Put the finishing touches on your new construction or remodel with the addition of crown molding. Crown molding is the trim that runs horizontally along the top of an interior wall, concealing the right angle where the wall meets the ceiling with a graceful curve or design. Crown molding can be added to cabinets or door frames to create a distinguishing element as well. From ornate to classic or subdued, crown molding is typically added for aesthetic reasons, but can also be used to mask construction imperfections.
Originally carved out of plaster, crown molding now comes in a variety of materials including plaster, wood, medium density fiberboard (MDF) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The type of materials you select will have a direct impact on cost, as installing plaster or wood requires more craftsmanship and experience than, say, PVC. Crown molding varies in size; stock sizing can range from 1.5 inches to 7.5 inches or more. The size refers to the width of the crown molding (how far it sticks out from the wall), but be sure to account for depth (how tall it is on the wall), too, as more ornate designs may increase size and therefore cost.
Most trim installation specialists charge per linear foot. The cost may include the crown molding, materials, labor, business overhead, and sometimes painting the molding. Always ask your contractor exactly what the price includes before work begins. Other factors that impact the price per linear foot are the accessibility of the installation site (20-foot cathedral ceilings, for example, require more labor than a standard ceiling height) and the complexity of the job. In general, the more linear feet you have installed at one time, the greater cost savings the contractor can provide.
Regional costs of living and of labor also affect the price per linear foot. Materials will also impact price; solid wood will cost more than polystyrene, for example, and the master craftsmen who work with plaster and hardwood may charge higher hourly rates than other trim installers. Company reputation may also impact cost. Here are some examples of cost per linear foot:
MDF: $5 per linear foot, including materials, from Daniel Neaga of Remodeling & Design in Portland, Oregon.
This is the most popular crown molding material Remodeling & Design installs.
275-linear-foot project using MDF crown molding: $1,375.
Finger jointed pine (FJP): $6.50 per linear foot from Ken Winters II of in Port Richey, Florida. Price is all-inclusive. Additional cost for paint.
This is the most popular crown molding material installs.
$7.50 per linear foot for 6.5-inch FJP double cove crown.
Pricing per linear foot from includes the cost of supplies such as 2P-10 adhesive for miters, Sherwin-Williams caulking and paint, and 3M products.
Crown molding is a type of trim and is often installed in tandem with baseboards, chair rails and other decorative finishes that give your new home, office or remodel a polished look. You may be able to save money by bundling your crown molding installation with the rest of your homes trim work. As with crown molding, other types of trim are priced per linear foot. Here are some examples of trim installation costs from Winters at
Chair rail installation: $4.50 per linear foot. Includes paint and material.
5.25-inch baseboard installation: $4.75 per linear foot. Includes paint and material.
Wainscoting (in foyers or dining rooms): $20 per linear foot. Includes paint and material.
Shiplap: $30-$40 per linear foot. Shiplap is whitewashed or stained interior siding for a feature wall.