How Much Does Flooring Installation Cost?
$6 – $10 Per Square Foot
The average cost of new flooring installation is $6 to $10 per square foot with some homeowners spending as little as $3 or as high as $18 per square foot depending on the materials chosen. For a medium-sized living room of 330 square feet, you can expect to pay between $1,660–$4,620 for installation and materials. Get free estimates from flooring companies near you.
Flooring Installation Cost
The average cost of new flooring installation is $6 to $10 per square foot with some homeowners spending as little as $3 or as high as $18 per square foot depending on the materials chosen. For a medium-sized living room of 330 square feet, you can expect to pay between $1,660–$4,620 for installation and materials.
|Flooring Material||Cost Per Square Foot|
|Engineered Wood||$6 – $20|
|Hardwood||$10 – $18|
|Laminate||$6 – $9|
|Vinyl or Linoleum||$3 – $10|
|Carpet||$1 – $3|
|Ceramic Tile||$2.50 – $3|
|Porcelain Tile||$3 – $10|
Table Of Contents
- Wood Flooring Cost
- Laminate Flooring Cost
- Vinyl Flooring Cost
- Carpet Installation Cost
- Tile Floor Installation Cost
- Heated Floors Cost
Flooring Cost Per Square Foot
The flooring in your home is a large part of its value. It won’t pay to go cheap, but you also need to keep in mind the bottom line of your budget. While cost will factor as a big part of your final choice, you’ll choose your flooring based on your local climate, dirt attraction, foot traffic, pets, and the use of the rooms where you want the flooring. Here are the average flooring installation costs by square foot:
|Flooring Installation||Cost Per Square Foot|
|National Average Cost||$8|
|Average Range||$6 to $10|
You may also be interested in eco-friendly options. The average cost between all flooring options is $8/sqft, but your final cost will depend greatly on which flooring option you choose. Each type of flooring requires a different method of installation and a knowledgeable flooring contractor.
Flooring Cost Calculator
The price for installing any kind of floor is based on square footage. Also, the materials you order will be based on square footage, and the installer will give you a price for labor based on square footage plus 10% for fitting and waste. Flooring that must be trimmed to accommodate floor registers, stairs, pipes, corners, or alcoves will incur waste. Here's how to calculate your room size:
- Measure the width and length of the floor.
- Multiply the width by the length. For example, if the room is 8’ x 10’, the square footage will be 80 square feet.
- Multiply the total square footage by the cost of material you choose
Flooring Cost Estimator
A 330 sqft living room plus a 20’ x 2’ hallway (40 sqft) in engineered wood:
= 370 sqft x $6–$20
|Flooring Material||Average 330 Sqft. Living Room|
|Engineered Wood||$1,980 – $6,600|
|Hardwood||$3,300 – $5,940|
|Laminate||$1,980 – $2,970|
|Vinyl or Linoleum||$990 – $3,300|
|Carpet||$330 – $990|
|Ceramic Tile||$825 – $990|
|Porcelain Tile||$990 – $3,300|
Wood Flooring Cost
The average cost to install wood flooring is between $8 and $16 per square foot depending on the type. The cost of installing hardwood floors in a 330-square foot living room is between $2,640 and $5,280 with the average homeowner paying $3,960.
Wood flooring provides a feeling of warmth in a room. A popular choice, they are easy to decorate around, since wood colors are considered neutral and pleasing to the eye. You can either use solid wood or engineered wood, which is a layer of your preferred wood (a veneer) over 5–7 sheets of plywood. The engineered wood is less costly than the solid version of preferred wood and a common economical alternative to solid wood. The thickness of solid wood floors ranges from 3/4” to 5/16”.
- Engineered wood $6–$20 – Engineered wood with a float installation is $6–$20 per square foot. The cost depends on the thickness of the surface veneer. Floating is the most common installation method and involves attaching or clicking the panels, which blocks out moisture.
- Solid wood $10–$18 – Solid wood (nailed or glued) is $10–$18 per square foot installed. The average labor cost for installing hardwood floors is $37/hour plus the contractor’s 15%–20% fee.
- Removal and disposal of the old floor (Having your contractor dispose of your old flooring material can be a great help.)
- Replacement of subfloor
- Labor and extra wood—small spaces with intricate corners/angles, floor registers, staircases take more time
- Moving furniture (do this yourself and save money)
- Your location. You’ll pay more if you live out of town than if you live in the middle of the city.
