, 20-foot by 20-foot area, you'd pay between $317 and $417. Because our products are DIY, you do not need to factor in labor costs as you would with other crown molding options, which will increase the price considerably.
Average Cost to Install Crown Molding
You must cover labor costs when hiring a contractor or carpenter. The price of professionally-installed crown molding is more than DIY projects, even if you do choose cheaper materials. On average, one room could cost between $200 and $600. If you'd like every room in your house to have crown molding, you may pay up to $4,000. Those numbers do not factor in the cost of the crown molding itself, either, so you can expect to pay even more on top of labor costs. So what goes into such a high price for installation?
Expect to pay for labor costs between $2 and $6 per linear foot depending on factors such as:
- Your location
- The complexity of a project
- Your choice of crown molding material
- Equipment delivery and transportation
- Preparing the job site
- Setup time
- Minimum hourly charges
Your ZIP code has one of the most significant impacts on cost for professional installation of crown molding. It's not surprising that if you live in an area where prices tend to be higher — distinctly metropolitan areas — you will pay more for crown molding installation. In San Francisco, the average cost for crown molding installation is around $2,000, and in New York City, you can expect to pay an average of about $1,500. The national average is closer to $1,000, so be sure to consider your location before choosing to hire professionals.
The complexity of the project also adds to how much you will pay for installation and involves several factors:
- The size of your room
- The shape of your space
- The number of rooms you're adding crown molding to
- The material you've chosen
- The height of your ceilings
While the advantage of professionally-installed crown molding is that you can select materials that are harder to work with, such as exotic wood, these higher-priced materials combine with labor costs to create a complicated and expensive crown molding installation. Wooden crown molding may even require the work of a carpenter rather than a contractor, which increases the cost.
If you have a curved wall or room, expect to pay more for a more complicated job. If your room has several corners or coves, your installation bill will rise even more. Consider the space you'd like to add crown molding to and how challenging that project would be. The addition of crown molding in a simple room can still add up in price because of labor costs. Luckily, there are cheaper alternatives when it comes to crown molding.
Cheap Crown Molding Options
The right choices make your crown molding cost effective. To avoid labor costs, opt for a do-it-yourself project for a cheaper alternative. DIYers choose from types of materials that are more affordable and easier to work with than wood, such as:
- Peel and stick: Peel and stick options are typically composed of thin plastic with adhesive on the back. You simply measure, cut and peel the backing off before attaching. Unfortunately, the adhesive may lose its strength over time, and the thin plastic is not as durable as other materials. Eventually, your project will lose its professional appearance as your peel and stick crown molding shifts and separates. While peel and stick alternatives are cheap — as low as $1 per linear foot — they are not a durable option.
- Medium-density fiberboard (MDF): MDF is a lightweight material with the look of wood crown molding. The material doesn't split when it's cut, but it does dent easily, making it a bit tricky to install. MDF warps when exposed to moisture, so do not install it in bathrooms, kitchens or homes exposed to high humidity. The average cost of MDF crown molding is $1 to $3 per linear foot, but there are more durable options out there.
- Polyvinyl chloride (PVC): Unlike MDF, PVC can go in bathrooms or kitchens. It's made of plastic, so it can come in contact with moisture, and its hollow structure makes it a great choice to hide wiring. While PVC comes at a lower price — $1 to $3 per linear foot — it does not usually come in intricate designs.
- Polystyrene: You can easily cut this lightweight foam material with scissors and attach it with adhesive, but getting smooth edges is very difficult. Despite its cost of $1 to $2 per linear foot, polystyrene may not be your best option since the joints will not look polished.
- Polyurethane: Polyurethane crown molding installs easily and resists warping. Available in many designs and at the cost of $2 to $6 per linear foot, polyurethane is a good option for your DIY crown molding project. Like MDF, polyurethane can dent if you do not handle it carefully, but it is not prone to scratching, rotting or pests.
When installing your own crown molding, you sometimes take the risk of your project not coming out as planned. If you were trying to add value to your home with crown molding, you could end up not breaking even or slightly lowering the value of your home. The challenge of installing your own crown molding is accuracy with your cuts and measurements, mainly depending on the material you choose.
Luckily, our polyurethane crown molding at Focal Point allows for a margin of error up to 3 inches, thanks to our Molding Mate™ technology. Even if you have no prior experience installing crown molding, you can create a polished look with our crown molding kits.
At Focal Point, we offer four stylish DIY crown molding options at reasonable prices. Our molding has the look of expensive plaster, or layered wood - starting at less than $4 per linear foot.
