How Much Does It Cost to Install Laminate Flooring?
Laminate Flooring Costs at a Glance
- Typical price range: $1,500-$5,000
- Price per square foot: $2-$6
- Installation price per square foot: $4-$8
- Cost for a 200-square-foot room: $2,000
- Compare to hardwood: $6-$25 per square foot; $3-$5 per square foot, labor
Resistant to stains, fading and moisture, laminate is one of the most popular flooring choices out there. Laminate is a synthetic flooring made of multiple layers laminated together. It has a strong external layer and resin coating for enhanced durability and longevity.
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Laminate flooring is also cost-effective. Here’s a detailed guide of how much you can expect to pay for materials and installation.
Cost of Installing Laminate Flooring
The cost to install laminate flooring ranges from $1,500 to $5,000 for a full project, with this price dependent on the size of the area and the type of laminate used. Installing laminate in a 200-square-foot room will cost $2,000 on average. This price doesn't cover removing the existing flooring, installing baseboards, moving furniture or delivery.
Laminate Flooring Cost Per Square Foot
Installing a laminate floor costs $8 to $15 per square foot for labor and material. For the flooring alone, expect to pay between $2 and $6 per square foot.
Laminate floors can mimic the look of stone or tile, but most have a wood appearance. The type of wood changes the cost. Acacia-look laminate costs 69 cents to $1 per square foot, while maple costs $1.59 to $2.50 per square foot — labor costs excluded.
Price per square foot can also vary based on the texture of the laminate. Flooring with a smooth finish costs $1.69 to $2.59 per square foot. For something that looks more like real wood, like oiled or hand-scraped laminate, expect to pay between $2.59 and $5.99 per square foot.
Labor Costs to Install Laminate Flooring
Installing laminate flooring will cost you around $4 to $8 per square foot for the labor. These charges also cover the foam underlay and glue required to do the job.
Pros and Cons
The main benefit of laminate over hardwood is cost, but saving money is only worth it if you like the synthetic look. If you’re thinking about installing laminate, here are some pros and cons to consider:
- When compared to natural wood, laminate is more scratch- and stain-resistant.
- Laminate requires minimal maintenance. It’s easy to clean and won’t get water spots.
- You can install laminate over an existing subfloor.
- Laminate often comes in snap-together planks or tiles for easy installation.
- You can’t refinish laminate floors like real wood, so when your floor starts looking worn-out, you’ll have to fully replace it.
- Laminate has a lower resale value than hardwood.
- Despite its moisture resistance, it is susceptible to damage if installed in high-moisture areas like laundry rooms or areas with floor drains.
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Other Factors to Consider
Here are some other points to think about when choosing your laminate flooring:
Laminate durability is measured using AC ratings. The AC ratings range from 1 to 5 based on durability, with 1 being the least durable laminate floor and 5 being the longest lasting. Usually, the highest AC rating needed for residential laminate is 4.
Laminate with a rating of 1 is suitable for low-traffic areas, like bedrooms. Entryways and kitchens with high traffic typically require laminate with a rating of 3 or higher.
Normally, laminate manufacturers have a warranty for their products. A 10-year warranty is common. However, a well-kept laminate floor can last up to 30 years.
It’s advisable to find laminate with an underlay already attached. You can purchase underlay separately, and it usually comes in 100-square-foot rolls. One roll costs $15 to $20. The price varies depending on the thickness and quality of the underlay. The disadvantage of purchasing an underlay separately is that installation will take longer, which can reflect in the overall project cost.
The ability to lay a new laminate floor over an existing one will save you a lot of time and hassle upon installation, but it can often lead to an uneven floor in the future. For this reason, most contractors will remove the existing subfloor before installing a new laminate floor.
Removing the existing flooring will cost you around $70 an hour. It will take about a day for a professional to remove subflooring from a 200-square-foot room, meaning you'll pay around $400 to $550 for the entire job.
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