Here's How Much It Really Costs To Update Your Floors

Here's How Much It Really Costs To Update Your Floors

Flooring Cost Calculator

Estimate the cost to replace or refinish flooring: hardwood, laminate, engineered, linoleum, carpet or tile.

You can calculate flooring installation cost for multiple rooms at once (it needs to be the same material).

Flooring Estimator 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.

To start your floor replacement project, get free flooring installation estimates from licensed pros in your area.

2022 Notice: The Effect of the Pandemic on the Flooring Industry

Many businesses and industries have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years. The flooring industry is no exception.

The biggest impact that people may see directly impacting them when it comes to residential flooring is in wood floors. There was a decrease of 6.7% of raw wood delivered in 2021, translating into a shortage of material for wood flooring and other surface materials. This means that anyone looking to install new wood floors may have trouble finding the material they want or may have increased costs for their project.

For the rest of the flooring industry, many of the same issues impact supply and contractors as in other parts of the construction industry. This includes supply chain and labor issues, coupled with a big explosion of new home building. This can mean delays and increased costs for many projects. Anyone looking to replace their floor in the coming months should consider purchasing material and hiring their contractor sooner rather than later to help lock in costs before they rise again.

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Tile Floor Installation Cost

The cost of tile flooring is as varied as the tiles available. You can find ceramic tiles for as little as $0.45 per square foot, but they generally run $2.50–$3 per square foot. Porcelain tile flooring averages $3–$10 per square foot. Installation of tile flooring will cost an average of $5 per square foot, but as with any flooring project, many variables affect the price. For a typical 330-square-foot living room you can expect to pay around $908 for ceramic flooring, or $2,145 for porcelain flooring which includes installation.

Cost Factors

Cost Factors

The cost of artisan tiles is arbitrary and depends on the cost of materials for the artist and the price he names. Many people use a combination of natural stone tile with a few artisan tiles, as tiling completely using artisan tile is cost-prohibitive, for most people.

  • Availability of the tile you want
  • Removal and disposal of the old floor
  • Do you need a new subfloor?
  • Extra tile is needed for trimming around curves and corners
  • If the subfloor is uneven, it will need to be leveled. Tile cannot be installed on an unlevel subfloor.

Pros & Cons

Tile flooring is generally used in bathrooms and kitchens, but recently homeowners have started installing it in living areas. It is water resistant, making it an excellent floor for the bathroom and kitchen. It’s also used on countertops in kitchens and bathrooms, another place where water abounds.

The choices available in tile are staggering. Wide varieties of ceramic, porcelain, stone, clay, glass, and handmade tiles are available. Some are square or rectangular; some even come in geometric shapes like octagons or a combination of shapes, such as diamonds and hexagons. These are labeled mosaic tiles and popular in backsplashes.

Tile floors are extremely hard and durable. They a

Tile floors are extremely hard and durable. They are considered hypo-allergenic since they don’t collect dust the way a carpet might. If your family suffers from allergies, installing tile floors might be a good idea. When buying tile for your home, purchase some extra in case repairs need to be made.

Pros

  • A good installation will last for decades
  • Easy to clean
  • Keeps the house cool in warm climates
  • Design possibilities are endless.
  • Repairs are simple.
  • Water resistant
  • Allergen-free

Cons The surface is hard and cold, which can be a disadvantage in the winter months. Tile installation should be done by a professional, as special tools are required. Should be sealed every few years Ceramic tiles are very hard. Items that fall on it will probably shatter. Slippery when wet Repair requires a professional.

Tile Installation Cost Per Square Foot

Tiles are available in a wide variety of natural and composite materials. They add value to a home.

  • Ceramic tile installation costs $1–$3 per square foot and is the most common kind of tile and available in a wide variety of colors and patterns. It is made from clay, which is squeezed into a mold and fired at high temperatures.
  • Porcelain tile installation costs $6 per square foot and is also made from clay but has the addition of white dust called feldspar—a kind of crystal that melts into a glass-like material when the tile is fired. This gives porcelain its fine appearance and also acts as a bonding agent during firing.
  • Slate tile installation costs $2–$7 per square foot and is cut from a metamorphic rock which is very dense and durable. They have a natural texture, come in dark earthy tones, and are good for kitchen floors.
  • Travertine tile installation costs $4–$7 per square foot and comes from limestone found by hot springs and caves. It is a porous stone, having pits and a slightly rough texture. It usually comes in lighter, more neutral tones.
  • Marble tile installation costs $2–$8 per square foot come in nearly every color thanks to the variety of minerals that make up the marble. Marble is an elegant addition to your home, and it is costly. Marble tiles do absorb some moisture, so light-colored marble is prone to stains.
  • Granite tile installation costs $8–$20 per square foot and is extremely hard and very dense. The speckled appearance is caused by the different minerals in the rock. It resists scratches, and it is a good choice for high-traffic areas. It can be polished to a high shine.
  • Mosaic tile installation costs $3–$30 per square foot and is quite popular because of the design features. They are small tiles, laid out in specific designs on a mesh fabric. The tiles are not installed one by one, but by laying out the mesh fabric onto the surface. Grout is then applied over the entire surface and cleaned with a sponge and water. The tiles are generally square, but they also come in hexagonal and octagonal shapes.

