The national average to install laminate flooring ranges between $3.84 to $4.07 per square foot. Naturally, things like square footage, flooring brand, and location will impact your final cost.
When a room needs a new, fresh look, you have several options. You can throw a fresh coat of paint on the walls or install new curtains. Or you can rip out the old flooring and give the room an entirely new floor.
Laminate flooring has become increasingly popular in homes. It gives the home the wood or stone look that homeowners want without the big cost or extensive care requirements.
So what can you expect to pay to have laminate flooring installed? This guide explains everything you need to know about the costs and choices when you install laminate flooring.
Why Install Laminate Flooring?
Laminate flooring is also known as floating wood tile. It consists of multiple layers of synthetic materials, fused using a lamination process.
From the outside laminate flooring looks like engineered wood flooring. The core, though, consists of fiberboard or melamine resin.
Because of its ease of installation and maintenance compared to traditional surfaces, laminate flooring has grown in popularity among average homeowners.
Furthermore, if you’re energy conscious and attempting to heat your home from the ground up, laminate is an excellent choice. Radiant floor heat works best under laminate versus hardwood floors because it does not shrink or warp.
Cost to Install Laminate Flooring
The cost of new laminate flooring depends on the cost of the laminate, the labor expense, and the size of the floor. In general, laminate flooring costs between $3 to $8 per square foot of flooring.
This means that the cost of laminate with installation will cost between $1,400 and $3,400. Most homeowners can expect to pay around $2,352 for the professional installation of laminate flooring.
This might seem like a chunk of change, but compared with the price of engineered hardwood floor, you’re saving quite a bit of money with a laminate. Plus, you save on the cost of maintenance, as hardwood floors require careful attendance.
The cost of the laminate itself varies according to the wood type you select. For example, Acacia, Beech, Cherry, and Maple woods all cost around $0.68 a square foot. Elm and Hickory, though, cost around $1.60 a square foot.
Laminate comes in more than just wood grain. Other styles will affect the cost as well. You can purchase laminate that mimics stone or linoleum as well.
Laminate Floor Features
Because laminate flooring is a manufactured floor, it comes with a variety of features. This makes it increasingly popular as well since you can purchase flooring with specific features for your home needs.
The features of laminate flooring also change its cost. For example, a scratch-resistant floor will cost $0.68 a square foot. If you’re looking for noise or water-resistant floors, expect to pay between $1.39 and $2.79 a square foot.
Radiant and underfloor warming will cost you between $0.68 to $2.79 a square foot. If you want an installable over cork underlayment, you can also play on paying up to $2.48 a square foot.
You may want a floor that requires no waxing or polishing. This option will cost between $0.99 and $3.33 a square foot. If the underlayment is attached, you will pay $1.88 and $2.79 a square foot.
Your new flooring does not install itself. Thus, you’ll need to budget for the cost of installation and removal if you do not plan on removing your own old flooring.
You can always attempt to remove your old floor on your own. If you have a particularly delicate floor, though, you may want a carpenter to come in to remove the old subflooring. This will cost you around $70 an hour.
Many carpenters can remove the subfloor of a 200-square foot room in a day. This will cost you around $400 to $500.
If you have carpet to remove, you can plan on paying $.50 to $1 a square foot to have it removed. You may be tempted to leave the carpet and have the laminate installed over it.
Do not do this. The carpet will make a poor subfloor.
If the carpet is glued to a concrete floor, you may damage the floor when you pull up the carpet. If this occurs, you’ll need to patch the floor.
You will also have to scrape the glue off the floor. Use a level to prep your subfloor. Make sure the entire floor is within 3/16 inches from one end of the room to the other.
If the floor is warped or angled, you will have to sand or patch the subfloor.
The type of laminate you select will also affect labor costs. For example, if you select a laminate that has an attached subfloor, the laminate will go on more quickly than if the contractor has to install a subfloor.
Furthermore, laminates that click together go on more quickly, resulting in lower labor costs. The laminate that you have to glue together will take more time as will the pre-glued pieces.
You may come across a contractor that insists on a particular type of laminate as well. This can also affect your cost.
Laminate For the Win
When you install laminate flooring, you’re making a great choice for your home. You give the room a fresh new look and a long-lasting floor.
Laminate flooring withstands traffic much better than carpet, and it’s easier to care for than a wood floor. It also installs relatively simply, so the labor costs are low.
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