Vinyl Flooring Installation Cost Breakdown
When you're on the hunt for a tough yet budget-flexible flooring option that freshens up a room, vinyl often takes the cake. Vinyl's versatility means that you'll find quite a wide price range for materials and labor. It can also look as stylish as pricier materials without sacrificing your budget.
For example, manufacturers use vinyl to mimic wood, stone, and other popular materials. They also offer sheets and planks with an array of durability levels against water, scratches, and general wear.
Let's take a look at the major price factors so you can make the best choice in vinyl flooring for your home.
Quality of the Material
Each part of the vinyl sheet—from the backing through the core—contributes to its cost. In turn, the quality of the material in each layer contributes to its appearance, durability, and ease of installation.
You will find standard, yet budget-friendly, sheet vinyl flooring for just $1 to $2 per square foot. At the same time, you can also choose luxury vinyl planks and tiles that come with solid vinyl cores or specially treated top layers for longevity. These will cost you between $7 and $10 per square foot on average.
The coloring and design of the vinyl flooring will always play a role. Paper-printed vinyl costs just $1 to $5 per square foot, while inlaid vinyl—which comes from compressing color granules into the material—costs up to $12 per square foot.
If you choose to skip the DIY route, a professional vinyl floor installer will charge anywhere from $3 to $10 per square foot for labor alone. Planks with simpler installation options, such as floating floors, will cost less per foot than glue-on planks.
You may also receive a per-hour quote of around $36 an hour to install vinyl flooring. Keep in mind that uniquely shaped rooms or stairs will add to this price.
Size of the Space
It's no surprise that your per-foot cost for vinyl floor installation is, by far, the largest cost factor. In most cases, the larger the room, the higher the price. Some professionals will offer discounted per-foot rates for larger jobs. At an average of about $5 per square foot, you'll pay $1,000 for a 200-square-foot room.
There are several ways to secure vinyl panels and tiles to the subflooring, and each comes with different labor costs. Per-foot costs will depend on the type and quality of the material and how tricky it is to secure it to your floors.
Floating installation takes less time to install and requires fewer materials. In this method, tiles or planks click and lock together and sit right on top of the existing floor without gluing or renovating the floor beneath.
Planks, tiles, and some forms of vinyl sheets require glue to attach to the subflooring with this method. Budget extra money for both labor and materials—for example, the glue and tools to spread it.
While they may sound like the simplest solution, vinyl floors with existing adhesive fall between floating floors and glue-down planks in the cost range. Peel-and-stick will attach immediately to the subflooring, so any inconsistencies or unlevel areas must be addressed beforehand.
Cost of Vinyl Flooring by Type
When you head off to the flooring store or scroll through countless options online, one of the first decisions you'll make when deciding to install a vinyl floor is the type of sheet, plank, or tile. Let's look at their cost ranges.
Vinyl Plank Flooring
Standard vinyl plank flooring comes in a range of thicknesses but often runs thicker than other varieties if designed with the click-and-lock feature. Vinyl plank flooring costs $2 to $7 per square foot, depending on added features like a water-resistant core and top layer to protect against scratches and stains that naturally happen in a busy home.
Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring
Also known as LVP, this highly durable product will range anywhere from $3 to $10 per square foot and can be glued or floated over many types of subflooring. The plank's intricate design and top layer most closely resemble hardwood flooring, and it’s durable, even in high-traffic areas.
Vinyl Flooring Sheets
This budget-friendly vinyl flooring option costs between $1 and $2 per square foot and is one of the easiest to install. It comes in rolled sheets of 6 or 12 feet and can be cut to the shape of your room.
Vinyl Composition Tile Flooring
Costing between $1 and $4 per square foot, composition tile flooring comes with either wood and plastic or a stone polymer core for extra strength. The tiles come in peel-and-stick or glue-on varieties and mimic a wide range of materials.
Luxury Vinyl Tile
You'll pay anywhere from $2 to $10 per square foot for luxury vinyl tile (LVT) due to its wide range of available materials and finishes. The individual tiles come with wood or stone designs to look like the real thing without the high maintenance requirement. A urethane top often makes luxury vinyl tiles more resistant to wear and tear.
Additional Vinyl Flooring Costs to Consider
Major installations like these often come with additional costs to make the project run smoothly from start to finish.
Removing Old Flooring
You'll pay about $32 an hour or $1 to $2 per square foot to have a pro remove your old floors. Some companies will include this service, as well as hauling costs, in their flat fee.
Subfloor Repair or Replacement
Repairing and replacing subflooring may be a necessary step for successful installation and use down the line. You'll pay between $3 and $10 for the cost of subfloor replacement or an average of $400 for subflooring repair costs.
Plywood underlayment can even the level of a floor, diminish sound, support stability, and even make your floor more comfortable to walk on. If recommended, you'll pay an extra $0.50 per square foot for the extra layer.
Vapor barriers cost between $0.15 and $0.40 per square foot and come in handy when layering vinyl flooring over concrete. Concrete can absorb moisture, leading to buckling, warping, and installation issues.
You may need a hand moving the furniture from your room before replacing the floors as well. The cost of movers ranges from $25 to $50 an hour for each mover.
Assume that your per-square-foot cost for labor will fall on the higher end of the labor cost range for stairs. Installing vinyl flooring on stairs costs more due to the intricate cuts and adhering necessary for the small areas.
Similar to the additional costs for stairs, a home with a complex layout will cost more than an open floor plan with easy-to-measure spaces. Smaller areas, such as walk-in closets, foyers, or L-shaped rooms, require more planning and trimming.
While most floor installation specialists will guarantee their work under certain conditions, they may also offer upgrades for longer warranties or plans with wider coverage.
Cost to Install Vinyl Flooring Yourself
Installing vinyl flooring is a mid-level project for an experienced DIYer. While it's not quite as simple as snapping it all together like a tabletop jigsaw puzzle, vinyl floor installation rarely requires complex tools. You will also only pay for the cost of the flooring at an average of $2 per square foot, plus the cost of measuring and installation tools. You can purchase click-and-lock, peel-and-stick or glue-on flooring kits with specific instructions on how to trim and secure each plank or tile.
DIY vs. Hiring a Pro
DIY floor installation is only best when you have sturdy subflooring without any additional underlayment needs or adjustments. Structural issues like water damage or old planks should always be addressed by a professional. Additionally, installing even simple flooring requires very intricate measuring, so if you're in doubt about the process, calling a local flooring installation contractor can save you from costly floor repairs or replacements in the future.