What To Consider
When budgeting for new flooring, one major consideration is the installation cost associated with the flooring you’re thinking about buying. Much like flooring, installation costs are priced out per square foot and are generally included in your estimate.
The cost of flooring installation is based on the degree of difficulty in regards to the flooring product. Put simply, carpet is easier than ceramic to install and will, therefore, be cheaper per square foot. There are also potential auxiliary costs to consider – removing the existing flooring, disposing of the newly removed flooring, removing and replacing furniture, etc…
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There are a lot of things to think about when having carpet installed but you’re basically looking at square foot prices for the carpet, underpad, labour and any additional add-ons (removal, disposal and furniture).
Additional work that might crop up is subfloor install, baseboards, pattern matching and any custom binding work that you might require. Having said all of that, however, carpet does come in as the least expensive flooring to install.
Luxury Vinyl Tile and Luxury Vinyl Plank are sold by the square foot since they come in either tiles or planks and, if you’ve got some know-how and the right tools, could possibly be a DIY weekend installation job. However, making the right cuts or installing them in an oddly shaped room can be a bit daunting.
Basically, your costs, above and beyond the square foot price of the product, will depend on any leveling work needed on the installation area, any prep work (ie: removal and disposal of existing flooring, furniture, etc…) and any special requirements as older homes generally need more prep work than newer builds.
Much like the above, laminate flooring is sold per square foot and the price of the product is determined by the quality of the laminate you’ve chosen. If your budget doesn’t extend to hardwood but you want the same look, laminate is both more cost effective for both price per square foot and cost of installation per square foot.
Also, much like the products listed above, installation costs are variable and will change depending on what prep work needs to be done to ready the area for installation. Bottom line on this, though, is that laminate is generally all around less expensive in terms of installation costs than hardwood.
Hardwood regularly sits at the top end of the pricing funnel in terms of both product and installation. Hardwood is more expensive per square foot due to the material and production costs and is more complicated to install, heralding the higher installation cost.
Hardwood comes in both solid and engineered products and, though more expensive to install then say, laminate or carpet, both forms of wood cost the same to install. The primary difference between solid and engineered wood flooring is that solid is a single piece of wood throughout whereas engineered wood has a solid piece of wood on top and then is comprised of plywood underneath.
Solid hardwood cannot be installed in a floating fashion where engineered can and both products are subject to the same potential auxiliary costs as the other flooring types.
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