How much does crown molding cost to install?
Ashburn, VA

How much does crown molding cost to install?

Ashburn, VA

How much does crown molding cost to install?

$7 – $16Cost per linear foot

The average cost to install crown molding is $7 to $16 per linear foot depending on the materials chosen and labor costs. For a typical living room, crown molding costs $460 to $1,100, while a kitchen costs between $210 to $570, and an entire home costs between $2,000 and $4,000 for both labor and installation. 

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:

$7 – $16 Cost per linear foot


The average cost to install crown molding is $7 to $16 per linear foot depending on the materials chosen and labor costs. For a typical living room, crown molding costs $460 to $1,100, while a kitchen costs between $210 to $570, and an entire home costs between $2,000 and $4,000 for both labor and installation. 

Get free estimates for your project or view our cost guide below:
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Tom Grupa
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Tom Grupa

Average Cost to Install Crown Molding

The average cost to install crown molding is $7 to $16 per linear foot, depending on the labor costs and materials chosen. For a typical 15’ x 14’ living room, crown molding costs $460 to $1,100, while a 10' x 10' kitchen costs between $210 to $570 for both labor and installation. Installing crown molding in an entire home costs $2,000 to $4,000.

Crown Molding Cost
National Average Cost $1,200
Minimum Cost $200
Maximum Cost $4,000
Average Range $670 to $1,700

Pricing can vary dramatically depending on the materials you choose because of the varied experience required to work with each material. Most of the cost is labor, especially when installing wood crown molding, which requires precise angle cuts and is best done by a professional carpenter. In addition to carpentry costs, you’ll be charged for the wood molding, setup, ordering materials, painting, and cleanup.

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Cost of Crown Molding Per Linear Foot

The average cost of crown molding that is 5” high or less is $1 to $4 per linear foot.

  • Solid wood molding costs $2 to $4 per linear foot.

  • Foam, vinyl, PVC, or MDF costs $1 to $2 per linear foot.

  • Crown molding comes in many different materials, with some exotic woods reaching as high as $45 per linear foot.

Crown Molding Cost Per Foot
Material Cost Per Linear Foot
Wood $1 – $6
Exotic Wood $10 – $45
Plaster $6 – 12
MDF $1 – $3
Polyurethane $2 – $6
Vinyl or PVC $1 – $3
Foam or Polystyrene $1 – $2
Metal $20 – $25

To find the linear feet of the room, add the width of the four walls together to find the total. For example, a 15’ x 14’ room has two walls of 15’ and two walls of 14’, so the total perimeter is 30’ + 28’ = 58 linear feet.

Wood crown molding in upscale kitchen
Wood crown molding in upscale kitchen

Labor Cost To Install Crown Molding

The labor cost to install crown molding is $6 per linear foot for one worker or up to $12 per linear foot for an expert carpenter, depending on the extent of the project and the materials chosen.

Installation takes 10 to 26 minutes for each foot of crown molding. The time and experience required mostly depend on the materials chosen. Some crown molding material needs a lot of additional work, such as hammering and torching metalwork, gluing polystyrene foam, and mitering and sawing wood.

Crown Molding Prices By Material

When looking at crown molding prices, keep in mind that some types still need to be primed and/or painted to achieve the finished look, thereby costing more.

Wood Crown Molding

Wood crown molding costs $1 to $6 per linear foot for walnut, ash, and knotty pine, and $10 to $45 per linear foot for white and red oak, mahogany, hickory, and quarter-sawn oak. Exotic wood is the most expensive but it won't warp or crack.

Wood Crown Molding Pros & Cons
Pros Cons
  • Won't warp or crack (exotic woods)
  • Can be carved with any design
  • A sustainable resource material (most types)
  • May be stained or painted
  • Can be expensive (exotic woods)
  • Requires priming
  • equires an experienced carpenter
  • Can shrink in cold weather and expand in hot weather

Plaster Crown Molding

The average cost of plaster crown molding is $6 to 12 per linear foot. Plaster can be cast into any design you can think of, and many homeowners opt for the Roman dental or English vine styles. Plaster doesn’t react to moisture by warping or shrinking, which makes the long-term price more feasible.

Cons

  • It’s heavier than the other crown molding options, so it requires some good support.

  • Plaster molding always has to be custom-made, making it more expensive than other materials.

  • It needs professional installation because it can crack during the install.

Plaster crown molding with intricate pattern
Plaster crown molding with intricate pattern

MDF Crown Molding

Medium-Density Fiberboard, or MDF crown molding costs $1 to $3 per linear foot. MDF Fiberboard is an economical alternative to wood. It’s light, making it an easy DIY job for one person, and it paints nicely too.

Cons

  • MDF tends to be soft and dents easily, which can make installation difficult.

  • Formaldehyde in the resin and adhesives can off-gas for years.

  • It must be painted.

  • MDF warps in rooms with high humidity.

Polyurethane Crown Molding

Polyurethane crown molding costs $2 to $6 per linear foot. This molding is made from very dense foam and is similar to wood but much lighter in weight. A cost-friendly choice, it doesn’t react to moisture and bugs aren’t interested in it. It comes pre-primed, ready for paint.

