In this cost guide:
How to use the calculator
Average floor replacement cost
Flooring cost per square foot
Cost of professional installation
Home Depot and Lowe's floor installation prices
Additional charges associated with flooring installs
Cheap flooring options: carpet vs. vinyl vs. laminate
How to save on flooring installation
Does new flooring increase home value?
Flooring cost calculatorEstimate your cost to replace or refinish different types of flooring: hardwood, laminate, engineered, linoleum, carpet or tile. You can calculate prices for multiple rooms at once (it needs to be the same material).
This estimating tool is designed to be very detailed, and takes into account most aspects of floor installation. If you have different types of flooring to be installed or removed, we recommend running this calculator several times, for each room individually.
How do I estimate the cost of flooringTo get accurate pricing on new floors, whether you are estimating for the entire house or just one room, there are a few important factors to keep in mind.
1. Select flooring materialAfter you make your initial selection, you will see additional options. For example, if you choose Hardwood, you will get options for: Oak, Cherry, Birch, Bamboo, etc.
2. Choose material qualityAgain, we will use hardwood flooring as an example. It is usually divided into 3 grades or quality levels: 1) Clear or 1st Grade 2) Millrun or 2nd Grade 3) Rustic or #2 Common (3rd Grade) As for cost, clear is the most expensive and rustic is the least expensive.
3. Estimate floor installation prices for additional roomsClick "add room" for additional rooms. If you do not know exact room sizes, but have the total square footage to be replaced, enter your size * 1. This will however skew results for the "trim" calculation. Once you select the material you want, an additional field will appear, with more choices for a particular flooring type.
4. Room sizesIt is only possible to calculate one material at a time. However, you can do multiple rooms at once. Enter the size of each room where flooring will be installed. If you have more than 3 rooms, click "Add Room" for each additional room that you need to calculate.
4. Old flooring removalThis is an optional and sometimes unnecessary expense. For example, if you have hardwoods and want to install carpets, we recommend NOT to remove the existing hardwood. It acts as a solid subfloor, and can be later restored to it's original condition, if you decide to do so.
If you want to install new hardwood and you already have hardwood, laminate or tile flooring, you will need to remove those. To add this cost, select the type of existing floor that you need to remove.
Average cost to replace flooringFloor replacement is one of the most popular home improvement projects that makes a huge impact on the look and feel of your home. Across the US, homeowners are spending $3.5-18 per square foot to install new flooring. The reason for such a huge price variation is the cost of various materials. Installing budget laminate floors can cost thousands of dollars less than upscale stone tile or exotic natural hardwoods.
Most decent quality floors cost $5-8 per square foot, so for an average size living room 270 sq. ft. (15x18) you are looking to spend $1,350-2,160.
Installing 1,000 sq.ft. of hardwood floors costs $8,000-22,000, depending on the type of quality of hardwood flooring you select. However, most homeowners spend between $8,000-12,000 on hardwood floors. Oak, maple, hickory and cherry are the most popular hardwood floors, favorite by the majority of homeowners.
Installing 1,000 sq.ft. of laminate flooring costs $3,850 - 6,000, depending on the quality of laminate you select. In recent years, there has been an explosion the variety of laminate flooring options, colors, designs. Also, the quality of newer laminate floors is significantly better than in used to be many years ago. While laminate is certainly a budget flooring option, its not one that will be ruined fast and will require repair or untimely replacement.
Keep in mind that if you want to replace floors only in one room, you will actually be charged 10-15% more per square foot, than if you were redoing floors in multiple rooms or the entire house.
If you are considering floor replacement, get free flooring installation estimates from licensed pros in your area.
What is the cost of flooring per square foot?Here are the average floor installation prices per square foot for the most popular materials:
|Flooring material||Price per sq.ft.|
|Hardwood flooring||$8-22 per sq.ft.|
|Natural stone tile||$7-20 per sq.ft.|
|Engineered wood flooring||$6-18 per sq.ft.|
|Ceramic and porcelain tile||$4-12 per sq.ft.|
|Concrete flooring||$2 - 8 per sq.ft.|
|Carpet||$3-10 per sq.ft|
|Laminate wood flooring||$3.85 - 6 per sq.ft.|
|Vinyl plank flooring||$2.5 - 5.5 per sq.ft.|
Flooring installation costs?>
Average Costs For:
Most People Spent: $1,769 - $3,192 (for 180 sq. ft.)
