Laminate Floor Repair Cost Breakdown
You may notice on your bill that the flooring company hasn’t itemized the cost of removing your damaged planks. Since most laminate flooring repairs require a replacement, removing the old flooring usually appears in the estimate. Nonetheless, all projects have a similar cost breakdown.
Type of Laminate
Laminate mimics the look of natural materials like hardwood flooring at an affordable price. That price is determined by the type of material, texture, finish, and abrasion coefficient rating (or AC rating). The AC rating measures durability and stain resistance, with higher levels having higher durability.
Expect to pay more to replace:
High-end imitations like hickory vs. common imitations like maple or oak
Textured laminate vs. smooth laminate
Glossy laminate vs. matte or semi-matte finishes
Laminate with a higher AC rating
Though you’ll pay more upfront to replace laminate with a high AC rating, you’ll spend less on repairs because it’s more durable. The same goes for glossy finishes and textured planks, which show fewer minor imperfections.
Type of Repair
The type of repair is the largest cost factor. You’ll spend less on a minor repair (like fixing a scratch or tiny gouge) than a larger repair (like replacing subflooring and fixing laminate with severe water damage).
Labor is often one of the highest laminate flooring costs because the actual material is relatively inexpensive. Local flooring contractors typically charge between $0.60 and $4.00 per square foot for their labor. In other words, if you’re replacing a 100-square-foot section of flood-damaged laminate, you could pay upwards of $400 just for labor.
Cost of Laminate Floor Repairs by Problem
You can repair laminate in a few different ways—it all depends on the actual problem. Any issue that causes problems with the underlayment and subfloor usually comes with a higher repair cost. Here are some common prices.
Repairing Scratches and Gouges
If you have tiny scratches or gouges, they can sometimes be covered with a furniture marker or filled with wax filler. You can purchase a DIY repair kit for less than $20 at your local hardware store and fix small scratches and gouges in your laminate floor. A professional fix will typically cost $100 to $300.
If your laminate flooring has deep cuts, cracks, or water damage, you’ll need to replace the damaged planks. This usually costs more than $300, but it depends on how many planks need replacing and if you can easily remove the laminate. On average, removing and replacing damaged planks will cost about $3 to $11 per square foot.
If your boards are warped or loose, you’ll need to redo the layout of your floor. This requires a professional flooring contractor who will open up the floor and repair the subfloor or underlayment if necessary. Redoing spacing usually costs $300 to $1,200.
Squeaky Laminate Floor
It typically costs between $75 and $300 to fix squeaky laminate floors. Squeaking is a common problem due to issues with the subfloor, underlayment, or moisture. You can put talcum powder on the joints for a quick DIY fix. To solve the actual issue, your contractor will typically use construction adhesive or screw down the offending pieces.
Laminate Floor Bubbles
If your laminate floor starts bubbling, that’s a clear sign of water damage. Sometimes you can burst the bubble and glue the veneer down. This low-cost, DIY fix doesn’t always provide the best long-term results. For larger bubbles, you’ll need to replace the damaged tiles or planks, which costs $3 to $11 per square foot.
Laminate Floor Cupping
It typically costs $250 to $750 to repair a laminate floor that’s started cupping. If your floor has an issue with cupping, you may notice planks sinking in the middle and peeling on the edges. This usually signals an issue with moisture, and most of the time, you’ll need to replace the cupped tiles or planks.
If you’re hiring a laminate floor cleaning company near you, expect to spend between $75 and $300 to get rid of surface stains. The cost depends on how hard it is to remove the stain. Large stains will take more time and rack up more labor costs. In some cases, you can’t buff or clean stains; you can only remove and replace the laminate, which is more costly.
Additional Costs to Consider
Laminate flooring isn’t just the laminate. There are other parts, like subflooring, underlayment, or even the thresholds in your doorways, that you’ll have to consider. When you repair your floor, you may need to repair these other parts or simply want to tack on additional jobs. Here are some extra costs to consider.
