Cost of Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring costDon’t let your remodeling budget go over-board by hidden surprises – understand what the average installed costs for Laminate Flooring is in your zip code by using our handy calculator. If you’re looking for 2018 breakdown for Cost of Laminate Flooring materials and what installation cost might be, you’ve come to the right place.

As an experienced licensed home improvement contractor, I know first hand what it should cost for various levels — from Basic, Better, and of course the best. The Laminate Flooring cost estimator will provide you with up to date pricing for your area. Simply enter your zip code and the square footage, next click update and you will see a breakdown on what it should cost to have Laminate Flooring installed in your home.

Laminate Flooring costsZip Code Sq. ft.
BasicBetterBest
Laminate Flooring – Material Prices $125.00 – $185.00 $225.00 – $250.00 $275.00 – $300.00
Laminate Flooring – Installation Cost $285.00 – $375.00 $400.00 – $485.00 $525.00 – $600.00
Laminate Flooring – Total $410.00 – $560.00 $625.00 – $735.00 $800.00 – $900.00
Laminate Flooring – Total Average Cost per square foot $4.85 $6.80 $8.50

How much does it cost to install laminate flooring?

Laminate flooring is made of synthetic materials that are layered and then fused together during a process that is known as lamination. This process artificially replicates the appearance of hardwood, stone, or tile by using a high-quality photographic layer underneath of a protective layer that is clear and easy to see through. Thanks to its durability- 30 years of use- and affordable price, laminate flooring is a popular option for those who chose to remodel their home or for those who want to improve aspects of their home to increase its appearance.

In an average kitchen that is 200 square feet in size, installing laminate flooring typically costs $820-$1,800. What this price does not include: Removal of your existing flooring, re-installing baseboard trim, vapor barrier, trim moldings, moving furniture; these come with additional costs.
Wood TypeCost per Square FootInstallation CostsTotal
Maple, Oak$0.80$3 – $6$3.80 – $6.80
Walnut$0.95$3 – $6$3.95 – $6.95
Acacia, Cherry, Beech$1$4 – $6$5 – $7
Hickory$2$6 – $8$8 – $10

Factors that effect the cost of installation

It’s easy to assume that the smaller the square footage of a room is, the lower the price of installation would be. However, this isn’t usually the case- in fact, reality is pretty much opposite of this idea. Laminate floor installation works the other way around in terms of price. The smaller an area is, the more it costs to install the flooring. Why? It’s because you’re paying for a companies time to setup tools and equipment. Most flooring contractors have a set per day operating cost.

Other key cost factors are: How broken up your floor layout is. How many bump-outs, closets, pantries, cabinets, doorways, etc. These all cost extra and can add up to the final cost. The reason for this? It takes more time to make specialized flooring cuts and transition changes.

Premium flooring colors:  Deep colors like rich brown are usually considered to be premium colors, meaning that the cost of purchasing and installing them are higher. Lighter colors, such as ash and light brown, come with a lower price tag because they are less popular. This might sound strange, but it makes sense, as this principle is in line with the notion of supply and demand.

The Time of the year: this can also affect the cost of the process. Spring through Fall are the busiest time for contractors who offer laminate installation, but winter months are less busy. During the winter months, laminate flooring can be purchased at cheaper prices, saving you a buck or two in the overall cost of the installation process. Try to book your flooring install between the months of: January and March.

Underlayment and Thickness

Some laminate flooring has built-in underlayment, while others require that you buy padding separately in order to provide your floor with cushioning, absorb sounds, and even out any spots that may be uneven. A moisture barrier or underlayment with a built-in moisture barrier is usually required for below grade installation jobs and for installation in areas that are prone to excess moisture. This is necessary to protect your laminate and preserve its beauty.

Buying laminate that has underlayment that has already been applied can save you money during the installation process, but it is more expensive to purchase outright. Installing underlayment for a 200 square foot area can cost as much as $1-$1.50 per square foot.

Laminate flooring thickness ranges from 8mm to 12mm thick. Points to consider when choosing a thickness: Thicker laminate is better at masking uneven floors and also is more sound resistant. 8mm laminate tends to show imperfections in your sub-flooring and also buckles over time if a vapor barrier isn’t present, or fails due to moisture. Most common flooring failures or buckling, happens near the refrigerator and sinks. Expect laminate flooring cost in the range of $1-$3.00 per foot.

 Flooring Texture and Finish Options

Laminate comes in different textures to give off the appearance of real hardwood flooring. Some of the most popular textures of laminate are:

  • Hand scraped: laminate is pressed so that is resembles real hand scraped hardwood flooring. This kind of laminate ranges from $2-$3.00 per square foot.
  • Embossed: this texture gives off the look of a natural hardwood floor. It is known for adding depth and texture within the alignment of the floor. It ranges in price from $1-$3 per square foot.
  • Gloss: this finish makes the laminate have a glossy finish and nice shine. This type of finish is used on laminate in places such as clubs, bars, and event locations.
  • Wood: wood finish is specifically designed to be used on timber.
  • Matt(e): a matt finish gives off a “matt” appearance, meaning that there is minimal to no glass or shine. It’s used on professional settings like offices and boardrooms.

