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Doors and doorways are integral to every room in your home. Through these doors, you enter, exit, and navigate your space, as well as giving rooms privacy and security. The door itself is only one piece of the installation. Another part is the door casing, which is just as important, helping to make the door a part of the room’s design.
Door casings are the three pieces of trim surrounding the door. The trim is either flat and plain or detailed and decorative. It may be made of wood or material like MDF. Trim may also be layered and built up out of several smaller pieces to create unique looks and styles. For this reason, there is a wide range of costs associated with installing interior door trim in your home.
The average cost in the U.S. to install door casing ranges from $140 - $250 per door, with most homeowners spending around $170 on prefinished, Colonial-style white trim installed for one door.
|Door casing installation costs|
|National average cost||$170|
Door casings come in many different materials, with each having a range of associated costs. Some materials are easy to cut and install, others are inexpensive that make them a good choice for homes that need a lot of trim, and some trims come in specialty and exotic hardwoods that give them a unique appearance. Each has its own cost per linear foot:
|MDF||$1 - $3/linear foot|
|Paint-grade wood||$1 - $3/linear foot|
|Polystyrene||$1 - $3/linear foot|
|Polyurethane||$2 - $6/linear foot|
|Engineered wood||$2 - $6/linear foot|
|Hardwood||$3 - $10/linear foot|
|PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)||$5 - $8/linear foot|
Medium density fiberboard (MDF) is one of the cheapest materials around, commonly used for interior trim like door casings. It is available prefinished, so it is also inexpensive to install. It is easily cut or mitered but harder to layer and create decorative moldings with. Use this only indoors. It costs between $1 and $3 a linear foot.
Paint-grade wood is an inexpensive softwood. Fir and pine are the two most commonly used woods for interior door trims. You may also find cedar and redwood at a higher cost, but they tend to be reserved for outdoor use because of their moisture resistance. Paint-grade wood needs to be finished at the time of install, so it is cheap to buy but more costly to install. It allows you to build up more detail and character than man-made materials do. It costs between $1 - $3 a linear foot unfinished.
Polystyrene is a great solution for kitchens, bathrooms, and other damp areas. It is made of extruded polystyrene foam, very lightweight, and slightly flexible. It goes on with adhesives and hides uneven and imperfect walls. It also cuts and miters easily and is good for DIY installation. Prices range between $1 and $3 a linear foot.
Polyurethane is a super high-density material that acts like wood. You can build up very detailed moldings with this material, and it never splits or rots and is usable in damp areas. It comes primed but must be painted during installation, so it has a slightly higher installation cost. It runs about $2 - $6 a linear foot.
Engineered wood, including laminated wood, is a new material for exterior door trim. This material is moisture-resistant without the issues of cedar, such as cracking or “cedar bleed.” It comes primed and ready for install, and it handles like wood, so use it to build a decorative look. It costs around $2 - $6 a linear foot.
Hardwood moldings come in a very wide range of wood species. Oak is among the most popular, but there is also maple, poplar, mahogany, cherry, birch, and walnut. If you plan to paint the wood, you may want to opt for oak or maple, which are less expensive. If you want the grain and color showing to match other woods in the home, then cherry, mahogany, and walnut are good choices. The rarer and more exotic the hardwood, the higher its cost, with common domestic hardwoods costing the least. Expect costs between $3 to $10 a linear foot on average.
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) trim should not be confused with the vinyl siding used on the exterior of your home. This is a solid, prefinished material that gives you the look of wood without cracking, splitting, or peeling. It comes in many styles but is unable to layer like wood or some other materials. It is easily cut and mitered and costs $5 - $8 a linear foot.
Door casings are made up of roughly two sections - the lintel and the pilasters. The lintel is the piece that goes above the door, while the pilasters form the sides of the door.
The way that the lintel and the pilasters meet is created in one of two ways. They are either butted or mitered.
Butted lintels are usually larger and more decorative. The pilasters meet the lintel at a square angle, with no mitering of the edges. This gives it a more substantial look and is often used with more decorative doorways.
Mitered lintels have the pilasters and lintel meet at the corners in an angle. This is more subtle, giving you a more even frame around the entire door. The mitering must be done on-site to create a flush fit between the pieces.
Both the pilasters and the lintel are decorative or plain, built-up, or flat. They are also mixed and matched, with a flat pilaster on either side and a decorative lintel above. Add smaller moldings onto the larger ones to create detailed and decorative looks. Use a readymade decorative molding, or purchase flat moldings, depending on the style of your home.
Door casings come in a nearly endless array of styles, some very plain and other highly decorative. Many are designed to work with specific architectural styles, such as the Colonial or Craftsman. Others, however, are used in a variety of home styles, depending on your taste.
Readymade moldings are available for some of the most popular styles. But if you need more decorative versions built up by hand, they cost more, including purchasing the materials, crafting, and installing. Below are some of the most common door casing styles and the material costs for each.
|Casing Style||Material Costs|
|Flat stock||$1 - $8/linear foot|
|Basic Colonial||$1 - $8/linear foot|
|Craftsman flat||$1 - $10/linear foot|
|J-Channel||$2 - $8/linear foot|
|Ranch||$2 - $10/linear foot|
|Belly||$2 - $10/linear foot|
|Windsor||$2 - $10/linear foot|
|Craftsman with fillet||$3 - $12/linear foot|
|Colonial Revival/Victorian||$3 - $15/linear foot|
Flat stock is the most basic trim. It has a square profile and a flat face. It comes in all materials and is installed either mitered or butted. It works well on nearly every home from farmhouses to contemporary. It costs between $1 and $8 a linear foot for the material.