- Installation materials—glue or nails
Pros and Cons
- Easy to maintain
- Value – it’s considered an upgrade when buying a home
- Available in many different types of wood
- Design – can be laid straight in planks, square tiles, parquet, or any number of creative patterns
- Real wood can last for many decades
- Will need to be sanded and refinished from time to time
- Can be noisy with a lot of traffic or children playing
- It is more costly than alternative floors—laminate, vinyl, etc.
- Quickly absorbs moisture and can warp.
- The top layer of some engineered wood is so thin, you can’t sand it down.
Hardwood Flooring Cost
The most common woods used for flooring are chosen for their overall durability, their grain, and their ability to fit with the general decorating theme for the room.
|Wood Type||Cost Per Square Foot||Grain / Shade|
|Bamboo||$2–$4||Interesting patterns; Pale to natural-brown|
|Brazilian Walnut||$5–$9||Usually a straight, open grain; Mid to rich deep brown|
|Pine||$2–$4||Rustic knots; Natural reddish brown|
|Hickory||$3–$6||Medium grain; Mid-tone, rustic appearance|
|Maple||$3–$6||Very subtle grain; Natural creamy color|
|Red Oak||$2–$6||Mid to heavy grain; Light pinks to brown|
|White Ash||$5–$6||Fine grained; Soft tan to pale gray|
Options & Styles
More than fifty species of wood are available for your home flooring in a variety of shades. For a light shade with an open, airy look, choose maple, pine, or ash. For a medium shade with warmth, choose oak, hickory, or bamboo. For a dark shade giving a formal look, install walnut or mahogany.
How the wood is finished will add to the style of the room.
- A gloss finish is shiny. While quite beautiful, every scratch will show. If you have a busy household with kids and pets, this may not be your best choice.
- A semi-gloss finish has less shine and will be reflective of some light.
- A satin or matte finish has very little shine but has a rich luster and is an excellent choice for a busy household.
How the wood is laid will also add to the overall effect of the room. Choose from herringbone, crosshatch, repeating joints, random plank style, random plank sizes, staggered, or parquet patterns.
Laminate Flooring Cost
Laminate flooring installation costs between $6 and $9 per square foot. The labor cost to install laminate flooring is $34/hour plus the contractor’s 15%–20% fee. The cost of installing laminate floors in a 330-square foot living room is between $1,980 and $2,970 with the average homeowner paying $2,475.
|Laminate Quality||Thickness||Cost Per Square Foot|
Laminate floors are made from wood waste products. The little wood bits leftover from cutting lumber are subjected to high heat and pressure, forming a particle board. It’s covered with a high-quality photograph of wood or stone and then covered with a transparent layer called a “wear layer,” which is a highly durable plastic.
Laminate floors are a great alternative to higher-priced hardwood or tile floors. The cost of installing a laminate floor is lower than installing solid or engineered wood, making this choice a popular one. Even though trees are used in the production of the laminate, it’s the waste products of trees after making lumber that is used, making it an eco-friendly choice. Laminate floors are easy to install, using no nails or glue. They come with a tongue and groove type connection along the long sides and snap tightly together.
- Removal and disposal of old floor
- The need for a new subfloor
- Shipping and delivery costs
- The brand—some brands produce a higher quality, thicker laminate, at a higher cost
- How intricate is the area where the floor is going? Are there numerous floor registers, pipes, or other obstacles that need to be taken into consideration? Stairs?
Pros and Cons
- Easy to install
- Uses no nails or glue
- Easy to clean with a damp mop
- Water resistant
- A great DIY project for a weekend
- Easy to remove when installed as a floating floor (not nailed or glued down)
- Usually carries a good warranty
- Cannot be refinished, it must be replaced
- Does not add value to your home as a hardwood floor does
- Is not waterproof
- Cheaper laminate often looks cheap
- It must acclimate to your room before installation can begin
- If not tightly sealed, moisture can cause the laminate to swell
Options & Styles
Laminate that looks like wood, stone, or tile is available is a wide variety of styles, grains, shades, and types of stone. It generally comes in planks, but the stone and tile styles come in squares of varying sizes. Laminate is installed over a thin layer of foam, which is laid over the subfloor. This offers comfort for the feet without reducing the hardness of the floor against nicks and scratches.
