cost to install quarter round moulding

$4.90 Per Foot Installed

The cost to have quarter round trim professionally installed is about $4.90 per linear foot, or around $390 for a 20 x 20 room. The most commonly used trim costs $0.70- $2.65 per linear foot, but DIY price for the project might be higher than that if you need to purchase tools and fasteners.

Average Cost of Baseboard Quarter Round Molding Installation

Pro installation of quarter round trim runs $3.30 to $6.50 per linear foot mostly based on the material used. Other factors are discussed below. Many homeowners buy the material and a carpenter installs it, though you can ask your installer to pick up the trim too.  Some will also paint or stain it if it isn’t pre-finished from the factory.

Average Do It Yourself cost

$0.85 – $2.25 per foot

Average Contractor Installed Cost

$4.90 per foot

Typical Cost Average

$3.30 – $6.50 per foot

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Overview of Quarter Round Moldings and Installation

Quarter round trim is a molding shaped like a quarter of a circle. It’s typically fastened to baseboard trim to give it a little something extra in finished appearance or nailed directly to the wall for a minimalist look. Quarter round trim, also called shoe moldings, are economical and attractive options to bridge the gap between hard flooring like hardwood floors, ceramic tile flooring or laminate and the walls.

This quarter round molding cost estimate looks at retail cost of materials and supplies for do-it-yourself enthusiasts plus the cost of hiring a carpenter to supply and install the shoe molding. See our Business Finance News about Floor/Baseboard trim and Crown molding if you’re considering those projects.

We do suggest this as a good DIY project, and tips are found below. You’ll also find retail costs for the quarter round molding in the various materials used plus the cost of fasteners, tools need and more.

Product and Installation Supplies

Quarter Round Molding Cost Factors

Quarter round molding cost can be as low as about 85 cents per foot if you DIY and use cheap molding. The price can approach $6.00 per foot when higher quality material like pre-finished oak is professionally installed. Why the wide cost range? Here are ¼ round molding cost factors that will help you narrow your price estimate.

  • Who Does the Work – Labor cost accounts for most of the price. If you can do it yourself and achieve a “pro” look, you’ll save up to 75% of the cost if you have your own tools.
  • The Materials Used – Quarter round trim can be made out of wood, PVC, or composite. Options for material cost per linear foot are found below in the retail cost section, but as noted, better-quality materials cost more. They are more resistant to dents and dings too.
  • Finished or Unfinished – Finished trim costs quite a bit more than unfinished trim. Even if you have a pro install the trim, you can save money by painting or staining it yourself.
  • How Much Trim is Installed – The cost per linear foot goes down if you have more than one room to do. This is because the carpenter’s travel and setup time is spread over more linear feet of trim. For example, when you jump from less than 100 feet of trim installed to 250 feet or more, price might drop by nearly $1.00 per linear foot.
  • DIY Tools – If you’re planning to do the work, then purchasing tools will boost your total cost for the project. Power tool and hand tool purchase adds between $4-$6 per linear foot for a 20×20 room, so you might as well hire a pro if you’re not planning future DIY projects. However, if you enjoy home improvement projects, you’ll very likely use the tools like a miter saw, tape measure, nail/brad gun or hammer/nail set combo quite a lot through the years, making their purchase well worth the cost. Most of the tools can be rented too, but renting a tool two to four times over the years might cost more than purchasing good-quality tools for your own. See retail and rental costs below.
  • Amount of Prep Work – When the surface the trim will be attached to needs minor work such as filling gouges and holes, cost will rise toward the higher end of the spectrum.
  • Where you Live – The cost of hiring a carpenter is consistent with the general cost of living in your area. Prices are higher on the Coasts and in major metropolitan areas. They’re lower in small towns and rural areas.

Retail Quarter Round Trim Cost – Materials and Supplies

We’ve broken down your retail costs into materials, tools, supplies and more.

