Installing baseboard can help protect your home while making the room look stylish and complete, and baseboard can easily cover the gaps between your new hardwood flooring and the wall. It can help embellish your home’s ceilings, walls, and floors. Additionally, you can get a host of custom-made or prefabricated baseboards made from a huge range of wood or other materials. This gives you a lot of flexibility to pull a room together, tie in all of your elements, or make your room look finished.
Baseboards are decorative, but they also have functional uses like providing a small amount of structural reinforcement or hiding small gaps. This is why you’ll typically see them in almost any room, and you have to remove them before you work on your floors. You can install them yourself or have someone come out and do it for you, and this can also cause your costs to install baseboards to go up.
The cost to install baseboard will vary widely depending on the amount of trim you need, the house’s location, and the material quality you pick out. On average, you’ll spend between $300 to $1,200 for this project, and most people find themselves spending around $560 for using a mid-range trim to case a few rooms. If you only want to install baseboards on one room, your costs will be on the lower end.
In this guide, we’ll outline everything you need to know about the cost to install baseboards, and you can use it to help you pick out the correct material, grade, style, and more. The higher-grade materials you use, the more your project will cost. Additionally, labor can make up a significant portion of the final cost to install baseboards, so many people choose to do it themselves. Whatever you settle on, you’ll be able to get a solid estimate before you start your project so you don’t blow your budget.
Your cost to install baseboards depends on a large range of factors. Knowing which ones apply to you and which don’t will help you get a solid cost estimate before you tackle this project. Baseboard Repaired by John Loo / CC BY 2.0
Size and Baseboard Costs
Baseboards come in a variety of different widths, and you’d use the different widths for different projects. Maybe you need wider baseboards to cover the gaps between your walls and tile flooring, or you’re looking for something more decorative. For basic pine baseboards, you’ll have a lower cost. The cost to install baseboards goes up if your baseboards use different wood species or is more ornate.
- ½-Inch – $0.65 per linear foot
- 1-inch – $0.90 per linear foot
- 2-inches – $1.00 per linear foot
- 3-inches – $1.25 per linear foot
- 4-inches – $1.75 per linear foot
- 5-Inches – $1.85 per linear foot
- 6-inches – $2.50 per linear foot
Interior Baseboard Types and Price Points
There are several different types of baseboard you can choose from, and each has a different purpose. Some will cover gaps, and some baseboards are 100% ornamental. You can paint or stain it to match any decor, and the most common types include:
Base cap allows you to get a more refined and intricate look to your room, and you can get several different profiles. If you don’t see anything you like, you can request custom profiles too. This typically sits on the top of your baseboard, and it ranges from one to three-inches thick. The cost to install baseboards with this feature ranges from $1.75 to $4.60 a linear foot.
Chair rail is another decorative element. However, it has a historical use of protecting your walls from scuffs or marks from chairs. It typically ends up around three feet above the floor, and most manufacturers use hardwood. You can get intricate or basic designs, and your cost to install baseboards with it ranges from $1.35 to $3.10 a linear foot.
This isn’t a very common thing to have, and it’s purely for decorative purposes. If you want to get a formal English home look, you’d use frame molding. You’ll put pieces of molding up to imitate how a picture frame looks for your wall borders, and you typically paint it the same color as your wall. Per linear foot, your cost to install baseboard in the frame molding style ranges from $2.15 to $4.25.
You’ll typically install this piece between the casing around the door and the flooring. You can use it for decorative purposes, but it can also fill in gaps or work as a load-bearing unit. You’ll buy these blocks individually, and they cost between $5.15 and $8.08 a linear foot. This can increase your cost to install baseboard by $2.50 to $6.98 per doorway.
This is usually less than an inch thick, and it’s a decorative element that can help you build up a design around an architectural feature or your mantel by your ventless gas fireplace. You’ll attach this to the lower edge of your baseboard to hide any gaps, and it costs between $0.55 and $3.85 a linear foot.
