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How Much Does it Cost to Install Flooring?

Install Flooring Costs
Average reported costs
$2,852
based on 19,447 cost profiles
Most homeowners
spent between
$1,537 - $4,256
Low cost
$200
High cost
$10,000
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Browse All Project Categories

Type of FlooringAverage CostMore Info
Install Carpeting$1,498See Carpeting Costs
Install Ceramic or Porcelain Tile$1,588See Ceramic or Porcelain Tile Costs
Install Laminate Flooring$2,816See Laminate Flooring Costs
Install Natural Stone Tile$1,830See Natural Stone Tile Costs
Install Vinyl or Linoleum Flooring$357See Vinyl or Linoleum Flooring Costs
Install Wood Flooring$4,240See Wood Flooring Costs

On This Page:

  1. Wood Flooring
  2. Laminate Flooring
  3. Vinyl and Linoleum
  4. Carpeting
  5. Tile Flooring
  6. Other Flooring Options

The average cost range to install flooring is $1,537 and $4,256, with an average price of $2,852 as reported by homeowners. Consider it as a long-term investment, something you'll touch more than any aspect of your house, and it might just last for the life of your home. Types of flooring, of course, run the gamut in price and quality. The type of flooring you install should reflect your tastes and your lifestyle. Do you need something that's easy to clean? Or is it more important that it fit the character of your house? Do you have allergies? Even once you decide on a material, you won't be able to calculate costs until you settle on the quality of the materials and the level of expertise that's needed to install it.

Wood Flooring

There are two primary types of wood flooring available. The first is the solid wood floor. These floors are generally 3/4" thick and can be purchased raw or pre-finished. The average cost of hardwood flooring will sit at the top end of the range. The other style of wood flooring is the "engineered wood floor." This is a wood floor that has a top wear layer, usually 1/8" thick, and more layers of plywood underneath. The top layer is generally made out of oak, maple, cherry, etc.

Engineered wood floors are gaining in popularity because they generally cost less than the solid wood floor, but can be refinished like a solid wood floor. However, since refinishing takes off a small amount of the surface each time, an engineered floor may not have as long a life as a hardwood floor.

Cost

The average cost of having wood flooring installed in a typical 1,000 square foot home is around $8,000.00. However, some people choose to install wood floors only in some rooms. The most common rooms to receive this treatment are living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms for a total average of around 550 square feet. The average cost installed then becomes around $4,400.00 at around $8.00 to $10.00 per square foot.

Cost Factors

Typical varying cost factors that can increase or decrease your cost include:

  • The type of wood you use
  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things.
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos.
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%.
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Wood has a classic look that lends warmth to a room.
  • Easier to match furniture to wood because wood is generally of a neutral color.
  • Wood is a great insulator and can hold warmth for a while.
  • Wood floors are very long-lasting if properly cared for. Some existing wood floors in Europe have been around since the Dark Ages.
  • They are very easy to maintain.
  • Wood floors can be sanded and refinished many times. Where a carpet might wear out after 10 years and need to be replaced, a wood floor can be renewed.
  • Wood doesn’t trap dust and other allergens.

Cons

  • Very susceptible to moisture and humidity. Even minor leaks can cause significant damage to a wood floor if left untreated.
  • Not suitable for every room. Because of the susceptibility to moisture, wood floors are not recommended for bathrooms or laundry rooms.
  • Before installing, the substructure must be inspected to make sure it is level. An uneven substructure can cause the wood to bend and pop up.
  • Some finishes can scratch easily. The decision here, though, is that the finishes that scratch easily are also repaired easily, such as shellac. Polyurethane, though it doesn’t scratch easily, requires a complete refinishing if it does get scratched.
  • They are noisy to walk on. Even the best of wood floors can develop creaks, though this can be mitigated to a degree with area rugs.

Materials

There are almost as many different types of wood flooring as there are types of wood. Each one has its own characteristics, so take samples home to see how they look before committing to buy. Here are some of the more popular choices for wood flooring including the increasingly popular cork:

  • Maple: Very hard, creamy white to pale red in color, can be hard to work with ($4.00 to $8.50 sq ft)
  • White Ash: Pale yellow in color, bold grain, durable and hard to stain ($3.30 to $7.00 sq ft)
  • Hickory: Reddish-brown with varying color patterns, very durable and hard ($3.20 to $6.70 sq ft)
  • Red Oak: Reddish, tight but visible grain, ideal for cutting and staining ($3.00 to $6.50 sq ft)
  • Brazilian Cherry: Exotic red-brown color, coarse texture but easy to scratch ($4.00 to $8.00 sq ft)
  • Cork: Light, neutral color, resistant to many kinds of damage (moisture, scratch, dent, fire, etc.), renewable (the bark, not the timber, is used), very soft under foot, retains warmth ($2.00 to $10.00 sq ft)

Options/Styles

Aside from the type of wood, you have many choices for your floor.

