If you want to create a unique focal point and storage solution for your living room or family room, consider a built-in entertainment center. Entertainment centers can be customized to fit the area and your needs. They can contain your TV or home theater setup, bookcases, hidden storage, and even a fireplace. This allows you to have everything you need neatly stored in one impressive piece of furniture.
Entertainment centers can be built in a range of styles and materials. This means that they also have a wide range of associated costs. The national average cost for a built-in entertainment center is $3,000 to $15,000. Most people pay around $9,000 for a full-wall solid wood entertainment center with shelving, storage cabinets, and a TV mount. This project’s low cost is around $1,500 for a fully installed floating entertainment center, while the high cost is around $20,000 for a full-wall mahogany entertainment center with a hutch and fireplace.
|Built-In Entertainment Center Prices|
|National average cost||$9,000|
An entertainment center is a large piece of furniture designed to hold TVs, stereos, and home theater equipment. These can be small freestanding units that a TV can be placed on top of, larger freestanding units where a TV may be concealed inside, or built-in shelving and cabinetry that can hold your TV, electronics, books, pictures, and collections. Entertainment centers come in many shapes and sizes and can be created to fit the specifications of your wall and storage needs.
Entertainment centers can be made in nearly any configuration. Large or small, you can design it to fit any space, from a corner to a full wall. Each has a range of costs, depending on the size, material, and detail:
|Floating||$750 - $7,000|
|Circle||$1,000 - $9,000|
|Standard||$2,000 - $12,000|
|Corner||$3,000 - $15,000|
|Full Wall||$7,000 - $20,000|
Custom floating entertainment centers cost between $750 and $7,000. A floating entertainment center is completely open. The shelves are anchored separately onto the wall rather than being built into a larger cabinet with a frame. This makes a very contemporary style for the room. It is more minimal and uses less material, so they typically cost less to produce. However, most people use a floating system to finish the wall behind it. This can include reclaimed wood wall paneling, stone, or other accent wall, which increases the project's cost.
Custom circle entertainment centers range from $1,000 to $9,000 on average. A circle entertainment center has a large, circular outer frame. The circle’s interior is generally filled with shelves, but some large units include drawers and cabinets. They tend to be mostly metal but can be made of wood. They are more minimal and designed as a focal point for the room. They are usually smaller than other centers, taking up less space on the wall.
A custom standard entertainment center has a cost range of $2,000 to $12,000. This large piece of furniture takes many forms but does not typically cover the entire wall. It may be a low cabinet a TV sits on or a tall hutch. These entertainment centers may have shelves, cabinet doors, or both. They can be smaller and a good fit for small rooms or large, taking up nearly the entire wall or the entirety of the bottom half of a wall with a cabinet on one side. Having one custom-built means that you can determine how much space you use.
Custom corner entertainment centers cost between $3,000 and $15,000 on average. These are less common, but they are a good way to save space. Corner entertainment centers usually move outward into the room from the corner and along both walls on either side. This means they take up more space and require more material than a standard unit. For that reason, they tend to be more costly, but they offer many of the same benefits as other types, while benefiting unique seating layouts.
Custom full-wall entertainment centers average $7,000 to $20,000. These large pieces of furniture extend from floor to ceiling and cover the entire space. They often contain shelves, cabinets, drawers, and even fireplaces. If the center’s back is left open, then the wall behind it may be covered in stone or wood for more dimension. Depending on your needs, the entire wall may have cabinet doors to conceal everything or be fully open to display things. They can be made out of nearly any material and take on many styles, so they have the largest cost range.
