How much does it cost to install door casing?
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Door Trim Cost Guide
Updated: October 3, 2022
Doors and doorways are integral to every room in your home. Through these doors, you enter, exit, navigate your space, and give 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 from several smaller pieces to create unique looks and styles. For this reason, a wide range of costs is associated with installing interior door trim in your home.
The average cost in the U.S. to install door casing ranges from $150 to $250 per door, with most homeowners spending around $175 on prefinished, Colonial-style reclaimed wood trim installed for one door. Projects range in price from $90 for composite prefinished flat stock interior door trim to as much as $400 for custom laminate wood door trim in Windsor style installed in a home.
Door Casing Price
|Door Casing Installation Cost|
|National average cost||$175|
Interior vs Exterior Door Trim Cost
Door trim can be placed on both interior and exterior doors. These decorative pieces have many qualities in common. Whether outside or inside, door casing can be largely functional and focused on hiding the transition between the jamb and wall, or it can have more decoration and be used to pull a space together.
Trim consists of two long pieces at the side of the door called pilasters and a head casing that is smaller at the top called a lintel. Door trim for exterior use tends to be made of more durable materials since it needs to stand up to weather, wind, and sunlight. In interior spaces, the look and style of the casing are typically prioritized. Keep in mind that the same materials are used for window and door trims. The difference in cost comes down to the amount of trim needed and the intricacies that are required. Also, the low-end of the range is more related to buttered casing and the high-end to mitered casings.
|Location||Cost per Linear Foot (Labor Included)|
|Interior||$6 - $20|
|Exterior||$9 - $25|
Interior Door Trim
The average price for interior door trim runs from $6 to $20 per linear foot, depending on the trim material and how intricate the design is. In many cases, the style of the trim is distinct and made to match other varieties of trim in the same space. For instance, it might be made of the same materials as crown molding or have the same design as the baseboards in a room. Interior door trim can be made of several materials, including reclaimed wood, PVC, stucco, metal, and more.
Exterior Door Trim Installation
Exterior door trim has similar cost ranges to interior door trim. Because it tends to be larger, wider, and more decorative, it is more expensive, with an average price of $9 to $25 per linear foot. 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 wider or extended to incorporate windows or an arch into the design. In most instances, use a specific door trim and leave the siding trim to the corners of the home.
Door Trimming Cost per Inch
Door trim is available in various widths to meet the needs of all sorts of homeowners. The most common size of trim for a door is 2 ½ inches in width, but those who want something different will have no trouble finding it. When choosing the right width for your doors, make sure it covers any gaps and looks appealing against the door. Slimmer trim gives a more streamlined look, while thicker trim may be more intricate and aesthetically pleasing. Door trim is the same price as window trim for windows since the same materials are used. The price comes down to the amount needed in trim and any extra details or intricacies required.
|Width||Interior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Exterior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|½ Inch||$0.60 - $0.75||$0.65 - $0.85|
|1 Inch||$0.80 - $1||$0.90 - $1.60|
|2 Inches||$0.90 - $1.10||$1.10 - $2.20|
|3 Inches||$1.20 - $1.40||$1.35 - $2.45|
|4 Inches||$1.70 - $1.90||$1.85 - $3.20|
|5 Inches||$1.80 - $2||$1.90 - $3.25|
|6 Inches||$2.35 - $2.60||$2.85 - $4.25|
Door Casing Cost by Material
Door casings come in many different materials, each having a range of associated costs. Some materials are easy to cut and install, others are inexpensive, making them a good choice for homes that need a lot of trim. Some trims come in specialty and exotic hardwoods that give them a unique appearance. While many materials can be used as door casing, some are more common than others. The table below lists the most common and popular materials and their cost per linear foot.
|Material||Interior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Exterior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|Composite Wood||$0.60 - $4||$0.75 - $6|
|Hardwood||$0.75 - $6||$4 - $10|
|PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)||$0.75 - $7.40||$0.75 - $30|
|Reclaimed Wood||$1.25 - $10||$3 - $12|
|Metal||$2 - $4||$3 - $6|
|Polyurethane||$2 - $4||$3 - $6|
|Laminate Wood||$2.50 - $6||$3.50 - $7|
|Stucco||$3 - $5||$4 - $7|
The most common form of composite is MDF door casing, which costs $0.60 to $4 for interior and $0.75 to $6 exterior per linear foot. 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. This material is moisture-resistant without the issues of cedar, such as cracking or “cedar bleed.” It comes primed and ready for installation and handles like wood, so use it to build a decorative look.
