Crown Molding Cost

In this guide

Trim styles
Materials
Labor
Additional materials
Enhancements
Additional Considerations

How much does it cost to install crown molding?

Crown molding is an architectural feature that is applied to the upper edges of walls where they meet the ceiling, creating a decorative border. Many homeowners opt to add crown molding to their home interiors because it can refine the overall look, as well as add value to the home. Crown molding also has practical functions, such as concealing unsightly cables. A DIY crown molding installation is possible if you have intermediate skills, otherwise, professional installation services are recommended.

For this cost guide, we examine the cost of hiring professionals to install crown molding in an average living room of 16’ x 20’ (72 linear feet), which averages $900.

Trim styles

Unless they require unusual constructions, styles won’t influence the cost too much. In fact, what matters more is the materials used. The most common crown molding 1 styles are:

  • Classical: origins circa 1900-1930 and has remained popular since. It’s characterized by low-key minimalism and subtle details.
  • Colonial: origins circa 1725-1820. It features stacked lines of varying widths creating a textured, sophisticated look.
  • Greek: origins circa 1820-1840. This style has motifs recognizable in classic Greek architecture.
  • Three-Piece crown molding 1: available in a range of styles, three-piece crown molding 1 is made by connecting 3 slabs of material to create one piece. The result is usually a thick, detailed molding. The average cost for standard three-piece crown molding 1 is $9 per linear foot.

Materials

MaterialProsConsCost Per Linear Foot
Wood

Beautiful natural patterns

Ornate and simple designs

Can be difficult to cut and install

Prone to warping and rot

Less than $1 to $10
PVCWarp- and rot-resistant

Limited design options

Shiny plastic texture

$1-$4
Polysterene

Lightweight

Inexpensive

Easy to DIY

Can look cheap$1-$4
MDF compositeInexpensive wood alternative

Can be difficult to cut and install

Must be stained or painted

$1-$6
MetalUnique metallic lookCan be prone to tarnishing$2-$10
PolyurethaneComparable to wood but more resistant to insects and rot

Dents easily

Must be painted

$2-$40

FlexCan fit curved walls

Expensive

Order-only

$5-$15
Plaster 2

Can be intricately carved 

Warp-resistant

Only custom made-to-order

Heavy

Hard to DIY

$10-$50

Labor

DIY crown molding 1 installations can be tricky for those who don’t have experience with it, and nearly impossible when you choose hard-to-work-with materials like plaster 2 and wood. We recommend hiring professional carpenters.

Professional crown molding 1 installation services have a variety of pricing conventions. The average costs are $70 per hour, $50 per corner, or $8-$12 per linear foot. It generally takes carpenters 1-2 hours to install crown molding 1 in an average living room of 16’ x 20’ (72 linear feet).

Carpenters start the installation process by measuring your walls and cutting lengths of moulding to fit both the wall lengths and angles. If you are having corner blocks installed, the angle-cutting can be skipped. Once the molding is nailed onto the walls, wood putty and caulk 3 are used to fill any holes and seams 4. The molding is then ready to be stained or painted, if you wish.

Additional materials

  • Corner crown molding 1 blocks - $3-$50
  • Caulk 3 - $1-$10
  • Caulk 3 gun - $3.50-$100
  • Wood putty - $4-$7
  • Nails - $3.50 per pound
  • Miter saw - $70-$850
  • Coping saw - $4-$30
  • Measuring tape - $3-$35
  • Level - $16-$115
  • Hammer - $4-$250
  • Power drill - $25-$115
  • Stud-finder - $4-$180
  • Framing square - $5-$16

Professionals will typically provide most of the installation materials. You’ll only need to provide the crown moulding and corner blocks.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Painting & staining

Professional painting/staining services for crown moulding cost an average of $30 per hour, and professionals can typically paint 50 linear feet per hour. A 1-gallon can of paint or stain covers an average of 1000 linear feet of crown moulding. One gallon of paint costs $30-$70, while stain costs $30-$60.

