Affordable, aesthetic, and long-lasting, vinyl plank flooring is an excellent choice for floor renovations in almost any part of the home.
Installing vinyl plank flooring costs $3-5.5 per square foot on average, depending on the floor quality and brand, as well as professional labor charges in your area.
Vinyl flooring is incredibly easy to install, making it a great choice for DIY-ers, and is also very low maintenance, so it won’t cause any headaches in the long-run. Its many appealing features make it an increasingly popular choice for homeowners.
Average Cost to Install Vinyl Floors
The cost of installing vinyl flooring depends on the type of vinyl flooring installed and the material of the core. The cost of installing vinyl flooring can fluctuate based on location and the specific contractor, so be sure to discuss with your contractor in more detail the pricing options of vinyl flooring.
Compared to other flooring options, vinyl is a more affordable option than many other common choices, like stone, wood, or ceramic.
By comparing prices in the table, we can see that on average vinyl sheet flooring is the cheapest option, while tiles are the most costly. In terms of material, a waterproof core is more pricey than the SPC rigid core.
|Tiles||$2 per sq. foot||$4.70 per sq. foot||$5.80 per sq. foot|
|Planks||$1.30 per sq. foot||$3.50 per sq. foot||$6 per sq. foot|
|Sheets||$1.45 per sq. foot||$2.90 per sq. foot||$5.90 per sq. foot|
|Waterproof Core||$3.60 per sq. foot||$4.10 per sq. foot||$6.30 per sq. foot|
|SPC Rigid Core||$2.70 per sq. foot||$3.65 per sq. foot||$5.10 per sq.foot|
You can use our Flooring Calculator to estimate installation costs for various types of flooring in your home.
Vinyl Flooring Cost by Brand
The cost of vinyl flooring also fluctuates by brand. The table is organized by price, with the cheapest brands (per square foot) at the top of the table and the most expensive brands at the bottom.
The most affordable brands are Tarkett and Foss, and the most expensive brands are USFloors and Mannington.
|Average Cost per sq. foot||Low Cost per 1000 sq. Foot||Average Cost per 1000 sq. Foot||High Cost per 1000 sq. Foot|
Note, the prices in this table are for materials only, and do not include the cost of installation.
Factors That Raise Flooring Installation Cost
There are several factors that impact the cost of installing vinyl flooring. First, removing old flooring will incur additional costs. There are some instances when vinyl can be installed on top of existing flooring; make sure to consult with a professional so you know which option is best for your flooring situation.
Additionally, removing furniture will add to the cost. Vinyl flooring has to be installed on a clear, open surface, so removing furniture beforehand is a must. Removing furniture on your own if you are able can eliminate this cost.
If the floor is not leveled, it will need to be sanded and leveled in order for vinyl flooring to be installed, which will add to the price. Of course, the cost of installation will depend on the size of the room. A large room will take more time to complete and will therefore cost more.
If you are installing patterned work, installation will cost more than non-patterned work as it takes more effort and time to install.
Another aspect that changes the price is the thickness of the vinyl. Thicker vinyl is more durable and has a longer life-span, but also has higher upfront costs.
Finally, any trim, molding, and transitions will cost more, as they are more laborious and time-consuming to create. As a rule of thumb, more complicated installations will cost more.
How much does Home Depot charge to Install Vinyl Flooring?
Home Depot offers vinyl floor installation services for customers. Vinyl plank (LVP) installation costs around $2-$3 per square foot. Materials cost the same, at around $2-$3 per square foot.
In contrast, vinyl sheets cost less, at $1-$2 per square foot for labor costs and $1-$2 per square foot for materials.
This cost is an estimate and can change depending on other factors as explained above.
Types of Vinyl Flooring
There are two types of vinyl flooring: sheet flooring and tile flooring. Sheet flooring comes in six foot wide or twelve foot wide sheets.
Sheet vinyl flooring has an easy installation process and is also water resistant. The other type of vinyl flooring is tile, which comes in nine inch or twelve inch squares.
Tile vinyl flooring has the look of ceramic tiling but is a more affordable option. There is also the option of luxury vinyl tiling, which comes in plank shapes, usually 7’’ by 45’’ long, and mimics the appearance of stone or wood.
What is LVP Vinyl?
Luxury vinyl plank flooring (LVP) has the appearance of hardwood flooring but without the cost. LVP is made from melted down PVC (polyvinyl chloride resins), combined with other components like fungicides and stabilizers to ensure durability hardiness.
Then, the mixture is pressed together and formed into planks. The planks are made up of four layers. At the bottom, the waterproof backing layer keeps moisture out from the floorboards and prevents the growth of mold or mildew.
Next is the vinyl core, that is the largest component of the plank. After that comes a high-resolution image of the desired floor material.
