Base molding, or baseboards, is a form of trim that’s applied around the edges of a room along the space between the walls and the floor. On average, a base molding installation cost will run between $694 and $1,078, which accounts for an average of 132 linear feet at a price of between $5.55 and $8.63 per foot. This total price includes the cost of materials, labor, and any tools and equipment required to complete the job. If you need to remove and dispose of existing trim or molding, this will add to your total cost and typically runs between $69 to $103 more.
|What you can expect|
|Range per linear foot:||$7.31||$11.16|
|Range for this type of project:||$278||$424|
Base Molding Cost
Cost of 2-1/4"x3/5" oak ranch-style base molding, with a length of up to 16' and basic profile. Rate includes local delivery and standard excess for perfect installation and occasional future repairs.
Base Molding Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete installation. Base molding will be measured, sized, and finished. Edge gap will be caulked, and nail holes patched and smoothed. Rate is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of project site, and meticulous cleanup.
Base Molding Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including fasteners, connectors, and materials for surface preparation and finishing.
Base Molding Equipment Allowance
Daily rental of specialty equipment for maximum quality and efficiency. These include pneumatic-finish nailer, 12" compound miter saw, biscuit joiner, and detail sander. Consumable equipment elements not included.
Base Molding Debris Disposal
Responsible disposal of all project debris, including the cost to load and haul old materials, installation waste, and any other refuse.
Option: Remove Molding
Trim edge will be scored where bonded to adjacent surfaces. Trim will be gently pried away, preserving the integrity of adjacent surfaces, finishes, and hardwork. Trim millwork will be removed from premises.
|cost to install base molding|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per linear foot||$1.56|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 125 linear foot||$885.91|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 125 linear foot||$693.54 - $1,078.28|
The process of installing molding requires accurate measurements and precise cutting in order to achieve a visually seamless result. The process is time-consuming and takes more time to complete when there are a higher number of angles and corners in a room. Plan to pay between $60 to $100 per labor hour for standard work. This includes planning, sourcing the materials, the installation process, and any cleanup required. Most general carpenters can install base molding or trim at a rate of about 20 linear feet per hour under normal conditions.
Most base molding is charged at a price per linear foot. The national average is approximately $1.56 per linear foot for standard base molding materials. Labor increases the cost per linear foot to an average of $7.09, but it may be as little as $5.55 or as much as $8.63 or more, depending on several factors.
Refer to the following table to see more information regarding the cost per linear foot to install base molding:
|Linear Feet||Average Cost||Lowest Cost||Highest Cost|
While labor costs make up the majority of the base molding installation expense, the various different types of molding material can have a large impact, particularly when higher-end materials are used. Some of the most common molding types include:
Wood base molding costs between $1 and $6 per linear foot. The most common types are walnut, ash, and knotty pine. Wood is a durable, affordable choice for baseboards and can easily be stained to match your interior décor. Wood must be expertly cut and angled during fitting, unlike other artificial alternatives that are pre-angled for easier installation.
Some popular exotic wood species include oak, mahogany, hickory, or bamboo, which cost between $10 and $45 per linear foot. Exotic wood molding resists warping and cracking and is less likely to be damaged via normal wear and tear. It’s also more decorative and obtained more sustainably than other materials.
Plaster is typically used for crown molding, but its decorative designs make it a great option for baseboards in formal rooms. This material resists warping and shrinking with a heavier weight that makes it long-lasting. Plaster floor molding trim costs between $6 to $12 per linear foot since it requires precise skill to install it.
MDF stands for medium-density fiberboard, and base molding in this material has an average price of $1 to $3 per linear foot. MDF is inexpensive, lightweight, easy to install, and resistant to mold and fungus. However, it has a few drawbacks compared to more expensive materials:
Nonetheless, high-quality MDF is a solid material choice for a quick, inexpensive base molding project.
Polyurethane molding is very lightweight and made from a dense foam that’s durable and strong yet quite easy to cut. This material costs between $2 and $6 per linear foot. It resists humidity well but doesn’t tend to hold paint or other finishes for a long time.