Expensive Crown Molding Options
The most common expensive crown molding options are wood and plaster. While plaster comes with a price tag between $6 to $12, it is heavy and cracks easily. Though it is available in many styles, the casting process is expensive. For a unique look, you could try aluminum, copper or steel crown molding. These metals require professional installation and a steel-cutting saw, which increases installation prices. Metal crown molding without installation costs $10 to $25 per linear foot, making it a durable yet expensive option.
Another option is to go with wood, but the price varies based on the variety of wood you choose. Common woods like poplar and maple can be as little as $2 while varieties like cherry run $4 to $6. Exotics can cost anywhere from $10 to $45.
Some types of wood come at a lower cost, but those prices do not factor in the labor required to install wood crown molding. You must also consider that wood expands or contracts depending on the weather. Over time, wood crown molding warps, becomes unaligned and loses its professional look. Wooden crown molding is also tricky to use. You should hire a professional carpenter or contractor to install wood crown molding.
If you're planning on going with a professional to install your crown molding, be sure to shop around. Research contractors and carpenters whose price falls somewhere in the middle ground — lower-priced professionals may cut corners but paying a higher price doesn't mean you'd get perfect results.
Remember that you can cut out the labor costs altogether if you choose a DIY project instead. At $5 per linear foot, our most expensive option is cheaper than your average expensive material, and you save on installation costs. You could DIY more complicated materials if your budget allows, but you would have to include equipment costs for working with those complex materials.
Tools Required to Install Crown Molding
If you were to try to install wooden crown molding or other complex materials, you would need high-quality tools and materials such as:
- A compound miter saw
- A thin-blade coping saw
- A wood rasp or sandpaper
- A level or a laser level
- A stud finder
- A hammer and finishing nails or a pneumatic finishing nailer
- A drill
- Wood putty
- Pre-made corner pieces
- Paint or stain
Some of these materials may be cheap on their own, but their prices add up as you require more tools and materials. Installing wood crown molding yourself also means you will have to make a lot of trial and error cuts. Using that much material means extra costs for every incorrect measurement or inaccurate cut. You also risk splitting the wood when using a hammer and nails without drilling a borehole. Professionals use quality and more expensive equipment, such as a compound miter saw and a pneumatic nailer. When you get complex materials, you either have to purchase the high-quality tools yourself or cover the labor and materials cost that comes with a professional.
With Focal Point, you only need tools that you probably already own or can find at low prices. Cut our polyurethane crown molding easily with a handsaw, and screw in our Quick Clips™ with a drill. Take the money you saved on equipment and installation costs and choose our higher-priced crown molding, which is still cheaper than expensive alternatives. You could also choose to save even more money with our lower-priced options.
A Higher Price Doesn't Equal Higher Quality
You may think paying more for crown molding will get you beautiful results, but that's not always the case. It's not necessarily an unfortunate thing, though. You can pay less for crown molding and still get the polished results you want. How is it possible to pay more and get disappointing results?
Professionals are among the best in their field, but crown molding is a tricky decor component to work with, especially if it's wood. They try their best, but sometimes, professionals cannot get accurate cuts as they install crown molding. The lack of accuracy leads to:
- Obvious joints
- Crooked crown molding
- Unpolished appearance
The material itself can also lead to an unfinished look, even if it is expensive. In humid climates, wooden crown molding can expand and shift, causing the problems above. Wooden crown molding can also host termites and other bugs. With all of these issues, you will have to pay more money down the line to repair damaged crown molding.
At Focal Point, our polyurethane options are flexible and resistant to pests, moisture and rot, making our crown molding long-lasting and durable. Don't worry about expensive repair costs in the future as you would have to with wooden crown molding.
You may worry that going the DIY route will give you uneven results, but our crown molding kits make installation straightforward. Complete a project within a day and still get refined, sophisticated results that look like you hired a professional. Remember that our patented installation allows for a margin of error, taking the stress out of refining your home.
Why and Where to Get Crown Molding
Even after knowing the prices, pros and cons, you may still find crown molding intimidating. Crown molding comes with benefits that make it worth the cost and installation. Refine a space, make rooms feel taller and camouflage any minor imperfections between your wall and ceiling. Doing your own addition of crown molding is rewarding and shows how much you care for your home.
While Focal Point crown molding is not the cheapest option out there, we are less expensive than professional installation. Our products provide more polished looks than more inexpensive options. Foolproof installation and a variety of styles make Focal Point crown molding an excellent choice to enhance your space. Browse our selection of crown molding designs, including our Williamsburg-licensed Governor's Palace design, and plan your DIY installation today.