Most custom entertainment centers can be built with many materials. Some materials may have higher costs than others. Some materials may be more difficult to work with, which increases labor costs. In some instances, there may be little difference between material costs, and the unit’s size and style drive the costs:
|Material||Average Costs (Material Only)|
|Pine||$1 - $3.50/board foot|
|Oak||$3 - $6/board foot 5|
|Mango Wood||$6 - $10/board foot|
|Cherry||$6 - $10/board foot|
|Barnwood||$6 - $13/board foot|
|Reclaimed Wood||$6 - $13/board foot|
|Mahogany||$6 - $20/board foot|
|Metal||$6 - $40/square foot|
|Rattan||$7 - $20/linear foot|
|Wood with Glass Doors||$12 - $45/board foot|
|Wood with Metal||$12 - $45/board foot|
|Glass||$12 - $45/board foot|
|Acacia Wood||$16 - $20/board foot|
|Teak||$30 - $40/board foot|
|Marble||$60 - $200/square foot|
The cost of materials to build a pine entertainment center is between $1 and $3.50 a board foot. Most wood sold for purposes like building cabinetry and shelving is priced and sold by the board foot, equal to 1 square foot of material, which is 1-inch thick. Pine is the lowest cost wood available for building. It is usually rougher and costs more to finish. However, it is soft and easy to work with so your overall labor and material costs are lower when you build with pine. Pine can be painted or stained for various appearances.
The cost of materials to build an oak wood entertainment center averages $3 to $6 a board foot. Oak is a very popular material for building furniture. It is strong, durable, and takes a finish well. It is not as difficult to work with as exotic woods, so labor costs are more moderate. It can be painted or stained, and you can use it for different entertainment centers. Oak comes in several subspecies, including white, red, and black oak. The wood may have different undertones if you have it stained, depending on the oak.
The cost of materials to build a mango wood entertainment center ranges from $6 to $10 a board foot. Mango wood is a hard and durable tropical hardwood but not as hard to work with as mahogany. It is sometimes considered an eco-friendly hardwood because its growth rate is better than other hardwoods. Mango wood has a rich orange color and a prominent grain. Using it for your entertainment center gives you very striking results with character. Its color and grain make it more suitable for modern styles than traditional furniture.
The cost of materials to build a cherry wood entertainment center is $6 to $10 a board foot. Cherry is a beautiful hardwood that is sought after for its natural red color. Cherry naturally darkens and patinas over time, particularly when you place it in a sunny area or humid room. This is a dense, durable wood that is also easier to work with than woods like mahogany or teak, so labor costs tend to be lower. Cherry works well for various entertainment centers. Its color and ability to be finished with a smooth texture make it ideal for traditional homes.
Barnwood entertainment center material costs range from $6 to $13 a board foot. Barnwood is a reclaimed wood that started as a barn. It may be barn siding, rafters, or from another part. Most barnwood is more than 100 years old but has many years of use left. This wood can be made from many species with different characteristics. It may be patinated or weathered from its time outdoors. This wood is often rustic in appearance.
Reclaimed wood entertainment centers cost between $6 and $13 a board foot for materials. Reclaimed wood is wood taken from barns and other structures that are more than 100 years old. It is usually old-growth wood that can no longer be found today and may include elm, maple, oak, or cypress. Reclaimed wood can look rustic and have a patina, or it can look just like newly cut wood. This is the best option for an eco-friendly entertainment center, regardless of what you want it to look like. Labor costs for this entertainment center vary because each type of reclaimed wood may be easy or difficult to work with.
Material costs for a mahogany entertainment center average $6 to $20 a board foot. Mahogany is a popular exotic hardwood known for its rich color. It can range from deep browns to purples with a very consistent grain. Mahogany is strong and durable but not as difficult as teak and other exotic hardwoods. It is a good choice for those who want a rich color without high labor fees. Mahogany works best in traditional furniture but can be used in some floating entertainment centers.
Metal entertainment centers have material costs of between $6 and $40 a square foot. Metal for entertainment centers ranges from aluminum to wrought iron to steel and even some industrial iron piping. Labor can often be higher for this entertainment center, particularly if welding is involved. Most metal entertainment centers are more contemporary. Some may also be rustic modern and can fit with lofts. Metal centers may be combined with other materials like wood to make them more substantial. On their own, they tend to be very minimalistic.