A lighter-weight version of polyurethane, foam, or polystyrene base molding is the least expensive at just $1 to $2 per linear foot. This material is made from high-density Styrofoam coated with acrylic or fiberglass for added strength. It’s more flexible than other materials, so it’s great in rooms with uneven floors or walls.
Vinyl or PVC molding costs $1 to $3 per linear foot. This option is one of the strongest available and is easy to install without chipping or splitting. Vinyl comes in a few colors and finishes and doesn’t take paint well, so it’s not the best decorative choice. However, it’s great in kitchens and bathrooms due to its moisture-resistant properties.
Aluminum, steel, and copper are popular metals used for base molding. Prices range from $20 to $25 per linear foot on average. Each of these materials is very durable but not particularly decorative. They work well in kitchens, garages, or outdoor areas where extra strength and durability are required.
|Base Molding Materials||Average Cost||Lowest Cost||Highest Cost|
|Foam or polystyrene||$1.50||$1.00||$2.00|
|Vinyl or PVC||$2.00||$1.00||$3.00|
Your base molding installation cost may go beyond just the price of materials and labor. Here are some other factors that may affect your total installation price:
It may cost between $1 and $3 per linear foot to paint your new base molding depending on the size of the trim, the overall project size, and the type of paint you use. Some molding, like wood, may come already finished. Most other types of materials require painting after installation. It’s recommended to paint a few one-foot lengths of the trim and install them temporarily to get a better idea of how the new color will look in your space.
When calculating your total base molding cost, remember to account for additional trim for the corners in each room. Each corner wastes a small amount of material when you’re cutting angles, which adds up quickly. As a general rule, allow an extra two inches of trim length for each corner. Certain trim materials like MDF are prone to damage during installation, so allow approximately 10% of extra materials to account for excess waste or mistakes.
The walls or flooring in older homes can settle over time, making them uneven or slanted. While this won’t stop you from installing base molding in an older home, it can make the process more difficult and may increase the total linear footage of the base molding materials. Ensure that your contractor is aware of your home’s age before giving you an estimate.
In rooms with many corners and alcoves, a carpenter may add an extra fee of $20 to $25 per join, on top of the per-linear-foot charges. Likewise, expect to pay more if the base molding needs to be installed on more than one level, such as when a room contains one or more steps.
Removing existing base molding without damaging the wall or floor can be a specialist job, particularly if the old molding wasn't correctly installed. Once the trim is removed, the surface will need to be prepared for the new molding to be fitted.
Depending on the materials and complexity of the task, expect to pay between $20 and $100 per hour for baseboard removal, plus the costs of disposal which typically adds around $15-$20.
Some carpenters may quote for removal by the linear foot, with a typical cost of between $0.55 and $1.17 per foot.
If furniture needs to be moved to gain access, it may cost you more unless you move the furniture yourself. The total price could be higher if the carpenter has to hire extra people to help move heavy objects around. Working around the furniture will also slow down the process, increasing your total per-hour labor costs.
Initially, the process of base molding installation may seem easy and straightforward. However, cutting and fitting your new base molding requires skill and the ability to make precise cuts and measurements. This is particularly true where the molding needs to be fitted around corners.
The process is also time-consuming. Doing it DIY could result in damage to the drywall, which will increase your total time and cost. Anything that doesn’t fit neatly to the wall will be noticeable and won’t look attractive. The installation process becomes even more difficult when the walls aren’t completely straight, which is common in older homes.
Before you determine whether you should attempt to install base molding DIY or hire a pro, make sure you have a few specific tools. Some of the essential tools you’ll need include a miter and coping saw, a nail gun, and a caulking gun. Unless you have experience using these tools, even the smallest error can lead to bigger problems. Keep in mind that professional contractors and carpenters get better prices on materials, which means you’ll get a better outcome for less money in the long run.
While you’re welcome to try installing your new base molding DIY, hiring an experienced trim carpenter is recommended. However, if you’re only replacing or repairing small amounts of existing trim, you may be able to do the job yourself.
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