The basic Colonial trim is what you see on many homes. It has subtle detail, a rounded center, and comes in nearly all materials and several sizes. It costs between $1 and $8 a linear foot.
Your Craftsman flat molding is usually a little butted with a wider lintel than the pilasters. It may also have additional caps on the sides of the lintel for more detail, but the material is flat. Because it is usually made of wood, this material costs $1 - $10 a linear foot.
The J-channel is a popular casing style. It has a subtle channel running around the outside edge that forms the shape of a J in profile. It comes in all materials and many sizes. It costs $2 - $8 a linear foot.
The ranch molding is a simple, rounded casing that starts flat before rounding out. It is popular in ranch homes and other transitional settings. Material costs are $2 - $10 a linear foot, depending on the material.
The belly molding is more decorative. It has a flat top and bottom with a carved, detailed center. It is used for formal and traditional settings and is mostly made of wood, although it is found in some man-made materials. It costs $2 - $10 a linear foot.
The Windsor is another traditional casing. One side is rounded, the other flat, and between them are carved curves and angles that make an impressive molding. It is mostly seen in wood but found in other materials. Prices range between $2 - $10 a linear foot.
A fillet is an added molding to give detail to a flat profile. It is added just to the lintel or the casings. Craftsman with fillet is a fairly popular style for bungalows and craftsman-style homes and consists of using a flat molding and building it out with fillet strips. It costs $3 - $12 a linear foot.
Also known as the ripple, the casing has ridges that “ripple” their way toward the interior of the door. This style is most common with Colonial Revival homes but is also seen in many Victorians. Expect costs to be $3 - $15 a linear foot.
The cost to install door casings varies depending on the material and style of the casing. Some casings come prefinished and go up in one piece with adhesive. Others need to be built and finished on-site, layering different pieces of wood. Mitered cuts cost more to make than straight cuts, so a mitered casing costs more to install than a butted casing.
Casings are installed by either a handyman or carpenter, with the more decorative and built up moldings requiring a carpenter specifically for the job. On average, it costs around $70 per door to install molding, but if you have custom decorative molding built for the door, expect that cost to climb to $100 - $150 per door. In addition, if you do not purchase a prefinished molding and it needs to be painted, add another $20 - $30 to the installation cost per door.
Installation costs for door casings range from $70 - $180 per door for very custom and highly decorative trims.
The cost to replace an existing door casing is not tremendously different from the cost to install new casing. The old casing must be removed, which in most instances is a simple job completed in a few minutes, so it does not add much to the project time or cost.
If the old moldings have damaged the wall or doorway in some way, or if the moldings were held in place by an adhesive that grows stronger with age, making it difficult to remove them, then labor costs will increase. Expect to pay $30 to $50 more per doorway in this case.
In most instances, door trim does not wear out or require much repair since it is mostly decorative molding. The most common reason for replacing it is upgrading to a new style or a better quality material that changes its look.
Many people install a new interior door with new trim at the same time. This is particularly common if you have a builder-grade door and trim and want to upgrade to something more decorative, such as a solid wood door.
Some doors and trims are sold together, so they go up as a package, while others must be put together.
The cost of installing a solid wood, pre-hung hinged door is around $475, while the cost of wood molding is around $170, making the total for installing both an interior door and trim about $645 on average.
Exterior door trim comes in many of the same styles and materials as interior, with a few exceptions. Exterior door trim may be a little larger, or it may be wider or extended to incorporate windows or an arch into the design. Some siding manufacturers make a basic trim that matches their siding, such as Plycem trim designed to match fiber cement from Allura or specific color-matched steel trim to coordinate with a steel board-and-batten siding. In most instances, use a specific door trim and leave the siding trim to the corners of the home.
Exterior door trim has similar cost ranges to interior door trim. But because it tends to be larger, wider, and more decorative, it is more expensive with an average price of around $200 a door.
If your home has a garage, keep in mind that it also needs trim. This trim is made up of many different pieces, including the wrap and the exterior trim. The wrap and trim need to be made of the same material and should coordinate. The wrap gets a lot of wear because this is the piece of trim that comes in contact with the door, while the exterior trim covers the edges of the siding. Therefore, it is common to use something like a preservative-treated trim in this area because it holds up better to the wear of the door. Expect the cost to install garage door trim to come closer to $400, due to the complexity of the job.
If you have your trim replaced, you need the old trim removed. If the trim is nailed in, your carpenter will likely pull it free for no extra charge. However, trim that is difficult to remove adds another $20 - $25 to the cost.
A lot of door trim comes prefinished, but some need to be painted at the time of install. If this is the case, expect to pay another $15 - $20 per door.
It is common to add a rosette or decorative corner pieces to your lintel. These cost $5 - $30 per piece, and they come in a range of styles.
This varies depending on the size of your door, but plan on at least 17 linear feet.
This varies depending on your home and style. A width of 3 - 4 inches is usually standard, but you may go wider.
Ideally, yes, they should match or at least coordinate.