This is very close to the quarter round option. However, a quarter round has a circular shape while shoe molding has a quarter of an ellipse shape. It works well to hide gaps at the bottom of your baseboard, and you can include it as a decorative element. Shoe molding will increase your cost to install baseboard by $0.60 and $1.55 a linear foot.
The different baseboard types will help determine your cost to install baseboards because some are more intricate than others. The more detailed your design is, the more time it takes. So, it’ll cost more to have a professional come in. Baseboard by Tino Rossini / CC BY 2.0
How Type of Wood Impacts Your Cost to Install Baseboard
Once you figure out how much baseboard you need to finish your room or rooms, you want to pick out a type of wood. This will be one of the biggest deciding factors in your total cost to install baseboards, so you have to know which are the most popular materials and how much each one will cost you. Each wood type has a unique feature set like paintability, durability, and sustainability. The more expensive it is, the more durable it typically will be. Specialized features or intricate carving will increase your prices.
This is a relatively lightweight wood that is surprisingly strong and durable. You’ll use ash for many things like flooring, furniture, trim, kitchen cabinets, and baseball bats. The grain gives you a stained finish that looks very nice, and there is no smell to it. Per linear foot, ash increases your cost to install baseboard by $3.00 to $7.50 a linear foot.
This is a fast-growing and eco-friendly baseboard choice, and these reasons are why it’s so popular. It’s very durable and strong, and bamboo is very easy to work with. You can use it for a host of projects like furniture, flooring, kitchen cabinets, baseboards, and planters. You’ll pay between $3.80 and $7.00 a linear foot for it.
Beech comes with an eye-catching silver-grey bark that is very smooth to the touch, and they grow in every hemisphere. You’ll have a harder time finding it in local hardware stores, but you can purchase it from speciality wood stores or larger companies. It’s heavy, hard, and has a very straight grain and even texture. Your cost to install baseboards with it ranges between $2.00 and $4.00 a linear foot.
Cedar is a popular landscape timber that gets used indoors and outdoors. It’s very popular for houses, but you’ll find it in fences, decks, and outdoor furniture. It has a very pleasant smell, and it does well in humid environments without rotting. This softwood will boost your cost to install baseboards by $1.20 and $2.50 a linear foot.
Better known as engineered wood, composite wood baseboards use several different wood species. It makes this material more durable and stronger to wear and tear. It can include straw and plastic in the makeup too. You can use it on the interior or exterior of your home, and you’ll pay between $2.00 and $6.00 a linear foot.
This wood has a very straight grain to it with a coarse to medium texture. Old-growth cypress trees are very durable when it comes to resisting rot and decay. It’s the younger trees that are usually made into baseboards because they’re not as durable. Your cost to install baseboards using cypress ranges from $4.50 to $6.00 a linear foot.
This isn’t actually a true fir tree, despite the name. It doesn’t necessarily have to have a prominent grain to it, and it looks wonderful painted or stained. You can also use it for shelving and framing, finish work, or for making furniture. A basic baseboard made of out this material costs between $1.75 and $4.00 a linear foot.
Fir is one of the harder types of softwoods, and it’s popular as framing lumber. It has a very bland grain pattern, and it won’t hold stain very well. However, you can paint it. It’s not very commonly used for baseboards, but it works decently. It’s very budget-friendly at $1.00 to $2.00 a linear foot.
If you talk about hardwood baseboards, you could refer to a large range of woods. Popular hardwoods include cherry, walnut, maple, oak, mahogany, and poplar. Hardwoods usually come from deciduous trees that shed leaves while softwoods come from evergreens. These trees take longer to grow than traditional softwood, so they can increase your cost to install baseboards quite a bit. The average range is $0.76 to $10.00 a linear foot.
Ipe is more popular for outdoor use, but it does have some use as baseboards. It’s very strong and hard, and it grows in rainforests in Brazil. It resists weather, pests, mold, and fire, and it can easily last up to 25 years or more. You can leave it looking natural with a rich and warm color, or you can stain it. This wood will increase your cost to install baseboards by $8.00 to $10.00 a linear foot.
