How much does it cost to replace a subfloor?
How much does it cost to replace a subfloor?
$2.20 – $4.75 cost per square foot installed
$440 – $1,200 average total cost (200 – 250 SF)
$1,750 – $7,100 average total cost (800 – 1,500 SF basement)
Average cost to replace a subfloor
The cost to replace a subfloor is $2.20 to $4.75 per square foot on average. Subfloor replacement costs depend on the area size and location, labor costs, and material. Plywood and OSB are the most common and least expensive subflooring materials. Bathroom subfloor replacement costs $100 to $570.
|Area size (square feet)||Average cost|
|50||$110 – $240|
|100||$220 – $475|
|200||$440 – $950|
|500||$1,100 – $2,400|
|750||$1,650 – $3,550|
|1,000||$2,200 – $4,750|
|1,200||$2,650 – $5,700|
|1,500||$3,300 – $7,100|
|2,000||$4,400 – $9,500|
|2,500||$5,500 – $11,900|
Cost data is from research and project costs reported by HomeGuide members.
Subfloor price by material
Subfloor prices depend on the material, thickness, and whether you install a panel system like DRIcore or Barricade versus standard plywood or OSB panels.
Most subfloors are made of plywood or oriented strand board (OSB).
A subfloor panel system features tongue-and-groove OSB panels bonded to rigid plastic or polystyrene foam to create a moisture barrier that prevents mold and mildew.
Most plywood and standard OSB panels are 4'x8', while other subfloor panel systems range from 2'x2' to 4'x8', depending on the brand.
|Material||Average cost installed (per square foot)|
|Plywood||$2.50 – $3.00|
|Oriented strand board (OSB)||$2.20 – $2.80|
|Advantech||$2.75 – $4.50|
|Amdry||$2.80 – $4.75|
|Barricade||$2.80 – $4.75|
|DRIcore||$2.75 – $4.00|
|DRIcore R+||$3.20 – $4.50|
Subflooring comes in thicknesses of 1/2", 5/8", 3/4", 7/8", and 1". The farther apart the floor joists are, the thicker the subfloor must be to support the weight from above. The recommended subfloor thickness also depends on the type of flooring you plan to install on top of it:
1/2" and 5/8" thick plywood sheets are recommended only for subfloors beneath carpet or vinyl.
3/4" thick plywood sheets are best for subfloors beneath tile or hardwood.
Plywood subflooring costs $2.50 to $3.00 per square foot installed, depending on the thickness. Plywood is one of the most common subfloor materials and can be fastened to the joists with nails, screws, or adhesive.
Oriented strand board (OSB)
Oriented strand board (OSB) subflooring costs $2.20 to $2.80 per square foot installed. OSB is an engineered material made by compressing layers of wood strands with waterproof, heat-cured adhesives. Though OSB is slightly cheaper than plywood, it is not as strong or durable.
Subfloor panel system
A subfloor panel system like Amdry, DRIcore, or Barricade costs $2.75 to $4.75 per square foot installed. These panel systems feature moisture-resistant, insulated materials bonded to OSB, making them ideal for basements, bathrooms, and kitchens.
Cost to replace subfloor by location
The cost to replace a subfloor varies depending on the room size and type. Bathrooms and kitchens typically require moisture-resistant subfloor materials, while basements can benefit from materials that are both moisture-resistant and insulating.
|Room||Size (square feet)||Average cost installed*|
|Bedroom||100 – 180||$220 – $850|
|Primary bedroom||180 – 250||$400 – $1,200|
|Living room||250 – 350||$550 – $1,400|
|Bathroom||40 – 80||$100 – $380|
|Primary bathroom||80 – 120||$180 – $570|
|Kitchen||100 – 200||$220 – $950|
|Basement||800 – 1,500||$1,750 – $7,100|
*Subfloor only. Not including the cost to replace the flooring on top.
Cost to replace the subfloor in a bathroom
The cost to replace a bathroom subfloor is $100 to $380 for a small 40-square-foot guest bathroom or up to $570 for a larger primary bathroom. Leaks in the bathroom often rot the subfloor and cause the screws holding the toilet flange in place to become loose.
Cost to replace the subfloor in a mobile home
The cost to replace the subfloor in a mobile home is $2.20 to $2.80 per square foot, or $1,100 to $3,600 for a single-wide model and $2,000 to $6,400 for a double-wide model. Mobile home subfloors are typically made of oriented strand board (OSB), one of the cheapest subfloor material options.
Subfloor replacement cost calculator
Materials make up approximately 70% of the total subfloor replacement cost, with labor making up the other 30%.
|Factor||Average cost (per square foot)|
|Materials||$1.60 – $3.25|
|Labor||$0.60 – $1.50|
|Total cost||$2.20 – $4.75|
Factors that affect the cost include:
Room size – The larger the room, the more materials and labor are needed. However, the overall cost per square foot may be higher for small projects due to minimum job fees.