Cost To Install Vinyl Flooring
Costs to install vinyl or linoleum flooring run from $3–$10 a square foot. A vinyl or linoleum sheet floor can be installed for as little as $0.84 per square foot and run up to $1.36 a square foot. Planks and tiles run a little more $1.85–$3. Luxury vinyl products can run up to $10 a square foot to install. The average cost to install vinyl or linoleum in a 330-square-foot living room is around $2,145.
- The type of vinyl flooring being installed: sheet, plank, or tile
- Removal and disposal of old floor
- A new subfloor
- The distance your installer must travel and the cost he/she can buy it for
- Sealant chosen and application cost
Pros and Cons
Linoleum has been around since the mid-1800s and is crafted from renewable resources such as flaxseed oil, jute, natural wood floors, and other natural elements. Vinyl is a newer product and completely synthetic. Vinyl and linoleum flooring products offer an economical alternative to higher-priced wood floors. They come in a variety of thicknesses and a vast variety of patterns and colors.
- 100% waterproof
- Very durable
- A softer surface that’s easier on the feet
- Easy maintenance – sweep and damp mop
- Can be installed directly over the old floor
- A new install can have off-gassing.
- The softer surface means tears or gouges can happen more easily.
- Adds no value to the home like a solid hardwood floor does
- If it’s installed with glue, it can be tough to remove.
- Can fade in the sunlight
Vinyl vs. Linoleum Flooring
Vinyl is constructed in layers.
Linoleum is a mixture of renewable products.
Options & Styles
Both vinyl and linoleum are generally sold in sheet form, but there are some vinyl flooring options available as planks and tiles, similar to laminate floors.
- Sheet – this is the most common style of vinyl and linoleum flooring.
- Vinyl Planks – luxury vinyl products come in planks, imitating the look of a solid hardwood floor.
- Tiles – luxury vinyl products also come in the shape of tiles for use in kitchen and bathrooms.
When you start to look for your new flooring solution, you’ll run into vinyl, linoleum, and luxury vinyl products. What the difference between them?
- The lower end of standard vinyl measures 2 mm thick, while luxury products are more than 6.5 mm and up to 20 mm thick. You can find bargain tiles that are a scant 1.2 mm thick, but you might want to steer clear of those.
- The image is more realistic. The luxury products will represent either wood or stone. Standard vinyl is not limited to wood or stone but represents hundreds of patterns.
- The embossing is deeper for a more realistic appearance and texture.
- The shapes. Standard vinyl comes in sheets that should be installed by a professional. Luxury vinyl comes in planks or tiles.
Carpet Installation Cost
Carpet installation costs around $1–$3 per square foot on average for installation, and that is just for the labor. It doesn’t include the cost of the carpet, the pad, the tack strips, or furniture moving, baseboard removing and baseboard replacing. For a typical 330-square-foot living room you can expect to pay $660 for carpet installation and materials.
Some companies will offer free installation with the purchase of carpet from their store. This can be a good deal, but check the details to be sure of what’s included in the free column.
- Where it’s being installed - If it’s a simple square or rectangular room, the cost of installation should be on the lower end. When you have carpet installed on stairs, around pillars or floor registers, or in small spaces or tricky corners, the price goes up.
- You may need new baseboards if you’re replacing old carpet. Removing baseboards/trim can result in the need for new ones, and besides, if you have new carpet, why not have new baseboards?
- The subfloor and carpet padding should be in good condition for your carpet to wear correctly. Uneven spots on the subfloor will cause uneven wear on the bottom of the carpet. If that’s the case, it may need to be replaced.
- Removal and disposal of the old flooring
Pros and Cons
Carpeting has been the standard floor covering for living areas and bedrooms for decades. Carpets add warmth to a room and are soft on bare feet. They reduce noise, which is nice if you live in an apartment or have a multiple-story home. Carpets are available in a vast range of colors, patterns, and styles and are made with natural or synthetic fibers or a mix of both. In basic rooms, carpeting is quickly and easily installed by professionals who have the equipment to do it. It’s not a quick and easy DIY project.
- Comes in a vast variety of colors, making it easy to coordinate your décor
- Soft and comfortable on your bare feet
- Adds visual and physical warmth to a room
- Economical compared to hardwood or tile floors
- Absorbs noise rather than amplifies it
- If not professionally installed, seams can show.
- Tends to develop wear patterns in high-traffic areas.
- Spills can stain carpet; they should be cleaned immediately.
- Can attract bugs like carpet beetles, fleas, and dust mites
Options & Styles
Carpets are constructed from the following fibers: acrylic, cotton, nylon, polyester, olefin, and wool. These are the most common. Prices given below are from Lowe’s and Home Depot.