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Floor replacement is a labor intensive process that requires a lot of skill and expertise. Most flooring pros specialize in installing only one type of material. For example, tile installers will not install hardwood floors, etc.
Labor costs for flooring installers range from $1.5 - 5+ per square foot depending the material and complexity of the work involved.
The cheapest floors to install are carpeting, vinyl plank, laminate wood and engineered wood flooring. Tile as well as hardwood flooring installation is a lot more involved, especially if there is a request for any special design. For example, tile mosaic installers charge $15-20+ per square foot for their work, depending on the size of the space, and complexity of the design.
Finally, concrete flooring installation has the widest price range for labor, depending on the style you want to have. Pouring a basic concrete floor costs as little as $2-4 per square foot. However, high-end concrete flooring installation can cost $15-30 per square foot, if it includes things like: special stencils, air brushing, multiple colors and textures, etc.
The following factors will have the greatest impact on your total installation cost:
size of the space: the bigger the space the less you will be paying per square foot. On a small project, your contractor will charge you the same price for set up, clean up and overhead, as he would for a large project, thus driving up the cost per sq.ft.
room configuration: if your room has multiple corners or is odd shape, the flooring installer will charge you 15-25% more for labor
condition of the floor: if you have old floors, the subfloor may need to leveled or repaired in order to put the new flooring material on top.
Some signs that your subfloor will require extra work include: sunken areas of the floor, uneven flooring, squeaking, buckling, or bouncing floors when you step on them.
ease of access to the floor: if your space is located on the second floor or higher, there will be extra charges for having to haul all the materials and equipment upstairs. Any other accessibility issues will also increase the total cost.
installing flooring in a bathroom or kitchen: usually costs more money than in a regular room, because of permanent fixtures in these spaces and the need to work around them.
your geographic location: contractor labor costs vary by as much as 12-20% depending on where you live. High income cities and neighborhoods see much steeper labor charges from flooring pros for the same job, compared to less affluent areas.
Additional floor replacement costsIn addition to labor charges for new flooring installation, there are other labor costs that may be involved, which will increase your total flooring cost.
|Remove and dispose of old flooring||$1.50 - 4 per square foot|
|Level a concrete subfloor||$2 - 3 per square foot|
|Repair plywood subfloor||$1.70 - 2.10 per square foot|
|Install new plywood subfloor||$2 - 2.35 per square foot|
|Repair single floor joist||$100-250 each|
|Replace floor joist||$300 - 1,000 each|
|Install vapor barrier||$0.5 - 1 per square foot|
How much does Home Depot charge for floor installation?If you don't want to deal with interviewing flooring contractors and going to flooring showrooms, the easiest one stop for all your flooring needs is Home Depot or Lowe's. Both of these stores have a wide range of materials (hardwood, engineered wood, laminate flooring, tile, linoleum) that would be a good match from the majority of budget to average priced home remodels.
To install laminate floors, Home Depot charges around $4 per square foot, for both flooring and installation. Hardwood floor installation costs $6-8 per square foot.
Lowe's charges similar prices
For carpet installs, both Home Depot and Lowe's sometimes advertise free installation when you purchase the carpet that they have in stock. This is the carpet that they have hanging in rolls, and its typically of very budget to low mid-range quality and price. So if you are looking to save a lot of money and need carpet installed in many rooms, this can be a good option to consider.
In terms of free installation, you have to be careful and read the fine print exactly what this includes and excludes. Most of the labor will still be rolled in to the total price, but you have to look out for things like furniture removal, removal of the old carpet or flooring, trim, corners, etc, all these things may be charged as extra on top of the free installation.
Also, keep in mind that both Home Depot and Lowe's use local flooring companies as subcontractors for their work. The issue with this is that these contractors are severely underpaid and have no interest in getting the job done well, since its not their reputation on the line. There are a lot of horror stories about low quality installs from Home Depot and Lowe's contractors. While this can be a potentially attractive way to save money on flooring, you may end up spending more, if you have to redo the install again.
What is the cheapest kind of flooring?If you are remodeling your entire house, saving money can be a top priority. High-end floors, such as hardwoods, engineered wood or premium tile floors can cost thousands of dollars, and may not always be called for. Certain rooms in the house can do very well with cheaper types of flooring, such as carpeting, vinyl planks or laminate.