Cons

  • It can dent easily during installation.

  • It must be painted, and it may not hold paint or finish properly.

Crown molding in dining room with custom pattern
Crown molding in dining room with custom pattern

Vinyl or PVC Crown Molding

Vinyl or PVC crown molding costs $1 to $3 per linear foot. Vinyl is known for being strong, durable, and reliable. It’s easy to cut and installs without breaking or chipping. Vinyl can be used indoors and outdoors, and it’s a good option for a bathroom or kitchen because it doesn’t absorb moisture. It’s also great for hiding cables and rope lighting.

Cons

  • Crown molding is brittle and can crack during installation.

  • It’s not flexible.

  • It doesn’t take paint well.

  • It doesn’t come in many color or style options.

Polystyrene or Foam Crown Molding

Polystyrene foam is the least expensive crown molding at $1 to $2 per linear foot. Made from high-density Styrofoam and topped with fiberglass and acrylic plaster, foam crown molding installs easily with joint compound or construction adhesive, and a kitchen knife can cut through it. It’s slightly flexible, making it a good choice if your wall is not exactly straight. It's also a cheap crown molding because it’s lighter and easier to install.

Cons

  • Foam molding dents easily.

  • It gives off toxic fumes when cut—off-gassing.

  • It will crack in homes with structural shifting issues.

  • It nees to be painted.

Aluminum, Copper, and Steel Molding

On the high end, metal crown molding such as aluminum, steel, or copper molding costs $20 to $25 per linear foot. Metal molding is used mostly for outdoor applications, garages, or metal hoods in kitchens. It can come with pre-formed inside and outside corner pieces, negating the need for miter cuts. Metal molding is very durable.

Cons

  • Metal molding needs to be cut with a steel-cutting saw to create angled corners correctly.

  • Copper weathers to form a green patina if installed outdoors.

  • Steel can rust in areas of high humidity.

  • Aluminum can crack in extreme climates.

Crown Molding Sizes

Crown molding comes in sizes 2” to 20” or more. The size that will look best in your home depends on the height of your walls. The key is to work with the proper proportion to avoid making the room feel top-heavy or closed in.

“The rule of thumb is the larger and taller the room, the wider the crown moulding.” — Home Depot, “Trim and Molding Buying Guide”

Crown Molding Size Chart

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Crown Molding Size Chart
Ceiling Height Crown Size Casing Size Base Size
8 – 9 ft.   3 ¼ in. to 4 ¼ in 2 ¼ in. to 3 ¼ in. 3 ¼ in. to 4 ¼ in.
9 – 11 ft 4 ¼ in. to 5 ¼ in. 2 ¼ in. to 3 ¼ in. 4 ¼ in. to 5 ¼ in.
11 – 12 ft. 4 5/8 in. or more 3 ¼ in. or more 5 ¼ in. or more
12 ft. or more 7 in. or more 3 ¼ in. or more   7 ¼ in. or more

Types of Crown Molding

Crown molding only refers to the molding installed where the top of a wall meets the ceiling. Each style has its own use, although molds can be mixed to create the style you desire.

  • Crown – Crown molding unites the wall and the ceiling. It’s so called because it is the builder's “crowning” achievement.

  • Cove – A plainer version of crown molding with a concave shape installs at the ceiling/wall corner or the floor/wall corner.

  • Dentil – Small, identically shaped squares or rectangles are evenly spaced along the molding. Dentils are mostly found in historic homes.

  • Batten – A flat trim piece hides the joint between two pieces of paneling or wall. Other flat pieces are often installed, along with the serviceable batten, to create a design element out of a functional piece.

  • Egg & Dart – Has a pattern of what looks like eggs separated by darts

  • Bead & Pearl – Has rows of symmetrical shapes that look like beads or pearls on the crown molding

Skinny thin white crown molding in dining room
Skinny thin white crown molding in dining room

Crown Molding Styles

According to Home Depot, the standard crown molding styles are Traditional, Country, Victorian, Arts & Crafts, and Modern. Choose the style that best fits the style of your home or remodel so the new molding doesn’t look too out of place.

The different types of molding trim profiles, which are the shape as viewed from end-to-end, are Casing, Baseboard and Base, Chair Rails, Crown, and Picture Rails.

Additional Costs and Considerations

Door and Window Crown Molding

Trimming or re-trimming doors and windows costs an extra $150 to $200 per door or window.

Cost To Paint Crown Molding

The cost to paint crown molding is $1 to $3 per linear foot for an average job of about 100 linear feet, depending on the materials used, job size, and size of molding. If you’re going to paint it, do some trial runs with a few different paints.

Extra Molding

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Purchase enough lengths to account for cutting angles, which will result in some waste. The more angles you need to cut, the more waste you’ll have. If you have a simple, rectangular room, waste will be minimal; but if you have several corners or you create a design element, in addition to doors and windows, the waste will certainly add up. Try to add 2” additional molding for each corner.

What Is Crown Molding?