What is an AC rating?

An AC rating (abrasion class rating) is a good representative of the way a laminate floor will handle wear, and where it should be installed inside of the home. The AC rating of a floor can also indicate if a laminate floor can be used in a commercial or residential space. AC ratings are based on a scale of 1 to 5, with the higher the number of the rating being the most expensive and durable, and the lower numbers being less durable but also less expensive. AC ratings take into consideration each laminate’s reaction to strain, heat, impact, and moisture to give it an adequate class number. The system of AC rating was first introduced by the Association of European Producers of Laminate Flooring, and quickly become the worldwide standard for laminate flooring classes.

Molding and Trim

The perfect molding or trim can complete the look of any new laminate flooring or room design. Depending on what kind of trim or molding you buy, you could be looking at a range of prices, ranging from low to very high.

  • Quarter round molding: this type of molding is used to cover the space between the baseboard and flooring. It costs from $1-$2.00 per linear foot.
  • Threshold molding: threshold molding is used to fill space where the molding meets carpet or where a wall-base can’t be placed.It costs $3-$6 per foot.
  • Step nose: step nose is used where laminate flooring meets with a staircase or landing area. Step nose costs $4-$7.00 per square foot.
  • T-molding: (transition molding) t-molding fills in the space between two tiles or pieces of laminate. This is used for when you want to make angle changes that have two intersecting angles that meet each other — It typically costs $3-$5 per foot.
  • Flush stair-nose: this is used for stairs, landings, and step-down areas. Usually, flush stair-nose costs $4-$6.00 per square foot.

Top FAQ’s

How much laminate flooring do I need?

This is a simple calculation. First, grab a measuring tape and measure the length and the width of your room. For example, if your kitchen flooring measured 16′ ft long and 12′ feet wide, that would be a total of 192 square ft. Here’s the math: (width x length) = total square footage.

What Laminate flooring is the best? Laminate flooring brands such as: Armstrong, Pergo and Shaw have great reviews.

Is installing laminate flooring easy?

If the directions are followed correctly and patiently, installing laminate can be an easy task. It’s usually done within a day for most standard sized kitchens.

How is Pergo laminate flooring installed?

Start off by clearing away all dirt. Next, if your laminate flooring doesn’t come with a vapor barrier, you must install one to protect your flooring from any moisture issues between the sub-flooring and the laminate. The layout begins with a careful plan of how and which direction looks the most pleasing to the eye.

What tools are needed to install laminate?

To install laminate floors you or your contractor will need: Pry-bar/flat-bar, utility knife, hammer, tape measure, Jigsaw, backsaw, miter-saw should get you off to a great start.

How do I install snap together laminate flooring?

This is a simple process of just sliding the tongue into the groove, going row by row. It’s really simple stuff. Be sure to have a 1/4 spacing off of the walls for expansion and contraction.

How do I clean Laminate flooring?

By using a damp mop, or a cleaning cloth with a light spray. Use a swifter mop. Avoid cleaning machines like steam cleaners, etc..

Laminate Flooring – Pricing and Installation Cost Checklist

  • Get at least 3-5 estimates before hiring a Laminate Flooring contractor — estimates are typically free, unless it’s a service call for a repair.
  • Expect the Laminate Flooring prices to fluctuate between various companies – each and every company have different operation expenses and over-head.
  • Try to get prices in late Fall, early winter – you should expect aggressive pricing discounts by waiting for a contractor’s down season.
  • Try to budget and additional 7-15% more on top of what our calculator gives out – I.e; difficult configurations, patterns, etc. The additional complexity of your Walls and sub-flooring, trim work will add to the Laminate Flooring costs.
  • Visit every supply house that sell your particular brand of Laminate Flooring and try to negotiate a better price with each supplier – I save on average 20%.
  • Remember, each floor plan is different, so if you have a complex floor layout, try to budget a little more before starting your Laminate Flooring project.

View Other Flooring Costs and Options: From Vinyl, Hardwood, Laminate, and Carpet Styles

  • Vinyl & Laminate
  • Hardwood & Engineered
  • Carpet & Tile

 

References:

  1. The HUD PATH Rehab Guide Volume 5: Partitions, Ceilings, Floors, and Stairs U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Policy Development and Research.
  2. American Society of Professional Estimators, — How to Estimate the Cost of Commonly Used Flooring Systems.
  3. Lowes Laminate flooring Price data, — Lowes Laminate flooring Price data.
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