LVP usually mimics wood but other materials such as stone can be used as images for the LVP panels. Lastly, the transparent wear-layer protects the rest of the panel, as it is scratch resistant and stain resistant. This layer keeps the image from fading over time and makes maintenance much easier.
Sheet Vinyl vs Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP)
Luxury vinyl plank and sheet vinyl have some important differences. While sheet vinyl comes in large sheets that are laid over the floor and cut into the correct shape, luxury vinyl planks come in long, thin strips.
Sheet vinyl is installed by rolling it out on the floor and sticking it down, whereas luxury vinyl planks snap together.
Luxury vinyl planks are almost five times thicker than sheet vinyl, and the planks are stiff and semi-rigid.
LVP floors offer more aesthetic choices than sheet vinyl. For instance, luxury plank vinyl comes in different textures to match the natural texture of wood grain. For this reason, among others, luxury vinyl planks are more often used to mimic wood, whereas sheet
vinyl is often used to mimic tiling, stone, or other materials.
Is LVP flooring affected by sunlight?
Direct exposure to sunlight can cause the vinyl flooring to fade over time. As mentioned earlier, vinyl flooring may not be the best choice for sun rooms or areas that get constant, strong sunlight. Besides that, keeping curtains closed is a simple way to reduce the fading of vinyl floors.
Vinyl Floor Finishes
There are three finishing options for vinyl flooring: vinyl no finish wax, urethane finish, and enhanced urethane finish.
Vinyl no finish wax is the lightest finish option, and is therefore ideal for locations that do not get so much foot traffic and are not exposed to significant amounts of moisture or dust particles.
Urethane finish is more durable than vinyl no finish wax, and is good for locations that get moderate amounts of foot traffic. Urethane finish is easy to clean and does not get scuffed easily.
Enhanced urethane finish is the most durable of the finish options, and can withstand heavy foot traffic. Enhanced urethane finish is stain resistant and scratch resistant, and maintains its luster without excessive maintenance.
How Long Does Vinyl Flooring Last?
One of the many appeals to vinyl flooring is that the affordable price does not mean a sacrifice in longevity. LVP floors are a durable material, and usually lasts between ten and twenty years.
The more costly vinyl plank flooring material may last even longer. Vinyl can also handle lots of foot traffic, making it a good choice for busy locations in the home.
The scratch-resistance and stain-resistance of vinyl flooring will also keep it looking good as new for many years to come.
Where can You Install Vinyl Flooring?
Vinyl flooring can be installed in most rooms around the home. When thinking about where to install vinyl floors, there are some aspects to keep in mind.
First, extensive exposure to direct sunlight can cause fading in the vinyl. Also, too much heat exposure can cause the vinyl to swell, so vinyl flooring might not be the best choice for a sun room that gets continuous, direct sunlight.
On that note, climate-controlled rooms such as those with AC and heating, depending on the climate, are the best fit for vinyl flooring.
A consistent room temperature will prevent the panels from swelling and shrinking with drastic temperature changes.
It is also a good idea to pay attention to the existing aesthetic features of your home. Vinyl flooring can be modern and sleek, or traditional and rugged, so it is important to consider what style will best fit with the rest of the space.
As always, it is critical to check in with the manufacturer about specific considerations for their product, particularly surrounding maintenance.
Here are some ideas for how vinyl flooring can be included in almost any home space.
Kitchen: Vinyl is a great choice for a budget friendly kitchen remodel because of its stain-resistance, making for easy cleaning and maintenance. Also, vinyl’s waterproof nature will make sure that no splashes lead to mold and mildew in the flooring.
Bedroom: Vinyl is a great choice for bedrooms because of its versatile look that can be paired with any bedroom style.
Bathroom: Vinyl works well in a bathroom renovation, particularly one with tubs and showers, because of its waterproof nature. In some cases, it can be installed over existing flooring, and can make for an easy, affordable bathroom remodel.
Hallway: Because vinyl is such a durable option, it is a good fit for hallways that get high amounts of foot traffic.
Family Room: The durability of vinyl and its aesthetic adaptability make it a good fit for family rooms that need to withstand lots of foot traffic while looking good.
Basement: because vinyl is so affordable, waterproof and long lasting, it is an ideal floor option for a finished basement remodel.
Office: Vinyl flooring can add a refined, sleek look to a home office.
Living Room: Vinyl flooring is a stylish option for living rooms where you entertain friends and guests, without the high cost of real hardwood floors or tile.
Is Vinyl Flooring Easy to Install DIY?
One of the biggest advantages of vinyl flooring is the ease of installation, making it a perfect choice for DIY-ers. Vinyl is much easier to install than other flooring options.
