Planning For Baseboard Installation? Here’s What To Expect It To Cost

Kenneth Wilson

Undoubtedly, a room looks unfinished if they lack a baseboard– AKA that bare trim strip at the wall’s base.

It makes baseboards an essential addition in any room, improving the aesthetic appeal of living space and giving a polished appearance.

The cost to install baseboards is typically based on linear footage and ranges from $5 per linear foot to $11 per linear foot.  Small projects will fall on the high side of this scale, and costs will decrease as the project gets larger.  Expect contractors to have a minimum project size of about 100 linear feet.  

Considering this, expect a 1800 square foot home with a need for around 650 linear feet of baseboard to cost $3,250 - $5,850, depending on the type of baseboard you chose.  

Chart showing the cost of baseboard per linear foot

It’s best to know all the associated expenses in baseboard installation so you can set a better budget for your room makeover project. 

Price Competitive Baseboard Installation Contractors

For getting the best quotes we recommend utilizing a network of contractors that compete for your business.  This puts YOU in the drivers seat and helps you connect with contractors that want to earn your business.

Baseboard Installation Cost Breakdown

Solid Wood Baseboards: $1.75  to $3.00 per linear foot

MDF Baseboards: $1.00 to  $2.00 linear foot

Installation Labor cost: $4 to $11 per linear foot

(note: Labor gets cheaper as the project gets larger)

Total price range: $828 to $1,495

The average cost to install baseboard starts from $4 to $11 per linear foot, including the necessary materials and labor costs.

If the project requires the removal and disposal of old baseboards, this will cost you an additional $57 to $115 per hour. 

The total expenses will depend on several factors: material price, local labor rates, and any additional labor depending on your needs. 

Note that when you receive a quote from your installer, it will only cover baseboard installation. Anything else, such as painting old baseboards or repairing the drywall or flooring, will require you to pay for each additional service separately.

Factors that Influence the Cost to Install Baseboards

Factors That Increase Or Decrease Cost Of Baseboard (chart)

No “one price fits all” in every residential baseboard installation.

Given that the project’s scope varies from one home to another, here are some defining baseboard installation cost factors to consider.

Given that the project’s scope varies from one home to another, here are some defining baseboard installation cost factors to keep in mind.

Get Free Estimates For Baseboard Installation

Baseboard Material

Depending on your budget and preference, every homeowner can choose from various baseboard materials, sizes, and styles. 

The material of your new baseboard will have one of the most significant effects on the total project expenses. 

Start from basic, inexpensive choices such as PVC shoe molding. Other cost-effective materials include PVC, MDF, and polystyrene.

Meanwhile, elegant, high-end options such as maple or mahogany wood will cost you more. 

Here’s a quick overview of the average prices of the most popular baseboard materials:

Baseboard Material

Average Cost

PVC (PolyVinyl Chloride)

$8.98 (7/16-in 8-ft)

MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard)

$8.80 (15.32-in x 5-1/2-in x 12-ft)


$8.75 (3/8-in 8-ft)


$15.79 (3-in x 8-ft)


$9.88 (3/8-in 12-ft)

Maple or oak

$25 (8-ft square)

Cherry or mahogany

$25 (0.75-in x 78-in)

Ask your contractor about the total size of your baseboard project so you can calculate the estimated cost of materials accordingly.

Baseboard Style

After choosing a material, you will have to select a baseboard style.

Standard options (such as shoe molding) can give you a neat look at a relatively low price.

Homeowners looking to add a dash of upscale elegance and sophistication may opt for sculpted molding or decorative baseboard corners.

The different styles of baseboard (sideview)

Refer to the list below for the most popular baseboard styles:

  • Shoe molding
  • Quarter round molding
  • Rounded molding
  • Flat base molding
  • Sculpted molding
  • Decorative baseboard corners

Labor Cost and Installation Materials

An important consideration in setting the proper budget is the average labor cost to install the baseboard. 

On average, this will cost you $5 to $7 per linear foot. It may fluctuate depending on your property’s geographical location and other factors.