Rattan entertainment centers have material costs of around $7 to $20 a linear foot. Rattan is a lightweight, eco-friendly material made from bamboo. These entertainment centers are usually fairly minimalist in style. Because of the material’s lightweight nature, it often needs to be combined with wood or metal to handle things like heavy TVs. Rattan entertainment centers are usually smaller and consist of open shelving and units. If you want to use a bamboo-based material for something more substantial, bamboo lumber is a good choice.
The cost of a wood entertainment center with glass doors averages between $12 and $45 a board foot for material. Glass doors can be substituted for solid wood doors on any entertainment center that uses cabinetry as part of its design. You can use glass doors with any type of wood, although you should use a wood that is more easily finished than pine. Glass doors can be clear, plain glass panels, mullioned panels, or cut and frosted glass. You can also choose to mix glass doors with wood doors to lower costs or create a unique appearance for the entertainment center. Glass doors look best in traditional furniture styles.
The cost of a wood and metal entertainment center ranges from $12 to $45 a board foot for material. Wood and metal are often used together to create modern entertainment centers. The shelving and cabinets of the furniture are usually wood, while the frame may be metal. This can give more stability and dimension to the furniture while allowing it to be minimalist and contemporary. You can combine any type of wood and metal, so there can be a broad range of costs. Likewise, labor costs vary depending on the metal and wood types.
The cost of a glass entertainment center averages $12 to $45 a board foot for materials. Glass entertainment centers are not solid glass. They are either a combination of glass and metal or glass and wood. The glass needs something more durable for additional strength. When making a glass entertainment center, you can either use a wood or metal frame and glass shelving and doors or use glass accents over a wood or metal frame. Either way, the costs must include the glass and other material. Exact costs depend on how much of each material is used and the type of wood or metal.
The cost of an acacia wood entertainment center is between $16 and $20 a board foot. Acacia is sometimes known as blackwood or African blackwood. This is an exotic hardwood with a lot of character. It has a deep color that can be close to purple at the heart. This wood works well for many contemporary and transitional designs. It can be difficult to work with, which can increase labor costs.
Material costs for a teak entertainment center cost from $30 to $40 a board foot. Teak is an exotic hardwood with a rich, light color. This is an incredibly dense and durable hardwood. Teak can last for years without taking any damage, but it is very hard to cut and work with. For that reason, you may have difficulty finding a company that works with teak. Those that do often charge labor costs that are much higher than other types of wood.
Marble entertainment centers average between $60 and $200 a square foot. Marble entertainment centers are rarely made of solid marble. They are usually made of a combination of wood and marble or metal and marble. This means that costs vary depending on the combination and amount of each material. Many marble entertainment centers have a marble top or marble shelving, with a frame made of wood or metal. They can be very elegant and work well in multiple settings.
When you have a custom entertainment center built, you can include different features in the design. You can choose shelves, cabinets, cubbies, and fireplaces. Depending on your needs, you can opt for something small and minimal or large and concealing. Each cabinet has a range of costs, depending on the size, features, and material.
|Features||Average Cost Range|
|Shelves||$2,000 - $13,500|
|Bookshelves||$2,000 - $13,500|
|Lights||$3,000 - $15,000|
|DVD Storage||$3,000 - $15,000|
|TV Mount||$3,500 - $15,000|
|Doors||$4,000 - $18,000|
|Cabinets||$4,000 - $20,000|
|Drawers||$5,000 - $20,000|
|Desk||$5,000 - $20,000|
|Hutch||$7,000 - $30,000|
The average cost range for installing an entertainment center with shelving averages $2,000 to $13,500. Most entertainment centers have at least some shelving. This shelving may be floating, installed on the wall, or part of the larger cabinet frame. Some entertainment centers may also have concealed shelving. Shelves come in different sizes for storage. You can have shelves put in for books, DVDs, artwork, pictures, or anything else.
