The average cost to install laminate flooring is $2,800
The cost to install laminate flooring ranges from $1,400 to $4,300, with an average price of $2,800, depending on the type of laminate, the size of the space, and more. Are you thinking of replacing your high-maintenance, scratched-up floors with easy-to-clean laminate flooring? Installing laminate flooring can be an affordable way to refresh your home and cut down on maintenance while achieving a look and feel similar to that of more expensive hardwood floors. It's durable, scratch, dent, stain, and water resistant, and comes in a wide variety of styles and finishes.
“If a remodeling job has unexpected expenses, switching to laminate is a great way to stay on budget,” says Bob Tschudi, Expert Review Board Member and general contractor. “It looks very good and is easy to replace down the road.”
How Much Does Laminate Flooring Cost Per Square Foot?
The actual laminate flooring materials cost around $0.70 to $2.00 per square foot, and labor costs around $0.60 to $4.00 per square foot. The range in cost accounts for variations in type, style, and location. Many kinds of laminate flooring look like hardwood and are accordingly referred to by the natural material’s name, such as maple, cherry, acacia, and oak. While the top layer is actually not real wood but a “photographic applique layer,” many higher-end laminate flooring products can truly imitate the appearance of natural wood.
Installing a laminate floor in an approximately 200 square-foot room generally costs around $1,600 but can range from $400 to $5,000 depending on the type of flooring, abrasion rating, and location. Your contractor may include the cost of adhesives and underlays in the total price, but always ask to be sure.
How Much Does Installing Laminate Flooring Cost Near Me?
The cost of laminate flooring installation varies by where you live. Your area’s general cost of living also can make a significant difference in the price of laminate flooring installation near you.
Cost of Laminate Flooring by Location
New York City: $1,500–$4,300
Washington D.C./Northern Virginia/Maryland (DMV Metro Area): $1,500–$4,000
South Carolina: $1,900–$5,150
Miami/Fort Lauderdale: $1,250–$4,200
Los Angeles: $2,000–$5,300
San Francisco: $2,100–$6,100
Cost of Laminate Flooring In Rural vs. Urban Areas
Urban/Higher cost of living: $1,300–$4,500
Rural/Lower cost of living: $1,200–$4,200
Something else to consider is that laminate flooring prices can fluctuate seasonally, with winter or the end of the year being the most cost-effective time to purchase the materials.
You may be surprised to find that laminate installation labor for smaller rooms may cost more if the project requires more cutting, trimming, laying out a complex pattern, or fitting the laminate into unusually shaped spaces.
Types of Laminate Flooring by Price
Laminate flooring is popular because it can mimic the look of hardwood flooring or similar premium flooring options without the high price tag and maintenance requirements. In fact, some types of laminate include layers of natural hardwood bonded with particleboard and other synthetic materials, which keeps costs lower but lets the laminate appear very similar to the texture and grain of real hardwood.
Here are the types of laminate “wood” that tend to be generally available and their costs per square foot installed.
Red or white oak: $2.70–$6.70
The prices for different types of laminate flooring can be similar, but the various types of laminate “wood” have different colors and grains, so part of the choice depends on the aesthetic you prefer.
Laminate Flooring Installation Cost Breakdown
There are some costs that you will most likely see from any contractor who gives you an estimate for laminate flooring installation, including but not limited to:
There’s the laminate flooring itself along with the subfloor, which will run about $550 to replace a 300 square foot area if necessary.
This will vary depending on your region, but it will likely be around $2–$4.50 per square foot.
Demo-ing and Clean-up
You may be able to accomplish this yourself if you are handy, but if not (or you’d rather leave it to the pros), removing an existing laminate floor costs around $400 for 200 square feet. The cost to rip up carpet and install laminate flooring averages between $1,590 and $4,690.
If necessary, moving furniture will cost $100–$500 depending on the size of the room(s) and amount of furniture. You can save money by doing it yourself or hiring local movers for $25–$50 per hour.
This breakdown covers the general cost of installing laminate flooring. Your costs will increase if you add any special features or have a particularly complicated installation.
Ready to get laminate flooring installed or at least strongly considering it? You should know a few things before you hire a contractor or start purchasing laminate flooring supplies and materials.
What is the abrasion rating in relation to laminate flooring?
Abrasion ratings or Abrasion Class (AC) ratings for laminate flooring are a standardized construction industry system that classifies types of laminate flooring by durability and how well they stand up to everyday usage and traffic. Keep in mind that AC rating is just durability, not overall quality.
In terms of cost, the higher the AC rating, the more expensive the laminate materials will likely be. Abrasion ratings run from AC1 to AC5, with averages as follows:
AC1: Appropriate for light residential traffic and the cheapest at $1.00–$1.50 per square foot
AC2: For moderate residential use at around $1.30–$2.50 per square foot
AC3: For heavy residential traffic or light commercial use at $2.50–$3.50 or more per square foot
AC4 and AC5 are commercial grade and not intended for homes
How does the weather or seasons affect laminate flooring prices and maintenance?
Laminate flooring prices can fluctuate seasonally, with winter or the end of the year being the most cost-effective time to purchase the materials.
Maintenance-wise, temperature changes from summer to winter or any other rapid shifts in weather can cause laminate flooring to expand and contract, making the flooring peel, curl, or otherwise more susceptible to damage.
Can I install laminate flooring over other types of flooring?
One reason that laminate flooring has grown in popularity is that it can be installed on top of some kinds of existing flooring, therefore saving money and time. However, do not install laminate flooring over carpet since it may void the manufacturer’s warranty. Plus, carpet is often too plush and soft to properly support a laminate flooring system. “When installing new flooring over existing, be sure to first check to see if doors can freely swing over the higher floor,” says Bob Tschudi, a NC-based general contractor. “If there are several doors that need to be planed or trimmed, it might cost less to remove the old flooring.”
What does it cost to remove laminate flooring?
Another thing to consider when installing laminate flooring is the cost of removal if you want to change things in the future. Removing laminate flooring tends to run around $400 for a 200 square foot room, not including the cost of replacing the flooring.
Should I install laminate flooring myself or hire a professional?
Simple laminate flooring projects may be possible to DIY, especially if you have a simple, straightforward area and use click-lock or snap-together laminate flooring.
Click-lock or snap-together laminate flooring is essentially like Legos or other building block toys in that it comes together with a tongue-in-groove system, according to HomeAdvisor. It may even include an attached foam underlayer, so there’s no need to add a separate underlayment.
More complicated installs involving intricate designs or rooms with unusual shapes or angles may be best left to a professional. Plus, professionals have power tools like miter saws and other equipment that will best cut laminate flooring.
Can installing laminate flooring add value to my home?
New flooring can add value to your home in general, but the value boost depends on the type of laminate installed and what type of flooring was in place before. For example, adding laminate over natural materials like hardwood or ceramic may be detrimental, especially since you cannot refinish laminate like hardwood.
On the other hand, if the laminate replaces old vinyl, linoleum, or worn-out carpet, new laminate might be preferable, especially if it is high quality and appears similar to natural wood or stone. Buyers with pets or young children may be partial to laminate for its low cost and relatively high durability, and laminate is a popular choice for rentals (especially in coastal areas) for the same reason.
Homebuyers generally prefer laminate when installed in high-traffic rooms like kitchens and bathrooms versus living rooms and bedrooms. It tends to be more acceptable in lower-cost homes.
Why should I pick laminate flooring?
There are many reasons to choose laminate over other types of flooring, such as its durability, low maintenance, ease of installation, and relatively affordable price compared to hardwood or other options with a similar appearance.