You may also need to pay additional charges if the site needs cleanup and other preparation (such as staining) along with the actual installation. Most installers charge about $57 to $115 per hour for this.

Your carpenter most likely has all the needed tools for the project in their arsenal already. But, prepare to pay for the nails, caulk, and putty in the service quote.

Total Project Size

To determine the total project size, measure every wall that requires a new baseboard and then subtract the doorways. Then, divide the full inches by 12 to get a linear feet estimate. 

Once you get a professional quotation, list their proposed price per foot and multiply it with your estimated project size. It will give you a rough estimate of the total costs.

Fortunately, larger projects may give you discounts or lower prices per linear foot, depending on your contractor. 

Baseboard Painting

There are baseboard styles with a rather unflattering, unfinished service. Most homeowners opt to have these boards painted or stained to achieve a better appearance.

You will need to pay your installer an additional $1 to $5.7 per linear foot to do this job for you. If you happen to plan on painting the rest of your home, you may be better off hiring a local painter for the task.


Are you looking to achieve a more polished look or an even finish? It’s common for homeowners to get baseboard-related repairs for this. 

The total repair costs will vary on the severity and the scope of the repairs that need to be done. For instance, repairing drywall will cost $322 to $908.

Debris Removal

After the installation process, you will need to think about the site cleanup shortly after. Most companies include the cleanup costs in their service quotes. 

However, proper disposal of old baseboards may require you to pay an extra fee of extra $17 to $23.

Other Considerations in Baseboard Installation

We’ve listed down the most crucial considerations to keep in mind as you move forward with your residential baseboard installation project. 

What are Baseboards Used For?

Baseboards are primarily installed in a home for aesthetic or visual decor purposes. In particular, crown molding can effectively hide the unsightly view of a joint meeting the floor or the awkward gap between the flooring and the wall.

Beyond aesthetic reasons, baseboard installation may also protect a wall’s finishing from getting damaged by vacuum cleaners, scrapes, or kicks. 

Should I Pick Solid Wood or MDF Baseboards?

Solid wood baseboards prove to be the most popular option in the market today, including pine or oak. However, it will cost you somewhere between 80 cents and $1.49 per linear foot.

However, it’s also common to see engineered wood composite material from medium-density fiberboard (wood remnants).

If you’re wondering about the main difference between the two, solid wood is known to be sturdy and more durable.

MDF’s selling point is its cost-effectiveness, making it a budget-friendly choice for starters: $8.80 for a 15/32-in x 3-1/2-in x 8-ft primed MDF baseboard moulding, with larger ones (sized 15/32-in x 5-1/2-in x 12-ft) costing $21.

Prepare to pay an additional fee for the labor costs in the actual baseboard installation.

Both MDF and solid wood baseboards can be painted over, although you cannot stain MDF material.

Aside from the two common materials, vinyl baseboards are also increasing in popularity nowadays. Therefore, you might want to consider this alternative material for your home improvement project.

Painted or ‘Paint-Ready’ Baseboards: Which One is Better?

Fortunately, you can easily paint over most solid wood and MDF baseboards. If you want them to match the color scheme of a particular area in your home, opt to have them painted after installation.

“Paint-ready” baseboards, in particular, have their trim already primed. As a result, these boards are ready to be painted in the color of your preference. 

You may also buy baseboards that are already painted to lessen the hassle on your end, though these materials will cost you more.

Is a Baseboards Installation Worth It?

If you’re still uncertain if the average cost to install a baseboard is a good investment– ask yourself if you prioritize or pay massive importance to your room’s finished look.

Homeowners big on aesthetic and visual appeal can benefit from baseboard installation, which will significantly complement the look of your newly installed flooring.

