How Much Does It Cost To Install Laminate Wood Flooring?
$3 – $8 per square foot
The average cost to install laminate flooring is $3 to $8 per square foot including labor and materials. Laminate flooring costs between $1,411 and $3,395 with most homeowners paying around $2,352 for professional installation. Get free estimates from flooring contractors near you.
Laminate Flooring Installation Cost
The average cost to install laminate flooring is between $1,411 and $3,395 with most homeowners paying around $2,352 for professional installation. Laminate flooring installation costs $3 to $8 per square foot including labor and materials. Your final price will depend on the size of your floor, materials selected, and labor costs.
|National Average Cost||$2,352|
|Average Range||$1,411 to $3,395|
Table Of Contents
Laminate Flooring Installation Cost Per Square Foot
The average cost to install laminate flooring is $3 to $8 per square foot including labor and materials. For the laminate flooring only, prices range from $0.68 to $2.59 per square foot. In addition to the upfront cost of the flooring, other factors include subfloor prep and additional features such as molding and baseboards. Costs can also go higher if the flooring has a pattern that requires additional installation labor.
Cost Per Square Foot By Wood Type
Laminate flooring starts at $0.68 per square foot for Acacia, Cheery, Beech, and Maple woods. For Elm and Hickory, you can expect to pay around $1.60 per square foot.
|Laminate Type||Cost Per Square Foot|
Cost Per Square Foot By Feature
Laminate flooring costs vary based on the features of the rather than the look. For example, typical scratch resistant laminate floors cost $0.68 per square foot, while noise and water resistant types range from $1.39 to $2.79 per square foot.
|Laminate Type||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Scratch Resistant||$0.68 – $2.59|
|Radiant/Underfloor Warming Approved||$0.68 – $2.79|
|Installable over Cork Underlayment||$0.68 – $2.84|
|No Waxing or Polishing Needed||$0.99 – $3.33|
|Noise Resistant||$1.39 – $2.59|
|Water Resistant||$1.69 – $2.79|
|Underlayment Attached||$1.88 – $2.79|
Average Cost to Install Laminate Flooring
Laminate flooring installation in a 330 square foot living room costs between $990 and $2,640 with most homeowners spending about $1,815 when professionally installed. Your final rate will depend on the room size and labor costs to install. The cost of laying laminate flooring is $3 to $8 per square foot, but a commercial level floor with radiant heating underneath costs $7 to $17 per square foot more.
Cost To Install By Room Size
The cost to install laminate flooring in a 15x15 (225 SF) bedroom is $1,223 on average. The following is an example of prices using Pergo laminate flooring with underlayment at $3.46 per square foot and $1 per linear foot for quarter round and T-molding, plus $1.72 per square foot for labor.
|Room Size||Labor||Materials||Total Cost|
|80 SF Foyer||$138||$313||$451|
|225 SF Bedroom||$387||$836||$1,223|
|330 SF Living Room||$568||$1,227||$1,795|
Labor Cost To Install Laminate Flooring
The average labor cost to install laminate flooring is $1.72 per square foot. For example, labor costs about $568 to install laminate in a 330 square foot living room. With the average cost of installation costing $3 to $8 per square foot total, labor costs make up anywhere from 20% to 50% of your final cost.
Labor Costs for Removal & Replacement
You may need a carpenter to remove old subflooring which costs an average of $70 per hour. Most carpenters will be able to remove the subfloor in a 200 square foot area in about a day at the cost of $400 to $550.
Removing carpet costs $0.50 to $1 per square foot as long as there is no repair work needed on the concrete below. Carpet usually won’t make for an acceptable subfloor. If it’s glued to the concrete, you might damage the concrete floor, which will then need to be patched. You’ll also need to scrape any glue off the floor. Then you’ll need to level and prep the subfloor, which must be flat/level within 3/16” from one end of a 10’ room to the other. Sand or patch the subfloor to get this.
Laminate Flooring Vs. Hardwood
Laminate flooring costs $1 to $5 per square foot or $2 to $8 per square foot installed. Hardwood flooring costs $5 to $20 per square foot or $12 to $20 per square foot installed, depending on the availability of the wood you want. Common to both wood flooring and hardwood flooring are the facts that both engineered wood and real wood can warp, both can grow mold, and both can be used with radiant heat. Other than that, though, they can vary considerably.
Laminate Flooring Vs. Carpet Cost
The average cost to install new carpeting is between $2 and $8 per square foot, compared to laminate flooring which costs an average of $3 to $8 per square foot installed. The cost to carpet a 225 SF room is around $634, while laminate in the same room would cost $1,223. Compare laminate to other flooring costs in our cost guide.
Laminate Flooring Pros and Cons
While the pros of laminate floors are mentioned in the table above, the cons are as follows:
- The subfloor will need to be perfect before installing the laminate or the differences in leveling will show up in the laminate.
- Once chosen, that’s the finish you’ll live with because you can’t customize laminate flooring.
- If repairs are needed, you might have to replace the whole floor rather than the damaged area, so it all looks similar.
- You can only refinish a laminate floor a max of 3 times, depending on the thickness of the top layer.