This wood has a very beautiful red hue to it that is very eye-catching. It has a consistent grain and color with a strong build, and you won’t see many knots. It is one of the more expensive options you can get because the International Union of Conservation of Nature lists it as vulnerable. You’ll pay between $4.00 and $10.00 a linear foot for it.
Pine is very common for construction uses around the house. It’s a softwood that grows very quickly, and it grows very dense. You’ll get a very light tan color with it, and it’s one of the most inexpensive options available. You can get stain and paint-grade pine, and your cost to install baseboards using it will range from $0.65 to $2.50 a linear foot.
Poplar is typically used in areas you don’t normally see. For example, it’s popular in drawer boxes but not in drawer fronts. It’s a higher-quality paint-grade wood choice too. This is an eco-friendly choice as it’s very fast-growing, and it’ll cost between $2.50 to $4.00 a linear foot.
Red Oak is another popular choice for wood projects like baseboards or furniture building projects. It has a straight grain to it with a coarse and uneven texture to add interest. It’s a very popular grain that you find mimicked on vinyl and laminate flooring, and it’ll cost you between $0.90 and $3.25 a linear foot.
Redwood is more commonly used for outdoor projects like deck trim, fencing materials, or for benches. It will slowly get darker over time, and it resists damage due to moisture. However, you should add redwood oil, stain, or paint to help protect it. Redwood can increase your cost to install baseboards by $0.80 to $2.50 a linear foot.
This is a tropical hardwood species, and it grows as a very large deciduous tree. This wood can withstand weather conditions, so you’ll find it used in indoor and outdoor applications. Real teak comes from Southeast Asia, and it can cost between $7.00 and $10.00 a linear foot to put it on the more expensive end of the spectrum.
Walnut has chocolate brown, light brown, or dark brown coloring to it, and it’s native to North America. You get unique patterns with an open grain, and it’s a very easy wood to work with. It’s popular for furniture, flooring, instruments, and gun stocks. Your cost to install baseboards with walnut will range from $7.00 to $10.00 a linear foot.
Western Red Cedar
This wood is extremely common, and it has a soft reddish hue to it. It does very well in parts of your home that are more moist like the bathroom, and you can find it in most local stores. It is very aromatic and soft, and a linear foot of it can cost between $1.50 and $4.00.
White oak is very light in coloring and resistant to moisture damage. It’s a hardwood that you typically see in furniture, trim, flooring, and cabinet applications. When you stain it, the wood grain will show up nicely to create contrast. For a basic finish, your cost to install baseboards with white oak will start at $0.75 and go up to $3.00 a linear foot.
Different wood types can cause your cost to install baseboards to go up since your material costs can fluctuate from budget-friendly to very expensive. You have to decide what look you want and whether or not you plan to seal, paint, or stain it when you pick out a wood. Baseboards by James P. Morse / CC BY-NC 2.0
Wood Grade and Price Points
When you figure out your cost to install baseboards, you have two choices. You can paint or stain it. Your price points in each grade will vary by the type of wood you pick out. Paint-grade wood is usually pine or poplar, and pine is more budget-friendly. Stain-grade baseboards use nicer hardwoods, and this is why they will cost you more pre linear foot.
This is the less expensive option out of the two because paint easily covers up a lot of imperfections. It’s slightly less maintenance and easier to maintain over the years because you can fill in any scuffs or holes. It’s also easy to repaint. It may not look as high-end as stained baseboards do, but it’ll help control your cost to install baseboards if you’re on a tighter budget. For paint-grade primed baseboards, you’ll spend between $1.75 to $2.50 a linear foot.
This product uses a higher quality wood, so it comes with a higher price point. The wood grain will show through nicely when you stain it, but it can be more challenging and time-consuming to maintain because it’s harder to fill in any holes. You’ll have to clean it with mineral spirits, apply a stripper, sand the trim, and re-apply the stain to fix it. It does have a more sophisticated look to it, and this is why your cost to install baseboards using this grade is higher at $1.90 to $4.25 a linear foot.