Lighted crown molding 1

Adding lighting to your crown molding 1 is a great way to give a room ambiance and sophistication. Rope and strip lighting are best suited for crown moulding installations. Rope is priced at $1-$6 per linear foot, while strip lighting ranges from $12-$35. If you choose LED rail lights, you’ll find prices at the higher end of that spectrum. Hiring an electrician to install crown moulding lighting costs $65-$86 per hour.

Wiring management

Incorporating a wiring management system into your crown moulding can conceal cables and make your device connections much neater. They are designed to bundle wires inside tracks that are hidden behind the moulding. Some are even built into ready-to-order crown moulding pieces. Typically, the moulding used to conceal these systems is hollow PVC crown moulding. Wire/cable management systems cost $1-$5 per linear foot, on average. DIY installation is relatively easy, and should be done prior to installation of crown moulding. An electrician or the moulding installation pros can also do the job.

Additional considerations and costs

Extra moulding

If you choose a moulding material that dents easily, or are working with paints and stains, it’s highly recommended that you purchase some extra moulding. This will ensure you have replacement moulding on hand in case some pieces are damaged during the installation process. It’s generally recommended that you buy 10% more crown moulding than the total linear feet you’ll need to cover.

Doors & windows

Installing crown moulding trim on doors and windows can give a more polished look to a room. Installation on doors usually runs $100-$300 per door. Window installations usually cost $100-$175 per window.

DIY

If you DIY your crown moulding installation, you’ll have to purchase the additional materials mentioned above if you don’t already have them. Feasibility depends on the type of crown moulding you install: different materials require different levels of skill. Also, some materials like solid wood and plaster 2 are heavy, making them hard to handle for some.

Drop proportions

Keep in mind that the thickness, or “drop”, of your crown moulding should depend on your ceiling height. Especially thick crown mouldings can look overbearing in a room with low to average ceiling heights, and make it feel smaller. Too-thin crown moulding in rooms with high ceilings can also look disproportionate. Choosing thicker mouldings can increase prices by 25%-75%. Below is a table of drop proportion guidelines.

Ceiling Height

Drop Length

8’

3”-5”

9’

5”-10”

10’-12’

10”-20”

16’

18”-25”

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
1 Crown molding: A decorative finish that adds interest to the area where the top of a window meets the wall, or lines the area where the wall meets the ceiling
2 Plaster: A paste composed of sand, water, and either lime, gypsum, or cement, which forms a smooth hard surface on walls, ceilings, and other structures upon drying
3 Caulk: A chemical sealant used to fill in and seal gaps where two materials join, for example, the tub and tile, to create a watertight and airtight seal. The term "caulking" is also used to refer to the process of applying this type of sealant
4 Seams: A fold, line, or groove where two pieces of material join together

Cost to install crown molding varies greatly by region (and even by zipcode). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

Labor cost by city and zipcode

Compared to national average
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Arlington, TX
+6%
Aurora, IL
+21%
Austin, TX
+13%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Beaverton, OR
+15%
Billings, MT
-12%
Boca Raton, FL
0%
Boise, ID
-11%
Brick, NJ
+3%
Broomfield, CO
-6%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Concord, NC
-15%
Denver, CO
+1%
Fort Lauderdale, FL
+2%
Fort Worth, TX
+6%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Frisco, TX
+23%
Garland, TX
+8%
Germantown, MD
+27%
Homestead, FL
-2%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jackson, NJ
+3%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Lancaster, CA
+4%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lawton, OK
-38%
Long Beach, CA
+16%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Marietta, GA
+10%
Melbourne, FL
-16%
Modesto, CA
-12%
Montgomery, AL
-10%
New York, NY
+77%
North Port, FL
-20%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Palatine, IL
+36%
Parrish, FL
-12%
Pompano Beach, FL
+2%
Pueblo, CO
-18%
Renton, WA
+9%
Rochester, NY
+6%
Royal Oak, MI
+24%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Salisbury, MD
-14%
Salt Lake City, UT
-6%

Labor cost in your zipcode

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