How Much Does It Cost to Install Baseboards?

by Team HomeServe
indoor hallway baseboard

Baseboards are an integral part of any room. You can put up new paneling or wainscoting — or install new laminate or hardwood floors — but your room will still look unfinished without that simple strip of trim at the base of the wall. Baseboards mainly serve an aesthetic purpose, giving your room a polished look.

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Knowing how much baseboards will cost upfront can help you better budget for your room makeover.

What to Expect

When it comes to installing baseboards, the total project cost depends on several factors. These include the price of the material itself as well as the cost of labor, job supplies and the disposal of any debris created by the installation. Whether a general contractor has to remove existing baseboards will also factor into the cost.

Solid Wood or MDF Baseboards?

Baseboards are usually crafted from solid wood like pine or oak. Some baseboards are engineered from medium-density fiberboard (MDF). This is a composite material made from remnants of wood.

The difference between solid wood and MDF baseboards? Solid wood is more durable, while MDF is more affordable. You can paint both MDF and solid wood baseboards, but MDF baseboards cannot be stained. says you should plan to pay between 80 cents and $1.20 (CAD 1 and CAD 1.60) per linear foot for basic solid wood baseboards. If you go for MDF baseboards, the cost ranges from 60 cents to $1 per linear foot (CAD 0.80 to CAD 1.30). This price does not include the labor to install the trim. Regardless of whether you go for solid wood or MDF baseboards, plan on paying more per foot for unusually designed or intricately detailed options. Vinyl baseboards are also available and are becoming somewhat popular.

Painted or ‘Paint-Ready’ Baseboards?

As mentioned above, you can paint both MDF and solid wood baseboards. Some baseboards come “paint-ready,” meaning the trim is primed and ready to be given a coat or two of paint in the color of your choice. Another option is to purchase baseboards that are already painted. These are more expensive.

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Installation Costs

Although installation costs vary by geographical location and other factors, trim carpenters generally charge between $6 and $9 (CAD 8 to CAD 12) per linear foot to install all types of decorative trim, according to Bob Vila. If you expect your chosen contractor to paint or stain your baseboards along with the installation, that will increase their overall fees.

Nationwide, installation of baseboards and door casings runs from $720 to $1,300 (CAD 950 to CAD 1,700) per project, including materials and labor.

Keep in mind that hiring a carpenter to install baseboards generally means paying more than you would if you hired a handyman. Many handymen work on a flat-rate basis, so it may potentially save you some cash to ask your local handyman to complete the job.

Are Baseboards Worth Replacing?

Whether the cost of installing baseboards is worth it to you depends on how much you value the finished look of your room. If you just installed new flooring, for example, you may find it more aesthetically pleasing to have new baseboards installed. This hides any gaps or uneven cuts. Whether baseboards are worth replacing completely depends on your specific desires for the outcome of your room. Some folks consider baseboards a necessity because they:

  • Cover the unsightly joint area between the wall and floor.
  • Keep water from making its way under the floor or behind drywall, where it can set up ideal conditions for a mold infestation.
  • Close up a potential hiding space for insects and other pests.
  • Conceal the gap left by contractors that allows laminate or hardwood flooring to shift, expand and settle.
  • Protect the walls from scratches and damage from brooms and vacuums.

The bottom line is that baseboards are a valuable finishing touch that gives rooms a completed look prized by most homeowners. Whether you choose to install baseboards, however, should be based entirely on your preferences and your budget.

All CAD conversions are based on the exchange rate on the date of publication.