How Much Does Wainscoting Cost: A Detailed Price Guide

How Much Does Wainscoting Cost?

The cost of wainscoting can vary depending on factors such as whether it is installed professionally or by oneself, the style and complexity of the design, and the type of wainscoting being used.

For professional installation, the cost can range from $7 to $40 per square foot.

DIY installation costs may range from $1 to $31 per square foot.

Custom wainscoting shaped panels are priced at $16 per square foot, while standard wainscoting panels range from $36 to $60 per linear foot, depending on the height.

Staircase wainscoting panels range from $48 to $80 per linear foot, while full wall wainscoting panels cost $15 per square foot.

Additional elements, such as top caps, base molding, and other accessories, also contribute to the overall cost.

Key Points:

  • Professional installation of wainscoting can cost between $7 and $40 per square foot
  • DIY installation of wainscoting can cost between $1 and $31 per square foot
  • Custom wainscoting shaped panels are priced at $16 per square foot
  • Standard wainscoting panels range from $36 to $60 per linear foot, depending on the height
  • Staircase wainscoting panels range from $48 to $80 per linear foot
  • Full wall wainscoting panels cost $15 per square foot, and additional elements such as top caps and base molding contribute to the overall cost.

Did You Know?

1. Wainscoting, surprisingly, dates back to ancient times, with evidence of its use found in Egyptian tombs as early as 2686 BC.
2. Did you know that the word “wainscoting” is derived from the Middle English term “wagenschot,” which translates to “wagon planks”? This is because early wainscoting was made from the leftover wooden panels of wagons.
3. In the 18th century, wainscoting became a fashionable trend among wealthier individuals, especially in England. It was often made from expensive, imported hardwoods like mahogany or oak.
4. The installation of wainscoting can offer more benefits than just a stylish appearance. It can also act as insulation, reducing heat loss and noise transmission within a room.
5. Contrary to popular belief, wainscoting does not always have to be made of wood. Today, there are numerous materials available, such as PVC, MDF, or even tile, allowing for more design flexibility and lower cost options.

Installation Costs Of Wainscoting

Installing wainscoting in your home can enhance its architectural beauty and add a touch of elegance to any room. However, one important consideration before diving into this project is the cost involved.

When it comes to installing wainscoting yourself, the costs can vary significantly. On average, the cost ranges from $1 to $31 per square foot. However, it’s important to note that the level of experience and skill required for this task may influence the final cost.

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On the other hand, opting for professional installation can ensure a high-quality finish and save you time and effort. With professional installation, the project can cost anywhere from $7 to $40 per square foot. This price range factors in additional services provided by professionals, such as ensuring the wainscoting is installed correctly and efficiently.

Cost Comparison: Professional Vs. DIY Installation

When deciding whether to hire a professional or undertake the wainscoting installation on your own, it’s essential to consider the pros and cons of each option.

With a DIY installation, you have the potential to save money, especially if you already possess the necessary tools and skills. However, keep in mind that wainscoting installation can be a time-consuming process and may require significant patience and attention to detail.

Hiring a professional, while more expensive, can provide a level of expertise and peace of mind that the project will be completed to your satisfaction. Professionals have the experience and knowledge to handle any challenges that may arise during the installation process. Additionally, they can handle the entire project from start to finish, saving you the hassle of sourcing materials and ensuring proper installation.

Ultimately, the decision between DIY and professional installation depends on your budget, time constraints, and comfort level with tackling such a project.

Factors Influencing Wainscoting Project Costs

The cost of a wainscoting project can vary based on several factors. One primary factor is the style and complexity of the wainscoting design you choose. More intricate designs will require additional time and effort, resulting in a higher cost.

Another significant factor affecting the overall cost is the type of wainscoting you select. Different types of wainscoting panels will require different elements such as trim and boards. This, in turn, affects the cost of materials and labor involved in the installation process.

Furthermore, the size of the space being wainscoted will influence the final cost. Larger rooms will require more materials, resulting in higher expenses. Additionally, any extra customization or unique elements, such as staircase wainscoting, will add to the total cost of the project.

Pricing For Different Types Of Wainscoting Panels

Wainscoting panels are available in various styles and sizes, each with its own pricing structure. Here is a breakdown of the cost for different types of wainscoting panels:

Standard wainscoting panels: Pricing is based on the height of the panels.