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Factors That Increase Your Total Flooring 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 Costs and Considerations

Like with any home project, there are possible additional costs that could cause the bill to be higher. For instance, an installation company may charge you to move your furniture before they install the flooring. If the subfloor is in poor condition and needs repair or replacement, this will be an additional fee. However, in some cases, you may not need these services.

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Moving Furniture

One thing a floor installation team may charge you for is moving your furniture. If you are capable of moving the furniture, you can eliminate this cost. Also, you must remove small items and items that may shatter because most installation teams don’t move such items.

Stairs and Other Features

Another cost you may incur is the cost of installing flooring on stairs or other features in your home. For example, if you want carpet installed on your stairs, expect to pay between $3.50 and $11 per square foot and $11 to $26 to carpet each step. Hardwood installation on stairs will run you about $160 per step.

Consult a flooring expertFind licensed flooring experts in your area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project. Find local pros ++

New Subfloor and Baseboard

The subfloor is located underneath the flooring, and therefore, it’s difficult to know if anything is wrong with it until the flooring is removed. Problems with the subfloor may include moisture issues or sinking. Fixing certain areas of the subfloor or replacing them entirely will tack on additional costs. On average, a new subfloor will cost $2 to $2.50 per square foot. In addition, if the baseboards are damaged, additional charges may be incurred for removal and reinstalling new ones.

Underlayment

Underlayment is typically not required for hardwood, vinyl, or tile. However, it is generally necessary for carpet and laminate. Underlayment is primarily used as a moisture barrier between the subfloor and the flooring. But it can also help with adhesion, minimizing the sound of footsteps and providing a smooth, comfortable surface. If underlayment is needed, expect to pay an additional $3.41 to $5.32 per square foot of underlayment.

Removing the Existing Floor

It’s possible that some flooring can be installed over old flooring. However, most flooring manufacturers recommend that the old floor be removed first. This is a prudent idea because there may be a hidden problem with the subfloor. Also, the new flooring may make the floor too high, which can cause problems with opening and closing doors. The cost to remove existing floors varies according to the type of existing floor. For instance, removing a tile floor runs between $1.49 to $3.18 per square foot.

Hazardous Material Testing and Remediation

If a floor installation team suspects or discovers hazardous materials during the removal process, they can’t proceed with the installation until the harmful material has been removed. When it comes to mold or asbestos, you will have to pay a special team to remove the material before the flooring installation can continue. Mold remediation costs between $10 and $25 per square foot, while asbestos removal costs $75 to $200 per hour.

Consult a flooring expertFind licensed flooring experts in your area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project. Find local pros ++

Finish

A floor finish is recommended for natural stone, wood, or concrete and will keep floors in good condition, even in high-traffic areas. Costs to seal these floor types range between $0.84 to $1.75 per square foot.

Additional Materials

Aside from floorboards that may need to be replaced, additional material you might be charged for could include transition strips. These decorative accents not only make your floor look better but also prevent cracking, fraying, or chipping between flooring types in your home. A floor installer may fit a Z-bar or hardwood trim between two floor sections to hide the join. Each transition costs between $90 and $139.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Installing New Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

When calculating how much it costs to refloor a house with vinyl or linoleum, homeowners can expect to pay between $3 and $10 per square foot. Better quality products like luxury vinyl will be at the top of this price range. Vinyl and linoleum are both lightweight materials that are easy to use. You can also install these types of flooring directly over the old floor, which makes for affordable installation costs even in more complicated rooms.

Repairing Vinyl or Linoleum Flooring

Scratches, scuffs, and burns can wear down vinyl or linoleum flooring. Like laminate, vinyl and linoleum floors are fast and easy to repair. However, you should always work with a professional to complete the job. Improper installation can lead to buckling or bubbling, which ruins the appearance of the floor and causes problems down the road.