- You can’t change the color with a custom stain.
- It will only last a max of 30 years, usually 20.
- Resale value can be lower with laminate flooring vs. wood.
- Don’t install in humid areas like bathrooms, laundry rooms, and kitchens or they can warp.
“Hardwood Floors: Percentage of home buyers willing to pay more: 54%. Amount willing to pay extra: $2,080. Some 25% of buyers under the age of 35, and 28% of those between 35 and 54, considered hardwood floors ‘very important’ when looking for a home.” – USA Today
Molding, Trim, Stairs, & Baseboards
Baseboards will cost about $5.50 to install professionally per piece, while quarter round installation costs about $11 per piece. If you have removed your trim and don’t want it back, you might need to install quarter round or other moldings to bring a more seamless look to where the new flooring meets the wall, different flooring, or stairs.
Laminate Floor Molding
- Quarter Round Molding: This looks like a quarter circle you sit into the right angle of the wall and floor. Quarter round molding costs between $5–$16 each for a 94” length.
- Threshold Molding: This provides a clean switch from one type of higher-level flooring to a lower one, or vice versa. Threshold molding costs between $29–$32 each for a 78” length.
- T-Molding: This provides a clean switch from one type of similar-level flooring to another. T-molding costs between $29–$36 each for a 78” length.
Labor Cost To Install Laminate Flooring On Stairs
Labor to install laminate flooring on stairs costs from $45 to $125 per step. Also, a flush stairnose costs between $40–$76 each for a 78” length while a step nose costs between $18–$96 each for a 78” length.
- Flush Stairnose: This provides a finished look by completing the change from wood flooring to a top stair step. Flush stairnose costs between $40–$76 each for a 78” length.
- Step Nose or Overlap Stair Nose: The horizontal, protruding edge of a stair that offers anti-slip properties. Step nose costs between $18–$96 each for a 78” length.
Laminate Floor Trim & Baseboards
The cost to remove and reinstall your baseboards is about $75 each time, for a total of $150. The installation work can go much faster if the baseboards have been removed in advance. If your trim no longer matches your new floor, expect to pay about $5.50–$9/LF to have it replaced and/or $1.50/SF to paint it a new color.
Additional Cost Factors
- Removing existing flooring will cost $0.50–$4/SF.
- Carpet or Linoleum - $0.50–$1/SF
- Tile - $1.50–$4/SF
- Wood - $1–4/SF
- Moving furniture will cost $20–$50 per room.
- Installing laminate flooring on stairs can cost $45–$125 per step.
- Fall can be a busy time and more expensive, whereas after Christmas might open up better deals.
- Buy 10% more materials than needed to allow for waste.
- Leveling the subfloor with a resin embossing leveler can cost $0.13–$0.47/SF, with materials ranging from sheathing paper to fiberglass-reinforced aluminum foil.
- Check your flooring specifications to see if a moisture barrier ($0.44/SF) and underlayment (0.28/SF) is added to the base of the laminate. If it’s not, that will be an additional cost for both materials and installment labor.
Best Laminate Flooring Brands
The best laminate flooring brands sold by Home Depot and Lowe’s are as follows:
|Brand||Prices Per Square Foot|
|TrafficMASTER||$0.68 – $1.89|
|Pergo||$1.80 – $2.79|
|Home Decorators Collection||$0.94 – $2.27|
|Home Legend||$1.49 – $2.99|
|QuickStep||$1.99 – $2.28|
|Style Selections||$0.89 – $0.99|
Laminate Flooring Colors
Materials are prorated, but that amount is only partially based on depreciation. Uniclic® and Unilink® warranty periods are both pro rata 33 years for flooring and 25 years for accessories. Other manufacturers vary their warranties from 5 years to a lifetime, covering things like defective planks, fading, staining, and expected wear. Many things can void the warranty:
- Not installing on a level floor
- Using the wrong cleaners or steam mops on it
- Water damage, floods, buckling
- Scratches, abuse, cuts, dents
- Commercial use
- Installation errors
If your flooring arrives in poor condition, send it back immediately, or you will not be refunded for it.
Laminate flooring is perhaps the most popular choice for those who want the look of natural wood on their floors for half the price at $0.70 to $4.50/SF. With a multitude of looks and colors to choose from, and the benefits of quick installation, durability, and no more carpet stains, it’s a no-brainer. Originally created as a product to simulate the look and feel of wood, newer products on the market also create the look and texture of stone floors. Typically, each finish has a different installation cost.
Textures for Laminate Flooring
Some of the more frequently chosen textures include:
- Hand scraped: By using a particular technique, laminate boards can be given a surface texture like that of a hand- scraped wood floor during the manufacturing process. Hand-scraped boards can cost an average of $1.90–4.50/sqft.
- Embossed in Register (EIR): This technique adds embossed texture in the laminate board to match the printed grain. These boards will generally average around $2–$2.50/SF.
- Embossed or Textured: While not matching the embossed look with the underlying printed grain, it still provides the authentic look of hardwood grain and averages around $0.70–$3.30/SF.