    • For panels up to 36″ tall, the cost is $36 per linear foot.
    • For panels between 36 1/16″ – 39″ tall, the cost is $39 per linear foot.
    • Panels between 39 1/16″ – 48″ tall cost $48 per linear foot.
    • Panels between 48 1/16″ – 60″ tall cost $60 per linear foot.
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Custom wainscoting shaped panels: If you prefer custom-shaped panels, the cost is $16 per square foot. This option applies to any shape or design that is not among the standard options available.

Staircase wainscoting panels: Adding wainscoting to staircases adds elegance but comes at a slightly higher cost.

    • For panels up to 36″ tall, the cost is $48 per linear foot.
    • For panels between 36 1/16″ – 39″ tall, the cost is $52 per linear foot.
    • Panels between 39 1/16″ – 48″ tall cost $64 per linear foot.
    • Panels between 48 1/16″ – 60″ tall cost $80 per linear foot.

Full wall wainscoting panels: To cover an entire wall with wainscoting, the cost is $15 per square foot. This option creates an elegant and cohesive look for the room.

Additional Costs For Wainscoting Accessories And Customization

Beyond the cost of the wainscoting panels themselves, there are additional costs to consider for accessories and customization.

When installing wainscoting, you will likely need top cap molding to finish off the top edge. The cost of top cap molding can vary depending on the size and type. A 3 1/4″ Poplar top cap is priced at $7 per foot, while a 1 5/8″ Poplar top cap costs $6 per foot.

If you are looking to purchase a complete kit for a specific project, a 94″ kit with 12 moisture resistant panels, a Poplar top cap, and base molding is available for $223.00 per kit. This inclusive kit can simplify the shopping process and ensure all the necessary materials are included.

For those incorporating wainscoting into cabinets, there are additional costs to consider. Cabinet doors larger than 2 square feet are priced at $12 per square foot. Boring, which refers to the process of drilling holes for the hinges, comes at a cost of $5.00 per door. The hinges themselves range from $6 for standard hinges to $10 for Blumotion hinges.

Baseboard Molding Options And Pricing

To complete the look of your wainscoting, baseboard molding is essential. It not only creates a seamless transition between the wainscoting and the floor but also adds architectural interest to the space.

There are several options available for baseboard molding, each with its own pricing structure. These include:

  • 3/4″ Shoe Molding (primed finger joint pine) priced at $0.95 per foot.
  • 1 1/8″ Decorative Shoe (solid pine) priced at $4.00 per foot.
  • 5 1/2″ Baseboard Molding with curves.
  • 4 1/2″ Solid Poplar Baseboard Molding that lifts the wainscoting panel off the floor.
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When selecting the appropriate baseboard molding option, it is important to consider the overall design and style of your wainscoting. This ensures a cohesive and aesthetically pleasing result.

In summary, the cost of wainscoting installation can vary based on factors such as the type of panels, complexity of the design, and the option of DIY or professional installation. By understanding these factors and pricing details, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your budget and aesthetic goals.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I expect to pay for wainscoting?

The cost of wainscoting can vary depending on the size of the room and the material chosen. On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $3,000 and $4,500 for a wainscoting project. For instance, a typical 12 x 12 foot room with solid mahogany wainscoting that is primed and painted on-site may cost around $3,600. However, prices can fluctuate significantly based on factors such as materials, labor, and additional customization options.

Is it expensive to install wainscoting?

The cost of installing wainscoting can vary depending on the size of the room and the style of the panels. However, on average, hiring a contractor for labor time only would cost around $2 to $4 per square foot. If you also factor in the cost of materials and panels, the price increases to about $4 to $6 per square foot. Ultimately, the expense of installing wainscoting is influenced by the specific details of the project.

Is wainscotting cheap?

Wainscoting can be a cost-effective option for adding an elegant touch to your space. By opting for DIY installation, you can significantly reduce the overall expenses, saving more than $1,000 (CAD 1,350) on labor costs alone. For an estimated area of 100 square feet, the expenses for self-installation should fall within the range of $1,000 to $1,800 (CAD 1,350 to CAD 2,400), making wainscoting a relatively affordable choice.

Is wainscoting a good idea?

Wainscoting is undoubtedly a great idea when it comes to home improvement. Not only does it bring a touch of style and character to your space, but it also serves practical purposes. With wainscoting, you can not only enhance the aesthetics of your room but also create additional storage options with built-in shelves. Its historic charm adds a unique touch, making it a worthwhile addition to any home.

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