Factors To Consider

Vinyl and linoleum floors come in sheets, planks, and tiles. The type of flooring you choose affects installation costs. The price will also vary according to sealing and applicant costs. As with all flooring options on this list, you have to factor in the cost of cleaning, repairing, or replacing your subfloor when you install new flooring. Finally, if you choose to get rid of your old flooring instead of installing directly over it, you will have to pay to properly remove and dispose of the existing floor.

Which options are best for your home? If you want to delve deeper into wood flooring options, you can explore species, grades, stains, and other endless designs at From the Forest. Check out our warm natural red oak hardwood flooring and many other collections today.

DIY vs. Professional Refinishing

Refinishing hardwood can be undertaken by anyone with some experience handling power tools and performing DIY projects, but it’s wise to enter into the work with a full understanding of what’s involved. The machinery used to do the sanding can often be rented from your local hardware store, along with the purchase of sanding pads, for about $300 to $400 in total cost. You will also have to purchase stains, finish, and any brushes or sprayers that will be required to apply them.

Remember that it will take a professional about five hours total to refinish 100 square feet of flooring, so factor in the time commitment when deciding whether to do this project yourself. A DIYer, on the other hand, can expect to give up the better part of a weekend to do a good job when refinishing a floor. If you happen to live in a very humid climate, then the process of drying stains and finishes can take significantly longer. This may mean that the project stretches out over more days, making the rooms inaccessible for long periods of time while they dry.

Questions to Ask About Flooring Installation Cost

New flooring is a hefty investment, and as a homeowner, you want the best results money can buy. It is an excellent idea to do your due diligence and thoroughly vet the contractors who will work on your floors to get the best results.

Many big-box stores like The Home Depot, Empire Today, or Lumber Liquidators have professional installers they work with who are licensed and insured. Whether you choose to work with their recommended installers or select your own, you should ask as many questions as possible. Below are a few of the most critical questions to ask.

  • Are you licensed and insured? Many states do not require flooring installers to be licensed, but this extra level of accreditation may be more appealing to prospective customers.
  • Will you provide me with a bid instead of an estimate? Estimates are approximations, whereas bids are more concrete.
  • Is existing floor removal included in the installation costs? You’ll want to know if there is an additional cost associated with removal.
  • Do you move furniture, and is that an additional cost? Many companies will charge for the labor of moving furniture.
  • Is cleanup and disposal of old flooring and debris included in the costs? This varies from company to company.
  • How long will the job take?
  • How many workers will the job require?
Consult a flooring expertFind licensed flooring experts in your area and get free, no-commitment estimates for your project. Find local pros ++

Best Flooring Types by Room

Best Flooring For Kitchen

Best flooring for a kitchen is porcelain tile. It stands up to dirty, gritty shoes on a rainy day, and water, which does not penetrate porcelain. It’s low maintenance—a vacuum and a damp mop are all it needs. Kitchen and bathroom flooring updates recoup 50%–100% of the cost in resale value.

Best Flooring For Bathroom

Best flooring for a bathroom is porcelain tile. Porcelain is again the best floor choice with a few changes. Add a nonslip sealer. If the idea of cold tile in the morning turns you off, consider adding radiant heat to your bathroom.

Best Flooring For Living Room

Best flooring for living rooms, family rooms, and dining rooms are hardwood floors. Hardwood adds value to your home. It’s an investment you’ll recoup about 70% of your cost on when selling.

Best Flooring For Basement

Best flooring for a basement is vinyl which can and should be installed as a floating floor to allow for changes in the concrete caused by moisture and temperature. Vinyl floors are waterproof. The basement environment is full of humidity either wicked through the concrete from the wet earth surrounding it or through floods from plumbing problems. You’ll recoup about 20%–25% of this cost when selling.

Getting Started

Installing or replacing flooring in your home is a significant project. It requires moving out the furniture, large purchases of flooring material, and decisions regarding what kind of floor would be best for your home. Some things to keep in mind as you make this decision

  • Make choices that add value to your home rather than choosing the quickest, cheapest way to cover a floor.
  • Take into consideration your lifestyle. If you contend with allergies, then carpet is not the best choice. If you live in a warm climate or near the water, consider tile for your floors.
  • Installing vinyl and linoleum may be quick fixes, but there is no return on your investment. You won’t be able to add the cost of that to the price of your home when you sell. The new owners may very well plan to replace those floors anyway and won’t be inclined to view them as valuable.

New floors can change the look of your entire room, so choose with care and enjoy the finished product.

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