The average cost range for installing an entertainment center with bookshelves is $2,000 to $13,500. It is very common for entertainment centers to have bookshelves in the design. These are normally full-wall furniture pieces, with the bookshelves on either side. The bookshelves may be floating or part of the cabinet. They can extend floor to ceiling, be part of a larger niche, or take up the cabinet’s upper part, while the lower is used for cabinets or drawers. Sizing varies depending on the number and type of books you want to display.
The cost of an entertainment center with lights is between $3,000 and $15,000 on average. Lights can be added to any type or style of entertainment center. It is common to have display lighting above or below bookshelves. It is also common to include lighting for areas used to hold artwork or pictures. If you have a built-in desk or work area, you may want to include lights in this space as well. Lights are usually discreet but can be a prominent part of the furniture if desired.
The average cost range of an entertainment center installation with DVD storage ranges from $3,000 to $15,000. DVD storage can be added to an entertainment center in several ways. This includes open shelves or a cabinet. The shelves may be floating or part of a cabinet frame. When designed for DVDs, they may be flat shelves, or you may have rails to tilt the DVDs for easier access. It is common to add DVD storage or video game storage to entertainment centers with some shelving or cabinets because it is easy to customize the spacing.
The average cost range for installing an entertainment center with a TV mount is between $3,500 and $15,000. Nearly any entertainment center can have a TV mount. Some people opt to set the TV down on a flat surface, countertop, or shelf as part of the unit. Others prefer to mount the TV either on a wall, surrounded by the unit or on the unit’s back. The average cost of mounting a TV is around $200, in addition to the unit. The unit must be reinforced if you mount it, which can raise costs. In addition, the unit must be built around the TV’s specifications, so you need it on hand before starting.
The cost of an entertainment center with doors averages $4,000 to $18,000 on average. Entertainment centers with doors usually more closely resemble a large piece of furniture. The doors may open out to each side, or they may open and slide back into the cabinet out of the way. You may have a single pair of doors to hide the TV only, or the doors can be part of a larger set of cabinets. The doors can be contemporary slab, traditional, or made of glass. Some companies even offer specialty finishes or hand carving.
The average cost to install an entertainment center with cabinets is between $4,000 and $20,000. Many people opt for cabinetry as part of the furniture. The ability to close things into the cabinets means that you have both storage and the ability to put things out of sight. Cabinets come in all the same types and styles as kitchen cabinets and can be floor to ceiling or situated in a few areas of the furniture. You can also combine the cabinets with shelving for a custom appearance and use. Entertainment centers with cabinets can be made of many materials, with wood being the most common.
The cost to install an entertainment center with drawers ranges from $5,000 to $20,000. Drawers can be added to any entertainment center. They are normally added with either cabinets or shelves but do not have to be. The drawers can have the same cabinet facing as doors. This means that they can be sleek and contemporary or have a range of traditional looks. Drawers can be soft-closing or have various construction styles. The more durable and complex the drawer design, the higher the project’s cost.
The cost of an entertainment center with a desk is around $5,000 to $20,000. Adding a desk to an entertainment center increases its size. These pieces of furniture are generally full-wall in size, although they can be half-wall. It is very common to have the desk surrounded by shelving or cabinets on either side and above. You can also include lights, cubbies, and drawers around the desk as needed. In general, the desk is located on one side of the wall, while the TV or theater is in the center.
The average cost of an entertainment center with a hutch is between $7,000 and $30,000. A hutch is a large piece of furniture. Adding one to a larger entertainment center often means creating a full-wall furniture piece. The hutch may contain the TV, allowing it to be closed behind doors. Or, you may have one or two hutches to the side or sides of the TV. This allows the wall to have more of a furniture feel. Having a hutch can also increase the storage or shelving on the entertainment center, allowing it to be more functional.