Quarter Round Trim Cost Averages by Material

  • $0.40 per Linear Foot | Polystyrene/Styrofoam Quarter Round Trim
  • $0.67 per Linear Foot | PVC Quarter Round Trim
  • $1.00 per Linear Foot | Pine Quarter Round Trim
  • $1.50 per Linear Foot | Birch Quarter Round Trim
  • $2.30 per Linear Foot | Flexible Composite Quarter Round Trim
  • $2.45 per Linear Foot | Mahogany Quarter Round Trim
  • $2.65 per Linear Foot | Unfinished Oak Quarter Round Trim
  • $3.60 per Linear Foot | Walnut Quarter Round Trim
  • $4.50 per Linear Foot | Pre-finished Oak Quarter Round Trim

Tool Purchase and Rental Costs

  • $7-$15 | 20-foot Tape Measure
  • $8 – $25 | Finish Hammer
  • $4 | Nail Set
  • $18 – $50 | Non-powered Miter Saw and Box
  • $100-$700 | Electric Miter Saw
  • $40 – $150+ | Powered Brand Nailer or Nail Gun
  • $30 – $45 | Miter Saw Rental per Half or Full Day
  • $50 – $75 | Nail Gun and Air Compressor Rental per Half or Full Day
  • $3-$25 | Eye Protection
  • $1-$15 | Ear Protection
  • $3/ pack of 100 | Finishing Nails (6 nails per 8ft of Trim)

Materials for Finishing Quarter Round

  • $2-5$ | Paint Brush
  • $15-$50 | Quart or Gallon of Stain/Sealer or Primer/Paint
  • $8-$20 | Tube of Caulk and Gun
  • $5 – $10 | Painters Putty for filling the nail holes.

Permits, Inspection, Related Costs and Installation Time

Permits and Inspection Cost

  • $0 | This indoor home improvement project doesn’t require a permit.

Related Costs and Installation Time

Here are typical times for installing quarter round trim in a 20×20 room.

  • 15-30 minutes | Measuring the Room
  • 1 hour | Cutting the Trim
  • 1-2 hours | Nailing to Baseboard
  • 30-40 minutes | Caulking (Optional)
  • 20-40 minutes | Set Up, Tear Down, Clean Up

This works out to roughly 15 to 20 linear feet of ¼ round trim per hour. According to Home Advisor, trim carpenters charge $65 to $100+ per hour for labor alone. Porch estimates per foot cost at $5.38 to $8.11, a little higher than our cost estimate for the most common trim materials but not out of the question if using pre-finished oak or a similar material.

DIY or Hire a Pro?

DIY is a mindset that is focused on finding a cost-efficient way of completing a home improvement project. This is a project that can diversify your carpentry skill set and save you money by completing it yourself.

Installing quarter round trim is a job many homeowners tackle The most difficult part is determining which way to cut inside and outside corners so that they seamlessly line up. There are plenty of tutorial videos that will have you cutting angels like a pro in no time. There’s a short learning curve, and you might make a few wrong cuts, but the material is affordable. A couple wasted pieces won’t bust the budget. A few tips to keep in mind will help ensure a pro-looking job.

Unfinished vs Finished: If trim is unfinished you will need to stain or paint it to match or contrast the baseboard – whatever “look” you want. Staining or painting adds about $30-$50 to the price of most projects, but you’ll save money over buying finished material plus you have far more options for finish color. Homewyse suggests that the cost of having an installer paint or stain the trim starts at about $1.20 per foot and can exceed $2.50 per linear foot.

Unfinished quarter round trim will cost about half as much as finished. If you decide to go the unfinished route it will take longer to finish the project.

Cutting Pieces: Some installers like to cut and fit all the pieces before starting to nail or caulk them into place. Others measure and cut as they go. If you do pre-cut them, label the pieces in the order they will be installed.

Fastening the Trim: A nail gun (brad gun / pin gun) is recommended for this project because it minimizes the chance of damaging your trim when securing it to the baseboard. If you choose to use a hammer and finishing nails make sure you use a nail set to secure the job without the risk of damaging trim. Other installers, as in this video, don’t use nails at all – just a thin bead of caulk. That approach isn’t as secure, but it saves you from having to putty the nail holes, and it makes it easier to remove the trim in the future.

Some also run a bead of caulk along the top of the trim. Cut the end of your caulk tube so that the bead is wide enough to cover the top of the quarter round, still small enough so there isn’t any excess. Less is more. Do one round of caulk along the top of all quarter round trim. The caulk should seal any gaps and blend trim with the baseboard or wall.

Using Hardwood Trim: In addition to the higher cost hardwood, it will have to be predrilled to prevent splitting when installing the quarter round. This will add an additional cost for labor when installed by a contractor.

Go Pro? If you’re willing to spend a couple hundred dollars, hire a contractor to take care of the job and save yourself some time. Especially if you’re unsure about operating power tools or if you want the job to be done without thinking too much about the details.

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Author S Krone

A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.

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