For most homeowners, the cost to replace a threshold is between $100 and $250.Thresholds cover transitional areas like doorways are typically subject to heavy foot traffic. Over time, this can damage the laminate, and you’ll need to replace it.
Painting Laminate Floors
Most homeowners spend between $250 and $450 to paint laminate flooring in a standard 200-square-foot room. It depends on the size of the floor and the paint you use, but it’s a great way to save money if your floor is stained or scuffed and you don’t want to spring for a replacement.
Repairing or Replacing Subfloors
Repairing or replacing subfloors costs $1 to $7 per square foot, excluding labor, and most homeowners spend between $500 and $720. You’ll usually see plywood or OSB (oriented strand board) subfloors, and all laminate flooring has a subfloor. You may need to replace subfloors if you notice warping, water damage, or squeaky floors.
Laminate flooring requires an underlayment, which you might have to replace if there’s significant water damage. The underlayment helps support the floor, provides stability, and reduces noise. For the underlayment alone, expect to spend $0.29 to $0.79 per square foot. Labor costs depend on your contractor’s hourly price.
Most of the time, laminate does come with a warranty—whether it’s from the manufacturer or offered by your contractor. Your warranty may cover certain damages or dictate how you can make repairs; for example, DIY repairs may void your warranty. Check your plan before you start.
Once you have laminate floors, you’ll need to maintain them. If you don’t want to clean your laminate floors on your own, a professional cleaner generally costs $75 to $175 per visit, though costs can rise depending on the size of your home and location. It’s also a good idea to fix problems as they appear rather than let them progress to the point that you need to replace your floor. Factor these longer-term costs into your budget.
Cost to Repair Laminate Flooring Yourself
Homeowners who DIY their laminate floor repairs save on labor but can spend more money in the long run if mistakes are made. It may seem simple to swap out a plank from a click-and-lock style laminate floorboard, but even just a small gap between laminate planks can harbor moisture that will ruin your laminate, underlayment, and subfloor. Down the line, you might be in store for an expensive replacement.
That said, making minor repairs with a DIY kit can cost less than $20. The hardest part is matching the color of the marker or wax with your laminate.
DIY Laminate Floor Repair Costs vs. Hiring a Pro
Professional labor typically adds $0.60 to $4.00 per square foot (or $25 to $30 per hour) to your project. Without a pro, most homeowners can make smaller DIY repairs, like waxing over scratches and cleaning stains. For anything larger, it’s best to hire a laminate flooring repair company in your area—especially if you aren’t familiar with laminate floor replacement.
4 Ways to Save on Laminate Flooring Repair Costs
Laminate is extremely durable, but it does have some weaknesses. Mainly, it’s prone to water damage and minor scratches. These tips can help you extend the lifespan of your laminate and save on repair costs.
1. Practice Prevention
The best way to save on laminate floor repair is prevention. Put down rugs and carpets in high-traffic areas to avoid scratching the floor. Slip off high heels, boots, and heavier footwear. If you have to move furniture, lift instead of drag.
2. Clean Spills ASAP
Sometimes, there is use crying over spilled milk. Even a small spill can cause laminate flooring to bubble and warp. To prevent water damage, clean up spills as soon as they happen. You can also use a dehumidifier to lower your home’s overall humidity and remove moisture that might have leaked into the subfloor or underlayment.
3. Use a DIY Kit for Minor Repairs
A laminate touch-up kit is a great tool for fixing minor scratches, gouges, and marks. These kits typically include colored wax that should match the color of your laminate. They cost less than$20, which is much less than a pro.
4. Paint Your Floors for a Refresh
If your laminate floor is looking worse for wear but your subfloor and underlayment are in good condition, consider hiring a local painter to paint the laminate. This can hide discoloration and certain minor imperfections, and it costs much less than replacing all of the planks or tiles.