For hardwood door trim, expect costs between $0.75 to $6 on the interior and $4 to $10 on the exterior per 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 opt for oak or maple, which are less expensive. If you want the grain and color 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.
PVC door trim is easily cut and mitered and costs $0.75 to $7.40 for interior use and $0.75 to $30 on the exterior per linear foot. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) trim is made of vinyl but 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 cannot layer like wood or some other materials.
Reclaimed wood door casing prices range from $1.25 to $10 on the interior and $3 to $12 on the exterior per linear foot. This is an attractive type of wood especially suited for rustic and vintage spaces. It also can be inexpensive, depending on the type you choose. Rather than having a clean finish, reclaimed wood has an aged appearance. It is strong, durable, and has had time for the wood’s true color to develop and shine through.
The cost for materials for metal door trim in an interior space is about $2 to $4, while exterior door trim is closer to $3 to $6. Aluminum is the most common choice of metal for door trim, but materials like steel can also be used. When choosing this type of trim, most homeowners select a version that matches the metal trim on the exterior of the home. Metal door trim is durable, resists insects, and can retard flames. It is not as common on the interior but may still be used in some cases.
Polyurethane door casing runs about $2 to $4 a linear foot in interior areas and $3 to $6 for the exterior. Polyurethane is a super high-density material that acts like wood. You can build up very detailed moldings with this material. 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.
Per linear foot, homeowners can expect to pay around $2.50 to $6 for the interior and $3.50 to $7 on the exterior. It can be used in both areas but is more common as interior door trim. In many cases, the chosen laminate matches the wood flooring and other types of trim, like baseboard molding, end molding, and quarter round molding. It is available in various colors and styles to complement modern and vintage spaces.
Stucco door trim prices range from $3 to $5 on the interior and $4 to $7 on the exterior per linear foot. Stucco is another material that can be used inside or outside the home but is more popular for exterior spaces. It can match or complement existing stucco siding and is made of natural materials that last with a bit of maintenance. Modern stucco often includes epoxy to prevent chipping and cracking.
Door Casing Cost by Style
Door casings come in a nearly endless array of styles, some very plain and others highly decorative. Many are designed to work with specific architectural styles, such as the Colonial or Craftsman. Others, however, are used in various 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.
Some of the least expensive and more common options include Flat Stock, Basic Colonial, Craftsman Flat, and Bullnose casing. These are more plain options than some of the more expensive types of trim for doors. Flat stock is the least intricate, while the others have subtle details that make them stand out more.
J-channel, Scalloped, Ranch, and Belly trims have more detail than the trim listed above and come at a moderate price. For instance, J-channel trim has a small channel that looks like the letter J, while ranch molding starts flat before rounding out. Belly trim is even more decorative, with flat tops and bottoms and carvings in between.
The most expensive types of trim (and those that are the most visually appealing) are Windsor, Craftsman, and Colonial Revival or Victorian door casing. These provide the most extensive details, such as ripples on the Victorian casing or alternate flat and rounded edges for the Windsor molding. The table below provides prices for each type of trim.
|Casing Style||Interior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)||Exterior Trim Cost per Linear Foot (Materials Only)|
|Flat Stock||$1 - $5||$3 - $8|
|Basic Colonial||$1 - $5||$4 - $10|
|Bullnose||$1 - $5||$5 - $9|
|Craftsman Flat||$1 - $6||$4 - $10|
|J-Channel||$2 - $5||$3 - $8|
|Scalloped||$2 - $5||$4 - $10|
|Ranch||$2 - $6||$5 - $10|
|Belly||$2 - $6||$5 - $10|
|Windsor||$2 - $7||$5 - $10|
|Craftsman With Fillet||$3 - $8||$6 - $15|
|Colonial Revival / Victorian||$3 - $8||$6 - $15|
Labor Cost to Install Door Casing
In addition to the cost of the materials, it is also important to be aware of labor costs. For instance, mitered cuts cost more to make than straight cuts, so a mitered casing costs more to install than a butted casing due to the additional labor involved. Your labor cost for installing door trim can also vary based on how the professional prices their services. This is often based on the linear feet of trim installed, but some pros have an hourly rate or price the project based on the number of doors being trimmed.
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 $100 to $175 per door to install molding. Trim may also be installed based on the linear feet used. In most cases, the price is between $1 and $4 per linear foot, depending on the materials chosen and the location of the door. If the trim is done by the hour, the cost ranges from $65 to $140 per hour. In addition, if you do not purchase a prefinished molding and it needs to be painted, add another $20 to $30 to the installation cost per door.
