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Crown molding in your home is not only visually appealing, but it can increase the value of your home. It's a simple and elegant addition that can turn an ordinary room into a beautiful one. However, crown molding can be expensive, so you might be wondering how much it costs before you undertake this project. We've done the research on crown molding materials and labor costs for you.
On average, crown molding costs between $500-$1,700 for professional installation in a 10- x 10-foot room. This is anywhere from $5 to $15 per linear foot for materials and labor. Crown molding made of different materials has a different price range. Some of the many materials crown molding can be made of are:
- Exotic wood
- Medium-density fibreboard
There are many different crown molding options, including installation, material, and design. Keep reading to learn more about making your own crown molding, and see the differences between inexpensive and expensive crown moldings.
What is crown molding?
Crown molding is the decorative strip of material between the wall and the ceiling. It's called crown molding because it's the "crowning" feature of a room. It looks elegant if done correctly and can turn an average room into a stunning space.
Wood Crown Molding
Wood crown molding is a more traditional look and is the most common material used in crown molding. Because wood is naturally more expensive than synthetic materials, wood crown molding typically costs between $1 to $6 per linear foot just for materials, higher than some other options. For professional installation, that price range rises to between $5 to $12 per linear foot. Overall, an average 10- x 10-foot room with materials and professional installation costs around $1,000.
Because wood is sensitive to temperature and humidity, it can swell or contract and cause cracks between the crown molding and the wall. It's fairly easy to fix. All you need is to caulk the area between the crown molding and the wall, let it set, and paint over it. Wood has a long life and won't crack or warp easily.
Exotic Wood Crown Molding
Exotic woods are more expensive than regular woods because they're rarer and have to be imported from countries worldwide. Crown molding from exotic wood can range from $10 to $50 per linear foot for materials alone. Exotic wood adds a classic and elegant look to your home, but it will come at a steep cost.
Plaster Crown Molding
Plaster crown molding ranges between $6 to $12 per linear foot. Plaster is more expensive than wood and adds a touch of luxury to your home. It is easily cast into any design and therefore has a wide variety of design options.
Because it's heavier than wood, plaster requires more effort and experience to install. It also needs additional securing to the wall that wood crown molding doesn't require. This may cost extra for installation. Furthermore, plaster crown molding may develop hairline cracks over time due to its lack of flexibility. These cracks are difficult to hide and may make the room feel dated and rundown.
Medium-Density Fibreboard Crown Molding (MDF)
Medium-density fibreboard (MDF) crown molding costs between $1 to $3 per linear foot. MDF is made by combining sawdust and resin under high pressures. Because it's not a robust material, it dents easily and should be handled with care, especially during installation. It's relatively inexpensive and has many different design options to choose from. Because it's a cheaper option, most MDF crown molding pieces are made to be painted over to hide any small imperfections from production.
Because it's less durable than solid wood, when MDF swells or contracts with changes in heat or humidity, it can warp or crack. These will be difficult to hide and may make the room feel less elegant.
PVC Crown Molding
PVC crown molding is made of cheaper materials than wood or plaster and averages a price range of $1 to $3. Because it's plastic, it can be placed in kitchens near sinks or even in the bathroom. You can even hide wires behind PVC crown molding. One downfall of PVC is that it doesn't come with as many design options as the other materials. Also, PVC is very brittle and can break under pressure or temperature fluctuations.
Foam Crown Molding
Foam is inexpensive to produce, so foam crown molding will usually only run you between $1 to $2 per linear foot. It's relatively flexible, but this makes it difficult to install because it doesn't lay flat easily. It's also easily dented. Foam doesn't do well under a coat of paint, and it's doomed to look like an inexpensive option no matter what you do with it.
Metal Crown Molding
Metal crown molding is good mainly for outside. It has an average price of $20 to $25 per linear foot. It's a very durable option, but it requires expert cutting and installation. Besides, there aren't many design options, and it can rust easily if exposed to water or the elements.
What's the cheapest crown molding?
If you're looking for something quick and easy to install in the way of crown molding, foam is the cheapest option on average. However, it often looks cheap and will look even worse under a coat of paint. A better option is MDF crown molding. It is also relatively inexpensive ($1 to $3 on average) and is easier to install. It's more durable than foam and will look much nicer in your home.
What's the most expensive crown molding?
Exotic wood, on average, is the most expensive crown molding. Its rarity and high importation costs have a much higher price range than typical wood. However, exotic wood is always unique and will add an elegant and sophisticated touch to a room. Your home will really stand out if you use exotic wood for your crown molding.
Installing Crown Molding
While you can attempt to install crown molding on your own, it will be difficult, time-consuming, and has a high risk of incorrect installation. Many companies will install crown molding for you.
Does crown molding add value to a home?
Most of the time, crown molding around your home will increase its value and appeal. However, if you use really inexpensive crown molding, it's likely that your home's value won't be increased at all. It's impossible to determine a dollar amount, but the elegant touch crown molding adds to the room will help increase the value of your home. Metal or exotic wood crown molding adds an even higher value.
Your home's appeal will increase with crown molding, and it will be easier to impress your neighbors or find quick buyers.
Can you make your own crown molding?
You can make your own crown molding, but it takes a lot of practice and requires expensive tools. Here are some steps to make your own crown molding:
1. Gather your materials
You'll need to purchase several long boards of wood. One-inch by four-inches is a good size to purchase because it's relatively thin and wide enough to accommodate many styles. Pine is an easier wood to work with, but Oak and Hemlock are classic woods used in crown molding that each stain nicely. You'll also need a router, a router table, and router bits to match the design you want to create.
2. Sand your wood
You'll want to sand your wood using a handheld sander or a wood planer. A wood planer does a better job creating perfectly flat surfaces with 90-degree angles, but a handheld sander will work as well and is much less expensive.
3. Adjust your Router
First, you should choose the router bit you want and lock it into place on your router. Using the router table, adjust the bit so it is raised to the correct depth. This determines how much of the bit shapes the wood and how deep the design is set. Wear gloves and goggles to protect your hands and eyes because woodworking tools are sharp and dangerous. You should also wear headphones or earmuffs to protect your hearing from the loud noise of shop tools.
4. Practice Swipes
Before you start making your crown molding, you should find some scrap wood and practice swipes until you feel comfortable. It will take a bit of practice to make clean swipes.
Check out the video below for a tutorial for DIY crown molding:
Crown molding is a great home addition that can turn average rooms into stunning beauties. Many types of crown molding have very different price ranges, but wood is the most common and will run you anywhere from $500-$1700 per room. You can make crown molding yourself, but it requires several tools and lots of practice. It's always best to hire a professional.
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