A professional carpenter, handyman, or baseboard carpenter has the experience, tools, and knowledge to quickly add your baseboards and make it look neat. You can figure out your baseboard carpentry pricing in a few ways. Some professionals will charge per room and others can choose to charge by linear foot or hour. Hourly rates usually range from $60.00 to $100 an hour.
For intricate installation projects or designs, your cost to install baseboards will rise. The costs per linear foot will also vary depending on the job intricacies and the type of baseboard you want. The cost per foot for labor will range between $.50 and $10.00. You can expect to pay around $560 to add baseboards to eight rooms in your home.
Price to Replace Baseboards
You shouldn’t have to replace your baseboards unless you’re doing a huge remodeling project and you want to completely revamp your home’s style. Baseboards can get dinged up or break though. The best time to replace your baseboards is when you replace your flooring, swapping one flooring type out for another, or adding underfloor heating.
To remove the baseboards, you’ll generally pay between $0.60 and $1.20 a linear foot. The cost to strip out all of your old baseboards and add new will fluctuate. However, it shouldn’t be much more than $1,000. If you pick out more high-end wood types, your cost to install baseboards will go up accordingly due to material costs. The same rule applies if you want something more intricate and time-consuming.
Additional Considerations to Keep in Mind
Every state has different licensing requirements for carpenters in the area. You want to make sure you ask any company you work with about their insurance to ensure that it’s up to date. Ask about their licensing. You usually won’t need a permit to install a baseboard.
If you have the necessary tools and experience, you could attempt to install the baseboard yourself to save on costs. However, it may be difficult if you’ve never done it before, and you could end up paying more to have a professional come in and correct your mistakes. Finally, replacing or adding baseboards to your home could give your home a small boost due to increased curb appeal. This gives a better first impression, and it can make it easier to sell.
Where to Find Baseboard Installers Near You
If you’re not comfortable installing your baseboards yourself, you should enlist the help of a professional. There are several contractors you could reach out to, but you want one that is local to your area. You can start looking for professionals here:
Frequently Asked Questions
Asking questions will help you narrow down your cost factors when you talk to a professional, and they can also give you advice on which types of baseboards to choose based on your design aesthetic. baseboard removed by The Finishing Company Richmond Va / CC BY 2.0
Knowing which questions to ask any contractors when you contact them is essential to helping ensure you get a good estimate for your project. A few of the most popular questions involving the cost to install baseboards include but are not limited to:
1. When is the best time to paint or stain your baseboards?
If you don’t plan on keeping your baseboards natural-looking, you can paint or stain them, depending on the grade. You can either paint or stain them before you install them or after. If you want to hide nail holes from installation, wait until after. It will take longer because you have to be careful not to get paint or stain on anything around it.
2. Can you install baseboards without nails?
For a lightweight baseboard, you could try to cut down on your cost to install baseboards while making it look more aesthetically pleasing by using construction adhesive. However, this is rarely used because it doesn’t last as long.
3. Can you install baseboards on crooked walls?
Yes. It’s common for baseboard installers to install your baseboards on crooked walls, especially if it’s in an older house. These installations can take up more time from start to finish, and this can increase your total costs to install baseboards.
Your cost to install baseboards has many price variations attached to it, but the entire project is one that falls on the lower end of the price spectrum. Always call around and get a few quotes before you settle one one company, and think carefully about the look you want to get to help tie the room together. This way, you can ensure you’re happy with your baseboards for years to come.
Jen is a master gardener, interior designer and home improvement expert. She has completed many home improvement, decor and remodeling projects with her family over the past 10 years on their 4,500 sf Victorian house. She is also a passionate farmer who keeps goats, chickens, turkeys cows and pigs on her farm, and an instructor for her community’s Organic and Sustainable Farming project.