Installation costs for door casings range from $70 to $180 per door for custom and highly decorative trims.
|Labor Cost||Interior Trim||Exterior Trim|
|Per Linear Foot||$1 - $3||$2 - $4|
|Per Hour||$65 - $140||$65 - $140|
|Per Door||$100 - $150||$125 - $175|
Cost to Replace Door Trim
The cost of replacing an existing door casing is not tremendously different from the cost of installing new casing. However, the removal process requires more labor, so it can be up to 10% to 20% more to replace door trim than to install it. The old casing must be removed, which in most instances is a simple, inexpensive job completed in a few minutes. If the old 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 to $25 to the 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 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.
Trim Around Garage Doors
If your home has a garage, keep in mind that it also needs a 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 $350 to $600 due to the complexity of the job.
How to Measure for Door Trim
When installing door trim, it is important to ensure you have the right materials. Casing or door trim is the smooth material that goes over the jamb and in the area between the jamb and wall. In many cases, it is made in 96’ inch lengths to be used on several types and sizes of doors. It is also typically mitered on the top, which impacts the amount you need for the project.
First, measure from the highest area of the interior edge to the floor. Add an extra ¼ inch to the amount. So, if the length is 72-inches, the total could be 72 ¼ inches instead. This needs to be doubled to include both sides of the door. The next step is to measure the top of the door from one jamb to the other. Increase this by ½ inch to calculate the correct measurement. Add all these numbers together to determine how much trim is required.
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
Door Casing Painting
A lot of door trim comes prefinished, but some need to be painted at installation. If this is the case, expect to pay another $1 to $6 per linear foot for the painting materials, required prep, and labor. This project creates a modern and refreshing look to a home’s interior or exterior. The most common color of paint for door trim is a white or off-white hue, but other colors can be used based on the look of the rest of the home and your unique preferences.
It is common to add a rosette or decorative corner pieces to your lintel. These cost $5 to $30 each and come in a range of styles. A rosette is a carved block typically located on the top of the door trim. These add extra elegance and visual appeal to a space and make installing the actual door trim simpler since there is no need to miter the molding. As such, professionals can trim a door more quickly when rosettes are used.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Discounts. You may receive a discount on installation costs if you install trim on several doors at the same time.
- Trim removal. It is common to remove trim to paint walls or do other home improvement projects, but trim often splits or cracks during this process. Plan on buying new trim if you intend to remove it.
- DIY. While it is possible to install trim on your own, you risk making mistakes. If this occurs, you may need help from a professional to cover up the issue. Professionals will get it right the first time, saving you money in the long run.
- Sliding door trim. Sliding door trim is installed over the caulk used to insulate the door to prevent air from moving from the interior to the exterior and vice versa. The installation process is similar to other doors but will often require more trim material since the doors tend to be wider.
- Maintenance. Cleaning the trim regularly keeps it looking its best. Otherwise, maintenance is minimal. Check the trim about once a year and do any repainting or repairing that needs to be done. This keeps the trim in good shape longer.
- Pricing. Some times of year are better than others for getting trim installed on doors at an inexpensive cost. The late fall and early winter are ideal for excellent prices since many contractors have fewer jobs. As a result, they may drop prices for a few months.
- Custom decorative molding. If you choose to have custom molding made for your door, this increases the cost. This adds $100 to $200 to the final cost.
- How do you calculate door casings?
Measure from the top to bottom of the door, add ¼ inch, and double that. For the top of the door, measure from one side to the other and add ½ inch. Add these together to get a rough calculation of the door casing you need.
- Can you replace a door casing?
Yes, the door casing can be replaced. It is often replaced when it starts to rot or has other damage. The typical price to replace door casing is $150 to $250 for each door. The trim removal process involves more labor, so it can be 10% to 20% more expensive to replace trim than install it.
- How much is molding for a door?
The price for door molding or trim varies based on the size of the door and the type of trim chosen. On average, most homeowners can expect to pay $150 to $250 for each door that requires trim.
- How much trim do I need for a door?
This varies depending on the size of your door, but plan on at least 17 linear feet. To get more accurate measurements, measure the door and add ¼ inch to the side measurements and ½ to the top measurement.
- What size door casing should I use?
This varies depending on your home and style. The standard width of door casing is 3 to 4 inches, but you may go wider.
- Should the window and door casing match?
Ideally, yes, they should match or at least coordinate. It creates a more finished look on both the exterior and interior of a home. However, it is not required. You can be creative if you desire.