- Acrylic fibers are typically used in area rugs. They resist mold, stains, and moths.
- Polyester also resists mold, mildew, stains, and fading from the sun. Quality of polyester varies widely, with the less-expensive carpets falling prey to crushing and creating that high-traffic pattern. Look for a dense construction of polyester fibers. Polyester carpets are known for the richness of their colors. $0.69+/sqft
- Olefin is a very popular carpet fiber. It surpasses polyester with its ability to resist mold, mildew, stains, and fading. Olefin is used extensively in Berber and loop style carpets. $1.10+/sqft
- Nylon is the most common fiber used in wall-to-wall carpeting. It’s very strong and resists mold, mildew, and stains. Nylon wears well and is easy to clean, making it a good choice for young families with children and pets. $1.29+/sqft
- Wool is the traditional choice when it comes to carpets. The natural fiber is luxurious and carries beautiful color. It is quite expensive, but a wool carpet will outperform any other carpet fiber, lasting for decades. On the downside, wool will absorb moisture, which could become a mildew problem. $3.89/sqft
- Cotton is also used mainly in area rugs. It’s a natural fiber and lends itself to a more natural lifestyle, but it can stain easily and fade if left in the direct sunlight. $6.31+/sqft
Options & Styles
Carpets come in a variety of styles known as cut, loop, and cut and loop. These are known as piles. The denser the pile, the better the grade of carpet.
- Cut – This look is created when the woven loops of the carpet fibers are split evenly. The resulting look is a soft, even, very inviting carpet. This style can develop wear patterns, so it is not a good choice for high-traffic areas.
- Loop – This is usually a commercial carpet and is made when the woven loops of the carpet fibers are left uncut. The loop creates a denser, tougher fabric. It’s frequently produced with multiple colors to hide stains and spills.
- Cut and Loop – We know this carpet by the name sculpted carpet. By cutting some loops, and leaving the remaining loops uncut, a high/low texture is created that is visually appealing. It’s very durable and works well in mid- to high-traffic areas. With fewer cut loops to be crushed, it resists the wear pattern.
Carpets are constructed from fibers similar to yarn. These fibers are twisted to different degrees to produce different looks. A Frieze carpet yarn is tightly twisted, giving this carpet great texture. Carpet fibers also come in a variety of thicknesses, each creating its own texture. For instance, a thicker yarn is called cable, and it produces a very plush and luxurious carpet.
- Berber/loop ($0.69+/sqft)
- Shag/frieze ($3.28+/sqft)
- Pattern ($1.52+/sqft)
- Plush (1.29+/sqft)
- Textured ($1.08+/sqft)
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.
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 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.
- 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
- 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.
Heated Floors Cost
This is the time to install radiant heat in the floor—now that the old flooring product has been removed and the subfloor is available to you. Radiant heating is based on a heating element installed under the tile which keeps the floor and the room at a comfortable temperature. Radiant floor heating can add up to $2,000 to your installation costs, or $10 to $20 per square foot depending on the size of your room, but the comfort and luxury of this option can’t be ignored.
Pros & Cons
- It’s energy efficient
- Doesn’t take up space in the room
- Any floor can be installed over radiant heating systems.
- It’s luxurious.
- The cost to install can run from $10–$20 per square foot.
- It needs to be installed by an electrician.
- It will cause a delay in floor installation since the heating system needs to be installed first.
- It will increase the height of the floor by a half inch.
Flooring Repair Costs
- Hardwood floor refinishing cost - Repairing a hardwood floor means refinishing the entire floor. Trying to replace one board would be difficult since it is probably nailed to the subfloor, and the whole floor could then look uneven. Sanding and refinishing the existing hardwood floor will run from $3–$4 a square foot, done by a professional.
- Tile repair cost - A professional will be able to remove a few tiles and replace them in a reasonably short amount of time. Depending on the extent of the damage, this should run between $300–$500. Saving back a few tiles from the original installation can be a big help because of variations in colors of tile batches.
- Carpet repair cost - Many things can happen to our carpeting including tears, pet stains, cigarette burns, water damage, or spill stains that won’t clean up. If the area is small enough, the damaged carpet can be cut away and replaced with a patch. The professional will be able to blend in the edges of the patch which will go unnoticed if they do a good job. This kind of repair costs about $25 per square foot.
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.
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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