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November 16, 2021

How Much Does It Cost To Install Wainscoting (Updated for 2022)

Wainscoting is a classic and stylish addition to any room that can increase your curb appeal or even increase the value of your home. However, installing wainscoting does come with both material and labor costs. On average, wainscoting costs about $2,400 for an average size dining room. But the total price will vary depending on the size of the room, style, and other factors. If you are looking to remodel your home, here is everything you need to know about how much it costs to install wainscoting. Plus, we look at the potential savings of installing it yourself and other details about a wainscoting project for your home.

What Is the Average Cost To Install Wainscoting?

On average, you can expect to spend about $12 per square foot to have wainscoting installed in your home. For a 14-foot by 16-foot dining room with 200 square feet of wainscoting, you can expect to pay $2,400 on average.

However, the average price can range from as low as $7 and as much as $20 per square foot depending on the exact quality and type of wainscoting you buy. For 200 square feet, your total wainscoting installation project cost can range from $1,400 to $4,000 on average.

The two biggest factors in the overall price are the cost of materials and labor, so you can usually save as much as 50% by installing wainscoting yourself. However, this assumes you have the necessary tools and experience to install it properly.

Buying or renting equipment will drastically reduce your overall cost savings. But this does not account for the time you spend on remodeling. The project price can go up if you make cutting or installation mistakes.

In either case, the exact cost will depend on the size of the area, the quality of the materials, and the expense of labor. Contact a qualified home improvement expert for specific options and prices. If you plan to DIY your wainscoting, price the materials and tools at a local home improvement store.

What Is Wainscoting?

Wainscoting is a type of decorative paneling that is installed on the lower part of walls, typically covering the area between the baseboard and chair rail. It is often used to add visual interest and texture to a room, as well as to protect the walls from scuffs and scratches. There are several wainscoting designs and patterns. It is typically made of wood, although it comes in a variety of materials including medium-density fiberboard (MDF) or polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Although there are several different wainscoting styles, the most common types include the following:

  • Raised panel wainscoting: This style features raised panels that are set into a frame. The panels can be square or rectangular, and they are often used to add a formal or traditional touch to a room.
  • Flat panel wainscoting: This style features flat panels that are installed horizontally on the wall. It is a simpler and more modern option than raised panel wainscoting.
  • Beadboard wainscoting: This style features narrow, vertical boards that are installed horizontally on the wall. It is a casual and rustic option that is often used in beach houses or country-style homes.
  • Picture frame wainscoting: This style features a series of vertical and horizontal boards that are arranged to create a series of frames on the wall. It is a more formal and elegant option than beadboard wainscoting.

Wainscoting can be painted or stained to match the color scheme of the room, and it can be installed at various heights to suit the style and scale of the space.

Is Wainscoting in Style in 2022?

While home design trends change rapidly, wainscoting has been a popular design element for many years. Since it’s a reasonably affordable way to add visual interest and texture to any room, it’s likely it will stay in style throughout 2022.

If you are considering installing wainscoting in your home, it’s important to choose a style and material that will suit the design of your space. Whether or not wainscoting is “in style” at any given time is less important than whether it enhances the look of your home and meets your functional needs.

Does Installing Wainscoting Add Value to Your Home?

Wainscoting can add value to your home by enhancing its appearance and increasing its overall appeal to potential buyers. In general, it’s a relatively inexpensive way to add value to your home.

That said, the overall financial impact is usually low. Depending on the style, quality, and location of the home, you should expect to see less than a 1% increase in your overall home value.

However, it typically adds value to your home in ways that are not purely financial. A quality wainscoting installation can add a sense of warmth and character to a room, and it can be a selling point for potential buyers. This is especially true especially if it is installed in a high-traffic area such as a hallway or living room.

It’s worth noting that the value added by wainscoting will depend on the specific circumstances of your home and the local real estate market.

To get a better idea of the potential value that wainscoting might add to your home, it’s a good idea to consult with a real estate agent or home improvement professional. They will be able to provide you with more specific information based on your location and the features of your home.

Ultimately, the value that wainscoting adds to your home will depend on your personal preferences and the specific circumstances of your home.

If you enjoy the look and feel of wainscoting and are considering installing it in your home, it’s worth considering the potential impact it may have on the value of your home, as well as the other ways in which it can enhance your living space.
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How Much Does It Cost To Have Wainscoting Professionally Installed?

Wainscoting installation costs can vary widely depending on the type of material used, the size of the area being covered, and the complexity of the installation.

Here are some rough estimates of the cost to install wainscoting, based on the material used:

  • Wood wainscoting: $10 – $20 per square foot, including materials and labor.
  • MDF wainscoting: $8 – $15 per square foot, including materials and labor.
  • PVC wainscoting: $7 – $12 per square foot, including materials and labor.

It’s important to note that these estimates are just rough estimates and the actual cost may be higher or lower depending on the specific circumstances of your project.

Factors that can influence the cost include the size and shape of the room, the complexity of the installation, and any additional features or finishes that you might want to add.

If you are using wooden panels, the type of wood is another important cost consideration. Composite or pressed wood paneling is usually less expensive than maple and oak.

For an accurate estimate, contact a local home improvement professional to get a more accurate quote for installing wainscoting.

How Much Does Wainscoting Cost To Install Yourself?

The cost of installing wainscoting yourself will depend on the type of material you use and the size of the area you are covering. Based on the materials you use, here is how much you can expect to pay:

  • Wood wainscoting: $5 – $10 per square foot
  • MDF wainscoting: $4 – $8 per square foot
  • PVC wainscoting: $3 – $6 per square foot

However, it’s important to note these costs are only for the raw materials. You will also need tools and materials to install it properly.

Installing wainscoting can be a challenging DIY project, especially if you are working with a large area or if the walls are uneven or have irregular shapes. Keep in mind that installing wainscoting can be time-consuming and may require special tools and skills, so it’s important to be prepared for the time and effort involved.

What Goes Into the Overall Cost of DIY Wainscoting?

When it comes to determining the overall cost of installing wainscoting yourself, there is the price of the materials, tools, and equipment. For most installations, you will need the following items:

  • Wainscoting panels or materials: You can either purchase premade panels or panel kits or cut your own materials to create a custom look. While panels and kits cost more, they require less equipment to install. The total material costs will vary depending on the size of the area you are covering.
  • Trim and molding: You will need trim pieces to finish off the edges of the wainscoting and to cover any gaps or seams. This usually includes a chair rail above the wainscoting and floor molding. Optionally, you can add corner molding along each wall seam. Complex or decorating molding and trim will cost more than simple styles.
  • Saw: In most cases, you will need some type of saw. For wainscoting panels or kits, you might only need a small hand saw to cut trim and molding. However, a jig, circular, or table saw is helpful if you are making the panels yourself.
  • Nail gun or nails: You will need a nail gun or nails to attach the panels to the wall.
  • Wood glue or adhesive: You may need wood glue or adhesive to help secure the panels in place, especially if you are working with a large area or if the walls are uneven.
  • Level: A level will help you ensure that the wainscoting, trim, and molding are installed straight and even.
  • Measuring tape: A measuring tape will help you measure and mark the locations for the panels and trim.
  • Chalk line: A chalk line can be useful for marking straight lines on the wall to help guide the installation of the panels.

It’s worth noting that the specific materials and tools you need may vary depending on the type of wainscoting you are installing and the specific circumstances of your project. Be sure to carefully read the instructions for premade panels and consult with a home improvement professional if you have any questions or concerns.


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