It is very common to add a fireplace to an entertainment center. The fireplace may be the focus with storage around it, or it may be beneath or on the TV’s side. In most instances, you purchase the fireplace separately. The entertainment center is built around its specifications, creating a built-in display.
|Fireplace Type||Average Cost Range|
|Infrared||$8,000 - $21,000|
|Electric||$8,500 - $21,500|
|Gas||$12,000 - $25,000|
The cost to install a built-in entertainment center with an infrared fireplace is between $8,000 and $21,000. Infrared fireplaces are fairly inexpensive to purchase and use. They come in a range of sizes, so you need to purchase it first, then have the entertainment center built around it. Like electric and gas fireplaces, it can be modern and suspended in the wall or have a more traditional appearance. Ensure that there is an electrical outlet behind the area where you want to install it. To fully build in the fireplace, this is a full-wall installation.
The cost to install a built-in entertainment center with an electric fireplace ranges from $8,500 to $21,500. Electric fireplaces are also inexpensive to purchase and install. They plug into an outlet, so ensure there is one in the area. The entertainment center is built around it, so you must have the fireplace on hand for measurements before the building can begin. These fireplaces come in a range of sizes and styles and can complement any type of furniture design. Due to the nature of the installation, this is likely a full-wall entertainment center.
The average cost to install a built-in entertainment center with a gas fireplace is between $12,000 and $25,000. Gas fireplaces require a gas line run to the area. Some may also be required to vent or need a chimney, although not all need this. Their installation is more involved than the infrared or electric fireplace. Like those, however, you need the fireplace on hand before measuring and building the entertainment center. Like the other types of fireplace installations, this is a full-wall entertainment center.
An entertainment center is essentially a piece of furniture. This means that it can have various styles, finishes, configurations, and materials. The exact style does not enormously impact the project’s cost. Materials and features, such as doors, shelves, and fireplaces, are the biggest driving factors for the cost.
Some pieces of furniture may work better in specific materials than others, which may influence their costs. However, most styles can be constructed using a wide range of materials, with the final finish dictating their appearance.
Rustic entertainment centers can be created in many ways. You can use barnwood or reclaimed wood that has not been refinished for an authentic patina. You can also use a softwood, such as pine, that is available in rough-cut boards. This allows you to get a rustic look for less money. Depending on the finish you desire, you can also use any type of wood and distress it for a rustic look. Rustic entertainment centers can have shelves, doors, fireplaces, and other features that more traditional furniture may have.
Farmhouse-style furnishings are designed for practicality. In this sense, it makes the most sense for your entertainment center to have built-in storage and possibly a fireplace. However, for some people, the farmhouse style can also run along the same lines as a rustic look. You may want to have it constructed out of barnwood or reclaimed wood for authenticity. However, you can also add a distressed finish to any other material for a similar look. Most opt for a more durable wood because farmhouse furniture is built to last, but pine can be used.
If you like the look of distressed furniture, you can get this look on your entertainment center. A distressed finish can be applied to any wood. It is most commonly applied to a paint-grade wood rather than exotic wood, but it does not have to be. To get the look, the wood is “distressed” first by sanding and adding pinholes. Then, it is painted, and the paint is sanded off in sections, then given a wax finish. The finish can often be expensive, so most people choose an inexpensive paint-grade wood to keep costs down.
Modern entertainment centers can take on many different styles. Modern is a very relative term, so many styles can fit here. Rustic modern is a popular option that could make good use of reclaimed wood. Industrial styles can also be considered a modern look. Modern technically stretches back to the 1950s in style and may also include contemporary styles, such as floating entertainment centers and sleek minimalist designs. Most modern designs have open shelving, but you can also use slab doors.
Traditional entertainment centers can be made in a wide range of ways. They are usually solid wood and may be painted or stained. They can be very plain in style, with minimal molding or decorative features, or extremely elaborate. They can also come in a range of sizes, from small half-wall or console styles to full-wall features with bookcases and hutches. They may also include marble or glass as part of their design. It is most common for the traditional furniture pieces to match your home's architecture for the best look.