Material – Plywood and OSB are the cheapest and most common subfloor materials. More costly options provide added insulation and moisture protection.
Subfloor location – A basement subfloor is typically the easiest to install, while kitchen and bathroom subfloors may require extra labor time to work around plumbing pipes and fixtures.
Mold remediation – Mold removal costs $15 to $30 per square foot and may be required if the subfloors sustained water damage.
New flooring – If the subfloor is damaged, the flooring on top may also need replacing. The average cost of new flooring installation is $4 to $15 per square foot, depending on the material. Carpet and linoleum are the cheapest, while hardwood and engineered wood flooring cost the most.
Permits – Many cities do not require a permit for repairing or replacing a small section of subfloor. However, larger projects may require a permit at a cost of $50 to $200+, depending on your location.
Labor cost to replace subfloor
The labor cost to replace a subfloor is $25 to $45 per hour, depending on your location and if the contractors must completely remove the old subfloor before installing the new one. Contractors may also charge extra if they need to move furniture out of the room first.
Replacing the subfloor in a small area takes 3 to 4 hours, while replacing the entire subfloor throughout a home may take up to 5 days.
Cost to replace floor joists
The cost to replace floor joists is $350 to $1,000 per joist. Sistering the joists costs $150 to $325 per joist and involves fastening a new joist to the rotted one and bolting them together.
Joists are structural beams that run horizontally to create a supportive frame for the subfloor and surface flooring to rest on. If the subfloor sustained water or insect damage, the damage may have spread to the joists below it.
Subfloor repair cost
Subfloor repair costs $100 to $300 on average if only a small area is damaged. Repairs typically involve cutting around and removing the damaged section of the subfloor and replacing it with new material—a process also referred to as "patching" the subfloor.
Signs a subfloor needs replacing
Look for these signs your subfloor needs to be repaired or replaced:
Loud squeaking as you walk across the floor
Cracking or popping sounds when walking across tile floors
Sagging, sinking, or uneven floors
Floors that have suffered from water damage
Mold, mildew, or musty odors
Rotted wood in the subfloor or joists
Cupping or warping floorboards that are curling up or twisted out of shape
Loose toilet that rocks back and forth
What is a subfloor?
A subfloor is a layer of solid material installed over the structural floor joists or a concrete slab foundation to provide a smooth, level surface for the final floor covering, such as carpet, tile, or hardwood. A subfloor can also provide insulation and may function as a moisture barrier.
Most subfloors are made of 4'x8' plywood or oriented strand board (OSB) panels.
How long does a subfloor last?
A subfloor often lasts as long as the house itself. However, water damage can significantly reduce its lifespan. Subflooring that is repeatedly exposed to moisture may last only 20 to 30 years.
How long does it take to replace the subfloor?
Replacing a subfloor can take 3 to 4 hours for small, damaged areas or 3 to 5 days for larger areas like a full basement.
Can you put a new subfloor over an old subfloor?
Yes, you can put a new subfloor over an old subfloor, provided the old subflooring planks are stable, level, and in reasonable condition. However, new subflooring should not be laid on top if the existing subfloor has bumps, warping, or rot due to water damage.
Can you repair or replace the subfloor from underneath?
No, you cannot replace a subfloor from underneath, even in a home with a basement. The contractor must remove the surface flooring so the subfloor can be accessed from above.
Who fixes subfloors?
Hire a flooring contractor to repair or replace a subfloor. If the subfloor was damaged by water, be sure to address the cause of the leak first so the new subfloor isn't also damaged.
Getting estimates from subfloor contractors near you
When hiring a subfloor repair contractor, remember to:
Compare at least three estimates featuring similar subfloor materials.
Hire a licensed, bonded, and insured company that has been in business for 5+ years.
Read flooring contractor reviews on HomeGuide and Google.
Ask for references with contact information.
Get a written contract and warranty details before work begins.
Work out a payment plan instead of paying in full before the job is complete.
Questions to ask
When evaluating flooring contractors to replace your subfloor, ask these important questions:
How long have you been replacing subfloors?
Are you licensed, bonded, and insured?
Will you complete the work yourself or hire a subcontractor?
What material do you recommend for my subfloor, and why?
Is the subfloor material compatible with the type of flooring I want to install?
Does the estimate include removing and disposing of the old subfloor?
What other costs might come up during the project?
How long will the subfloor replacement take?
Is there a warranty on the materials and labor? If so, how long is it and what does it cover?
How will you protect the rest of my home from damage during the project?