Carpeting is hands down the cheapest flooring material you can install, with price being as low as $1.5 - 2 per square foot for both materials and installation. Of course, carpeting can cost a lot more, depending on the quality and durability you are looking to have.
In addition to low cost, the main advantages of carpeting is sound insulation, warmth and pleasantness to the touch. On the downside, carpeting can be time consuming and difficult to clean, especially if its stained, it can cause allergies, by collecting dust and pet hair.
Vinyl sheet flooring costs as low as $2.5 per square foot and can be up to 50% cheaper than vinyl planks. Luxury vinyl plank flooring can cost as much as $5 per square foot, which is the price equivalent of good quality laminate. Vinyl is 100% synthetic material, and as such offers superior resistance to moisture. Its also very easy to clean, and is a great option in rooms that are often damp, such as the bathroom, laundry room, possibly kitchen. Vinyl flooring is a good option for cheaper properties as well as rentals.
The biggest downside of vinyl flooring is relatively poor durability. The cheapest vinyl comes in sheets that can be as thin as 1.5 mm, and consequently will not have a very long service life. More expensive vinyl planks can be as thick as 5 mm, and will last a lot longer, in addition to much better, more upscale looks. Overall, if you are considering vinyl flooring, its best to get the thickest flooring you can afford.
Out of the cheap flooring materials, laminate is the most costly ($3.85 - 6 per square foot); at the same time it offers much better quality and improved visual appearance. Unlike plastic vinyl flooring, laminate floors are actually made of 99% wood byproducts which are bonded with resins. Higher-end laminate floors are good looking enough to installed in pretty much any room of the home, including the living room and kitchen. Laminate floors are also thicker and feel warmer to the touch compared to vinyl.
The biggest disadvantage of laminate flooring is that it has poor moisture resistance and should not be installed in damp areas.
How to save on flooring costsWhen it comes to flooring, the cost of materials is very expensive, especially if you shop in flooring showrooms. As we mentioned above even stores like Home Depot and Lowe's don't offer good deals on the cost of flooring.
If you want to save on your new floors, its best to shop online. Most flooring online stores will send you free floor samples, so you can actually see what you are getting. Even with the high cost of shipping, you can save hundreds of dollars.
Recently I purchased Brazilian Cherry hardwood and Tiger Bamboo flooring for my home - here is how I saved $3,000
Another way to save money is by mixing and matching flooring materials. You can install more expensive floors in your living room, dining room, and cheaper floors in the bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen. If you like the look of hardwood, but can't afford it, many laminate flooring planks are great replicas of natural wood for pretty much half the price. The same goes for natural stone tile. Today you can get ceramic or porcelain tile replicas of most real stones for at least 50-70% off compared to the cost of high-end stone tile.
While it may annoying and time consuming, you can same a lot of money on shopping around for the best floor installation prices. Many pros that have a lot of clients charge a lot more, just because they can. On the other hand, there are many small, local flooring companies that may be willing to give you a better deal, to get your business.
Lastly, if you are DIY savvy, you can install most types of flooring by yourself, even hardwood. Installing floors on your own will shave off at least a few thousand dollars of the total cost, especially if you are putting new floors into multiple rooms. Just watch a lot of YouTube videos, and pace yourself. Doing a DIY flooring install can take significantly longer than the amount of time it would take a pro.
What is the best flooring for resale value?When it comes to spending thousands of dollars on new floors, you want to invest in the flooring materials that bring the best returns (ROI) and can boost your home resale value.
According to Remodeling Magazine, hardwood floors offer the biggest returns, of about 70-80%. Since natural hardwood is a top favorite among homeowners, new hardwoods throughout the home can actually boost the value of your house by as much as 2-2.5%. Homes that have natural wood floors also show a lot better and are easier to sell at a high price point.
If you are installing new hardwood floors, real estate experts recommend that darker floors offer a better ROI because they are most preferred by prospective buyers. Dark color wood floors are followed by lighter color wood, while grey wood tones are overall last in terms of preference among the majority of homeowners.
Natural stone tile also has a high ROI of about 60-70%
Next best in terms of returns on investment are high end carpeting, engineered wood flooring and porcelain tile. As long as the floors in your home are durable and look attractive you are sure to get good resale value on them.