  • Distressed, wide planks make for a rustic look.
  • Reclaimed wood comes from old buildings. It’s eco-friendly and lends a sense of history to your home.
  • Ebonized hardwood takes a dark hardwood and adds a sleek, black finish for a luxurious, modern look.
  • Puzzle cut makes your floor look like a jigsaw puzzle. Perfect for game rooms and children’s rooms, it’s a real conversation-starter!
  • Parquetry is the art of creating geometric mosaics with wood floors. Different types of woods are used to create stunning patterns. Some patterns may be repeated, such as herringbone, but others treat the whole floor as a canvas to create one large image. It is very expensive depending on patterns and materials.
  • Marquetry is like parquetry, but it is more often seen on furniture. However, when money is not an issue, it sees use on floors. A skilled woodworker can make his or her own, though. Marquetry uses more curves and creates pictures instead of just geometric shapes.
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Laminate Flooring

Laminate flooring is almost always cheaper than the counterparts it imitates. Real wood, stone and tile are not only usually more expensive materials but are almost always considerably more expensive to install. So if you want the look and feel of wood, stone or tile (or at least an approximation), but cannot afford the price tag, laminate flooring might be the way to go. Laminate wood and stone floors are also more durable and made for high traffic areas.

Cost

Laminate flooring costs about $2,772.00 for a typical project of around 500 square feet, or around $5.50 per square foot installed. Smaller areas, such as bathrooms or laundry rooms, can cost as little as $700.00 while most larger projects see a high cost of around $6,000.00.

Cost Factors

Typical varying cost factors that can increase or decrease your cost include:

  • Thickness of the laminate
  • Supplier of the laminate (some high end manufacturers do a great job at imitating more expensive materials)

As with all flooring jobs, the following cost factors are pretty universal:

  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things.
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos.
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%.
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Laminate is durable with some coming with warranties ranging from 15 to 30 years or longer
  • Easy to maintain, laminate is stain-resistant and can withstand extreme impacts.
  • Void of imperfections
  • Can be installed over existing floors
  • Available in a wide variety of patterns and colors. You can match your floor to your furniture instead of the other way around!

Cons

  • Hard underfoot, even with a foam underlayment
  • Unlike the actual materials it mimics, laminate flooring doesn’t add much to your home’s resale value.
  • Some laminates can feel slippery, though modern techniques have made slip-resistant laminates available.
  • Laminates cannot be sanded and refinished. Any damage requires the damaged pieces to be replaced.

Materials

Laminate flooring can be made to look like any other material you might use on a floor. The cost per square foot will vary widely depending on manufacturer, pattern, colors, etc., so your best bet is to get some samples and see which one works best for your room.

  • Wood: This is the most common pattern seen in laminates. It can be made to look like any kind of wood without having to cut down a tree. With its durability ensuring that it won’t be seeing a landfill any time soon, this is a very eco-friendly way to get the natural look.
  • Stone: Laminate flooring can be made to look like stone. Some are basic shapes while others are interlocking irregular patterns that have a more natural look.
  • Tile: With a little texturing, laminates can look and feel like real tile.

Options/Styles

Laminates come in only two types: tiles and planks. Tiles are either patterned or solid and glue into place with interlocking edges. No nails are needed. Planks are rectangular in shape and lock into place without glue or nails.

There are four styles to laminates:

  • Distressed Wood: This is an intentionally imperfect appearance to give wood laminates a more authentic look.
  • Hand Scraped Wood: This is a technique that makes a distressed wood style look older and more rustic.
  • Embossed: Embossing a laminate floor means giving it a texture to more accurately portray the desired material. Wood laminates will have the feel of grain while tiles and stones will have their own raised areas.
  • Stone: Laminate stone floors can look like any kind of stone and can mimic the textures to a great degree. They can also have a polished, smooth finish for an air of luxury.
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Vinyl and Linoleum Flooring

If you're on a tight budget, vinyl and linoleum can save you tons in both material and labor costs. Like laminate, they can imitate wood, stone or tile, and when purchased in squares, can be easy enough to install that you might not need a contractor.

