Cost Of New Molding And Trim

Photo: Brian Moloney/Flickr

When designing a home’s interior, the devil is always in the details. Really, it’s that little bit of extra attention, those seemingly small finishing touches, that elevate a room from “cookie-cutter blah” into “well-appointed elegance.” And a good designer understands, one of the easiest ways to take that room from standard to stylish is with the simple addition of molding and trim.

But first things first, let’s define our terms. The words “molding” and “trim” are often used interchangeably, but they’re technically not quite the same thing. Trim is almost always functional, and generally refers to the fillers used where baseboards meet the floor or where two cabinets meet. Trim can also refer to casings such as those that surround windows and doors. Molding, on the other hand, is decorative in nature and is used to add interest to the ceilings or floors in a room.

Regardless of terminology, the cost of new molding and trim is relatively minimal, but it offers a maximal visual impact. Molding and trim will enhance any design elements in a room, and can also be used to embellish, accentuate, or redefine a space.

Molding and trim are most often made from wood or plaster, and come in a wide variety of wood species, stains and styles. The three most popular moldings and trims include 1) crown molding, which is used to cap walls and cabinets, 2) case molding, which is used to frame doors and windows, often in a colonial style, and 3) wainscot molding, which is a wall treatment. Other types of molding and trim include chair rails, base caps, and shadow box trim.

When it comes to calculating the cost of new molding and trim (just the product itself, not installation), prices can vary greatly depending on the quality, the material, and manufacturer. Estimates can range from under 50¢ per linear foot, to upwards of $2.00. On top of the product, you’ll also have to factor in the cost of the other supplies required for the job, such as fasteners and connectors, the finishing materials, and if you’re having somebody else do the work, the prep time. If you’re planning to do the installation yourself, don’t forget to account for the specialty tools involved, such as a finish nailer, a miter saw, a biscuit joiner, and a detail sander.

And remember, if you’re not going to install the molding or trim yourself, you’ll have to pay for labor. Ultimately, this will probably account for the bulk of the expense. Labor rates also vary by region and other factors, but a good rough estimate of molding installation costs would be around $30-$50 per hour -- or roughly $4.00-$5.00 per linear foot.

Make sure that the contractor you hire is licensed and bonded. Always accept bids from multiple contractors, and always do your due diligence to make sure that their previous work is up to par in terms of quality and customer satisfaction. If you do your research and plan ahead, you can pretty much guarantee that your new trim or molding installation will look professional (whether it was actually done by a professional or not), and it won’t break the bank.

Sayward Rebhal writes for Networx.com.

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