Instead of requiring glue or staples, vinyl can be installed often by peeling and sticking the vinyl to the floor.
Tearing out the old flooring may even not be necessary, as vinyl flooring can be installed over hardwood, concrete, plywood, or vinyl.
However, having more than two layers of flooring is not recommended so tearing out some flooring might be necessary, a tough job for DIY-ers.
Installing vinyl flooring independently only takes a few tools that are inexpensive to acquire, like steel hand rollers and masking tape.
Installing vinyl DIY can save $1-$3 per square foot for labor costs, and even more if you include molding and trim.
Vinyl Floor Design Options
Vinyl’s versatile design options are one of main pluses of of this flooring material. Vinyl flooring is offered in literally hundreds of colors, styles, and designs.
Vinyl flooring is commonly offered in wood-imitation designs, conveying the look of wood without the cost or maintenance. From a distance, vinyl floors effectively mimic wood, but does not generally hold up upon closer examination.
Another design option for vinyl flooring is combining different types of paneling, such as combining composite vinyl panels and solid panels to create unique patterns.
Aesthetically, while often considered less luxurious than hardwood or porcelain tile, vinyl does a good job imitating these materials and is usually considered more elegant than laminate.
Vinyl Floor Maintenance
Another draw of vinyl flooring is the easy maintenance. Regular sweeping and occasional mopping is all these floors need to keep looking good as new.
Mopping should be done with a vinyl-flooring cleaner, or just a general mild detergent or a Swiffer-type mop. Vinyl’s no-wax finish means that after mopping it will look just as shiny as it did when first installed.
Vinyl floors should not be steam-cleaned. The pressure of the steam-cleaning can push moisture between the seams and underneath, potentially leading to mold and mildew growth.
Repairing vinyl flooring can pose a bit of a challenge. Small damage can often be repaired with a vinyl flooring repairs toolkit. However, patched areas may be difficult to match perfectly to the rest of the flooring. Replacing planks usually requires stripping away planks
from a wall until the damaged plank, and then reinstalling them from the new plank back to the wall.
Sheet vinyl, when damaged, will likely need to be replaced if it is seriously damaged, as it all comes in one piece and the damage cannot be isolated.
Vinyl Plank vs Laminate Flooring
Vinyl and laminate flooring are similar in that they both attempt to mimic hardwood floors. When compared, vinyl flooring comes out slightly ahead of laminate flooring and is often considered a superior flooring material.
The products are similar in many ways. For one, both vinyl and laminate flooring is easy to install, with click-lock installation that can be placed over almost any subfloor.
One difference in installation is that laminate requires a power saw to install, while vinyl only requires a utility knife.
They are both easy to maintain, only requiring regular sweeping and mopping.
Additionally, both materials are chosen for their low cost compared to the natural floor material choices, although laminate flooring can be found cheaper than vinyl flooring.
Vinyl surpasses laminate in terms of its waterproof nature, a huge plus especially for bathroom or kitchen flooring. In contrast, laminate flooring can become seriously damaged if it comes into contact with water for too long of a period.
Vinyl does not make loud noises underfoot like laminate is known to do, but many say laminate is softer underfoot whereas vinyl has a hard, uncomfortable feel.
Also, vinyl flooring has a much longer lifespan than laminate. Laminate flooring usually lasts up to ten years, while vinyl flooring lasts twice as long.
While previously vinyl was considered an inferior choice to laminate because of the limited range of styles and textures available for vinyl, nowadays vinyl flooring can be found in a wide array of styles and textures and is on par with the versatile laminate.
Pros and Cons of Vinyl Flooring
In summary, here are the main pros and cons for vinyl flooring to consider before you decide whether or not its right for you.
The main benefits of vinyl flooring are its durability, cost-effectiveness, easy maintenance, and simple installation.
Its is one of the more affordable flooring materials on the market, but it has an impressive lifespan of over twenty years.
Vinyl flooring’s stain resistance makes cleanup and maintenance easy, only requiring quick sweeps regularly and the occasional mopping.
Because vinyl flooring can be installed over other layers of flooring, installing it is not a hassle and can be easily done by DIY-ers.
Vinyl’s waterproof nature makes it an excellent choice for bathrooms or kitchens, and can even be better at keeping out moisture than hardwood.
One disadvantage of vinyl is that it does not add much resale value to homes, so if the purpose of remodeling the floors is to add resale value, vinyl might not be the best choice.
Another downside to vinyl is that it is possible to damage it. For instance, moving furniture around the house or dropping heavy items can result in gauges or scratches, which are difficult to repair.
While vinyl flooring is easy to install, mistakes in the installation process can lead to an imperfect appearance down the road. For instance, if there are any particles, even dust, on the subfloor during installation, a bump can form on the vinyl panel.