Cost

Vinyl and linoleum tend to be very low cost with vinyl costing from $2.50 to $3.30 installed and linoleum costing from $3.30 to $4.20 per square foot. Vinyl can cost even less overall as it is usually sold in tiles and can be installed by the average homeowner without much trouble. Linoleum can be installed DIY, but it takes some knowledge of how to make the right cuts to make it fit well, especially in a room with a non-standard (rectangular) shape.

Cost Factors

Typical varying cost factors that can increase or decrease your cost include:

  • For vinyl, if the surface you are applying it to is not smooth, an underlayment of plywood may be needed. It needs to be smooth so it will adhere.
  • Linoleum’s extra cost will be in the form of a sealer. Linoleum needs to be sealed after installation and then once a year after that to maintain its luster.

As with other flooring projects, the following are typical variables that will affect your cost:

  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things.
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos.
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%.
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Very affordable
  • Can be done DIY
  • Soft feel
  • Wide variety of colors and patterns
  • They are practically maintenance free, needing only routine sweeping and mopping
  • Linoleum is biodegradable, made from both natural and renewable resources

Cons

  • Vinyl is petroleum-based and is thus not considered very eco-friendly
  • Linoleum and vinyl are soft, which means they can gouge easier than other materials
  • PVC-based vinyl can off-gas for a while after installation.
  • Linoleum can emit the smell of linseed oil for a few weeks after installation.
  • If poorly maintained, both materials can show their age terribly.

Materials

Vinyl and linoleum are often confused with each other. Linoleum, however, has been around since 1860 and is made of solidified linseed oil. Vinyl was invented in 1926 while developers were testing new ways to create and use PVC. The biggest difference between the two is that with vinyl the patterns are printed on the surface while with linoleum they go all the way through the material. While this makes linoleum more durable in looks, vinyl is still significantly easier to install.

Options/Styles

Vinyl and linoleum are available in many different looks and textures. They are also available in three different styles:

  • Sheet: Sheet vinyl is not as common as sheet linoleum. Sheet flooring requires a bit of knowledge of where and how to make the cuts. This is most popularly used in standard-shaped, larger rooms.
  • Tile: Vinyl tiles are more often seen than linoleum tiles. They are easy to install and easy to cut.
  • Plank: This style imitates wooden planks. Higher end planks are almost indistinguishable from the real thing
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Carpeting

Not quite as thrifty an option as linoleum, carpeting still can serve just about any budget. To determine a price, you'll need to consider room size, pile of carpet and labor. The pile of the carpet refers to the thickness or density of fibers used to weave the carpet. Natural products usually cost more than synthetics because natural fibers can't be mass-produced as easily. Installation costs vary. Some carpet stores offer free installation, but know that you're paying for the labor in the price of your carpet.

Cost

Carpet comes in so many varieties and from so many different manufacturers that it’s difficult to say just what an “average” price is. However, based on the most popular purchases, a typical cost for carpeting is around $2.00 per square foot. With installation, it can be around $3.50 per square foot.

Cost Factors

The biggest cost factor for carpet, besides the carpet itself, is the area to be covered. There are also more things to a carpet than just the carpet. Tack strips around the perimeter of the room help hold the carpet in place. Carpet padding beneath the carpet is not a necessity, but it will make your carpet a lot more comfortable.

The installation itself is fairly involved. A carpet stretcher will be needed, and large rooms may need a “power stretcher”, a heavy but not too complicated tool that ensures a newly installed carpet won’t feel slack. Large rooms may also need more than one piece of carpet to cover the area. These pieces will have to be joined together with a hidden seam.

Other factors that will affect the cost are the standard ones for all flooring projects:

  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things.
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos.
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%.
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Fairly low maintenance, they generally only need vacuuming and the occasional shampooing.
  • Most modern carpets are stain resistant, but spills should be sopped up quickly.
  • Good insulation during winter and summer
  • Helps reduce noise, making it ideal for bedrooms

Cons

  • Carpet can trap moisture, leading to mildew problems
  • Dust, insects, and allergens can become trapped by the fibers of carpet
  • If you have pets and they urinate or defecate on the carpet, the smell can linger for a while even if it’s cleaned up quickly.
  • Large amounts of water, such as a flood, can destroy a carpet all the way to the padding. Molds and mildews will form and can cause health hazards.