A baseboard can conceal any visibly awkward gaps or uneven cuts. In addition, many consider it a worth-it addition to a living space because of the following: 

  • It can conceal the otherwise unsightly joint area of the wall and the floors.
  • It keeps water from seeping under the floor or behind the drywall.
  • It blocks any possible hiding space for pests or persistent insects. 
  • It covers any gaps left by the contractor, which may only allow the flooring (laminate or hardwood material) to shift or expand.
  • It protects the walls from the damage of scratches, vacuum cleaners, or brooms.

Bottom line, baseboard installation is worth it if you view it as a valuable finishing touch. It quickly gives your room a completed look, which will leave a long-lasting impression on your guests. 

To determine the best baseboard material and style for your home, consider your preferences and budget accordingly.

Should I Hire a Professional Baseboard Installer?

Although baseboard installation isn’t a complicated home improvement project, it can be time-consuming on your end.

Not to mention, you will need to have all the right equipment and tools to measure, trim, and attach the baseboard by yourself. 

Even the slightest error may damage your drywall– requiring you to invest more time and money in the repairs.

If the floors are uneven, you may also need to work on that before you can even set the baseboard in place. 

Do yourself a favor and save your resources (both time and money) by hiring a professional to do the job for you. Start by asking for an estimate from a baseboard installer near you.

What are the Benefits of a Baseboard Installation?

Baseboards add a tremendous visual benefit to any living space. But, take note: it offers more than just aesthetic advantages. In some cases, it may even protect the drywall from physical and moisture damage.

The benefits may vary greatly depending on your chosen baseboard material, though.

For your reference, here are some advantages to consider:

Protects Against Physical Damage

Your wall is prone to physical damage from vacuum cleaners, balls, mops, and more. The bottom area, in particular, can be easily damaged by various objects. 

Since the drywall cannot protect the wall from physical damage, installing a baseboard will give the added protection that you need.

Protects Against Water Damage

Drywall is also at risk of moisture damage, mainly because of its material. If you skip on baseboard installation, any moisture on the floor may eventually penetrate the drywall.

It may only cause the material to expand and make the area appear untidy. 

Protects Against Dirt and Foreign Debris

For your reference, installing a baseboard at home gives you a 90-degree gap where dirt and debris can accumulate.

It will make the cleaning process more manageable, instead of having all the dirt situated in complex, deep cracks. If anything, you can quickly sweep them out of the way.

Conceals Crooked Walls

A lot of walls at home are not straight. Although this is hardly visible, opting for a baseboard installation can help you efficiently conceal any crooked walls out of view.

Disguises the Hardwood Flooring that Expand and Contract

Some types of hardwood flooring may notoriously expand and contract, especially with frequent moisture exposure. It results in small gaps in the wall. If you want to cover the gaps effectively, install a baseboard as soon as possible.

Why Should I Replace My Baseboards?

Yes, just like anything, you should replace your baseboard when it becomes old or damaged. By simply acquiring a new one, you can instantly improve your home’s aesthetic and even raise its value. You might want to consider just getting a fresh coat of paint if you don’t think your baseboards are in bad shape.

What Other Projects Should I Do At The Same Time?

There are many different sizes, styles, and materials for baseboards, but there are also various styles of trim to use throughout your home. Crown molding is a type of trim that you can also do while installing your baseboard. It is more expensive since it is more visible, but it also increases the aesthetic of any space.

Houses with drywall can significantly benefit from investing in a baseboard installation. 

Beyond adding a modern touch to your home’s interiors, baseboards prove to be a beneficial addition to a living space. It helps protect the drywall’s bottom area from physical damage, dirt, and paint tarnishing.

Consult a local baseboard professional today to get started with your next room makeover project featuring baseboards.

Avoid Contractors That Are Too Busy!

For getting the best quotes we recommend utilizing a network of contractors that compete for your business.  This puts YOU in the drivers seat and helps you connect with contractors that want to earn your business.

Kenneth Wilson
October 21, 2021

Kenneth Wilson

Retired contractor. Currently residing in Southwest Florida. Now in semi-retirement, I write and manage this blog focused on helping home owners make savvy decisions when it comes to finding contractors and getting their projects done. I also operate remodeling design service for homeowners.

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