Finishes for Laminate Flooring
Finished laminate averages around $2/SF. No indented texture is applied. Instead, it matches the look and feel of a varnished piece of wood. With low gloss being the most popular, the three main finishes are called:
- Matte or low gloss $0.68–$3.33/SF
- Semi-matte or medium gloss $0.68–$2.79/SF
- Glass or high gloss $1.70–$3.55/SF
Laminate Floor Edging
- Beveled – The plank sides are cut to an angle on the top side before meeting the jutting piece. They look like V grooves and give the flooring more of an authentic wood appearance.
- Micro-Beveled – These have a less beveled/angled edge.
- Pressed – This adds a recessed edge to planks, making it look almost like wood planks.
- Square - Plank sides are cut to a 450-straight angle from bottom and top to a center jutting piece.
- Pillowed – Rather than sharply beveled, the edges are rounded.
Laminate Flooring Underlay
Underlayment is either built-in or separate to the flooring planks you buy. It can cost about $0.28/SF on the low end to $0.60 on the high end. It’s a recommended addition as it:
- Absorbs sound
- Acts as a thermal barrier
- Gives a softer walk
- Can even out the floor
Don’t add a moisture barrier over an existing wood floor, because it will trap moisture and damage the subfloor. Use a foam underlayment instead, or whatever is recommended by the manufacturer of the flooring you buy. Keep in mind that underlayment is also the word for thin plywood or fiberboard, which could already be on the planks, but the separate kind usually comes in rolls of polyethylene foam, heavy foam, or felt. If you’re buying underlayment roll, get the roll as long as your room to avoid breaks.
Laminate Flooring Thickness
When looking at the thickness measurements of laminate flooring, keep in mind that it’s measured from top to bottom of the plank, no matter if the underlay is included or not. Even then, the thickness alone won’t tell you if you are buying quality flooring or not. What really counts is what the core is made up of and what the durable top layer consists of. Look for the term HDF—high-density fiber—to ensure a floor of quality. Most planks come in 7–9 mm of thickness.
Benefits of Thicker Floors
- Better sound absorption
- Easier installation
- Better resistance to fracturing/impact resistance
Also important to take into consideration is the flooring’s AC rating. Use it to check your expected usage, or foot traffic, against what the floor was built to withstand. An impartial third party has set the standard for the five different categories of use and durability. Most sellers will not even stock AC1/2-rated flooring, hence the lack of pricing for those.
|AC Rating||Cost Per Square Foot||Features|
|AC1 Moderate Residential||–||Built to withstand only light residential use. Suitable for closets or bedrooms|
|AC2 General Residential||–||Built for moderate foot traffic. Suitable in residential spaces that don’t see a tremendous amount of wear and tear, like dining rooms or living rooms|
|AC3 Heavy Residential/Moderate Commercial||$0.68 – $2.84||Built for all kinds of residential use and high-traffic rooms, and even commercial spaces that have light traffic—like offices without off-street traffic and hotel rooms|
|AC4 General Commercial||$0.95 – $3.33||Built to withstand every kind of residential use, as well as more heavily trafficked commercial spaces that have off-street traffic like offices, cafes, and boutiques|
|AC5 Heavy Commercial||$1.88 – $2.29||Built for the busiest commercial uses and high-traffic area like department stores and government buildings Commercial flooring has four layers, with the extra layer backing the fiberboard.|
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do You Install Pergo Flooring?
You’ll need to level the subfloor before installing the Pergo moisture barrier and underlayment. Following the tongue-and-groove method, keep planks parallel to the main view of the room. Make sure room is left for expansion: 1/8”–1/4” based on the manufacturer’s requirements. If this isn’t done, the flooring can buckle or separate at the joints. Then reinstall baseboards, quarter rounds, and T-molding, and the flush stairnose and step nose on stairs.
Is It Difficult To Install Laminate Flooring?
It depends on the type of flooring you use. If it’s tongue-and-groove flooring, most homeowners have found installing laminate flooring a moderately difficult learning experience as long as they had the right tools to finish it out.
Which Is Cheaper To Install—Carpet Or Laminate Flooring?
Carpet is cheaper to install at $2 per square foot while laminate flooring is double at $4 per square foot installed.
How Long Does It Take A Professional To Lay Laminate Flooring?
A professional can usually lay 100 square feet of laminate flooring in five hours. At an average labor cost of $1.72 per square foot, a 330 square foot living room can be installed in 2 days and cost $567 for labor.
How Do I Clean And Maintain Laminate Flooring?
Take steps to avoid scuffing by placing mats by entry doors and installing furniture protectors. Wipe up water quickly and don’t use a steam cleaner on it. Damp mop, if necessary, with as little water as possible. Don’t use cleaning solutions that leave waxy buildups or that are formulated for tile floors. They leave laminate flooring looking soapy and dull. A mild vinegar solution can work well. Also, avoid scouring powder or steel wool.
Can Laminate Be Installed Over An Uneven Subfloor?
No, laminate can’t be installed over an uneven subfloor because the flooring needs a flat surface to be able to sit correctly without buckling. You’ll have to level or sand the subfloor first.
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