Industrial entertainment centers also come in many forms. Most commonly, they may be made of a combination of wood and metal, but they do not need to be. Metal pipe frames, rustic-modern designs with wrought iron, and even deceptively simple rough-cut pine furniture can fall into this category. Industrial style takes its cues from former industrial spaces, such as lofts. They are meant to be functional rather than fashionable, so they are often more minimal. They may be floating and often include open shelves of some kind but can have simple cabinets.
If you want to elevate your rustic design, include a set of barn-style doors to cover the TV. These can be made of reclaimed wood for the most authenticity, but they can be made out of any wood. They are usually given a distressed finish if they do not have a natural patina. Because actual barn doors would be much too large for this purpose, they are usually smaller replicas installed in this area. The rest of the entertainment center can be open shelving, full cabinets, or a mixture of features. In this instance, the barn doors are the focal point of the design.
If you are looking for mid-century, you are likely investing in a full-wall furniture piece built to match your home. Built-in shelves, storage, and seating were extremely popular as part of the mid-century modern design. The pieces have very clean, straight lines and a minimalist concept. You should use natural wood, either reclaimed or a new cut. The wood is stained rather than painted, so purchase furniture-grade and not paint-grade. The center may have open shelving or doors, depending on your preferences.
The labor of any custom entertainment center makes up a large portion of the build. It is common for labor to be half the costs at a minimum and more often ⅔ to ¾ of the total. This includes the construction and installation. In most cases, the finish work is also included in this cost, although sometimes a carpenter may build the furniture and allow you to finish on your own or hire someone.
It is not uncommon for the labor costs to start at $250 a linear foot. For a full-wall entertainment center measuring 8’ high by 12’ wide and costing $9,000 in total, the labor portion would make up $6,000 of the total.
Outdoor entertainment centers have more considerations than indoor. They can be built in many of the same styles and using the same materials. From this standpoint, your costs are very similar to an indoor entertainment center.
However, you may have additional costs in creating a setup to withstand the elements and create a functional and beneficial outdoor living space. Outdoor entertainment centers must have a TV designed for the outdoors. This means that it must be waterproof or water-resistant, depending on its location. These can cost up to twice what an indoor model of the same size and type costs.
You also need to make sure that the unit is out of the sun and other elements for the best viewing. This may mean adding a pergola, gazebo, awning, or other structure to the area above or around the entertainment center.
So, while the entertainment center’s cost may not differ, you may have other costs involved in the project, depending on your location, where you plan on putting the entertainment center, and what structures you have.
Entertainment centers and TV stands can hold your TV and provide some degree of storage. The biggest difference between the two comes down to size. TV stands tend to be smaller than entertainment centers. They offer less storage and do not provide options, such as the ability to hide your TV behind closed doors.
Entertainment centers are also more likely to be built-in. This means that they become a part of the house and can raise its value. A TV stand is a piece of furniture that is not connected to the home. You can move it around if you decide to change the room's layout. Entertainment centers are fixed, so they cannot be easily moved. Likewise, if you choose to move, a TV stand would go with you, while the entertainment center likely stays with the house.
TV stands tend to be much less expensive as well. They have costs starting at $100 for the most basic and can go up to a few thousand dollars for very elaborate or custom-made options.
Some entertainment centers can be custom built and come finished in your choice of color or stain. Others will be built using paintable wood and require you to hire out the painting later. The average cost of hiring a painter is around $49 an hour. Depending on your center’s size, it can take up to three or four hours to paint, plus the paint’s cost and other supplies. Expect to pay at least $200 to $400 on average to have an entertainment center painted.
The exact cost of your unit depends on its size, material, and type. The average cost of a full-wall wood unit is around $9,000.
No, built-in units are becoming popular, particularly with people spending more time at home.
This depends on what your entertainment center is made of. Paint that is good for metal, MDF, or laminate may not be a good choice for wood. Likewise, if your wood is paint-grade, it must be treated differently from furniture-grade. Your best bet is to consult a professional painter on what they recommend for your unit's material type.