Materials

Carpet is made up of fibers, either natural or synthetic, woven into different piles: short, long, or a mixture of the two. Some fibers are woven while others are straight. Some are looped, forming a comfortable, almost spongy sensation, while others are cut for a plush feel. Fiber types include:

  • Wool, very durable but also the most expensive option, about $50.00 per square yard
  • Nylon, durable as wool, but stain resistant and less expensive, about $27.00 per square yard
  • Polyester, very soft, not as durable as nylon but cheaper at around $11.00 per square yard
  • Olefin, good for low-pile commercial, indoor/outdoor, and heavy traffic areas, about $9.00 per square yard
  • Acrylic, resists moisture and mildew, not very durable, often found in bathroom mats, about $10.00 per square yard

Though carpet is most often quoted by the square foot, it is sold by the square yard. One square yard equals 9 square feet.

Options/Styles

There are four basic carpet types. The cost of each can vary widely depending on colors, patterns, and manufacturer, so the best way to figure out your cost is to shop around, even looking at remnants, leftover pieces of carpet from larger jobs.

  • Pattern Carpet: Uses varying blends of cut fibers and looped fibers to create subtle patterns in solid toned carpet.
  • Shag: Has a very thick, high pile, and colors can be uniform or blends of complementary colors.
  • Plush: Dense, cut-pile carpeting with the appearance of a perfectly manicured lawn.
  • Frieze: Less thick than shag, frieze is very soft thanks to its twisted fibers.
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Tile Flooring

The options for tile are staggering: ceramic, stone, marble, porcelain, artist sculpted, and mass produced, to name a few. Be aware that when you price tile, a small per-unit cost can translate into a huge difference by the time you're done with the project. Installation is fairly involved and can be more expensive than the material costs.

Cost

Due to the large variety of tile types available, the cost variety is equally large. Some tiles can be had for as cheaply as ceramic tile at around 60 cents per square foot to the majestic Lux Touch, inlaid with 95 diamonds per tile, agate, abalone, and mother of pearl for $1,000,000.00 per 10 square feet!

Cost Factors

Million-dollar tiles aside, you can find tiles for every budget. Mass-produced tiles will cost far less than artist-created, hand-colored tiles. Scarcity and processing difficulty of the tile are the biggest factors influencing the cost. Clay is very inexpensive as it’s a very common material. Granite and other natural stone is found only in certain areas and usually must be shipped.

The same standard factors are true for tiles as they are on other flooring projects:

  • Distance to the job site (the more remotely you live, the higher the cost will be)
  • Any work that has to be done around existing framing, HVAC systems, electrical, plumbing, or other such systems. Floor registers are a good example of such things.
  • Testing and remediation of hazardous materials. Older homes may have lead and/or asbestos.
  • If a general contractor will be supervising the job, add about 15% to 23%.
  • Sales tax on materials
  • Permits or inspection fees if applicable

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • There’s something for everyone both in cost and style
  • Suitable for use in all locations, all rooms, indoors or outdoors
  • Easy to maintain
  • Almost never looks dated
  • Works great with radiant floor heating
  • Requires very little maintenance
  • Extremely durable and non-toxic
  • Won’t trap allergens
  • Cleans easily

Cons

  • Without radiant floor heating it can be very cold in the winter
  • Difficult to install
  • Is not sound-dampening and can even be sound amplifying
  • Can be slippery when wet
  • While they can withstand high foot traffic, heavy objects can break them if dropped, and the repair is not easy for the average homeowner

Materials

Tiles are available in almost every sort of material imaginable. Here are the most common materials and the average price per square foot:

  • Ceramic - $1.30
  • Marble - $7.50
  • Granite - $6.00
  • Limestone - $5.00
  • Slate - $3.00
  • Travertine - $4.00
  • Quartz - $6.50
  • Porcelain - $3.75

Options/Styles

The variety of tile options is endless. Colors and styles make for an endless realm of possibilities. Glossy or matte, even squares or staggered shapes, light or dark, plain or elaborate, smooth or textured, there are so many options that you might find yourself taking home several samples and coming up with plenty of your own ideas.

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Other Flooring Options

Brick, stone, ceramic, poured resin, bamboo, cork. Whether you're looking to surface a living room, driveway or patio, the choices can make your head spin. Do your homework. No single option works for everybody. Don't be afraid to be creative. You might even consider mixing flooring materials, even in the middle of the same room. When it comes to being creative with your floor, the sky’s the limit!

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