Crown molding refers to trim that covers the 90° angles where the ceiling meets the wall. Originally crown molding was created to hide cracks and lousy workmanship. Then it became a preferred decorative feature to become the crown molding we have today.

Crown molding is also used on the top of kitchen cabinets and has started to become a catch-all phrase for molding.

Why Add Crown Molding

  • Express Your Personal Style - Crown molding comes in many styles, and you can even create your own style. You can add one crown molding to your ceiling or combine a few moldings to create one of a kind. Crown molding can also soften the stark lines of a dull room and complement the overall room decor style, whether it’s modern and sleek or Victorian and historical.

  • Improve Your Home's Appearance – “Ceiling molding, or crown molding, softens the transition from wall to ceiling to create a visually stunning effect.” — Home Depot

How Much Value Does Crown Molding Add To Your Home?

Unlike a full kitchen or bathroom remodel, installing crown molding usually results in a break-even return on investment. However, when done well, crown molding makes the ceiling seem higher and improves the overall feel and look of a room.

Crown Molding Ideas

This is an area where all your creative ideas can shine, as long as you choose the correct crown molding for the style of each room. Do some research on the styles of your current home, find some images online, and go to a showroom or a home and garden show. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Luxury kitchen with wide thick expensive crown molding
Luxury kitchen with wide thick expensive crown molding
Wide wood crown molding in breakfast area
Wide wood crown molding in breakfast area
New crown molding installation in a living room.
New crown molding installation in a living room.

Lighting, Cabling, and Accents

Crown molding is also useful for hiding cables and rope lighting.

  • Crown Molding Lighting – Molding can be used to hide rope lighting that runs along the top of your walls. The light is soft and highlights any crown molding above the piece that’s hiding it. It helps your room to look larger by visually raising the height of the walls.

  • Hide Cables – Crown molding is also used to hide wires and cables. You can get hollow crown molding and string all those unsightly wires through the molding for about $35 for an 8’ piece (vinyl). This works for electrical, sound, and Wi-Fi cables, and the molding can be installed around doors and windows too. This project requires an electrician.

Modern kitchen installed with crown molding accents and trim around doors
Modern kitchen installed with crown molding accents and trim around doors

Cabinets, Walls, and Window Treatments

Use crown molding to draw attention to the best features of your room.

  • Do you have a curved wall? Use polyurethane molding. It’s flexible, paintable, and easy to install, even on the curve.

  • You can recreate the tin ceiling found in many older businesses and homes in your own home. Crown molding in tin and aluminum can be painted to match, giving you a fantastic kitchen ceiling.

  • If you love the look of wood but don’t want to spend the money on solid wood crown molding, think about composites or salvaged materials. Both are eco-friendly.

  • If you like the look of molding around your windows but are trying to stay on budget, consider adding a strip of molding to the top of the window and extending it a few inches on both sides.

  • Rather than using straight molding right up to each corner, use corner blocks that match or complement your crown molding.

  • Use crown molding to build a cornice for your window—build a wooden box roughly the size you desire and add crown molding to make it look custom-built.

  • Build a crown molding shelf with a short length of wood and enough crown molding to cover the front and two sides. Add hangars to the back, and you’ve got what looks like an expensive shelf.

  • Add crown molding to the top of your kitchen cabinets and stain to match. This gives the look of custom cabinets.

Crown molding accents in kitchen with trim around cabinets
Crown molding accents in kitchen with trim around cabinets

DIY or Professional Installation?

Hiring a professional woodworker to install crown molding is best because the project has some precise requirements and uses a lot of math, including geometry. To add value to your home, crown molding must be expertly and flawlessly installed.

Tools Needed to Install Moulding

  • Miter saw

  • Coping saw

  • Nail gun

  • Caulking gun

  • Nails, measuring tape, level, and chalk line.

Materials needed besides the crown molding:

  • Finishing nails

  • Flexible caulk if you’ll need to make mid-length joins with wood molding

  • Paintable caulk

  • Paint

  • You’ll probably need a helper to hold up the strips while you begin attaching them to the ceiling or wall.

Unless you are very adventurous, confident in your ability to learn a new technique, and have a large budget, hire a professional to do this project.

Getting Started

The price of installing crown molding is low compared to the enjoyment you’ll receive and your return on investment, and no matter what your budget is, there is a crown molding material and style that will suit it.

Tips for hiring a crown molding installer

Before hiring a contractor to install your crown molding, be sure to:

  • Get at least three estimates to compare.

  • Look for pros with experience installing crown molding.

  • Browse their reviews on HomeGuide and Google.

  • Select companies that are insured, bonded, and have been in business for 5+ years.

  • Ask for references.

  • Avoid selecting the lowest quote as quality may suffer.

  • Get a detailed estimate, contract, and warranty in writing before the work begins.

  • Never pay in full before the project starts. Use a payment plan instead for work completed.

Questions to ask

  • Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?

  • How long have you been in business?

  • What experience do you have with crown molding?

  • How long will the installation take?

  • What is and is not included in the estimate?

  • What additional costs should I expect?

  • Is there a warranty, and if so, what does it cover?